Posts tagged with 'Germany'

Harz Mountains

By Ross in Travel on Sun 20 July 2014. Tags: Germany

The only upshot of being snored out of my hostel room was getting to see sunrise in Leipzig.

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When I got to the train station, it was completely abandoned.

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Here you can see the sunrise behind the train platform.

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From Leipzig, I took the S-Bahn to Halle, where I transferred to a regional train to Wegeleben followed by another one to Quedlinburg, which arrived at 0720. Luckily the bakery in the train station was open, and I ate my fill of yummy baked goods before setting out to explore the town.

Quedlinburg is one of the most picturesque towns of the Harz mountain region. Its old town is known for its diverse collection of half-timbered houses, some of which are centuries old.

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Quedlinburg Castle is a small fortification which sits on a hill overlooking the old town. The room I had rented was in a house right below the castle.

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The next morning it rained heavily, but it cleared up by early afternoon in time to take a bus to the nearby town of Wernigerode. This is the rathaus of Wernigerode and the fountain which is adjacent to the building

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Here is one of the old half-timbered houses in Wernigerode.

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Many of the towns of the Harz mountain region are connected by a narrow gauge railway. I did not have time to take it, but I got a few photos of one of the historic steam trains entering Wernigerode station.

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Wernigerode also has a castle overlooking the town. The main castle building was the residential palace of the Earl of Stolberg until 1945. It has now been converted into a museum, and most of the rooms have been beautifully restored to their nineteenth century state.

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This is the castle chapel.

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These are some of the reception rooms.

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Finally, this is the lavish dining room of the castle.

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Leipzig

By Ross in Travel on Sat 19 July 2014. Tags: Germany

After Prague, my plan was to head north to Berlin and then to Hamburg. Since it is hard to find a last-minute bed at a good hostel in Berlin, I decided to make a few stops on the way. My first destination was Leipzig, the old stomping grounds of Johann Sebastian Bach.

On my way out of Prague, I took a few pictures of the historic part of the train station.

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When I changed trains in Dresden, I came across a huge Ritter Sport display. (Also, Ritter Sport squares cost less than one euro in Germany.)

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It turns out that Leipzig is a bustling university town. I arrived a little before noon on Saturday, just in time for the Christopher Street Day (gay pride) march.

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After dropping by bag off at the hostel, I headed for the Church of St. Thomas, where Bach was cantor for the last 27 years of his life.

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Here is the interior of the church.

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The "Bach organ" was built in 2000, and was designed to be similar to the one Bach played.

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There is a stained glass window dedicated to Bach, and a statue of him outside the church.

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Bach's final resting place is in the nave of the church.

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Other famous composers lived in Leipzig as well. Schumann and Mendelssohn lived in these houses.

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The hostel I had booked turned out not to be especially nice, despite it having a very good review on several websites. The bed was not comfortable, and there was no common space at all (there may be in the future, since there was construction going on.) I finally fell asleep at midnight, only to be woken at 0300 by the other two people in my room returning from a night out. They turned out to be such epic snorers that I was unable to fall back asleep. By 0400 I was so restless that I quietly packed my bags, slipped out of the room, and headed to the train station to take the 0520 train to Quedlinburg, my next destination.