From Munich to Leipzig

For those of you concerned about my survival or at least ability to travel successfully between German cities, I have made it to Leipzig intact. Since my hotel charges the cost of a grande Early Grey for 1 h of internet, I am in Starbucks right now, enjoying their internet.

If it weren’t for the internet, I’d probably be in Coffe Baum, the second-oldest coffee shop in Europe, frequented in the past by Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner. Having already seen Bach’s church, the location of Wagner’s birthplace, and the opera house, I am shortly going to see Mendelssohn’s house and Schumann’s house before finding the Hauptbibliothek of Leipzig Uni to ensure that I can safely arrive tomorrow for work.

I do actually work whilst in these cities, worry not.

For example, yesterday I examined an entire manuscript in Munich. I’d have looked at it on Monday after I was finished with the other manuscript of which yesterday’s was the last part, but the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek doesn’t retrieve manuscripts in the afternoon. And, since Munich is allegedly the most northerly Italian city, I couldn’t even spend the rest of Monday afternoon in Museums — Italian museums being closed on Mondays.

Nonetheless, yesterday I read the whole manuscript.

All 1 page of it.

Then I visited the two open rooms of the Bavarian Museum of Egyptian Art — it is in the process of moving to Konigsplatz, where the museums of classical art are. So then I went there, and enjoyed the statuary in the Glyptothek and smaller items in the museum across the road whose name escapes me.

By and large I prefer sculptures to pottery, and the Glyptothek has some very fine examples, including a larger-than-life, drunken-stupor satyr the likes of which I’ve never seen and a statue of Domitian. No, wait, Nero. No, wait, Domitian. Oh, yes. Nero with his face changed into Domitian’s post-Damnatio Memoriae when every image and trace of that emperor was ordered destroyed.

The other one has some very fine objects, including a vessel with Dionysios going for a boat ride with dolphins surrounding him, and in the basement some fantastic, mindblowing Scythian gold.

Then, after sitting in Munich’s train station and reading the Saga of Hrafnkel the Priest of Frey, I took the train to Nürnberg (more easily pronounced in English: Nuremberg), then to Naumburg then to Leipzig, then a 20-min tram ride to my hotel.

And here I am. Tomorrow, work. Today, composers.

I timed this journey well, Leipzig being Wagner’s hometown and this being Wagner’s 200th birthday. Given my poverty, it’s probably best that I leave Saturday afternoon before the opening of Das Rheingold, right? No temptation to buy a ticket …

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