Monday, July 4, 2011

A 4th of July spent in the country I love....

I can’t think of a better way to spend the 4th of July but in Germany! Instead of sweltering heat and humidity and loud fireworks, I enjoyed a nice upper 60’s day in Wittenberg and Leipzig. Perfect! So we woke up and enjoyed the continental breakfast provided by the hotel we stayed at. It was German style, of course, with rolls and jams and every kind of cheese you could possibly imagine. Also soft boiled eggs, cold cuts, and juices and fruit. Once we had competed eating we set out to see the city. I had seen it last year, but it never gets old. It makes me a little sad to think that the interior of Castle Church is not how Luther would have known it, but none the less, it is pretty awesome to be in the church that Luther was at and is buried in. Unfortunately, the door was under construction/ restoration so we could not get by it, so I’m glad I took my picture next to it last year. The Marty statue is still gone, too. I Guess I’ll just have to come back someday. If you want to see Wittenberg pics, go back and read my old blog entries. I’m just to lazy to post more pics of Wittenberg here.

From here we boarded the train and rode an hour to Leipzig. As withWittenberg, I had been here before, but coming back again doesn’t take the awe and wonder out of the experience. I mean, who in their right mind could EVER stand so close to Bach’s grave and not get chills? In any case, we checked into our hotel…. The Holiday Inn right across from the train station. It was a fabulous location and price, but a very American hotel, particularly the bathroom. I mean, just look at this bathtub.
While I was a bit disappointed that it was so American, I can't complain because all we will do here is sleep and shower. So once we dropped our stuff off we went downtown to check out the churches and the sights. We didn’t have a ton of time, but we all did some major shopping at the gift shop and saw the big Bach outside.
Then we went and grabbed some dinner and returned to St. Thomas church for a concert. It was so full we had to sit in the very back and I realized more than ever why things like bells at the elevation or use of incense were so important back then. While I could hear perfectly (more on that later) I could see NOTHING and felt really disengaged. Ah well. The acoustics in there are amazing and of course there were no microphones used. I HATE microphones and avoid them at all costs. Anyway, Even in this huge church that seats over 1000, sitting in the second to last row, you could hear EVERY note from the string quartet. The music was delicately carried up and through the room, yet easy to hear and so expressive and full of emotion and depth. Then, there was this choir from the USA. You could hear their words, but I wasn’t particularly fond of their musical selections or style. Ah well, it was still a great experience to go to a concert there. After this, we went off in search for food, and found some we did…..
Now now, before you get all excited, chill out. Those who know me didn’t REALLY think I’d be drinking beer, did you? I assure, you, I did not do any drinking. Chris had bought 2 bottles and we had all bought a bunch of pastries to take back, and Chris and I got ice cream and of course had to document the ice cream. Katie couldn’t easily juggle the camera, beer, and pastry bag, and Chris couldn’t manage 2 beers and an ice cream, so I ended up holding one. HA! Makes for a good picture, anyway.

Once back in the room, Katie and I tried our Berliner Pretzels which were sort of a cross between a doughnut and a funnel cake. OH MY GOSH. SOOOOOOOO yummy! And so now it is late and the day is done, and tomorrow will rise to further explore Leipzig.

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