Submitted by Dean Woodrow on the 2016 winter session program in Leipzig, Germany sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures…
When I boarded my flight out of Philadelphia International Airport a week ago today, I never expected I would have encountered so many amazing places, people and histories just seven short days after I arrived. From the very first day, we were exposed to the rich cultural history of Leipzig. Our initial tour of the city introduced us to many of the famous landmarks that make the city stand out as a center for music, history and politics. Angela Merkel studied at the university here, Bach worked in the church of Saint Thomas and a scene from Goethe’s Faust took place in one of its restaurants. Before the week was through, we had visited the University’s six hundred year old club, stood in the same church Bach had worked in and had an incredible German lunch in the very same restaurant that Goethe had written into his book two hundred years earlier.
Have I mentioned the food yet? Because my God, the food. Curried sausages, schnitzel, sauerkraut, Turkish kabobs, freshly baked bread, more cheeses than you can shake a stick at and that’s just before lunch. I am constantly amazed with what the German people can do with meat and potatoes and if my parents weren’t reading this, I’d say it nearly puts their home cooking to shame. “The Freshman Fifteen” has nothing on the “Saxon Sixty,” or at least that’s what I imagine it’s going to be by the time I fly home three weeks from now.
The abundance of cultural attractions was not lost on us either. We had the pleasure of seeing an extremely well done Verdi opera in the city’s beautiful opera hall. I honestly would have never considered going to an opera had this opportunity not presented itself, and I am so glad that I did. Next week, we’re supposed to see an orchestra concert which I can hardly wait for.