I seem to have a pretty weird luck when it comes to renting Airbnb flats for us and our dog Fado. A few years back I found a place on the Polish seaside that turned out to be a murder crime scene some years earlier. In San Francisco, I found a great apartment smack in the middle of the Tenderloin district where we were fairly afraid to leave the flat after dark. And so it happened that last summer while sightseeing Dresden, I found us a place in Stolpen.
Stolpen is a small city south-east of Dresden with around five thousand people and is really known only for its castle built around the year 1100 a.d. The Airbnb turned out to be a basement apartment, which wasn’t that bad in it of itself, but the basement was next to a cemetery. So technically our bedroom was on the same level as…everyone else buried next door. Adding to the weirdness of the apartment was the fact that the only windows in it the place faced the inside of some barn, from which tractor exhaust fumes leaked in whenever the window was open. It also got reeeaaalllllly dark at night, being a basement apartment with no outside windows, so we kept a night light on all night. Yeah, I have that Airbnb touch.
The apartment itself was only meant to serve as a place to sleep, and it did fulfill that duty just fine. There was a case of beer with a pay-as-you-drink honor system in the corner, and that really made up for the cemetery next door. At least to me, it did. The decoration though, well, you be the judge. It definitely added to the weirdness of it all.
Even though we spent two nights in the city and walked quite a bit around town, it seemed that Burg Stolpen, Burg meaning castle, was always closed, and we never managed to go inside its walls. Its steep defense walls had a pretty uninviting sight to them, only adding to the overall scary image of this Airbnb experience. The city itself was also extremely…dead? Silent as a church mouse. Ohh, and that reminds me, a local told us that the city was known for its cheese that was delivered to the castle hundreds of years ago. Which explained a cheese water fountain we found hidden among houses in the center square.
Not to leave things on the negative note; we had a place to sleep, to make a few meals, and it allowed for our dog Fado to stay with us. It was also fairly conveniently located to both Dresden and Saxon Switzerland, which were really the points of interest for that weekend. So the apartment served its purpose.
Up next: Saxon Switzerland.