Teri Centner

Best trip for me was Dresden, Germany. I was working a DoD program called Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) at the time, and one of our planning meetings was hosted by the Germans. It was amazing being in such an historic location, both the city and the host site.

The meetings took place at a small German military base; they told us our conference room used to be Goering’s office. That, in and of itself was pretty darn interesting. We had dinner with our international partners at a restaurant that was in the cellar of an old powder tower (in German, Pulver Turm) that was in use since at least the 1500’s. We were also treated to a walking tour of Dresden, which has been lovingly restored, having been almost leveled by the Allies during World War II.

And the timing of our visit was almost perfect. The Frauenkirche, which had remained a pile of rubble throughout the years under East German rule, had been under renovation since shortly after fall of the wall and had just been completed. We were able to see the sandstone it was made from in all its recently quarried glory. It was brilliant. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go inside, since it wasn’t open to the public for another month or so. Being able to go inside *would* have made this the perfect trip.

Note: I was able to go back later and visit the Fraunkirche after it was open to the public. It’s beautiful inside — all pastels and light. Very surprising and refreshing since most other European cathedrals are dark and dank and gothic.