Tuesday, September 8, 2015


We've just spent five days at our "home away from home": Leipzig. We had another fine visit with Anita and Samy, and Anita's parents Annelore and Werner. Annelore was Les' first Esperanto penpal 29 years ago, and the whole family are dear friends.

We walked a lot in downtown Leipzig, went to an organ concert, saw an exhibition where Samy's talented 16-year-old daughter had been invited to display several paintings, and went to Annelore's house in Wölkau to eat four(!) different cakes she'd just baked.

View from Anita's home

With Anita at an exhibit on the history of printing, at the German National Library

With Anita, Samy, Annelore, and Werner, we spent a day in lovely Halle and in Eisleben, where we listened to nuns chanting in a cloister and went to the birthplace and deathplace of Martin Luther, both turned into museums, plus the church where he was baptized.

As we were thinking that Eisleben was a pretty serious town, with all its Martin Luther locations, we spotted these whimsical knitted chickens on fenceposts.

Just like when we were in Leipzig in July, we happened to hit the monthly meeting of Annelore's local Esperanto group. And just like last time, because it was a Monday evening, the streets were teeming with police cars to prevent trouble during the weekly immigration protests. One group objects to Germany letting in so many refugees, while the counter group objects to the Nazi-type sentiments of the first group. Fortunately, the counter-demonstrators outnumbered the antiforeigners by a large margin (20:1). I'm glad that Anita's son and his friends sometimes join the counter group.

Today we took the train to Lübeck in the north. We chose it as a well-located overnight place on the way to Denmark, and hadn't realized that it's actually a charming town worth visiting in its own right.

The Holsten Gate in Lübeck

We heard that Lübeck is famous for its marzipan, so we picked up a few kinds to test out how good it is.

Lübeck's old town is an island

People have been asking us all summer what we plan to do about housing when we get back to Seattle. Will you get an apartment? Stay on the boat? Keep traveling? The answer has always been that we haven't really thought about it, are just enjoying each day as it comes without thinking of the future. But in the past few days we've come up with some ideas.

The first idea is to spend two or three months in Leipzig next fall. We would probably use Airbnb for housing. We didn't use it at all on this trip, but it seems reasonable to try, and that leads to a second idea; try out Airbnb in the U.S. and Canada this winter and spring. The plan I currently like is to alternate a month on the boat and a month in some other city, then back to Europe in the fall. We'll pursue these ideas after settling in at home. At the start of the year we had thought that we might spend this November and December in New Zealand, but Les feels he needs time to digest what we've already done, so probably that idea is out.

Tomorrow it's on to our last new country: Denmark.

Europe really is on the metric system—10 eggs instead of a dozen!