Arriving in Leipzig

Liepzig station.PNG

The girl at the information desk looked at her colleague, then at us, and finally shrugged her shoulders, holding her palms outwards in the international gesture signifying "Sure. Why not?". We'd just asked her in halting English if it was possible for us to catch the 22:24 train out of Leipzig airport to the city centre. Except that we didn't know where the train was or where to buy tickets. And it was 22:14. Well, if she sort-of thought we could do it, we could sort-of do it. So off we went.

It turns out that ten minutes is just enough time to buy tickets, find the wrong platform, and then stand on it watching the 22:24 train leave from the right platform. The only positive was that the next train arriving at the wrong platform was running late. And going to Leipzig. Worrying that we'd used up all our good luck for the entire trip, we hurried aboard and begin to ponder the next hoop we had to jump through; getting the keys for the apartment.

Because of our late arrival; our hosts would be leaving the apartment keys in a locker in Leipzig station. We'd been sent the locker number and code, along with a picture of the locker itself. I was sure I'd played this video game before and, since Leipzig station is one of the biggest in Europe, I was now playing it on level 10.

After a number of false starts and discovering that I didn't know the German word for "locker", and everyone we met didn’t know the English word for "locker", we finally got the key and made it to the taxi rank, clutching the piece of paper with the address and map that I'd prepared earlier.

The taxi driver took one look at the map, nodded, ushered us into her vehicle and then sped off in what I considered to be completely the wrong direction. Which shows how much I know about Leipzig. We arrived at the door to the flat in record time, stood for a while in the doorway while I played with the key in the lock, and finally we were inside what would be our home for the next five days.

We'd come to Leipzig to watch a car being made. It turns out that there are also lots of other good reasons to visit the city, including parks, restaurants and an amazing zoo, but for now the BMW factory tour on Monday was the thing we were most looking forward to. Or at least, I was looking forward to. The flat was comfy, everything was in place for a nice few days.