Hello from Leipzig!!
Wednesday night we arrived at our hostel in this busy, busy town. I’ve seen this place in my textbook and I can’t believe I’m here! We’ll spend the rest of Singers tour here and it’s just now setting in that I’m going to have to say goodbye to these folks.
Last night was more exploring the safe side of town (always!) and finding something to eat. We ended up eating at a place called San Remo’s. I order Tomato Soup and it was the best tomato soup I have ever had! The service was fast, and I was getting “hangry”by the time we got there (hungry/angry for those who are wondering). Next to the San Remo’s was one of the churches we were to perform in a couple of days, Nikolakirche. It was almost hidden behind the construction taking place next to the building, but it was a treasure to behold. Most of the first night we just roamed around and took in the last city we were going to see all together.
The next stop was to get gelato! The particular place we went, called Weiss, had an overwhelming amount of flavors. I asked to try a simple one before seeing that they had a “Bach” flavor. After all, we were right next to where he was buried in Thomaskirche. The town of Leipzig is a mix of new and old. Across from Thomaskirche is Bach’s house, and my word was everything so beautiful. I didn’t actually get to go into Bach’s house until Saturday, but that’s a different story I think would be appropriate right here…..
As we were gathered around some tables just outside Weiss, conversation became focused on one topic: Berlin. It’s been my dream since I learned about World War II in the sixth grade to visit as many concentration camps, memorials, museums as possible before I die. It was aforementioned my love for history, and I was ecstatic to find that other people in my friend group shared the same passion for it. The question then became about getting there, the cost, and of course getting permission from our conductor and the only adult traveling with us. A train ticket proved to be too expensive we found out, but with all the buzz about going to tour Berlin, I don’t think we could let it go. One of my friends began communicating with one of the workers a our hostel to find a better way–the best way. She looked up bus ticket prices for us and after a some hours of figuring everything out (Only about $15 a person for the whole trip!) and deciding to buy them all at once, we were set to leave the next morning to catch the bus and take the 2 hour ride into Berlin. Excited isn’t even the word!
At 8 the next morning I ventured down to breakfast and caught up with part of the group that was going. We had gotten permission and guidelines to follow from our conductor and had a little chat about being careful, etcetera–all the things we needed to know and do before leaving the big group to go off by ourselves. We had everything planned out and the bus was to pick us up at 9. Even though we were right across the street from the bus stop we left at 8:30 anyway just to be safe. I’m getting butterflies in my stomach now just thinking about how excited I was to get on a bus and have an adventure in BERLIN. Ahh!
We walked right across the street to what we thought was our bus and waited….and waited…and waited. No one came and eventually someone from the group went inside the train station to ask if we might be in the wrong spot…..
After finding out we were a crosswalk or two away from our bus stop we began running with backpacks and all. I had on sandals and I was grabbing (or dragging?) my friend, Lindsey, along by the hand. People stared, gawked even, but at this point I was used to it because we couldn’t hide the fact that we were American. Right as we were about to cross the last set of train tracks, the light turned green and traffic rushed on keeping just a short distance between us and our bus. If it hadn’t had bene for one of my friends protecting the rest of us on the platform, I probably would have tried to jump through traffic (kidding….sort of). I was convinced nothing was going to stop me from getting to Berlin and going to Sachsenhausen and seeing what’s left of the Berlin wall..NOTHING….
Except when traffic cleared and our bus pulled away right in front of us.
The walk back to the hotel was a dreary one; an angry one; a defeated one. I can’t begin to convey my disappointment. I wanted to try again, but the consensus among the group was to just head back to the hotel, avoid the quizzical glares from other members of our choir, and try not to think about the dreaded question(s) we’d have to face in the midst of our embarrassing defeat.
“We don’t wanna talk about it.” Became my motto for the morning.
Though we didn’t get to go to Berlin, I was determined to still have a nice day in Leipzig; I was determined to distract myself. So, we went shopping. I’ve heard that using shopping as therapy is a bad idea….but I’m not so sure anymore. I stocked up on mostly all the souvenirs I needed, and bought lots of things on sale from a store I’d never seen before. But when a dress is only 5 Euros…it’s only 5 Euros and I couldn’t say no.
Most of the rest of the day was about finding food, trying on more clothes, and gearing up for a night out on the town. Dinner was always fun because there was one street in particular that was always alive, but it was especially alive when football was on. So we always dined around this environment that aided in cheering up my sad heart that still does long for Berlin.
Oh, well. I guess that means I will have to return someday. I assure you, the adventure will not be lost on this traveler.
Until next time~