Germany - the roadtrip is coming to an end: Leipzig and Heidelberg
Our roadtrip through northern Germany was coming to an end slowly. The last city our spiritual master gave darshan (the 6th darshan in 12 days) was Leipzig. Definitely a new city for noth of us. The drive down south from Berlin was uneventful. The landscape was mainly flat, it was not much traffic and after about 2 hours we arrived in Leipzig. We quickly checked in in our hotel and then started to explore the city.
First we went to a part of town called Altlindenau. Nothing special about this part beside one thing: there are many beautiful old hoses. Most of them are completely run down. One can easily see the reason why. It is simply because of the lack of money/investment. This is not a rich part of Germany. So for many, many years, these houses are just left. But in between some of those houses are nicely renovated and look wonderful. It was interesting to see and kind of sad at the same time. After the reunion of Germany, western german employes paid quite a lot of money with their taxes to support the eastern part of Germany. This was fine to me at that time. But, where did this money go to? Definitely not to what the people would need like renovation of houses, schooling projects or creation of jobs. It went to certain rich investors to make them even richer and exploit the cheaper labourers - this is how it looks to me. Well, just some thought one gets why driving through this part of Germany.
People were really, really friendly. This was one thing we noticed. They are not always smiling, but when you start talking, they are really nice and welcoming. Further on we went to the small but surprisingly beautiful old town of Leipzig. OK, here some of the mentioned money went. The houses are perfectly renovated. And there is a shopping center I have never seen in my life before - super modern, huge, clean. Just stunning. Then the modern train station and all kinds of shops one can immagine. And then there is the university - the most amazing building one can immagine. Crazy! And it shows a lot of creative power of this region. People might appear shy, but they have a creative power. And there are lots of vegan options to eat. What a contrast to the suburbs.
In the evening we were invited to a helpers dinner for all helpers during the darshan tour with Paramahamsa Vishwananda. How lucky we were - on that day it was exactly 4 years ago that we met him for the first time. So it was kind of a birthday dinner. We are so thankful for everyhting he has done for us - and this is a lot!!!!! We can't express our gratefulness to him. He has changed our lives tremendously and we are so much better now, even though it is not always easy. Well, if you want to know more about it, just send us a personal message.
So, dinner was wonderful. We had quite a late night. Next morning, we woke up very late and were very lazy. So we decided to skip breakfast and just stayed in bed till midday. Then we got ready, had something to eat and went to the hall for the last darshan. Some preparations had to be made and we had time to talk to lots of friends that had come to Leipzig as well. It was a weekend and a lot of devotees from around the world had been coming. Nice to see our "big family" again. Darshan was beautiful and ended late at night with lots of dancing and singing. We were all very sad that this kind of pilgrimage through northern Germany had come to an end. It was an amazing time. And we all could feel that it had been something really special which brought changes to each of us individually. We were tired and extremely happy at the same time. And of course we were so thankful for our master that he had allowed us to travel with him.
Next morning a long trip back to Switzerland was waiting for us. Normally it takes about 8-9 hours by car. So we started early. We had some muesli bars which we had for breakfast in the car and we made a coffe break later in the morning. After half way we had the spontanous idea to visit Heidelberg. Markus had never been there before, for me, it is a long time ago - and well, Heidelberg is one of the must sees in Germany, right! And it was a detour of only 10 minutes. So we parked our car close to the old town and had a wonderful stroll along the river Neckar before exploring the old town. Well, the town is packed with tourists - mainly americans and asians. The shops were mainly open on sunday. But the atmosphere was nice. It was warm enough to sit outside so all the streetside cafés were full of tourists or students (Heidelberg is an improtant university town as well). And to top it, we found a relaxing place that offered vegan pizza (including vegan cheese). The place to go for us! Pizza was very nice and we topped it with a chocolate sorbet at the gelateria next door. It was the creamiest chocolate icecream I have ever had - and it was a sorbet! YUMMY. We continued our walk through town but did not go up to the famous castle. Stil from town it looks amazing. We visited a beautiful church as well, before we continued our drive back home.
What an amazing time did we have. We did not pass a lot of time in each city, but this was more than fine for us. Our main purpose was travelling with our master and spending each minute possible in presence. And this was what we did! With baterries recharged, we arrived back home ready for some tough weeks ahead. Work was calling....