It was July 2018, when my husband and I first set foot in Dresden. We arrived in Dresden just a couple of hours before the sunset, which allowed us to get our cameras and catch a glimpse of the evening golden light. Only that, instead of us capturing the essence of the city, Dresden managed to capture us. Sat on the opposite side of Brühlsche Terrasse on the banks of the Elbe river, the city’s old town had an unusual soft glow, enchanting us with the magic of baroque architecture as we’ve never seen before. Much like Bellotto’s paintings, the city of Dresden drew us in, and it was then that we knew, deep down, we had a connection.
Condensed in Altstadt, you have everything you could ever desire for the cultural mind to unleash your imagination. Elegance is how we could best describe Altstadt, home to reconstructed landmarks like Dresden Castle, the Zwinger palace, the majestically ornate Frauenkirche and the lavishing Semperoper.
But it wasn’t just the heart of the city, with its perfectly paved roads, old school boutiques and enchanting European cafes that made us fall in love with the city. It was also its alternative Berlinesque side: the Neustadt. Cross the sandstone Augustus bridge from Altstadt towards Neustadt, and you will notice how the landscape changes. From majestic buildings and grandiose sites, you slowly cross into gritty alternative quarters, with graffiti-filled walls and experimental art at every corner. Like a shapeshifter, Dresden captures your imagination with new facades, one for every personality you wish to convey.
In the reign of Augustus the Strong, the Residenzschloss (Royal Palace) was the seat of power in Saxony. A short tour.
Not only you are encouraged to express your individuality, but just like the city, you can be different versions of yourself depending on which parts of Dresden you wish to visit. You can be sophisticated and find yourself drinking coffee and cake in one of the posh establishments surrounding the Residenzschloss, or the misunderstood artist sipping colourful cocktails in Neustadt. You can be the hiker wandering for hours in the Dresden forest or the traveller who dines at the foreign restaurants on Louisenstraße
Dresden is the secret gem of Europe we hope to reveal to the world and keep it as a secret at the same time.The British bloggers Cory & G. about their new home.
A nostalgic stroll along the river led us to one of the most beautiful places we’ve come across during our travels: Loschwitz. Cosied up between the bewitching Heide Forest and the Elbe with its gorgeous Blaues Wunder bridge, this enthralling place dazzled us with hypnotising vistas of the cityscape from above. Loschwitz is a village-like enclave with quaint streets and colourful gift shops. Gorgeous estates with playfully elaborate gardens, homes with embellished doorways, and decorative timber frameworks, it was like stepping in an old German fairytale. It was at that moment we knew, at one point in the future, we will want to make this place in Dresden our home.
I (Cory, 30) would have never imagined what a crazy adventure my life would turn out to be. In 2008 I started my studies in Law with Criminology at the University of Manchester. But after graduating, I was instead drawn to the field of technology. A job with Apple brought me to Bristol, where I dedicated my spare time to learning how to become a web designer. It was also the place where I met G, 37, my future husband, who studied computer science at The University of Bristol.
It was a match made in heaven as we both shared the love for travel and technology. It didn’t take us long to figure out how to combine full-time jobs and travelling the world: we would simply take our work with us. We set up a digital agency called 42droids with me as a web designer and my husband as a software engineer. We hustled to get clients all around the world so we can become location independent. The era of remote working began which essentially enabled us to fund our travels.
A couple of exciting trips abroad made us decide how we want to centre our relationship around travelling. We became addicted to seeing new countries, experiencing new food, understanding new cultures.
In 2015, we took a trip to Japan, which became a pivotal point in our lives. First, upon return we created our travel blog, You Could Travel, now a successful, award-winning business which allows us to travel for a living. Second, we got engaged to be married on top of the gorgeous Mount Hiei, near Kyoto. We got married in September 2016 and planned for a tropical honeymoon in Seychelles. Upon return, we realised something was missing and we didn’t enjoy living in the UK anymore.
After much soul-searching, in 2016, both G and I decided to prolong our honeymoon, indefinitely. We sold everything and embraced a new adventure: we became digital nomads on an endless road trip, in search of a different place to call home. We have since lived in Spain, Portugal, Japan, Hungary…
And it wasn’t without hiccups, but without misadventures, we wouldn’t be able to look back at our lives and laugh at all the crazy times we had during travels. It is true what they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” but it also adds to your sense of humour.
Travelling together consolidated our marriage and enabled us to learn a precious skill: patience.
After close to four years of living out of a suitcase for some months here and some months there, we realised that we miss having our own kitchen, an actual office and a place to properly store our belongings. You Could Travel was in a great place, with remote employees around the world.
Fast forward to 2019, we became pretty set on the idea that it’s time to put roots down. We thought of so many locations we loved, but the fire of desire lit in our souls by our Dresden visit was the one which guided us back to the “Florence on the Elbe”.
The Dresden Elbland region is one of the most romantic destinations in Germany, showcasing a unique combination of natural scenery, cultural sights and soft adventure opportunities. We were sold!
We took an impulsive decision to move to Dresden and see how it goes. Then it was the matter of finding accommodation somewhere in the Eastern side of the city, as close to Loschwich as possible. We wanted to be near the forest for our daily hikes, but a short tram ride away from the centre, for its art, food and culture.
Against all odds, we managed to find a fantastic home on a quiet street in Weisser Hirsch. We love our neighbourhood and we feel part of a small community. Our neighbours are joyful and fun, and we always joke that we are like a small family living in the same building. We are blessed that both our neighbours speak English, having lived abroad for many years. And now that we are finally settled in Dresden, we endeavour to learn the local language and while challenging, we are excited to acquire a new skill. We are grateful for the friends we made here who help us feel more settled than ever before. Who knew that after 45 countries, it would be the city of Dresden that will steal our hearts for good.
While we remain enthralled by adventure and travel far more than you’ll find us home, we have never before experienced that absolute joy of returning home, to a city we both love. We couldn’t be prouder to call Dresden, our home.
Cory is a Romanian born British citizen who does the writing and photography at You Could Travel. She is a self-taught chef who posts delicious recipes on Yuzu Bakes.
Her husband, G, is a Hungarian born British citizen who is the tech mastermind behind their sites and is currently launching a new reporting tool called Yuzu Metrix. When the entrepreneur couple is not working on one of their many projects, you’ll find them driving across Europe or hiking in remote locations around the world. Their dream is to travel to Antarctica.