After 2 failed attempts at booking flights to Germany, we managed to get our flights successfully booked on the 3rd attempt, only a week before we flew out! We landed at 9:30pm, and were the second to last flight in that night, so the airport was eerily quiet. We made our way down to the other end of the terminal (because, being on a Ryanair flight means you will be at the other end of the airport!), and down the steps to the train station underneath. We joined the queue of just about everyone from our flight lining up to get a train ticket to Leipzig hauptbahnhof before it arrived. We made it. Just. Some weren’t so lucky!
We arrived at the station rather quickly, and I must say, what a sight it was! The station is absolutely huge – Europe’s largest when measured by floor area, according to Wikipedia! – and, despite being hungry, tired and longing to get to our hostel, we couldn’t help but marvel at its massiveness.
So, aware that Chris’ childhood German lessons from his grandmother (she was German – she fled east Germany after world war 2) and my B in GCSE German were much more rusty than we had anticipated, we headed for the safest option for dinner – Burger King!
After filling ourselves up, we set about finding our hostel – not too hard considering it was right beside the station! The Central Globetrotter Hostel was to provide our bed for the night, and we expected nothing else from it. We knew that we could wait until we reached Chris’ relatives house the next day to have our showers, so we spared ourselves that experience!
The hostel actually was not that bad. We were placed in a shared dorm which already had its other 2 occupants inside, getting ready to sleep. We all agreed on the same things – windows open because it was so hot in the room, lights out almost immediately, and no snoring! It was perfect. Chris and I were the first ones awake that morning, and though our train to Doberlug Kirchhain did not leave until the afternoon, we figured we’d get up and out, and explore the city while we had nothing else to occupy our time.
So, we left the hostel and headed back to the station for breakfast at Burger King. As we ate, we browsed the free map that we picked up at the hostel, wondering exactly what one did on a day out in Leipzig! After working out that most of the sights are located within generally the same area, we shoved all but the essentials into a locker at the station and headed out into the city.
But, ah. It’s raining. It’s really raining. And, we don’t have an umbrella. With Ryanair’s tiny baggage allowances, we hardly had enough room for our clothes, let alone an umbrella! So, completely ignoring the sights, we set about searching for a shop that sold umbrellas. Apparently, it doesn’t rain that often in Leipzig!
Just as we lost all hope, what should appear as we turn the corner … a Woolworths! After a few years without Woolworth in the UK, I think maybe most of us have forgotten about that once much-loved high street shop! But I’ll admit, when I saw Woolworth, I was thrown back to my 5 year old self, meeting great-gran for lunch, grabbing a sneaky pick and mix sweet on the way!
So, having been saved by Woolworth, we then managed to take in some of the amazing sights that Leipzig has to offer!
Despite the rain, Leipzig did amaze us, and though we didn’t get to go inside any of the building, we knew that we would have a few hours to explore it more in-depth when we came back the day we were due to fly out.
Until next time …