Day 5: A Musical Scavenger Hunt

Sunday was a Dresden Music Festival Day, with three very different musical events scheduled in one day. This may seem like a bit of overkill, but the main objective was to maximize our time in Dresden while visiting and searching for different venues spread throughout the city.

Our first treasure took place at the Semperoper. The Andrej Hermlin Swing Dance Orchestra played many popular Glenn Miller big band tunes, including “In the Mood” and “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”.  The music immediately got everyone tapping their feet, and the German fondness for American music was clearly evident in a rare standing ovation. Viola Manigk and a local group known as the Skylarks provided vocal backups.

in the afternoon, we took a ferry ride across the Elbe River to the Pillnitz Palace about a half hour away to hear the Dresden Boys’ Kreuzchoir. Due to rain, it was moved from a serenade on the green to indoors at the Weinbergkirche. We managed to find this hidden spot, but only after a long search.

imageAlong the way back to Pillnitz, I discovered a collection of my favorite rooftop “eyes” on a single building alluringly blinking back at me. There were too many to count, but they reminded of the “one-, two-, and third-eye blind” roof windows recorded in the neighborhood of Loschwitz when I was studying in Dresden in 2014. It was definitely the bonus find for the day.(You can see the two-eyed version in the collection of photos for Day 75+5 in 2014 noted below).

A 230-year-old Camellia tree is a magnificent feature of Pillnitz Palace.  The tree, in all its splendor, is kept in a huge moveable glass and steel-framed atrium in the winter. The cover is carefully transferred on rails to protect the tree from the cold and frost, and then removed again in the Spring. We managed to zip past this grand dame and hoped that its longevity would continue. (You can read more about Pillnitz and the tree here:

On our final musical “find” for the day, we captured an evening piano recital at the Grosse Garten. The modern interpretation of birds was difficult to appreciate, especially when real birds were chirping at twilight just outside. Similar to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the Grosse Garten is much loved and appreciated by the locavores for its accessibility and refreshing green expanse. We were both lost and confounded on this exhaustive day, but it wasn’t anything that a good Vietnamese dinner afterwards couldn’t soothe.

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