After bashing my right kneecap on our bedframe last night I wasn't sure if I was going to get down the stairs let alone walk about and explore the city today. Thankfully the old joint loosened up from its agonising stiffness and I was able to get around reasonably alright for most the day. Dresden was once one of the most beautiful and cultural cities in Europe until it was firebombed to fuck-all towards the end of WW2. Hardly a 'strategic' target for the allied forces its destruction was intended as a moral blow to the German Empire. Barely anything remained of the city centre in the aftermath, an estimated 95% had been reduced to rubble and over 10,000 people had perished being blown apart, burnt alive or choking to death in the firestorm. Dresden today is a patchwork city, the remaining buildings have been amazingly restored to part of their former glory. Fresh stones and bricks sit alongside blackened originals, whilst entire sections of buildings and duplicates of statues complete once ruined buildings. I've never ever seen anything on this scale before, aside from the appreciation of the dedication and work that has gone into restoring the city, I couldn't escape a profound sense of sadness about what this place was once like and what its generation went through. For an interesting account of the Dresden bombing read Kurt Vonnegut's seminal Slaughter House 5 (if you haven't already.) The Zwinger (a gallery cum palace) also has to be seen to be believed.