A Frank-tastic Weekend
It’s Sunday evening so it must be time for another blog post. These past few days I’ve been in Frankfurt, visiting Beth, a friend from Uni who is currently doing a work placement there for her year abroad.
The previous week had been full of problems, mishaps and misunderstandings and just because it was the weekend, they did not stop. Earlier this week, the zip on my good old leather riding boots broke, which wouldn’t have been such a problem had the boot not been on my foot when this happened, making it impossible to take them off without breaking the zip apart completely. I also had to improvise an entire hour and a half year 5 class midweek, having been given no warning or preparation time by the teacher and when the kid’s command of English is weak, at best, this turned out to be rather a challenge. Oh well, back to my latest trip. Friday morning, I was up with the lark (like always, of course) and had given myself plenty of time to get to the Bus Bahnhof. I’m one of those people who always sets off wayyy too early and ends up having to wait around for ages. Better to be safe than sorry though, right?! Unfortunately, this time my plan had not been too successful. First fail that I realised at the tram stop was that I had left my tickets back in my flat, great start, but thankfully I only live two minutes from the stop so was able to run back and pick them up. Although running may not be quite the word I’d use to describe my very unelegant movement when weighted down with handbag, rucksack and mini roller suitcase. I made it back to the tram stop fine, only to find out that the due tram had been cancelled, the bus was late and the next tram was also delayed. The panic of missing my bus began to kick in, but thankfully the tram finally arrived and once at the S-Bahnhof, the earlier train was also late. I managed to get to the Hbf, and then to the ZoB (bus station), found my bus (flix bus – a return to Frankfurt was only €16) and had about five minutes to compose myself and settle down before we set off.
Just under four hours later, the bus pulled into Mannheimer Strasse in Frankfurt and there was Beth, waiting for me. We caught the underground to her flat and dropped my bags off before heading back into town for a spot of lunch and a wander about. We stopped for lunch in the MyZeil centre and enjoyed a burger at new burger bar Klopse.. tasty and relatively good value.
We then walked along Zeil, Frankfurt’s main shopping street until we reached Hauptwache, which translates to Main Guard, as this used to be the base for the city’s Stadtwehr militia when Frankfurt was its own independent state), before walking along Goethestrasse, Frankfurt’s equivalent of Königsallee with its luxurious shops, and then on to admire the Alte Oper (Old Oper).
Beth then took me past her office building to an S-bahn stop where we caught the train out to Höchst, a city suburb. We weren’t sure what to expect but were shocked when we arrived as it felt like we were in a completely different place, not merely ten minutes from Frankfurt city centre. We walked through the little town, which I must admit was pretty eery as no one was around, and explored a few of the little side streets until we found the Schloss.
It didn’t take us long to see all the sights and after an hour we were back in the city centre exploring the Römer area.
We crossed the Eiserner Steg, another padlock bridge, and walked along the river a bit to take in the famous Frankfurt skyline and then slowly made our way back in the direction of ‘home’, via the Euro sign, out the front of the European Central Bank.
Once we were at home and had had some dinner, with some more group members (another Soton German Student, Georgia and her visitor plus Beth’s flat mate) to watch, what was my first Ice Hockey game. It was set out to be a good game, with the Frankfurt Lions playing their arch enemies, the Huskies from Kassel. It was a wierd but wonderful experience, made better by the fact the home team won 5-2!
The following day we set off on a day trip to Marburg, an old University town about an hours train ride north of Frankfurt which you can read about here. We had a great day exploring, catching up with friends and trying the local delicacy – Auflauf! Once we were back in Frankfurt, Beth and I had a short break at home before going out once more to the Palmengarten (Botanic Gardens) to see the Winterlicht (winter lights). We paid only 3 euros to get in and spent a good hour meandering through the gardens looking at the lights and decorations which were quite pretty and definitely popular with the city’s amateur photographers!
Our last morning was a rather lazy one, as every Sunday should be and we enjoyed a generous lie in. At half past eleven, the two of us, plus Beth’s flat mate and another of their friends, sat down for a delicious brunch in nearby Restaurant Rinks. It was an all you can eat buffet for 11,90 euros and we certainly made the most of what was on offer as we all came away feeling content and rather stuffed! Not long after brunch it was time for me to bid farewell to Frankfurt and make my way back to the Hbf where my bus back to Düsseldorf left from. Three hours later I was back