The day we entered Dresden, the sun came out and I knew this was going to be an enjoyable city. We had lunch, aired out our tents and decided our next steps overlooking the Elbe river running through the middle of the city. We stayed in a hostel that night, which gave us a chance to remove about 50lbs each from our bikes. We were super human flying around town on our bikes that night.
Our quest for wiener schnitzel brought us to a restaurant across town. Upon walking in, we noticed that the median age was about 65...we definitely stuck out. We weren't sure if it was a family reunion or just the Monday night crowd. We all ordered the Monday night special which was a liter of beer and a tiny pretzel. We enjoyed some great conversation after that.
Dresden is an amazing city. After experiencing the hustle and bustle of Berlin. Dresden's smaller, more graspable feel was a welcome change. We stayed in the city the next day and had breakfast and a lingering coffee shop experience. We learned that most of Germany does not wake up for your typical 9am breakfast. Walking the streets it was hard to find even a coffee shop open before 10.
We left the city around four, dodging rain and cycling along the river. The cliffs growing on either side of us made the ride ever more beautiful. We ended the night making dinner in a tourist vestibule hiding from a down pour and waiting for the small river village to go to bed before stealthily camping in one of their fields. We got a chuckle from a woman the next morning who asked if we stayed there. It wasn't as big a deal as we thought.
We followed the same river all the way into the Czech Republic. In crossing a border, there is always an adjustment period in relearning the signage and bike routes. It can be quite hectic. The Czech Republic does not value bikes quite as much as Germany so it was a rude awakening. We spent the first night in a strange bike camp on the side if the river with trains wizzing by on either side of us. We all wore earplugs and slept beautifully.
The next day we were able to follow some well marked bike routes, even hopped on EuroVelo 7 for the end of the day. Our weary legs did not appreciate the four flights of stairs which constituted the bike route over the river. Sheesh.