Well, we'd finished up at the porcelain factory/museum, and now it is time for lunch. No one prepared us for the ancient charm that is the town of Meissen itself, nestled on a large rock, with an assortment of buildings and its cathedral clinging to the sides like barnacles on a tidal rock. (I do wish the bus would have stopped so we could get pictures of Meissen as seen from the river.)
We started walking down the narrow street, which was steep and winding and at some point switched from asphalt to cobblestone (sometimes crazily laid out). The houses, too, ranged in style and age, depending on when they were built. With real estate so precious, every available space was used and newer buildings borrowed old walls rather than lose some inches. And, visible from most parts, the two spires of Meissen's cathedral, like beacons.
We kept rounding corners and finally got to what must have been part of a castle or something. It certainly looked like it. We were on a bridge. From the bridge, steps went down to the street below. Talk about making good use of the space!
From the bridge leading to our restaurant (with an incredibly laid-back cat sleeping right next to the walkway, totalling ignoring 40 tourists pointing it out to each other), we looked out over the red roofs of Meissen. I was especially charmed by the curvy way the garret windows are set in the roofs. Some look like an eye.
After lunch, we headed out to a vineyard north of Meissen for some wine tasting and another look at the river Elbe winding through some beautiful (and now hilly) countryside.