Gotthold Ephraim Lessing said, “Ich komme nach Leipzig, an den Ort, wo man die ganze Welt im Kleinen sehen kann. (I’m coming to Leipzig, to the place where one can see the whole world in miniature.)
My husband and I were fortunate enough to spend two days together in Leipzig earlier this week. If I were to bottle our short, yet worldly visit it would look a little like this…
We arrived by train into one of the largest train stations in any German city. Food and shopping galore await commuters and visitors alike.
Leipzig has quite a lot to offer on a small city scale. Roughly, half a million people live in Leipzig, which isn’t exactly tiny, but was deemed too small during a 2012 bid for the Summer Olympics.
We visited two of the most famous churches in Leipzig: (1) Nikolaikirche and (2) Thomaskirche.
On our walk to Nikolaikirche, we enjoyed the outdoor view; then inside the impressive paintings, cathedral ceilings, and even took note of a paper apple tree on display with recent bastimal dates.
Later in the day we went back to rest outside the church and sat at one of the cafe’s for continual enjoyment of the church’s presence. Although we talked about our kids and wondered what they were up to with Oma and Opa, mostly we relaxed and embraced some rare moments without them. So important for couples with children.
Next up on the list… Thomaskirche, made most famous by Johann Sebastion Bach.
On our walk to this church, we made a quick stop at another famous Johann’s statue. I speak of Johann Wolfgang Von Goete, writer and philospher.
Back on track to Thomaskirche…
Outside the church, another photo with another famous dead guy. Hallo there, Bach! Too bad we will miss Bach Fest – we were just a week or so too early. Shucks.
Inside the church I was once again fascinated by yet more unreal architecture. This church was more gothic in nature, yet still impressive with huge beams in the ceiling, stained glass, and an organ known worldwide by famous fingers.
Another view outside…
More relaxing in between touring… Fancy ice cream and coffee outside Thomaskirche? Yes, please.
For dinner, we dined at Bayerischer Bahnhof, a former train station.
A great pick by a former student, Steffi, of mine at Virginia Tech. Gotta bridge those Hokie connections all across the world. Steffi is a former All-American swimmer at Virginia Tech and now working for one of Germany’s largest broadcasters, MDR.
The next morning Jan and I only had about a half a day because we slept in a bit and took our time getting up and around. No two year-olds and four-month old mouths to feed or butts to wipe.
Once up and around we grabbed a quick breakfast of fresh rolls with various meats and cheeses at a nearby Baeckerei.
Then we were energized and ready, or as ready as we were going to be for the day ahead. Our plan? To visit and tour the Battle of the Nations Monument. We opted to walk there from our hotel for the exercise. The walk itself was somewhere between 30-45 minutes, but leisure and relaxing.
When we could finally see a nice view of the monument in the distance, we treated ourselves to Leipziger Lerche, a shortcake pastry filled with crushed almonds, nuts, and jam. ‘Twas tasty!
The next two hours were filled with touring this incredibly huge monument. It was way bigger than I expected, and I had a good time learning about some of the history behind the Battle of the Nations, which basically signifies the defeat of Napolean.
We treated this area with awe and respect, and well, a little Tom Foolery, too. From the outside we saw a crazy person waving from the tip-top of the monument and agreed we wouldn’t be hiking up hundreds of odd steps to reach that area, but alas… we did. We’re kind of a going-the-distance type of couple (aka crazy people!). Initially, we tried to outchallenge each other to hike the mini, narrow, tight, super claustrophobic spiral staircase to reach the top, but eventually decided to skip steps in a single file breathless and laughing, ultimately reaching the top winded and red-cheeked.
The reward once on solid ground…
Once back on the train heading back to our kids and family, we reflected on our trip to Leipzig, the whole world in miniature, and I deemed our trip Leipzig in bottle.
Just don’t forget to include the soccer balls.