Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Bears Of Berlin

A few people asked me about the bears in the pictures I took while I was in Berlin.  When Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006 they sent out these plastic bears to representatives of the participating countries.  Each country then painted the bears as they saw fit and then sent them back to Berlin where they are placed around the city.  The bears can either stand on their hind feet or on can stand on their heads.

The internet connection is a bit faster today so I may try to upload some pictures later.  Today there is a tour of a porcelain factory here in Meissen, but I am going to pass on that.  Our boat is docked near enough to the center of town that I can just walk there and browse around on my own.
The China that is made here is very, very expensive.  A single cup, for example, costs over $100.  On the other hand, they keep the molds of every piece of China they have ever made.  This means that even if you broke a plate that was over 100 years old you could order a replacement.  Needless to say, this would not be cheap.

Before this factory was built in 1708, the first in Europe, all porcelain came from, you guessed it, China.  This factory was considered to be a lower cost alternative because, as you can imagine, the shipping costs back then were quite high.  And, of course, it was only royalty or the extremely rich who could afford it.  At the current prices that is probably still true.

Okay, I did manage to upload one picture as an experiment and it wasn't that bad.  Perhaps I will have more for you later.  In the meantime, you can try to guess what animal in the Berlin Zoo left this little package.  As a hint, for those of you who remember the old television program Candid Camera...

It Wasn't Allen Funt

Tonight we sail into Dresden, dock overnight and then tour the city tomorrow.

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