"My soul is elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there." -- Rumi

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weimar: Goethe's Key West

Sorry guys.  Lately I have not felt even the littlest bit like blogging.  You haven't missed much.  I've gone for some long walk/hikes in the various local parks, had some nights out, finally went to some German doctors for a couple minor but necessary things, and most of all, have been trying to get the German tax system into some distilled and comprehensive package that I can actually understand.

So far, I'm going to owe somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 euros on this year's taxes.  This number will of course go up the longer I work here.  Accordingly I should have been saving at least 500 euros a month since January for this purpose.  Probably more.  I find this blackly, bleakly hilarious, in a way.  Because my paycheck has been, on average, at least 500 euro lower than what I was promised before I was hired.  There has not been a lot of saving for taxes.  And frankly, I don't see it getting better.  The summer will be slow, and then we're looking at me closing on a year here.  The cycle starts again.

The days are long but the weeks are short.

What to do.

Well, what I'll do, for tonight anyway, is finally gift you, my gentle and patient readers, with the last day of Lisa's and my Thuringia trip well over a month ago.

Weimar, Day 6

Because I haven't mentioned them so far, I wanted to make sure I put in a good word for Labyrinth Hostel in Weimar.  Lisa and I both had a fantastic time here.  Staff was excellent, rooms were clean with a funky touch (no bunks beds!!), and the common area lively and fun.  Overall, a much better atmosphere and experience than Opera Hostel in Erfurt.  (Which wasn't bad, but you know.)

Weimar is, of course, very pretty and picturesque, and full of history.  Erfurt and Eisenach can claim Martin Luther, but Weimar has Goethe, and they are pretty spectacularly proud of him.  Also Schiller.

Goethe and Schiller, BFFs
Weimar has plenty of museums, but Lisa is not a lover of these dry and dusty corridors like I am.  Nonetheless, I convinced her to shell out for the kitchy and fun Weimar Haus, which is not a museum so much as it is a series of semi-interactive exhibits in which a faceless and nameless narrator winds you through the annals of the city's history.  Near the end, the narrator is shown to be none other than (natch) Goethe himself.

Making friends
After Weimar Haus, we walked around in the pretty weather, taking photos of the city.  Decided against touring Weimar's Schlossmuseum (art), which I was slightly disappointed at but it was nice to be able to see as much of the city as we did.

Main square
Stadtkirche St. Peter und Paul

Weimar has a huge and gorgeous park, Park an der Ilm.

Schlossmuseum from the park

Goethe kept a second house here in the park, sort of his getaway retreat.

Goethes Gartenhaus

One of Goethe's sketches.  Dude was multi-talented
Goethe's standing desk.  Before it was cool.
I really liked the garden house, even more so because we ended up not touring Goethe's house in Weimar proper, due to cost and Lisa's dislike of museums.  We did, however visit Goethe's grave, except I'm pretty sure this was his family plot, but not entirely certain that Goethe himself is not someplace else.

Goethe family plot
Other random cemetery coolness
Russian Orthodox Church in the cemetary
Don't blink...
 The best thing to happen all day was our late lunch looking out at the Rathaus and Weimar's main platz.

And then Lisa and I walked back to the hostel, collected our packs, and Mitfahrgelegenheited back to Kassel.

What is Mitfahrgelegenheit, you ask?  And can it be used as a verb?  Well.

Actually, pretty much my entire German experience so far is summer up gorgeously in this mad, Ned Flanders-channeling genius.  Please watch all of this, and definitely do not stop when the ad plays at the end.  The grocery store bit is... special.

Can you tell I don't have much to give here?

No comments:

Post a Comment