Finding ourselves with an overnight layover in Frankfurt, we ditched our luggage in airport storage, and caught the train directly into the city center. The transit system was efficient, clean and convenient. We bought a ticket at a kiosk, along with everyone else, but no conductor checked and we didn’t have to put it into any turnstile. I assume the fine must be pretty stiff if you are caught without a ticket, but I’d never seen the honor-system approach before.
Oh, what a difference 10 degrees of latitude makes! We left hot, balmy Summer and landed directly into cool, crisp Autumn. Everyone in Frankfurt had clearly transitioned into their fall wardrobe, dressed impeccably in tall boots, leggings and jackets. I felt a little out of place, and a tad chilly, in my Merrell sandals and windbreaker, but what’s a girl to do?
I found a hotel for a *reasonable* price, considering all the hotels jack up the prices by 40% because the International Auto Show is in town, but the location within the pedestrian shopping district was perfect. We had a great last night, walking up and down the pedestrian streets, admiring all the swanky European fashions – in the store windows and on the people. I really wished we had more time to shop! We were very impressed with all the commuter bikes, lashed to racks encircling the trees, and the people riding along in their work attire, doing their part to be environmentally-friendly. Of course, at $5 a liter for gas, we might be more motivated to pursue alternatives as well… We also enjoyed the abrupt change in architecture – the stark juxtaposition between ultra modern and traditional styles. To our eyes, even the “old stuff” looked new compared to the stone walled cities we have been touring for the past three weeks. And we loved the excitement and bustle of being in a big city.
In search of something “authentically German” for dinner, we stumbled into a converted wine storage cellar, deep underground, with long, tunnel shaped rooms plastered with red brick. There were long wooden tables and benches stretched along the space, with huge wooden wine barrels against the walls. It was dark and warm and inviting with candles flickering on each table. Larry ordered Weißwurst mit Kartoffeln and I ordered Lammragout mit Rosmarinkartoffeln. Delicious!
In the morning, with fabulous German efficiency, we bought a ticket, caught the train back to the airport, retrieved our luggage and checked in with no problems and plenty of time to get a very expensive coffee before boarding our flight for home.