Thursday 22nd August At Meissen - Peering at porcelain, calling in at the Cathedral, Meeting at Moritzburg. - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 3 - CycleBlaze

August 22, 2019

Thursday 22nd August At Meissen - Peering at porcelain, calling in at the Cathedral, Meeting at Moritzburg.

By 7:00 Sun begins to add warmth to cold limbs. We’ve had a chilly night but things are warming up with a clear sky. We breakfast at campground- in sun on tables outside kitchen. Today’s mission is to view the Gothic cathedral and visit the manufacturer of Meissen porcelain. In the afternoon we plan to cycle to Moritzburg Castle to meet Elisabeth and Rudolph, a couple we met in the Aquileia campground when they were touring like us last year. They live In Wachau, just north of Dresden.

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We pack up and cycle up from the river to Markt. The Cathedral has associations with several historical figures. Again we notice the difference from French or English gothic. Not as dark and full of muffled sounds and burning candle smells as French gothic, perhaps because of the lack of stained glass and the white painted interior. St Benno is here- visiting his tomb earned one an indulgence of 49 days, though Luther would have put a stop to that. 

At the Meissen porcelain factory Factory- we only have time to view historical section. It reminds us of a visit to a historical porcelain museum we visited in Faenza a few years back. We learned then that porcelain could be used to create a great variety of artistic expression. This museum had a number of amusing pieces as well as the more serious. From the early brown to the more intricate super glazed pieces. Table centre pieces often embodied erotic elements that were bound to be conversation starters. In later year - 18th century- Augustus the Strong took a liking for white glazed Asian pieces and encouraged local craftsmen to emulate this style.

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Following our slightly truncated visit to the factory the awareness that we have an hour to cover the 20 kilometres or to our meeting at Moritzburg. We follow the river trail and head inland through Coswig, making good time until we reach the forest in front of the palace. The trail through is uphill and unsealed but we continue to make reasonable time and though the final 2 kilometres seem never ending, around a bend we come and there is the magnificent castle, and there in front are Elisabeth and Rudolph!

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We spend a few moments catching up, before cycling on together to a picnic spot where they share with us their coffee and Elisabeth’s delicious plum cake. It’s a beautiful calm late afternoon and after our picnic we cycle away from the palace gaining a variety of vistas as we go. One includes a full sized ‘toy’ lighthouse on the edge of on of the palace lakes- just the kind of thing that might appeal to Enlightenment rulers.

The route to Wachau over the next hour takes us uphill and down dale, along a variety of surfaces, mixing it with cars sometimes, sometimes on cycle paths. We cross two autobahns, and emerge onto a broad upland plain reflecting golds and greens in the evening light and stretching far off into the distance.

Eventually we are in Wachau and arrive at a large yellow/orange two storey house with a beautiful garden of fruit trees and vegetables. Elisabeth shows us to a wonderful room with windows, over which she has placed crocheted lace covers, looking out onto the garden. Later after sharing a meal of Rudolph’s vegetable dish, with sour cream sauce and new potatoes, and catching up on many issues of interest, we climb under the duvet and dream of racing across a Saxony skyline.

Today's ride: 57 km (35 miles)
Total: 1,159 km (720 miles)

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