Sunday was designed to be a day of rest. I’m so excited that our group leader agreed with this idea today. Today was almost completely off, and we took full advantage of the opportunity to relax and recoup before we head to Berlin tomorrow. Berlin is the last city on our tour, and it’s sad to think that our trip only has a few days left.
I started the morning by going to Nikolai Kirche (St. Nicholas Church). It was a gorgeous cathedral where Bach was the pianist for years back in the eighteenth century. The organ music was amazing, and the sermon was probably good except that it was all in German. I read the Bible text in English on Liz’s phone (Psalm 121:7-8), and then I made my own guesses as to what the sermon was about.
After church, we walked around Leipzig for a while. We saw some street artists and various beautiful buildings. A tour guide told us about some of the city’s history. The guys pictured by the bear are Alan and Eric – they’ve got a serious bromance going on, and they’re a lot of fun. Alan’s also a blogger (HI ALAN!). After our tour, a bunch of us went to the top of a tall tower in town in order to see views of the entire city – this was breathtakingly beautiful.
We decided to go to an Italian restaurant for lunch. Unfortunately, our waiter didn’t speak English and none of us speak German. He offered to speak in French, but we didn’t know it. I offered back that I could speak in Spanish, and he said that would work. So we were eating at an Italian restaurant in Germany and speaking Spanish. What a cocktail of cultures. It worked out, however, and we had some great food.
We decided to take the afternoon off for literal rest – most of us (including me) relaxed and napped in our rooms for a while. It’s been an incredibly busy trip. All of the shops and most interesting places around town are closed today anyway. There is no separation of church and state in Germany, so it is government mandated that everything closes on Sunday. This is kind of weird, especially since most Germans would not claim that religion is an important factor in their lives. Oh well.
After an afternoon off, a group decided to get dinner. A lot of time here is spent eating…an average German meal takes 2-3 hours. This was weird for the first few days, but I’ve come to love it. It’s a slower pace than in America, and it gives us time to talk and enjoy each other’s company. Plus, what’s the hurry? It’s our day off! We took some fun pictures before/after dinner, and I liked one so much that I made it my profile picture on facebook. As one of the teachers was taking my picture, a German guy walked up and said, “Excuse me, can I take your picture too?” That obviously made me feel pretty awesome. I was wearing an outfit made entirely of clothes I bought here, so I think maybe I’m starting to fit in to the European fashion culture (AKA actually looking good, ha ha). It’s 1:00 AM and I have to be up early to catch the train to Berlin, so I’d better sign off. Aufweiderzein!