Caputh not Kaputt, Lehnin not Lenin

Kaputt in german means something broken, not repairable, or a person who is feeling exhausted. Caputh is a very idyllic place in Germany where Einstein used to have a summer house.
Not far from Caputh one can visit the Abbey of Lehnin, a former Cistercian monastery in the state of Brandenburg. Like all such religious institutions it offers an atmosphere of peace and quiet.
Germany was wrapped in a heatwave of record temperatures as I visited the afore mentioned places, so I wasn't able to enjoy tourism as much as I would have liked.

Surrealist tango evening in Leipzig

For some strange reason Mondays in Leipzig are dedicated to demonstrations organized by a group of people who, according to their own definition, are against the islamification of Europe. Another group of people usually demonstrates on the same day against the first, and the police tries to avoid clashes between the two. It is a lot of work for the police force of the city, particularly in the summertime when there are also many tourists circulating in the centre.


Eisleben is the city where Luther was born and where he died. In between he lived elsewhere in Germany. An important religious figure, leader of the Reformation in his country, he stood against the Catholic church and translated the Bible into his language. In Eisleben one can see his statue in the central Market Square and visit some other important sites connected with Luther.
In the nearby Mansfeld, there is an interesting Schloss or Palace which has been turned into a youth hostel. The view from there is marvelous and the garden is very quiet and peaceful.

Sans Souci

Sans souci means "no worries" in French. Sanssouci is the name of an imperial summer palace in Potsdam, a major tourist attraction today thanks to its gardens where one can spend a day with no worries indeed.

Strolling in the lanes, admiring the trees, the flowers and the water fountains, one feels happy and grateful towards Old Fritz, the Prussian King Frederick the Great who designed this place.

"Quoth the raven..."

Since I am not an ornithologist, I don't know the difference between a raven and a crow and I am not able to tell the two species apart.

However I have noticed that in most parts of Germany these birds are completely black, but in Potsdam they have grey backs.

In Ireland they are bigger than in Germany and they have yellow beaks. I have also noticed that in Northern Europe birds like sparrows or doves or blackbirds are bigger than their counterparts in Southern Europe.

The above are simple observations of a layman.

An unlucky lucky man or "every obstacle is for the best"

I was recently reminded of a tale, a well-known one, which I had heard before. The reason I’m repeating it is its interesting moral. In greek it reflects on the saying «every obstacle is for the best».

Once upon a time there lived a young villager who had a horse.
One day the horse disappeared and the neighbours came to the villager’s house to say:
“What bad luck!”
“Why do you say that?” he asked them. “What makes you think it’s bad luck”?
In a few days his horse found its way back and returned bringing along a wild pony.
“What good luck!” said the other villagers.

New friends in Leipzig

The Bach Festival was interesting and it gave us the opportunity to meet people who came from far away in order to enjoy the music of the great composer. It was a pleasure to make the acquaintance of classical music artists from the United States who turned Leipzig into a very international and lively city, at least for these two weeks. We had the chance to go sightseeing together and feel like tourists and locals at the same time!

Bachfest Leipzig

The festival dedicated to Bach opened yesterday with an open air concert at Marktplatz where a youth choir of Chinese and German sang not only Bach but also Mendelsohn, Haydn and Chinese songs. This first part was followed by a second with Tine Thing Helseth, the barefoot Norwegian trumpet player who opted not only for Bach pieces but also for ones by Vivaldi, Marcello and Albinoni. The weather was excellent and the atmosphere, or Bachmosphere was great, I really enjoyed it!