BootsnAll Travel Network


Peter picked me up at the airport in Frankfurt at 7:30, and then we hit the road. The sun joined us around 9:00.

Our first stop was Leipzig. Peter found parking on the street downtown, then we walked towards the Thomaskirche, where Bach is buried. We only stayed a few minutes, long enough to hear a bit of the choir practice. We then walked through the downtown shopping district. We ended up having lunch at Karstadt, a national department store chain. I wasn’t impressed with the offerings at first, but Peter said the Leipzig Karstadt was nicer than the Mannheim one. Also, I was really starting to suffer from jet lag (or pure sleep lag) plus hunger so I realized I probably was not in any condition to go restaurant shopping. In the end I’m glad I tried the pasta with salmon and pesto cream sauce, even if the salmon was overfried, the pasta was greasy, and the service was slow. Peter got a vegetable buffet plate that was pretty good. Most importantly, the buffet area was clean, nicely decorated with dark wood tables and red plastic chairs, and had large bay windows so that we could look out and see the beautiful snow falling. This was the only snow we saw on the whole trip, and I was happy to see it.

The snow didn’t deter us from sightseeing. We walked to the Nikolaikirche, where the 1989 uprising against communism began in Germany, then walked through the Madler Passage to see Auerbachskeller, the restaurant where Goethe hung out when he was a student. However, the continuing falling snow meant it would not be a good idea to drive on and stay for the night somewhere closer to Berlin. The only place I knew in Leipzig was the Sleepy Lion Hostel. I had stayed there on my first visit to Leipzig in 2002 and loved it. Peter hated the idea of being in a hostel, but I assured him it would be comfortable. The worker was very nice—she gave us a quiet 6-bed room to ourselves for the price of a double (42 Euros).

We brought our luggage in from the car, fed the meter German style (put more money in, got a timed ticket on it, and put the ticket in the car on the dashboard), and went to the coffeeshop around the corner for 4:00 coffee. Then we took a 3-hour nap and headed back to Auerbachskeller for dinner. We both had Rouladen, thin strips of meat wrapped around onions, bacon, pickles, etc. Peter was shocked that this meat dish was served cold; he’d never had it cold before. The other shock of the night was a live play performed in the restaurant by a man pretending to be Mephistopheles, with another man playing the bewitched maiden. Oy.

After dinner, we stopped at one more café for gluhwein. This was the first time I’d been offered gluhwein with fruit in it. It wasn’t bad.

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