Friday, August 17, 2007

Leipzig: Stadt der Helden

Last Sunday I decided to make a little adventure, so packed up an Italian and headed off to Leipzig on the train. I had read so much about the city--partially in Anna Funder's Stasiland, and partially because it is home to the Leipzig School of artists--that I couldn't resist a trip to the "City of Heroes," which played such a prominent role in the ousting of the Stasi and East German politicos. Unfortunately, I hadn't slept well the night before (my landlord bought a new bed that is somewhat similiar to sleeping on a board), so the entire trip is a bit of a blur, but here is some of what I saw:

I'm not really sure where these buildings are, or what they are--all I can tell you is that I took these photos out of a moving train's window, which accounts for the hazy, dirty quality. Plus I was myself bleary-eyed, as I've already mentioned.

Anyhow, I woke up a little bit upon our arrival in Leipzig's main train station, which was simply beautiful. See?

Our day mostly consisted of walking around, visiting art museums, and eating, drinking and eating and drinking some more. After visiting the Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst, our first eating stop was Auerbach's Keller, which is a major tourist attraction, but totally irresistable to tourists and locals alike, due to its delish food and major historical appeal--it's been open since the 1500s and was a favorite haunt of Goethe himself, who supposedly drank there for "inspiration."

After a visit to yet another art museum (art! art! art!) we needed a little inspiration ourselves, so headed to a cafe that served up the local brew, a very complex concoction called "Gose." Personally, I loved Gose--basically, beer fermented a special way and flavored with salt and coriander--but the Italian hated it. That's his nose there on the right hand-side, looking as disgruntled as a nose can:

Following all of this eating, drinking and art-consuming, our time was short, so we made a quick hike through the town, where I was surprised to find that several prominent-looking buildings were still in post-WWII disrepair. Although it gave the city a sort of melancholy lost-in-time-feel, I couldn't help but wonder how the people who live here feel about spots like these:

I suspect that some of these spots are squatted (hurrah!), so at least folks are making use of the space--but sadly, this place seemed to be totally abandoned:

Although since it is a tunnel, perhaps all of the Leipzigers were hiding in the tunnel, drinking beer.

Anyway, after a mad dash to the train station, I fell into a Gose-cheese-himbeertorte induced slumber, and probably snored all the way back to Berlin. Luckily the Italian was too polite to notice.

1 comment:

Meghana said...

a disgruntled nose indeed....
your posts certainly brighten up my day!