I make my way from Bavaria into Leipzig and then to Dresden. Immediately upon exiting the train it is obvious that things have changed. Gone are the colored facades of riverfront homes and the company of tourists replaced by faceless gray architecture of the GDR and locals clad in black wool. The air is heavier, but I am loving Leipzig. It contains an energy that is difficult to place; there seems to be a feeling of creative flamboyance here, an expectation of new thought and spontaneous expression. This also marks the first time I am able to purchase food in German without the waiter noticing that I am a foreigner. This is a major accomplishment. I feel proud.
On to Dresden, known as the Jewel Box because of it's baroque city center. The city was reduced to rubble by Allied bombing in WWII, but it has risen out of the ashes to challenge it's former splendor, in particular, the Dresden Frauenkirche.
Still, the pain of this event lingers in the air, tragic whispers amidst the beauty.