Leaving Berlin for the small historicc town of Weimar.
The train ride isn’t the most pleasant – we spend the first 15 minutes or so trying to find a seat, pushing down the aisle with our great big suitcases past people who are trying to do the same thing in reverse. It would have been smart to book seats. It’s not helped by the German reservation system – each seat simply shows as ‘reserviet’, even if there’s obviously no-one in it, whether the reservation was for the current part of the journey or not. In the end we give up, dump our stuff in the luggage area and sit anywhere, reservation or not. After that it’s OK, with the only hassle being getting our luggage out of the storage area when two Australian girls have sprawled themselves out in front of it.
Weimar seems unimpressive at first, but we wheel our luggage over cobbled streets down into the old town and it improves. Our hostel is the funky Hotel Labryrinth, artistically decorated and with each room different – ours has the bed on a mezzanine platform above the room. We go out to explore Weimar, which is a lovely small historic old town with winding alley-like streets. All the buildings are beautiful. We start at the Goethe Museum, which is text-heavy and suffers from being mostly in German. An interesting approach to the exhibition, which is based around themes – power, nature, love, memory – that informed Goethe’s work. But with only minimal English on the audioguide, its hard to understand what’s going on. A group of bored German teens make it clear that it’s not just us who are struggling. We also explore Goethe’s old house before walking in the park.
Dinner is fairly bad fish and chip type food from what we later find out is a chain, Nordsea, before we head to an indie bar that was recommended at the hostel. We had tried to find a punk bar, but luckily it was closed as it was, frankly, too punk for us – squat graffiti on the walls, antifa and anti-capitalist. As usual in Germany, we are nearly the first ones there. We chat to the barmaid and she recommends a few local Weimar beers and I check out the gig posters on the wall. 99% unidentifiable (William Tyler the only name I know) but the music is good. I catch Libertines and Clash (including their SW9 anthem, making me homesick) and the place begins to fill up. Unfortunately that means it begins to fill with smoke too. By the end of the night my clothes are so smoky that I get asthma attacks days later just putting them on.
Back to the hostel for sleep disturbed by the shouts of drunken manly men.