Today was a very interesting day, with both sleet and sun, but enough of the weather you probably really want to know what we did. Well I can tell you, that we had an exciting mix of events from extreme sports to trying to be as blind as a.... well a blind person…
We started the day as usual by having a spot of breakfast, (thankfully no-one was extremely ill after the BBQ last night). We then continued working on our projects. After finishing work and having a spot of lunch we got ready for a little road trip to Leipzig. Before we left however we met a very strange, bewildered and wild looking Nick after having a great flight with Ryanair. We let him stay at base and rest.
Our first stop was the printing press. We took a quick trip around the factory. It had various types of printers, guillotines and packaging equipment. After some time of wandering around and seeing how documents went from templates to being print, cut and bound, we left to go to the monument with Doug extremely excited as he was handed some unwanted prints taken at the different stages of the print cycle.
We then went to see a battle monument. The team walked up half way (which was very long indeed), then we got to the bit that separated the boys from the men and the girls from the tomboys, where fewer of us walked all the way to the top of the building, only to be greeted by adverse weather conditions. Winds speeds reaching a lot faster than it felt on ground level and the sleet hurtling down on us much stronger than before. (See the video to get a real picture)
After this break we abseiled (not literally) down the stairs to the exit, which admittedly felt much quicker than going up. Saying this I must point out that the corridor shrank from just about able to manoeuvre to barely able to move apart from walking forward down the spiral. This epic journey really felt refreshing but I will have to wait and see if the run up the monument made any difference to my body structure (most likely not).
After battling the winds, Carmen drove us to a small lake. It used to be a mining town in Leipzig but now it’s under a few feet of water, with a pier, boats and ducks. We went and bought ourselves a coffee or a cake from a small coffee shop on the pier. On exiting the pier, we were greeted with a lovely sunset with no sleet or rain. What a contrast!
Coming back to our accommodation we had to quickly eat dinner and get ready to go to a youth club, which looked slightly scary from the outside but it wasn’t all bad news as there was a small bar where we could buy soft drinks. Though the highlight was a darkroom, which was...well dark and we all had to feel about to get around; since this room was meant to simulate the feeling of being blind. This was a most intriguing experiment as there was quiet a lot of touching in places where one ought not to touch, as people tried to grab and reach around to hold onto a wall. After all the struggling and straining we were eventually released from the darkness and we all went about playing pool and talking about our experience.
To be honest, I would like to go around in the darkroom again since even though it was very interesting to rely on your other senses and to paint a picture in your head, it really puts your mind into perspective on how important and how we take for granted our eyesight, even those of us with glasses or contact lenses.