Amy and I were deciding what we would see in Germany, we thought it would
we cool to see a big city (Berlin) and a small city. This is because you
get to see cool things about culture in small places that you don't get
out of the big cities. So for our small place we picked Meissen, a city
27 km north-west of Dresden. This place was wonderful, complete with unexpected
adventure. Adventure began when we arrived at the train station. We had
used up our German phone card in Berlin, and we did not want to buy another
one, figuring that although most German phones took only phone-cards, there
would be at least one at the train station that took coins. We were right
-- there was a phone at the train station that took coins, but because
we arrived at 10 pm, this phone was in the part of the train station that
was locked-up for the night. Unable to find a place to buy a phone card
that we could use to help us find accommodation, we headed to the city
center which fortunately had a map which listed the locations of some hostels
and a campground. We set out for the hostel. The trek involved walking
uphill for about 1.5 hours. When we arrived at the hostel, we found that
it was closed for the night, so we banged on the doors for a while just
to be annoying. We then decided (not at all tired and wishing for bed),
"Fine, we'll just take our business somewhere else!" Assuming that
other hostels might close early too, we decided on the campground as our
next target. We remembered roughly from the map in the city center that
the campground, or "campingplatz", as it is known in Germany, was on a
road parallel to the road the hostel we were then standing at was (the
one we had decided we no longer wanted to give our business to). Since
we did not want to descend back down the hill and then have to walk upwards
on the parallel road, we figured we would look for a connecting street.
It is logical for parallel roads to have connecting streets, right?
Wrong. After another hour of walking up dead-end streets we walked to where
we started and up the road to the campingplatz. After another hour we saw
a sign along the road that said, "Campingplatz, 3 km". Believe it or not,
this was the good news. The bad news was that the road narrowed into a
two-lane highway and it was pitch dark. We got our Amy's little flashlight
and pressed on. The photo shows what the road was like.
our journey at night, we ran into several cute little slugs, such as the
one shown. Amy found these so adorable she wanted a picture of one.
we did arrive at the campingplatz, it was 3:30 am. Although it was quite
dark and we couldn't see much, in the morning we discovered that the camping
spot we had chosen was quite beautiful! Here's Amy standing at the tent.
Behind her was a lovely little stream, and lots of trees all around.
photo is quite similar to the first one. But because we did walk there
and back, each time with our wonderful plecaki on our backs, I figured
you can look at the photo twice. There was a nice view along our walk though.
This is a good spot to throw in some travel philosophy. You see, there
are the 'planners' and the 'non-planners'. The planners plan everything
while the non-planners don't plan quite everything. It's much better to
be in the non-planner category because no matter how much you plan weird
and unexpected stuff will still happen. People will lie to you, change
their minds, things will not be as everyone promised they would be. But
this is good. Our time walking along a two lane highway in Meissen was
one of the most fun experiences in Europe. In fact, a famous expression
summarizing Plecak travel came about. Through-out Europe while weird things
happened occasionally Amy would get worried and say "What are we gonna
do now?!" (Actually I would get worried too, but for some reason I picked
the always calm face). I would then respond, "Don't worry." On one occasion
Amy said, "What do you mean don't worry!!!" She then proceeded to point
out about 8 to 10 reasons regarding why we should be worried. I then explained
the following, "Amy, perhaps we have a misunderstanding here. All these
times that I've said 'Don't worry' I don't mean 'Don't worry, it'll be
ok', what I do mean is, 'Don't worry, it'll be a surprise'." These are
the greatest words of wisdom I have to offer you regarding travel: "Don't
worry, it will be a surprise!".
A lovely city. In the background you see the former ducal palace and Meissen
Cathedral, pretty Gothic structures. Porcelain was invented in Meissen.
This to Amy and myself will always be Campingplatz-ville or Campingplatz
town or Campingplatz something-or-other.
some of the rooms in the palace you are asked to wear soft-soled slippers
on top of your shoes so that you don't damage the floors. These are fun,
you can skate around like in ice-skates. The architecture and artwork in
this palace was well worth seeing.