Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.


We spent the day in Dresden. It was our first trip to (the former) East Germany since we were in Berlin in 2002.

I confess I expected a little more firebomb-burned-out Dresden, and a little less thriving-restored-Baroque Dresden.

Then again, it's been almost 70 years since 3900 tons of bombs were dropped by the Allies on Germany's last untouched city in the east. I understand the need to rebuild. Frauenkirche (in the last picture, above), however, was left in ruins as a war memorial until very recently - 2005, I think? There's something to be said for that particular depth of emotion that can be experienced when looking at a beautiful thing ruined by war. Berlin and its Gedächtniskirche agree.

It reminds me of how I felt when they announced that the Nauvoo Temple was being rebuilt. Hooray, but visiting there as a teenager, I loved the feeling evoked by those lonely foundation stones lying in their sunken plot of ground more than I loved the rebuilt temple when we visited there in 2010.

But Dresden was beautiful, as you can see. Since we were there with our kids, a random (awesome!) park made it onto the day's itinerary.

And Magdalena made friends with a statue.

We also tried to go see the hill that was made by the hauled-away rubble after the bombing in 1945. It's called Türmberg...and nobody seemed to know a thing about it. A lone hotel doorman said he remembered his father (age 80) talking about it, but he thought it was not a place you could visit - just some rocks and junk in holes.

Another attraction of the day was a visit to the Mormon temple in Freiberg. It was opened in 1985, which means it was the first temple (and maybe the only one ever?) behind the Iron Curtain. Go read the Wikipedia article - it's pretty interesting. Today, there were no secret police to bother us. Instead, a local member opened up the chapel and small photo exhibit for us to look at.

I remember knowing of East Germany's existence as a kid, and one of my first news-related memories is of the Berlin Wall falling down. I was also somewhat obsessed with WW2 as a kid, so today's day trip was interesting to me on many levels, even if it's possible that my kids admitted to the park being their favorite thing!

July 18th, outsourced

Der Müll