The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Highland Dance Company of NZ Germany Trip - Day 9 - 1st Feb 2014

Today started out as per usual with an early start, buffet breakfast and a long bus trip dotted with games of Mafia, which escalated in both creativity and in madness. Our last day of sight-seeing was definitely a rewarding one. The picturesque city of Dresden was rebuilt from the ashes of World War II and is said to be the most beautiful of all of Germany's cities.

Dresden is just so different to the rest of Germany. It is picturesque and has the air of perfection. in the centre of town is the Frauenkirche, a Protestant church. Photos are not permitted inside the church but no photo could really capture the atmosphere that the beauty of the alter created. The colour scheme of mint green, pastel pink, blue and yellow were set off by the gold plated statues and lettering. those of us who caught the midday church service agree that the Lords Prayer is the first time we've heard German sound loving and soft. We attempted to sing the German hymn, managing to pronounce 99% of it wrong.. But our mistakes were drowned out by the beautiful organists music.

The rest of Dresden was also beautiful; the cobbled streets and stone bridges and archways could have come to life from any 14th century fairy story! We've all been wondering how anyone could hope to wear high heels on such roads!

While the more religious members of the team managed to catch a church service, the rest of us explored the city with cameras at the ready. Four of us even managed to find an ice skating rink where Sam and Sarah Gluyas strutted their stuff on the ice as Danielle and Lewis clung onto the rails for grim death - not our most co-ordinated of moments. Shirana and Jayden also managed to get in on the action with a series of slides next to the rink where they got some awesome footage for the video of this trip (spoiler alert!) Then, true to our nature, after a rather exhilarating experience we turned to the nearest shopping mall and shopped up quite a storm with the majority of the team finding a few christmas decorations for next year which were hand crafted in Dresden itself. Unfortunately we missed the Christmas market which is said to be spectacular, but a certain shop next to the Hilton Hotel was home a variety of handcrafted wooden and glass decorations which are sure to be a hit back home.

Another amazing day over, we once again piled back on the bus (many of us sleeping the entire way) and arrived back just in time for dinner. Having shopped up quite a storm, many of us then tried a variety of ways to creatively rearrange our suitcases while debating how many layers of clothing it is justifiable to wear at one time - I bet many of us are glad for the 30 kg baggage allowance on Singapore airlines! After packing our bags the best we could, we managed to catch an early night in preparation for the parade starting again tomorrow.

Gut Nacht
Niamh and Danni

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