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Dresden

Ludmila Gelinek teaches at Julius-Ambrosius-Huel'e-Gymnasium (grammar school) in Dresden

Favourite place when you have a day off?

I like to walk to the three castles - Albrecht, Lingner and Eckberg - across the River Elbe. There is a wonderful view of Dresden, the river and the surrounding hills. In the days of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), before reunification times, Schloss Albrecht (www.schloss-albrechtsberg.de) was used by young pioneers but now it has been restored, with some rooms used for telling fairytales as well as for concerts. Its Roman bath, where my children used to swim when they were younger, is surrounded by vineyards.

From Albrecht you can walk along a path connecting it to Lingner (www.lingnerschloss.de) and Eckberg (www.schloss-eckberg.de). Linguer's restoration should be finished soon, while Eckberg is now a hotel where German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently met Russian President Vladimir Putin. It has terraces and a rose garden to sit in and is near the Blaues Wunder bridge.

When's a good time to come?

In May we have a Dixieland festival; in summer, there are open-air concerts and film nights. September is the time for wine festivals.

Lunchtime treats?

I like the salad bar at Maredo Steak House (Dr. Kuelz-Ring 9).

Evening delights?

Visit the bars in Neustadt, Dresden's alternative borough, which, despite its name, is not new.

The area was not destroyed in the Second World War and it became the place for artists and young people, who have restored the old houses and exhibit in the backyards.

You might find a picture made of noodles or a modern sculpture.

Don't miss

The treasure collection in Augustus, the Strong's Green Vault in Dresden's Palace and a trip to the national park of Saxon Switzerland (www.saxony-switzerland.de).

Visitors beware

Do not expect baroque-style architecture everywhere; much of Dresden was destroyed during the Second World War.

Remember to bring or buy

Stollen, a traditional cake at Christmas time Renata Rubnikowicz

Find out more

www.dresden-tourist.de

How to get there

Kirker Holidays offers three nights at the four-star Radisson SAS Gewandhaus in the heart of Dresden's historic city centre, from pound;627pp over February half-term. The price, based on two sharing, includes BB accommodation, return flights from Heathrow or London City, transfers and Kirker's Guide Notes to restaurants and sightseeing.

Booking: Call 0870 421 1201 or visit www.kirkerholidays.com

Price to the planet

Offset the climate cost of a return flight to Dresden for pound;5 per person. Visit www.climatecare.org

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