Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Superstraße = Superscheiße

So a while back, I picked up a "Super Straße" which for those familiar with Thomas Guide, it´s a big old book of German roads. It´s been really helpful in keeping me fromm becoming utterly lost. However, it´s not really all that accurate, at least in terms fo the actual geography of the streets and as far as Leipzig goes, it´s been pretty much useless.

So, do not try to drive in Leipzig unless you have a eally good map and then it might not be worth it. This picture which I swiped off the interweb shows what is called a "Baustelle". That means "construction zone" and I can´t guess just how many of Leipzig´s streets are torn up for construction, but it´s a lot and definitely the most I have seen thus far. They are a host city for the World Cup in 2006 which explains much. With all the construction going on, the other word we get to learn is "Umleitung". This means "detour".

But the Leipzig tourist office was super helpful and tried really hard to find a cheap pension for me. They found a set of apartments about 7km outside of town. Cheap and it comes with private shower and kitchenette. I hit the Aldi and stocked up on food and coffee. No more 1,80€ a day habit! Still, getting out to the major autobahn is tricky. Luckily, I plan to spend Thursday and Friday using the street cars. There doesn´t seem to be any underground trains in the city so it´s very different with the large number of tracks all over the city.

I spent yesterday in Quedlinburg which is literally a city of half-timbered buildings. They have a museum that explains the building methods and different styles from the1300´s to the 1800´s and the museum itself is in a building built in 1310! (And let me tell you, I stuck my nose all over that building). I just came across Raymond Faure´s impressive photosite with over 570 pictures of Quedlinburg and this nice sheet of examples of half-timbered work from 1310 - 1576. Whew! That´s once less project I have to work on.

Today was Wittenberg which is where the film Luther takes place. No, there´s much more to the town, but I am about to get dinged another 1,50. I visited the Lucas Cranach (the Elder) house (where I learned that he ran a pharmacy and wine shop out of the lower floors) and the Luther House which has a really, really good presentation including many Cranach paintings and woodcuts from his workshop.

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