Monday, September 3, 2012

Leipzig -- Day 0

  Much of the day was given over to traveling to Leipzig. At the last moment I had doubts about the fact that our connection on the town of Lufta gave us only a 10 minute window to get from one train to the next, *assuming* everything was running on time. I decided that maybe the train service rep had jumped the gun a little when making our reservations, so I went to a self-service ticket machine and decided to give some new reservations a try. Well there was a train leaving an hour later, at 11 instead of 10, that got us to Leipzig at the same time as the other train, but had no connections to worry about. Stellar. I signed us up for that, but it meant that we were going to have a little longer wait in the train station.
   So be it. Luckily my initial estimate of how far it is between Leipzig and Berlin was flawed -- it's only an hour and a half train ride, so the trip tomorrow, our last of the journey, will be a blessedly short one compared to the beast of a commute that was Munich to Leipzig.
   Leipzig is a college town, and small at that. While it is technically the largest city in Saxony, the whole of the tourist section of town is less than 4 square miles and all emminently walkable. Our hotel is across the street from the train station and our room has a nice view of the next-door park.
   When we arrived in Leipzig, we walked right to the hotel, dropped off our bags, then headed to the #2 attraction in the city, which also happens to be a restaurant -- Auerbachs Keller. In his day, this was the writer Goethe's favorite hangout, a place that he immortalized in Faust. The restaurant has been playing up that angle ever since, with it's Faust themed wall murals and Mephistophelean graphics on the menu. It's actually a really nice-looking place in the heart of downtown, and its traditional Saxon menu has some really great stuff on it. I had a pork cutlet that came with a "farmer's pie" made from potatoes, sheeps cheese, cabbage, apples and pepper. It was a surprising and pleasant flavor combination -- the sweets, sours and savories coming together really nicely. I was pleasantly surprised.
   One of the most famous desserts in Leipzig is called quarkkeulchen, a pastry made with quark, a sort of cream cheese. The one at Auerbachs Keller was served with a scoop of cinammon ice cream and an apple cream. It was good, but not awesome.  The presentation was nice though.
   Tomorrow we're headed to the Bach museum, apparently the main event for any Leipzig trip. Our train leaves for Berlin at 3:50, but like I said, everything in this town is close by, so we're leaving our bags at the hotel lobby and touring around as much as we can before we catch the train. Even if we miss our reserved train, only being an hour and a half away, there are trains leaving to Berlin constantly, so I'm not worried.
   Sadly, the trip is nearly over. I think we could both use a break from rushing around Europe and navigating the labyrinth of transit lines, but I'm going to miss the adventure.

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