Posted by: 2girls2europe | July 6, 2011

Travel Days: They Stink…but Yay Dresden

Dearest Readers,

Gina and I have travel days down to a science. We get up early. We shower, try to dry off our toiletries (unsuccessfully … they always smell moldy) and load our packs. We heft them onto our backs (my shoulders cringe in pain at the thought), and we turn to say goodbye to the location we were finally understanding and appreciating.

It’s depressing. Just as we become used to one place; when we finally know our metro stop, can work the train system and have some routine, we move on to the next destination.

I, for one, have always hated change, so I feel that this backpacking through Europe journey must be one of personal growth in the long-run. It will help me become better at adjusting myself and accepting change. Blah, blah, blah. It’s all well and good in the future, but travel days in the present are partially painful.

On travel days, we allow ourselves to wallow in goodbyes for a bit. Because we know that we may never actually be back. Which is terrifying.

I love my travel buddy, but travel days are not her favorite. At all. I have learned that we should not speak until we have boarded onto our train/plane/automobile. Travel days stress her, and she turns into a stony-cold, quiet, overall scary version of Gina. (To be fair, I am particularly unpleasant when we don’t have a plan for the day or I can’t sleep … so we both have our off times.)

But as soon as we board the train, Gina becomes full of her normal laughter and hilarity. Today, we hopped the train from Leipzig to Dresden, and the train ride was gorgeous. The train rides are the best part of travel days, because we don’t have to do anything.

We are forced to stop the constant motion and planning and go-go-go-ness to just sit and read. It’s a relief in a way.

Dresden is beautiful. After the bombing and rebuilding, the city has turned into a landscape of nonstop gorgeous rejuvenated architecture. The buildings are domed, towered, clocked (I’m making these nouns into adjectives, but you get the gist), and are just downright lovely.

My fun high school friend Julie took us on a guided tour herself (she is in a German architecture class), and she fed us. First, her friend fed us delicious peanut butter pasta, and then she fed us peanut butter curry. Needless to say, we kiss their feet with full-stomached joy. We are so pleasant when fed.

Travel days are tiring however. Even though we only actually train-ed for one hour, the whole concept of moving to a city is exhausting. Okay, we are staying here, and this bus takes us home, and this is how we get to the city center, and this is what we want to see here, and this is where we get food, etc etc etc.

We have learned that the nights of travel days must be approached with caution. We don’t go out. We don’t push it. We just take in the new place and let ourselves breathe.

Tonight, as Julie studies for a final tomorrow, we sat in her room and read our books, watched the sunset and looked through photos of ourselves from the trip thus far (we also ran through the hallways in our socks … don’t worry we have videos … and sang some karaoke that was recently added to Gina’s computer thanks to our Leipzig IT friend Paul).

So we are happy to be in Dresden and we embrace the new. But it’s bittersweet as we say goodbye to Leipzig, Caroline and Paul. But, never fear, dearest readers, tomorrow, we will fully immerse ourselves in Dresden.

Just in time to fall in love with the city, before we are on the move again. We live a blessed but crazy life.

With love from Dresden!





  1. Jessie! I love reading about your adventures. I can just imagine you and JBalz in Dresden together – two of my favorite people in one heavenly spot! The city will never be the same. Safe travels and keep writing! Love, Mrs. H.

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