Having spent two days in Hannover, I then visited Magdeburg, a massive city in the former East Germany. Magdeberg is quite peaceful and beautiful, and there is no way I would have known it was part of the former East Germany, it was hard somehow to see the difference. Standing head and shoulders above any building I had seen so far, was a wonderful MODERN piece of architecture by local architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Literally Freddy of One Hunderd Waters! Anyway this guy died in the year 2000, just after he had planned a building called “Die Grune Zitadelle” (translates as “The Green Citadel”). So in 2005, the building was finally opened to a waiting public. Ironically the building does not consist of one hunderd waters, nor is it green, but it is a true work of art and needs to be seen. The building is pink and brown mainly and of a rectangluar shape, conquering one of the main streets of Magdeberg and also overlooking a square which houses the local council and the ancient Cathedral. Although there is not a lot to see in the way of museums and direct history, the beauty of the city is clear for the eye.
Magdeberg also overlooks the Elbe river, which was more or less the divide between the former East and West Germany. Some Stalinism is still in evidence, with some communist-Russian style buildings as well, I’m convinced I’m not making this up, but you could check just to be sure, I did do a lot of city hopping in 2007. While in Magdeberg, I also tried some amazing Ice Cream. The flavour I chose was Mandorlatto and Biscotto at a restaurant called Palazzo (Eiscafe/Bistro) in the city centre. Go there, for some reason I even tried to be rude to the waiter (for the first time in my life) and the service was amazing and he smiled back! I also saw the Bahnhof (a trend in each German city), trams (don’t run me down) and a random sculpture of an open mouthed shark. Now that was just as much a photo opportunity as Die Grune Zitadelle.
While in Magdeberg, I also visited a Kloster or Convert For Nuns (“Unser Lieben Frau”) and a restaurant called “Croc.” Croc means baguette. On the menu it said Croc Willi, so I had to have one. It was actually a nice ham and cheese baguette and not the penis of a crocodile, which I had blatantly hoped for. In Magdeberg I was one of very few tourists and I took a lot of photos, just to ensure I stood out from the crowd and that the memory of a nice city will linger for many days to come.
On a sour note, while in Magdeberg I took ill one night (blame it on the strange diets for 6 weeks or the continuous amount of alcohol consumed) and missed Rene, Hermi and Tina’s night out at a club called “Wilde Zicke.” I think that means “Wild Slut.” To make up for it, Rene gave me his entry wristband for the club, which I still wear. I like it and I don’t mind if I ever become a wild slut. It’s not the worst thing you could be. I will remember Magdeberg forever, thanks to “Die Grune Zitadelle.”
Bars Visited – None! (Had a beer at Croc Willi Restaurant though and a carryout)
Beers Tried – BIBOP mit Cola, Lausitzer Porter Schwarzes, Diamant Biere Magdeberg.
Transport Used – Car (Rene’s and Hermi’s).
Nationalities Met – German only.
Strange Currencies – Euros and Cents.
Where I Stayed – Svelzetal Street at Rene’s parents place in gorgeous Osterweddingen.
Favourite Food – Croc Willi.
Favourite Drink – Water plus Paracodol (Rene looked after me in my only illness of my 2007 world tour).
Favourite Thing About Magdeburg – Die Grune Zitadelle, the building by Hundertwasser!
Moving Moment – Just walking through the city centre on a hot Sunday in August. The world at ease.
Key Song – You Can Get It If You Really Want It (no idea who sings it)
FACT – Hitler is buried “in der nahe von” Magdeberg.