A Tour for the Newcomers – with the Polar Express

(Photo: S. Schückel)

It has become a tradition in the TUD Welcome Center that, twice a year, we welcome the newly arrived researchers with a special event: The Bus Tour – followed by our Regular’s Table where newcomers and those who have lived in Dresden for a while can meet.

Last week, our latest Bus Tour took place – this time with the addition of what already felt like arctic temperatures. As we started on foot with our tour guide Günter Kieb, we slowly realized that summer is definitely over and that warmer jackets are indeed necessary. But Mr. Kieb made sure we stayed warm as he introduced us to several interesting buildings and their history on campus. We visited one of the oldest – and steepest – auditoriums, the ALTANA Gallery, as well as the colourful “Spectral Symphony of the Elements” in the chemistry building.

Shortly after, our Polar Express saved us from the cold: The red Ikarus 55, our bus, was built in 1966 in Hungary from where it had been imported by the GDR (German Democratic Republic, the former so-called “East Germany”, existing from 1949 – 1990). Nowadays it is used for tours like ours and other special events.

We then braved the cold twice more:

First, when we made a stop at the meadows of the river Elbe to have our traditional surprise cake picnic. The cake is a specialty here in Dresden and is called ‘Eierschecke’ (it´s a custard-topped cheesecake). There are two kinds of it – one is traditional in Dresden, the other in Freiberg (a town near Dresden). If you want to try and make it yourself, here you can find a recipe for “Dresdner Eierschecke”.

The second stop was at the Semper Opera for another group photo and a brief history of the opera house – including the tale of one of the TUD Welcome Center staff dancing inside of it and in front of it as a debutante in 2006.

Afterwards, everyone was glad to enter Wenzels Prager Bierstuben – the restaurant where our Regular’s Table took place. There we were able to warm up with good food and warm drinks, talking,  laughing, and exchanging stories. For all those who would like to get to know each other more and find people who are as new to Dresden as you are, join the facebook group for newcomers and get in touch!

Our thanks go to the Gesellschaft für Freunde und Förderer (GFF) for helping us financing the bus!


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