Monday, June 25, 2012

Leipzig and drive to Weimar

Leipzig and drive to Weimar Our 1.5 drive to Leipzig was once again beautiful. I don't know the last time I have seen so much green. Couple of interesting things - you seen tons of the modern wind mills up in the hills. According to our guide they switched from coal to wind power some time in the 80s and you will see no houses around them because of the noise. You also see many solar panels on roofs and in fields. We saw one barn where the roof was completely covered.  We arrived in Leipzig to wonderful weather and begin our walking tour. It's not that big of a place and fairly easy to get around. It was a Sunday, which means almost all of the shops are closed. You see a few coffee shops and restaurants open, but not many. And there were a lot of people out, strolling around, eating ice cream, enjoying the sun.  We were shown the train station which looks like a giant mall with trains in it. Seriously, shop after shop of food, clothes, shoes, knick-knacks and more. Leipzig was known as a merchant town, so the guide showed us the many places where markets were held for selling goods. But of course the high light was St. Thomas Church where Bach was the choir master. We had hoped to see a service but were unable to. It's a simple church with beautiful ceilings and the man himself is buried there. I personally can now mark something off my to-do list. After the tour we had lunch in Auerbach's Keller. It's a historical restaurant where Goethe spent many days and supposedly wrote Faust there. It's a fairly dark room with yellow walls and Faust paintings everywhere. We had your usual potatoes, chicken and veggies with ice cream for dessert. Not a bad lunch. Afterwards we split into groups - you could either go to the Bach museum, Mendelssohn's  home or the train station to shop.  We had a good mix for all groups. Oh, I have to tell you a funny story about Heidi the opossum. Several years ago the Leipzig zoo was given a opossum from North Carolina (shout-out!) and she was cross-eyed. Apparently this little creature was very popular with school children and they came from miles around to see her. People would take vacations to Leipzig just to see this opossum. She died a few years back but still lives in the hearts of all. We found some strange pastries that looked like a cross-eyed opossum. If they weren't so expensive I would have bought one for you to see. Afterwards, we loaded up and headed to Weimar, which was about 1 hour. Our hotel is not in town but across the way in a small suburb. It's actually really nice with a swimming pool, spa area, bikes and places to walk. The rooms are spacious and very clean.  At the hotel, we had dinner which was a buffet of the usual Germany foods. The sky turned dark and it turned chilly and rained so the kids hung out at the hotel, swimming, watching the soccer game, playing games and relaxing.  It was good to get a little rest and relaxation. 

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