The Beautiful Breakdown Blitzkrieg Tour

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September 22nd 2007
Published: September 30th 2017
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Rushing to stop #1 on the blitz tour - The Volkerschlacht Denkmal. Cool.
Geo: 51.3397, 12.3713

I had trouble sleeping and woke up at 5:30 ... I just lay in bed awhile. I have this terrible habit of not being able to sleep when things bother me. It's irritating!!! The church bells went off at 6 AM and didn't stop for over 5 minutes. It's a good thing I wasn't sleeping anyway.

I showered and packed up to leave. Mary woke up just as I was leaving - I gave her a hug, thanked her again for listening last night, and said goodbye once more. I hope she makes it back to Canada safely.

It's weird being alone now, after being with someone 24/7 for a month. But I need some solitude right now - just me and the tunes on my iPod. Again, it's like that thing can read my mind - though I've never been a huge Matchbox Twenty fan, I do like "Unwell". I haven't heard that in ages but it was the first song that came on as I stepped out of the hostel.

Jack Johnson's "Breakdown" also came on as I walked to the train station. A very fitting song for my mood - maybe my train to

Some stark, interesting statues inside. No time to enjoy the choir. Running out of time!
Frankfurt will break down and I won't have to go home?

So after years of searching and wandering, I finally had that moment of clarity yesterday where I finally was ready to go home. Then last night, in one instant on the computer that was all shattered when I thought "Gahhhhh!!!! I don't wanna go home anymore!!!" Sometimes life is a bummer, but I've only got two days left in Europe - so as Al Pacino once said in "Donnie Brasco", FUGGEDABOUDIT!!!

Really, the timing of everything is rather comical, like something out of a "Simpsons" episode. Hope is a funny thing ... sometimes it's a good thing to have and sometimes it's a bad thing.

I passed by several crappy bakeries on the way to the train station, so I decided to just grab something at the station. I had a pizza that was little more than a giant blob of dough, with a smattering of sausage pieces and cheese. I should've gone for the cheese croissant instead! I washed it down with some apple soda that I had mistakenly purchased instead of apple juice.

I am way behind on my journal writing and finished off several

Climbing (more like running) to the top, through the tiny staircase.
entries on the train today. It was a good way to pass the time ... along with my tunes. Music is a kind of therapy for me - a little Modest Mouse was in order today. "Little Motel" suited my mood.

I arrived in Leipzig - former home of intellectuals and artists such as Bach, Mendelssohn, Nietzsche, Wagner, Goethe, Leibniz ... a pretty impressive list! I was only stopping here on my way to Frankfurt so time was short - a blitzkrieg tour was exactly what I needed to cheer me up!

I dropped off my luggage at the train station, but all of the change machines for the lockers were broken. I had to buy some pastries to get some change - my blitzkrieg tour is getting derailed! I don't have time for things like that!!! But it was kind of worth it ... the apple turnovers were pretty tasty (and I somehow ordered two, instead of one).

I was running around like a headless chicken, as Mary would put it. I grabbed a map from the TI and hopped on the tram for the Volkerschlacht Denkmal (Monument of the Battle of Nations). It's a memorial to

Check it out - there's a traffic light to keep people from ascending/descending the tight staircase at the same time. Luckily I caught all green lights, so I didn't waste any time in traffic!
the 120,000 soldiers who died during a battle in 1813 that turned the tide against Napoleon, and resulted in most of the European boundaries that you see today.

As I approached the Denkmal, I didn't realize that it was constructed in 1913, so I expected a more modern-looking pyramid. It was built to look like a Mesopotamian ziggurat (I have no idea what that is, I'm just quoting the guidebook!) It's a pretty impressive building and the trip to Leipzig was worth it just for the Denkmal.

I climbed to the top of the pyramid - it was a hot, beautiful day! There were nice views but also an insane amount of flying ants. Pretty disgusting. I couldn't stand being up there for long. Even after descending, I could feel some ants crawling in my hair ... yech ... I missed my bald-headed days.

I was sweating like a pig after - perhaps I've actually turned into one, after yesterday's Orgy of Pork! There was a choir singing - the acoustics are pretty incredible here. I quickly left for the old town - I have a schedule to keep!!!

As I arrived, the anthem for last year's mega-trip started

The view from the top. No time to enjoy. Too little time and too many giant flying ants.
playing - "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. Groovy ... The old town is beautiful - it's too bad I only had a few hours here. But it was awesome to return to my old "blitz" method of traveling. Intense, fast-paced, trying to see too much in too little time ... I was in Heaven! Life is beautiful when I can travel like that.

Back to the train station - I had just enough time to grab and choke down a grilled bratwurst. I asked for just a little ketchup (they usually slather it on), but then they only gave me a few drops of it. Oh well ... it was still good and I really needed the accompanying Fanta. I was pretty dehydrated after blitzing through Leipzig!

An Italian guy was sitting across from me on the train, and talking on his cell phone. Finally - I can understand some Italian!!! Too bad that it came one year too late 😞

It was another long train ride to Frankfurt - almost four hours, including a change of trains. You'd think listening to dark, depressing songs for four hours wouldn't be good for me, but it did cheer me up.

Just bloody brilliant - it's hard to see, but this hot dog is being grilled with a slice of cheese AND a slice of bacon wrapped around it! Beautiful! I would've eaten one if I had more time.
I took a 10-minute power nap and awoke worrying about Mary. I was worried that the sheer joy of escaping my oppression might cause her to do something crazy!

She's got to be the least high-maintenance girl I know. Even with a gangrenous toe, she never complained about it. She probably even considered self-amputation so as not to disappoint me!

I changed trains in a little town and noticed that they have these cool sink units built into the wall. You just stick your hands in there and you get soap, water, and drying. I'm not sure why that impressed me - it's kind of sad that I no longer find much joy in seeing beautiful old churches, but am intrigued by train station bathroom sinks.

As I waited on the platform for my connection, I saw the cutest little girl. She was running to her aunt (I think), who was crouching with flowers, waiting to hug her. It was like a moment out of a movie or commercial. Awwwww ....

I arrived in Frankfurt and walked through the seedy area around the train station to get to the hostel. It's got some pretty complicated door locks -

Augustusplatz. Just enough time for one picture.
after swiping the keycard, you wait for a second until a light comes on, then you push in on a little button, and turn it until it latches. Then the door should open (in theory).

The international auto show is also on this weekend, so the dorm bed was pricey. It was painful sleeping in that bed - the mattresses were very thin and all night long I could feel two metal slats digging into my lower back. The sheets were pretty scuzzy, too.

I left the hostel and ate the second of the apple turnovers I bought at the Leipzig train station. It wasn't so good this time as it had been pulverized in my backpack. Frankfurt has a bit of a gritty feel to it - but I haven't seen too much of it yet.

It was kind of funny to hear techno blaring at one of the transit station platforms. But it's pretty typical of Europe, I suppose - they love their techno here! Pissy Pat Moment #10: I've been in a crappy mood since last night, and storming around Frankfurt with my pissed-off persona was a good way of blowing off steam.

The intricate ceiling of the Nikolaikirche. Just enough time for another picture.
It's not a bad thing, since Frankfurt's a little seedy and not the safest place near the train station. I don't think anybody would want to mess with me when I'm wandering around, looking all pissed off. Just ask Tam and Tri about how I look on the volleyball court when the "Hulk" persona comes out!

I walked along the Main (pronounced "mine"😉 river. It reminded me a little of the Po river in Turin, Italy (see Euro 2006 blog entitled "Torino is Borino"😉. I wandered across the pedestrian bridge and had one of Mary's "Why?" moments. Everybody has moments like that - ones where you wonder "Why the heck did this happen?" and realize that there is nothing you could have done about it.

I encountered some drunk kids on the bridge - it would be a heck of a place to crack open a bottle of wine with friends. I wished that I had a bottle of wine and that Mary would have been here to share it with me. But if I closed my eyes and listened carefully ... I could almost hear Mary's muted voice crying "Why? Oh why? Why do these things always happen

Leipzig's university - undergoing some major renovations! No time to stay and take a course.
to me?"

Frankfurt is neat because of the juxtaposition of its modern and old elements. But I must admit something - I only used the word "juxtaposition" because I like saying it. It feels kind of sexy and dirty when it rolls off of my tongue ...

I wandered back to the hostel. The area around it is basically a giant red light district. It's kind of funny - you don't get the prositutes standing in the windows for all to see like in Amsterdam. Instead, they have huge five or six story "Eros" towers that guys go into to "window shop".

I stopped near the hostel and had my final kebab of the trip. It had a bit of a strange-tasting spice in it. This one's for you Mary! But it just didn't taste right without you there 😞

I sat and ate outside, in the vicinity of strip clubs, shady-looking characters, and prostitutes. It was positively Dali-esque in its surrealism!

Additional photos below
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15th-century triptych inside the Thomaskirche. No time to admire it for more than 10 seconds.

Statue of Bach, just outside the Thomaskirche. The Bach Museum was nearby, but no time to go inside.

A beautiful bank building. Not enough time to attempt to rob it.

City hall, I think. No time to go in there and yell at, and flip off the politicians.

Leipzig's open-air market. No time to shop. But I had sufficient time to take a quick look for hotties. Sadly, there were none - this isn't Spain, after all!

One of Leipzig's many museums. Kind of an ugly building, actually. No time to see the inside, only enough time to comment on its obvious ugliness.

Back at the train station. The Beautiful Breakdown Blitzkrieg tour is officially over! Have you survived?

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