(A quick note - thank you all for keeping your fingers crossed for me - I managed to finish this semester with straight A's, which makes it the third semester in a row. I'm a bit sad I got three B's during my first year at uni, but they can't be erased anyway, so there's no use to worry about them now, I guess. ^^;;)
I realized I haven't posted about this trip yet! How lame is it, considering I went there with my parents in September? Our main target was a huge hobby and creative fair in Leipzig and we visited Torgau on our way back. I didn't take any pictures of the hotel we stayed in, but it was really nice - the breakfasts were the most splendid ones I've ever seen, they even had blueberry cupcakes, fresh croissants (If I get accepted for a Msc. program in France, I'll probably put on a ton), all kinds of fruits, cheese, ham and vegetables. And the breakfasts were served in a winter garden-like room, it was very fairy tale-like.
As for the fair, it was really huge. Leipziger Messegelände has 5 giant halls with a vast park and a gazillion of parking places. There was approximately half of the whole Germany present too, so it was very hard to breathe at times. I only visited the halls dedicated to girly things like sewing, crochetting, knitting, scrapbooking and jewellery making, but there were also paintings (airbrushed mostly, I think) and halls with boys' toys, like model cars, airplanes, Lego and other things. So it's safe to drag your more masculine half there too. I bought a couple things (at the bottom of the post someplace) but I spent most of the time eating lunch, drinking coffee and sitting around because my parents took much longer than me as they wanted to see other halls as well (I was slightly dizzy because of the horrible air and people pushing everywhere). Here are some pictures of the hall:
Torgau is not just another pretty German town, it's the exact place where Soviet and US forces met in 1945 (I took a picture of the commemorative monument, you can see it below). And even before that, it was apparently one of the birthplaces of renaissance and reformation, as Luther was a frequent visitor of Torgau. The most beautiful place we visited (though we didn't really visit that many I must admit) was the Hartenfels Castle. The most famous picture from Torgau is that of the staircase in this castle (designed by Krebs - no, not the guy who came up with the Krebs cycle in order to torture biochemistry students), because it supports itself without any central pillar and it looks like an otherworldly seashell from below (as documented by the first picture and one more photo below).
Here are the things I bought - mainly scrapbooking supplies and jewellery making tools.
Some pictures of my outfit from before we left - my hair has grown quite a bit in that half a year, though I wish it didn't as it would solve my dilemma. :)