Becoming a tourist at home


Can you name the Leipzig locations in the photo gallery by maeshelle west-davies? If not, perhaps you should take a page out of my book.

When did the word “tourist” stop being politically correct and was replaced by the word “traveler”?  I don’t remember but I am still using it mostly to describe myself during my everyday life. I am always a tourist, whether I go on a trip abroad or when I am walking in old familiar places of my childhood. A tourist for me is a carefree individual having fun and absorbing everything he or she sees, whereas the traveler takes himself or herself very seriously, as if they are doing a job. In reality I know that tourists stopped being in fashion when organized travel became the norm and you could see crowds invading different sites all over the world. Travelers tend to be more deeply interested in this form of pleasure, following less busy paths and roads, always making new experiences and discoveries.

Anyway, I can still call myself a tourist and be proud of it.

The inside of the Völkerschlachtdenkmal in Leipzig. Photo courtesy of Lito Seizani.

Recently, together with some friends, I did a lot of tourism in Leipzig and visited for the first time the Völkerschlachtdenkmal from the inside. I had seen in the past from outside this strange dark monument which most people hate because of its pharaonic gloomy appearance and the fact that it was meant to be a symbol of power for the Kaiser. Alas, I beg to differ here, too. I like it because it’s so unusual; I mean, I have never seen anything like that before. And mostly from the inside. It could actually be an Egyptian pyramid or a pagoda in the Far East, but it is a monument to the Battle of the Nations and the defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig in 1813. The enormous grieving statues, the great view, the darkness inside create a strange atmosphere, and you can’t exactly describe your feelings in regard to this thing.

During my days of tourism in Leipzig, I also visited Mendelssohn’s house. The famous composer lived here for the biggest part of his rather short life and died here. We owe Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (as was his full name), not only many beautiful musical pieces but the fact that he re-discovered Bach in the 19th century and through a lot of research had him re-established as the great figure he is today.

German museums never cease to impress me and the House of Mendelssohn is no exception. Upstairs one can see the original rooms where he lived with his wife and worked on his compositions. There are also a few of his landscape paintings from various trips to European countries to be seen here.

Downstairs you can admire modern technology and multimedia, always in relation to Mendelssohn’s work. You can also conduct an orchestra playing his music!

By Lito Seizani


Lito Seizani contributes giving personal insights into being an every-day tourist. She is the author of "The Ideal Bench", which is available on Amazon.

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