Saxonia International Balloon Fiesta
It has been a tradition since ten years that hot air balloon drivers meet in Leipzig for the "Saxonia International Balloon Fiesta". This year (2004) about 140 ballons from seven countries can be admired at the Silbersee, in the south of Leipzig. Highlights are the "Fuchsjagd" (fox hunt), the "Ballonglühen" (glowing of the balloons) and the "Dance of the Ballons".
This year the fest takes place from July 28 to August 1. It is possible to join a ride in one of the ballons.
Here you see some impressions of the "Ballonglühen" and the Dance of the Ballons as well as the fireworks on Thursday.
Your guide for Leipzig
If you go to Leipzig - hook up with VT member Leipzig. He is a great tour guide, lots of stories to tell, knows the best places for food (he's taking everyone to the Antikhaus...), beer and ice cream. And he knows a lot about the past and present of his city.
How to wash your hands
I found this funny instruction on "How to wash your hands" in the restroom at the Kiwara Marche restaurant in the Zoo. I've always thought I knew how to wash my hands properly but I could still learn something ... LOL
However, I am curious why it was only available in English ... do Leipzigers assume that Germans know how to wash their hands? Hm ... but then again ... there are the pictures on the leaflet. Maybe they assume that Germans are not able to read anyway? And that pictures are best for them? And, on the other hand, do they think that pictures are *not* enough for English speakers so they need a detailed instruction in words in addition?
Just kidding here, of course, but I thought it was hilarious, fact aside that I visited when the "Swine Flu" hit Germany hard ... ehem, according to the Pharmaceutical Industry. Good idea of the Zoo folks to advertise handwashing as best precaution instead of getting the flu shot.
- Family Travel
Local style of advertising
I didn't really know in which category to put this tip but thought that this is sort of a local custom. Right, eh?
I found this large ad poster (a secco painting) for the cleaner "Persil" in Leipzig-Plagwitz, near the amazing industrial architecture from the 19th century. If I am not totally wrong it must be on Zschocherscher Strasse near the Karl-Heine-Canal. I just *love* the retro look!
At the entrance to Auerbach's Keller, a restaurant made famous by a scene of Goethe's "Faust" playing there, you can find several statues. They show the above-mentioned scene: Mephisto playing a trick at some students with Faust at his side. Faust however doesn't enjoy this kind of fun and states dryly: "Ich hätte Lust, nun abzufahren" (I'd rather leave now).
In case you need luck, touch the already polished foot of one of the statues. This is supposed to bring luck, similar to the angel in Pilsen and the tortoises in Hanoi. Apparently, literally everybody does it and every tourist takes a picture of his friend rubbing the foot, so be prepared for waiting a moment.
You may think the Saxon race of people originated in Leipzig area of eastern Germany, as it is in Saxony and locals describe themselves and businesses as Saxon-this-and-that.
I've been watching "Face of Britain" on television and they did an episode on the Saxons. They said the Saxons were from the Frisian area of the Netherlands, Denmark and north Germany. This made me ask "What about eastern Germany? You know, Saxony!"
Well, Saxony originally had another name and it was conquered by the Saxons who called all their land Saxony!
...See the last paragraph of "Continental Saxons" on the link below for clarification.
Do you like to read? Are you hunting for the newest book of your favorite author? The you should bookmark the next Buchmesse in your calendar. More then 2000 stands invite visitors to read or to listen to the newest books. And for those you do not like to read but love the newest books you can listen talking books.
You all read newspapers and I bet in your local newspaper is always a caricature of politicans or certain events. If you like such a satirical kind of humor the "KARICARTOON LEIPZIG" should be a destination for you.
The exhibition takes place every year in winter.
Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig (Neubau)
Pic taken from the website mentioned below. Add own pic a.s.a.p.
- Museum Visits
Leipzig claims to be "Bach City" and once a year the city arrange a festival to honor the famous composer. The fest takes ten days around Ascention Day and you can hear Bach music of renowned artists from home and abroad.
Tickets are rare and you should better book in advance.
Leipzig Games Night is one of the highlights in town I've participated frequently. Every last Saturday a month it takes part in the "Ludothek". For 2.50€ you can play with others eight hours. And the best thing: you get something to eat and a drink for free.
You have the chance to win a great board game when you participate in Bingo. In February 2005 I won one.
Honky Tonk Festival
Every year the city of Leipzig turns into a party mile when the Honky Tonk, Europe's biggest pub festival, takes place. More than 100 life bands and some ten thousand party-people came together for one night.
I have been asked by several people what "Honky-Tonk" means. In my eyes it means party, life music and fun, fun, fun. Well, I also looked it up in a dictionary: "Honky-Tonk: "...sleazy and cheap low-class nightclub / a dive..." - I assure you it has never been neither sleazy nor low-class.
Leipzig's annual "Bierbörse" is one of the large beerfestivals with over 150.000 visitors each year. European brands but also the small house breweries whose beers are not often offered on draught outside can be found here. It is also possible to try very exotic beers, like tequilla beer from Mexico or dark beer from Africa. All the different bands make the atmosphere boiling. And what would be a beer fest without me?
Leipzig goes Olympic
In April 2003 Leipzig and its regional partners Dresden, Chemnitz, Riesa, Halle and the Free State of Saxony won the national competition for the Olympic Games 2012. In Rostock the sailing competitions will be held. I attended the big party at market square in Leipzig. Check out this travelogue for some impressions.
I'd like to say thank you to our national opponents Hamburg, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt for the fair competition and hope they are supporting Leipzig.
more info here
What are the other Bid Cities:
London, United Kingdom
New York, USA
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
On May 18 at 13:30 CEST in Lausanne, the International Olympic Committee reported the evaluation of the 2012 bids based on their questionnaire. All selected cities are official applicants for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. The final election of the host will be in Singapore on July 6, 2005.
My hometown didn't get into the top5. I was with ten thousands in the city centre to watch the dicision on one of the huge screens. One second after we knew Leipzig isn't allowed to apply for the Games all people were shocked. They all loudly disapproved the dicision and a lot of tears were rolling through faces.
"Leila Helau" - Carnival in Leipzig
"Leila Helau" - - "Rosensonntag", the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, is the day of the annual Carnival parade in Leipzig. Like in most German towns several decorated trucks roll through the streets. Disguised people on those trucks play party-music, sing popular songs and throw sweets in the crowds.
The shout "Leila Helau" is dedicated to the lioness Leila, maskot of the carnival. The town's animal is the lion, also integrated in the coat of arms.
The best decorated truck gets "s' Leibzscher Bliemchen" (local dialect for the Leipzig Flower) as award. This flower is a golden rose.
Leipzig Christmas Market
Leipzig Christmas Market is one of world's oldest and largest. It attracts with live music, choirs, orchestras and of course the real Santa Claus! The scent of gingerbread, cinnamon, sweet roasted almonds and mulled red wine is always in the air. World's biggest Advent-calendar (857 square meters), an iceskating course and hundreds of individual market stalls sell you traditional crafts, food and Gluehwein (spiced red wine).