Saturday 6th September
One of our reasons for staying a week in an apartment in Dresden is that Dresden is a good base for day trips. So after a visit to the local laundromat we decided we would take a day trip to Meißen. We collected our gear and walked down to the Dresden Neustadt station. The information lady organised us a family ticket which would be good until 4:00 on the 7th on all forms of Dresden area transport. We took a train from platform 4 to Meißen Triebischtal station. After a quick half hour trip we were there. We set off down the Main Street to the porcelain factory but soon realised we were going the wrong way. We turned around and after about ten minutes arrived at the entry foyer. We bought tickets for the 1:00 tour. They supplied an English audio guide. We started with a quick DVD then proceeded to observe four different parts of the process of porcelain manufacture in four different workshops.
Firstly we saw a pot being created on a wheel and then moulded in the first workshop.
In the second workshop a lady artisan was creating pieces by hand and adding them to a piece.
The third workshop was for creating the original blue designs before a piece is fired.
In the final workshop an artist was painting a piece that had already been fired once. At the conclusion of the tour we entered a number of large outlet display rooms where purchases could be made at discounts ranging from15% to 50% off.
However even the smallest dish was about $75 and the highest price we saw was for a huge vase for 43000 euros!
It was a fascinating experience and we saw some beautiful pieces ranging from practical through to extremely decorative. Next we walked towards the town and ate our picnic lunch in a nice garden. From there we continued our walk through the cobbled streets of the old town of Meißen to their town square. After crossing the Elbe river we had an excellent view of the old town and duly took a few photos.
We headed to the station. Our train did not arrive. Just like in Melbourne it was eliminated from the timetable and half an hour later the next one did arrive so off to Dresden we went. At the main station we got off so we could see more of the old part of Dresden. It was busy as we exited the station. In fact it was more than that it was hectic. And why? Well the chanting soon alerted us to why. We were in the middle of a Dresden Dynamo crowd heading off to the soccer all decked out in yellow and black and many carrying crates and bottles of beer to imbibe at the game if it hadn’t already been drunk on the way there. Once clear of the station we stopped to observe the crowd. Near us was an elderly man who had also drawn aside to avoid and observe the crowd. We started chatting. It turned out he was Dutch. Like in Australia you wouldn’t see beer being carried like this to a game in the Netherlands he told us. After a while we continued to the old town through a large shopping area we hadn’t t seen before. We returned to the same cafe we had been in yesterday. This time we tried the eierschecke slice. It really was as delicious as the young couple, we had shared a table with, had told us last night! From there we wandered around to the Zwinger and looked around the gardens and fountains and sculptures. Really quite stunning. We crossed the road and continued past a gradually building crowd at Semperoper, the magnificent opera house, to the tram stop waiting for a tram 8.
After about 5-6 minutes it came and we were soon back at the corner where our apartment on Königsbrücker is. We dropped off our gear and headed to the Rewe supermarket and purchased chicken fillet, salad, mushrooms and pasta which we turned into a very tasty dinner. A relaxing evening watching the US Open tennis and the World Cup Basketball Championships preceded another good sleep.