Frankfurt: Finally a city! & meeting of friends =D

Trip Start Dec 22, 2010
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Trip End Feb 25, 2011


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Where I stayed
Mosel Hotel

Flag of Germany  , Hesse,
Sunday, January 23, 2011

What a view Frankfurt was from the city, first time in a long while since I've seen skyscrappers and I never realised how much I missed them =P.  Especially cool as we approached the city from the train.  At first view, seemed like the city would be pretty awesome...until we saw the red light district, with our hotel right in the middle of it >.<  Yeah...guess we could've chosen better but it was cheap and we booked kinda last minute and to be fair they did warn us XD  That was only the start of everything though, a receptionist who had no idea what he was doing, broken door knobs, broken showers, a VERY dodgey view (drug deals, police, red lights...hmmmm) did I mention we lived above the Video discount store? hahaha.  At least the beds were comfortable!  Ok, so Frankfurt isn't not that bad...please don't get the wrong image from this haha, it's actually quite a cool place as we would later find out during our awesome guided tour by JANIS! =D

Was so good meeting up with Janis again even if it's only been like a month or so, he hasn't changed much, maybe longer hair =P  But yeah, was awesome being shown around especially since Janis had made a plan and route and everything of what to do and where to go etc so thank you!!  Caught up a little bit, seems like he had a good holidays talking about weddings and being treated like kings during skiing =P  Was a little nostalgic when he was talking about Stockholm again, ahhh, I miss everyone back there though what's with the warm weather and rain there!?  I wonder what happened to the remains of Mr and Mrs Snowman...  As for his part, he had so many hard questions for us!  XD  But they were good questions so maybe other people are curious too haha, let's see if I remember them....

Favourite city:  Paris, I'm sorry all the Paris/French haters out there but I had a real blast here so dans ton cul!  I must say though there were many close seconds Berlin, Brussels, Munich, Montpellier, Barcelona hell there hasn't been a city that I haven't enjoyed.  But for the record, I've had some of my best times in Germany and with Germans (both in Stockholm and out) so I'm definitely a fan =D.
Language that sounds the best:  Now that I know German doesn't sound like shouting "NIEN NIEN NIEN" all the time, it actually doesn't sound too bad!  French though is still number one...whether they're telling you to piss off (never happened) or asking you which baguette you want (did happen and I was COMPLETELY lost), you can't deny that it's a nice language to listen to =P.  English with a thick French accent though is a complete different matter XD
Best food:  Ok, this one is hard...so much good food over such a long period...here's a few highlights.  Sangria in Madrid with oil drenched potatoes and chorizos (ooooh Sangria!), Cassoulettes in Bordeaux, the orange granita after climbing the acropolis in Athens (though that might've been due to the heat =P) oh and the 2 euro souvlaki!, Gelati in Bologna, Tuscan steak and lentil soup in Florence, Stew in Strasbourg, The potatoes in Paris (it was a side but they tasted soooo good!), Giant wiener schnitzel in Munich...even the beef brisket with green sauce in Frankfurt rated quite highly, so tender!

There were more I'm sure but these are the only ones I remember...anyways, on with the Frankfurt tour!  First stop, the observation deck on the Maintower for an awesome view over all of Frankfurt.  Up there, there aren't as many sky scrappers as I first thought but it's still exceedingly modern for a city in Europe...plus, the fantastic weather meant we got some amazing photos!!  Was shown the opera house, walked through Zeil, a famous shopping street with the very funky shopping centre "MyZeil"...also saw the the old Romanesque walls, the Frankfurt cathedral and the pretty Romer Square, one of the remaining places in Frankfurt that was rebuilt in the old fashioned style.  The timber framed houses with the fountains and the town hall was very nice and I think the Korean school kids thought so too =P.  It's a shame really since Frankfurt must've been a really pretty city before the war but guess we can't change that part.  Oooh, checked out St Paul's church where they held the first German parliament/national assembly in 1848, hard to imagine that Germany is such a young country eh?  Still older than Australia though =P. 

Crossed the bridge into Sachsenhausen where we tried to go into the film museum but that was closed (btw, who's Goethe? XD) so we went into a very Frankfurt-ian restaurant instead for some homestyle cooking (But not quite)  Anywho, it was very cool, the timber framed furniture full of apfelwein (Apple wine) was very cool.  Really liked this apfelwein, was so refreshing!  And came in these giant jugs haha...for sharing of course =P.  Tried our share of the local specialties...we really put our trust in Janis here XD  Hand cheese with music (guess why they call it "with music"), green sauce (which was actually quite nice!), German meat loaf and of course...copious amounts of apfelwein =D.  Guten appetit!!  Finished the night by crossing the bridge back and checking out the skyline of Frankfurt...had more apfelwein and of course had to try the Frankfurt beer!  Had an after taste of corn...interesting!  Had lots of fun too taking pictures at this funky mirror public art piece...I still don't know what it's for but it's a fantastic place to take cool pictures =P  You can see yourself everywhere!!  Check out the pics, I had a great time hahaha.  Reminded me a little bit of Mora too, with the light pictures and all and with Janis too XD.  Ahhh...good times, good times.  Said goodbye to Janis a little bit after that, after walking with him back to the Hauptbahnhof...was a little sad but at the same time, I'm really glad we got to chance to catch up...especially in his home town!  Ahh, nothing beats an awesome tour by a local guide, much less a local guide who's an awesome friend =D. 
Danke schön Janis!!  Hope it wasn't too stressful/hard for you when you were planning everything and taking us around =)  I had a great time in Frankfurt and I'm really glad we caught up.  Have an awesome time back in Stockholm!!  And hey, maybe you can find that Swedish girl who asked you for your number all those months ago ;)

Next day we took a train to Heidelberg...had to wait 40 mins for the next one since we missed the first but guess that's what happens to tired backpackers =P.  Still, got there in the end and arrived to some beautiful weather.  Since Heidelberg was not bombed heavily during the war, it preserved a lot of the old houses and it really shows, the streets in Heidelberg were amazing!  Just walking the main shopping street (longest pedestrian shopping street in Germany btw) we saw so many cool sights and it felt a bit like walking in Salzburg or Strasbourg with the Baroque buildings, sunny day and bustling crowds of people.  Enjoyed our kebap lunch before making our long journey up to the castle.  Oh Heidelberg....so many hills to climb, we didn't know it at the time of course =S.  So, hiked up the mountain to the castle and got a magnificent view over the valley and city (Souter and I even climbed onto the battlements, YEAH!...only to have a BETTER view 20m further up the road >.<).  The castle was cool to see, half in ruins too so you know it's historical =P.  It contained a MASSIVE wine barrel, no...truly massive...228,000L of wine massive!  And the apothecary museum, which was surprisingly insightful and I can't believe how close to chemistry all this stuff was.  Got some really nice views over the city too from the castle gardens before we headed back into town. 

Crossed the old bridge and decided to make our way to the small guard tower on top of the 'hill' that we saw on the other side of the river...regretted that immediately after the first 30m of intense climbing haha BUT we persisted, at least for a little while more =P.  After 30 minutes of climbing though and then realising we were only one third of the way up and with sunset pretty much upon us, we decided to head back down.  Like I said...'hill'...We did however, still manage to get some amazing pictures of the city at sunset and of the sunset itself, never seen the sun go down so red and so clear before =).  Said goodbye to Heidelberg after that and enjoyed the night back in Frankfurt with the Simpsons and bretzel dinner =P

Second last city of Germany gone...one more to go!  Stuttgart!  Ah, Frankfurt was a lot of fun, not so many touristy things per se but having someone showing us around and telling us about the local history/specialties made it all worth while =D.  Was really cool to see skyscrapers too!  It really reminded me of home a little, both Melbourne and Hong Kong and it shocked me how much of an impression they can make when you see them towering over everything.  Oooh and at night!  With the reflections in the Main river...ahhh, just wonderful.


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