Early Wednesday morning, we hopped a train to Leipzig, about an hour& a half trip. The train looked like a plane on the inside, smelled like a plane on the inside & even had some crazy turbulence, but we were safely still on the ground, so I was in 7th heaven:)
We headed straight for our Hostel called the 'Sleepy Lion', which I totally fell in love with. (I'm already planning my next trip through Europe, but this one I only want to stay in hostels & never take showers and sleep on trains and have everything on my back, duh) We immediately got an amazing tour of the city, complete with the history of churches, museums and musicians from the city, all in 2 hours. YEAH RIGHT. Even the tiniest places here are JAM-PACKED with information, 2 hours is never even close to enough!?
That night we went to the opening ceremonies of the Annual Bach Competition, in the old city hall building. One of the violinists and I happened to be wearing the same outfit… long story. BUT I'll have to admit I just feel like such a musical failure when I see professional instrumentalists. MOM whyyyy did you let me quit everything? ;)
Then it was SOCCER TIME. We dashed to a TV and oh my goodness, that game killed me! The whole room was yelling and screaming, We were doing so well for so long!!! But we got intimidated… and lost. I was beyond upset. While we were headed back to our hostel I saw Spain flags burning in the streets & even a German one… these people live & breath soccer. Yelling, police, and firecrackers RIGHT OUT SIDE OUR WINDOW… it was a little scary. But I felt safe & cozy in the Sleepy Lion :)
The next morning, Thursday, We went on a tour of the Bach museum, (the man was a chubster… history books always leave that out), then on a trek to the Mendelssohn house where we all got the giggles from our 'guided tour'… this group is ALWAYS laughing & I'm positive we're known as the obnoxiously loud Americans…. oh well.
The sun is SO BRIGHT here and the amount of walking we've been doing is just CRAZY… but good for us:) So we took a little nap at the hostel before going our for dinner and a DISCOTECH.
We had dinner at Auerbach's Keller where Goethe was inspired to write 'Faust', (which I plan to read (in English!!!) as soon as I get home.) This restaurant has been in constant business since the 1700s! AND it was air-conditioned. One of my favorite meals of the trip so far… whoever said German food is bad LIED. TO. ME.
Then we headed out to the DISCOTECH where I danced my little heart out with the randomest German group of people who had dance moves I have never seen in my life. My whole group was being so silly and they even played American music for us! Look for those pictures on Facebook soon. Completely priceless! I must say, I'm not even a dancer but I know I'm better than the locals. ;) Achey Breaky heart was involved, along with some Ke$ha... best ever.
Which leads me to today - Friday. Which quite possibly felt like the LONGEST DAY OF MY LIFE. In the best way! We went to the Leipzig Zoo for 2 hours, which was so impressive! I always love zoos, and it was even more fun to guess what animals I was looking at… My German learning has hit a wall and I can't seem to do much more than order dinner at restaurants & go to the bathroom, so guessing what species was sort of a game for us. Sweet precious baby animals were everywhere, and although my ankles hurt so bad I was nearly crying, something about the unfamiliar always keeps me excited.
Then on to MY FAVORITE ADVENTURE OF THE WHOLE TRIP - We hopped a train to 'Völkerschlachtdenkmal' which we as Americans obviously knew nothing about, but its a Monument to the Battle of The Nations. And this bad boy is HUGE. The largest monument in Europe, twice as large as the Statue of Liberty. As we decided to walk through the museum simply because the inside was cooler, we found out we could climb to the top - over 500 stairs to take... that seemed crazy so we just wandered. Until we found what seemed to be a secret stairway to nowhere. IT WENT ON FOREVER. and kept getting smaller. and brighter. and we kept getting more and more nervous. And giggly and completely out of breath. But eventually we came to a platform, only to find out we weren't even half way up! All of us were suddenly terrified of heights, but somehow 3 of us gathered the courage to keep climbing up. We squeezed our way through a staircase barely the width of my shoulders up 200 more stairs till the top. 347853482 hours, stairs & complaints later...
THE VIEW WAS BREATHTAKING. And while I was having a mini heart attack, and freaking out from the height, I realized this might have been one of the coolest things I've ever done. (Besides being born of course.) I'm not much of a 'HEY LETS CLIMB A MILLION STAIRS FOR FUN kind of person, but man did my adrenaline kick in. I was literally on top of Germany for 15 minutes and I took 983462946294 pictures to prove it:) It was amazing. I was shaking all over and felt so accomplished for the rest of the day. Climbing down was almost just as nerve-wracking & boy did I get claustrophobic... but it was the highlight of my 10 days so far. And to think we didn't even know it existed until the air-conditioning lured us in?!? Dumb Americans. Always sweating.
We headed back to our hostel to grab our things, and after a short dip in the city fountain & a confusing trip to the Stasi museum (only to give up because everything was in German),we hopped our train back to Dresden.
Dresden somehow feels like home.
So goodnight friends! I'll post pictures on Facebook tomorrow.
p.s. the lord himself made Magnum bars. He didn't even need us lowly humans to help him. They are heaven on a stick and are worth the weight I might gain! I'll eat one for you, don't worry.