We’ve left Meissen for the best day weather-wise. It’s already 16°C by the time we set out at 9.45, taking the ferry in front of Elbklause, our “bike hotel” across the Elbe, and the sky is bright blue. It’s 14 km to Meissen mainly along the river. The castle can be seen quite a long way away.
Marktplatz, flanked on one side by the Rathaus (town hall) and on the other by Frauenkirche church, is our first stop. We hear the porcelain bells chiming. Unfortunately the church is undergoing renovation so we can’t visit the inside.
We wheel our bikes up to the late Gothic Albrechtsburg Castle. We pass several historical houses on the way. On the right of the gatehouse, I see what looks like a great restaurant for lunch.
Built in the 15th century, the castle is considered to be Germany’s oldest castle. There is a double sundial on the façade which also has a spiral staircase with a Renaissance-like gallery that reminds me of Blois.
The most striking feaures are the vaulting and the wall paintings. There is no furniture. There are not many people so our extra 2 euro per person to take photos proves to be worth it.
Meissen, of course, is famous for its 300-year old porcelain faatory. There are several showcases throughout the castle displaying a fine collection. We initially thought we’d visit the factory but after seeing the pieces displayed here, we decide not to go.
By now it’s after 1.30 pm but that’s not a problem here. It seems you can get a meal any time. We locate the restaurant I saw on the way up and take a table overlooking the city and river.
Although the waitress doesn’t speak any English, the menu has a translation so we order pork medallions with chanterelle mushrooms (pfifferlings – isn’t that a great word?) and potato cakes. A bit salty, but otherwise excellent. We had our usual Meissen white wine which tasted like riesling.
The weather is as warm as promised – 23°C. We’re soon back at our hotel, eating Schwarzwald (black forest) ice-cream sundaes on the shady terrace of the hotel restaurant. Tomorrow we’re off to Wittenberg. And to help you locate the different places we go to, I’ve added a Google Map widget on the right.