Cycling Germany: Pirna to Meissen

After fretting about my level of fitness and my ability to do the cycling less than a week ago it’s odd that I am now feeling sad that today is the last on a bike. And there’s not even much in the way of difficult terrain. It’s 46km mainly on good cycle paths and a little on roads.

The plan is to cycle from Pirna, stop for lunch in Dresden and spend the night, the last in Germany before heading back to Prague, in Meißen, a town famed for, well, we’ll get to that soon enough.


I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Dresden. What I learned in history lessons about the place was neither very helpful nor current (I guess you’d expect no less of a history lesson). Except for the large amount of construction work it was an attractive city. A magnificent if dirty Cathedral, a number of river-side cultural buildings and the makings of a cafe culture, although that probably worked out far better a month or so earlier than when I visited.

Meißen main square, Germany

Another uneventful few hours of peddling brought me to the end of the cycle path in Meißen. Meißen is yet another small, pretty central European town. (Are there any towns in this area that don’t warrant such a description? I’m guessing that I wasn’t just lucky!) The hotel was a short walk from the main square and fifteen minutes uphill stroll to the cathedral.

On the way up I stumbled across a shop with this store front. Meißen, it turns out, is famous for its porcelain. While I’m sure it’s beautifully put together, it’s really not my taste. And even if I did like it, the price didn’t appeal. (The smallest item on that table is €937.)

Meißen pottery, Germany

After visiting the cathedral during daylight hours and heading back to the hotel, I trudged back up hill to a restaurant shortly afterwards. In contrast to how things played out in the Czech Republic, the drinks, starter and the main course were delivered swiftly and efficiently. However desert was nowhere to be seen and it took some effort to extract the bill (“die rechnung,” one of the few German phrases I remembered from school).


It was a lovely end to a very fun week of cycling. I have passed through lots of amazing scenery, some fascinating towns and even crossed a border, though I nearly managed to miss it. And now I was going to get a bus back to Prague.

This is the sixth of a series of posts about my cycling holiday from Prague in the Czech Republic, to Meißen in Germany. See the index page for more details or subscribe to my RSS feed for updates as they arrive.