Red Bull Arena, Leipzig
Date of visit: 9th December 2017
Ground number: 1
Beer: Ur-Krostitzer Pils (0.5l) - €4
|Red Bull Arena, Leipzig|
The vast majority of trips covered on my blog are going to be Czech based but a combination of the Czech winter break and an ice hockey international break meant this weekend was perfect for a little overnight trip to Germany.
Unfortunately I only planned it about a week in advance so the train prices were high and the available times were quite bad meaning I opted to do the 3 hour drive after finishing work on Friday afternoon and stay overnight.
The tram system in Leipzig is fairly simple (€1.80 single journey or €7.20 day ticket) and after dodging a few groups of drunk German students I hopped on and headed back towards the hostel to try the pub below it. It was quite lively inside but mainly groups of colleagues/friends/families which disappointed me a little as when doing these trips alone I enjoy discovering little bars and chatting to locals. I got the last table and ordered a pint of Ur-Krostitzer Pils. It's the local beer brewed 20km away in Krostitz. I wasn't overly impressed with it but it was drinkable and I had quite a few. German beers always taste too sweet and not bitter enough for me. I'm yet to find one that comes close to a Czech pilsner but I'm still hopeful! It's definitely an easy-going pilsner and would be refreshing on a summer groundhop.
|Ur-Krostitzer Pils at the Homeplanet hostel bar|
A group of people then came in and I gave up my table so they could eat (which earned me a free pint) and spent the rest of the evening sat at the bar chatting to the barman. I wanted to ask about the Red Bull situation and get a local's view on the whole saga. I know what the rest of Germany think about it but unfortunately he didn't really seem too interested in football and supported the Leipzig ice fighters ice hockey team. I explained how my original plan was to take in an ice fighters game that night until I found out it was an hours tram ride away from the hostel and didn't start until 8pm! Bad planning on my part.
I woke up the next morning to heavy snow and decided I'd drive into the centre and park up so I would be able to set off home straight after the game rather than get a 50 min tram back to Connewitz. I went through my usual hostel routine of trying not to make a sound getting dressed and zipping my bags while my hungover dorm mates were sleeping. I'm not sure why I care as nobody else seems to but I think it's in the British DNA.
I caught the centre of Leipzig on a good day. Well, it was crowded but there was a lovely atmosphere. It was Christmas market season and the streets were packed with locals and tourists sipping their mulled wines.
|If you can't beat em....|
|Leipzig Christmas market complete with a man who clearly wants to get his wife away from there as quickly as possible"|
I limited myself to one mulled wine (for driving purposes and therefore sacrificing my pre-match pint) and headed off to see some sights. My first stop was St Thomas Church which is quite famously associated with Johann Sebastian Bach who worked there as a kapellmeister until his death in 1750. I always seem to feel the need to go inside a church when travelling around Germany and the Czech Republic. I'm not in any way religious they just seem so grand and breathtaking compared to the ones I remember when growing up in Blackpool.