They say Leipzig is the new Berlin. It’s just over an hour from Berlin by (very efficient, comfortable) train and it does have many of the things I expected to find in Berlin: great, cheap apartments, a good mix of old and new architecture, beer, all-night semi-illegal parties and at least one probably legal party in a basement that was part artist’s studio and part mad scientist lab (there was a time machine and exercise equipment that played music). It also has a zoo with the world’s biggest monkey house and a coffee museum. So I loved it.
Leipzig looks like this:
I was there to visit my friend and former flatmate (from my London days) Estrid. Estrid is a neuroscientist, and also a great cook, a good friend and the reason I wrote this blog post about women in science. Here she is having brunch at Café Waldi:
We visited the Grassi museum and saw an exhibit on experimental shoe design. For example, shoes to use while vampire-slaying:
We were trapped in a tapas restaurant (not a bad place to be) by an out-of-nowhere monsoon-like rainstorm which kind of freaked me out.
(It was almost 36 degrees Celsius at the time, which definitely freaked me out.)
Leipzig has lots of good bars, like Puschkin:
And of course, the zoo:
But what about the monkeys? Sadly, I have no good photos of the monkeys. They will simply not convey how much fun, and how very weird, it is to watch monkeys in real life. They look and act so much like us, and I think they watch us and believe we are in a cage. So I will leave you with that, and a picture of a zebra:
Photo credits: all mine, except the ones of me, those are by Estrid Jakobsen