My story today is about all the photos and details I can’t share with you. The sheer volume of amazing images, interesting anecdotes, and gems from history is absolutely too much to deal with in 350 words and a few photographs!
It’s as if, after a lifetime of travel, I have developed a larger capacity to absorb than to process.
Take this day-trip to Meissen, for example. The community (a picturesque medieval town on the Elbe famous both for porcelain production and its role in Saxon history) is just a short train ride from Dresden.
We took the ubiquitous #3 tram to the station, grabbed a regional train, and took Andrew along as our personal guide – his motto is “will work for cappuccio and lunch” – and had a delightful day of exploring.
So much to take in!
However, by the time we had enjoyed a cappuccino and pastry, toured the historic porcelain works, lunched on the town square, and climbed the steep hillside to the ancient castle, even this small town could have used an extra day.
For me, one of the key lessons I will be exploring more and more going forward is an important observation made during one of the “setting the scene” videos as we prepared to tour the old castle. My paraphrase is this, “beware not to confuse epic iconic representations of history with history itself.”
The castle, for example, features a mural telling the heroic story of the events surrounding the politically motivated kidnapping of two young children and their recovery. The story told on the painting tweaks the facts to advance a more heroic perception of certain characters. Because the painting is iconic, that is the story that inhabits the “collective consciousness” of accepted history.
We are always learning, turning over new rocks, discovering documents, brushing away layers of fabrication and interpretation, corroborating, unraveling, carbon-dating, filtering, digging, and more.
My question is this: is it “revisionist” when what we thought we knew, and has generally been taught as “fact” has been wrong all along? I believe we should always welcome better scholarship, support investigative reporting, and be in the habit of asking penetrating questions.
So it was that kind of a day. Stunningly beautiful images, beautiful porcelain (some examples in the factory store costing close to $100,000), interesting history, food for conversation, and always so much to learn and to stimulate important thinking.
Here are just a handful of the best photographs, featuring the train ride, then the porcelain factory, then the castle, and finally the beautiful cathedral.
For everything else – the 350 or more other photographs worth taking a longer look at! – you will have to see the album I plan to make soon, or take a few weeks and travel to Saxony.
Peace, and more peace – DEREK
(click on any image then scroll through slides…)