As a little bonus to the trip I was able to head up and across to Leipzig to catch up with an old school friend and his girlfriend which was pretty great. After a vegan kebab (made with seitan) the night before we headed for a non-dairy brunch in one of the local cafes where you have to book it’s so popular (I cannot imagine such a thing taking hold in Leeds somehow). After making sure we got our money’s worth from the brunch buffet we went for a quick cycle around the canal and that part of the city with Julia keen to show me the sandpit where the port was supposed to be built. Lovely Julia, really it was ;). As is so often the case on bikes, the joy of discovery unfolded and took us to the Spinnerei where lots of artists have taken up residence in a huge renovated factory complex.

A mermaid and a pig. No, I don't know either.

A mermaid and a pig. No, I don’t know either.

After a quick detour back to Ali’s flat to show a spare room to a recycling/ conservation educator that’s just moved to Leipzig (yes, I’m in love with this place already) we jumped on the bikes and headed into town to catch the carneval parade and some of the thousands of sweets that are thrown at the crowd from the floats. The floats themselves range from cheerleaders and local nightclub brands to old men in babysuits apparently having a whale of a time. The atmosphere was very happy and relaxed with hilarious tickertape fights breaking out and resulting in pretty much everyone being covered in small scraps of paper.

That evening we had homemade pizza with pumpkin (kurbis I love you), worked through a selection of local beers, including goze which is becoming a firm favourite of mine, and with a morning train to catch and Ali and Julia back at work in the morning we caught up and watched a film. A very pleasant end to the weekend – thanks for having me guys!

Nope...still don't know.

Nope…still don’t know.