Sunday, October 2, 2022

Sunday in the Park (Without George)

When you think about it, the two places really do have a lot in common.

Greetings once again from Leipzig, where, despite a few occasional rain showers and one totally unexpected thunderstorm, Loraine and I did what we usually do on a Sunday--we walked.  And while we were strolling around various parts of the city we came to the realization that Leipzig and Marquette are, in the end, rather similar, if you set aside a few degrees of size.

For instance, the backbone of both cities is education-

Bikes (and parents riding with their kids) rule in both places--

Both places love to have festivals--

And, sadly, both places have issues with those less fortunate--

But there are two ways in which I think both places share the exact same vibe.  One is in the richness of history, which I've tried to avoid this time around seeing as how I kinda went overboard writing about it the last time we were here.  The other is in the richness of their respective parks system.  Marquette has the lake shore and the parks that go along with it, while Leipzig has a spine of green space running right up the center of it.

And that's what we explored today.

We started at the city's biggest park, the Clara Zetkin Park, which is a huge area of trees and paths and gazebos--

It's home to the annual World Goth Festival, where 20,000 individuals just stroll around the paths to see, be seen, and to share their lifestyle.  And with the gloomy vibe the park can give off, especially on a rainy morning, I can see why the biggest Goth festival on the planet is held here.  

One other interesting thing about the park?  Bridges criss-cross the waterways, and on some, instead of the usual Love Locks, you'll see Friendship Locks, instead--

Just north of Clara Zetkin is perhaps my favorite park in Leipzig, and that would be the Johannapark.  It's much more open than Zetkin, and also allows you the opportunity to take some amazing pictures--

Plus, it has some new friends for you to make--coots.  No, not a "coot" like my dad (that would be an old coot), but instead, red (and white) billed birds that allow you to hang out with them for a bit--

And then there was the park we didn't even know existed.  On the way back to our hotel we passed the Leipzig Opera House, and noticed there was a sign pointing toward a statue of the composer Richard Wagner (you may know his most famous work, "Kill the Wabbit" from the classic Looney Tune "What's Opera, Doc").  We followed the sign to check out the statue, and were amazed to find there was another park, not even on Loraine's map, right behind the Opera House--

Looking on Google Maps I discovered it's called Oberer Park, and I'm thinking the Leipzig Tourism office might be dropping the ball by not promoting it more.  In a city full of parks, it's one of the best.

So if the city of Marquette (hint hint) is interested in another Sister City, one that could actually be called a Big Sister, I have one that would fit the bill perfectly.  In fact, I'm writing this from that very place tonight!


Now, a few odds & ends that we came across today.  Remember a few days ago how I mentioned that Leipzig is often called "Hypezig" by the media?  Well, I think this fits the bill a little better--

Another way that Marquette and Leipzig may be similar is in their occasional use of this old Finnish tradition--

However, I didn't stick it in the main list because, as you notice in the sign, it's an FKK sauna.  What's FKK, you ask?  Well, I answer, FKK, or, in German, Freik√∂rperkultur , is the tradition in this part of the country of not worrying about wearing clothes if you don't feel like it.  Around here it's perfectly acceptable to sunbathe in the nude or, in this case, sauna in the nude.  So the next time you're in Germany remember the letters FKK.

It could save you a lot of trouble and/or embarrassment, depending upon your point of view.

I think every time we come over to Europe I have to rave about this, but one of the things we most look forward to is a swig of this-

If you don't remember why, it's Dr. Pepper the way it used to be, with its original formula and with real sugar, two of the ways in which it's different from the "Dr. Pepper" you get back home.  Trust me--there really IS a difference!

And to wrap things up today, we did make one more stop at Oktoberfest  Fall Fest going on in the Markt Platz.  And for your listening pleasure, a real German Oompah band.

See you tomorrow!


(ps--because of a problem with a link not everyone was able to see yesterday's report.  So if you're interested, just click on the "older post" tab right below here to be taken right to it)

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