We’re not in Italy any more

We’re not in Italy any more

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Faced with 3 days alone in Frankfurt I really wasn’t sure what to do. After I got over the immediate wrenching dislocation I decided to make it an adventure. It took a little while to figure out how to use the machines to buy the tickets for the tram but once that was accomplished I was set to explore Frankfurt. I searched the web for interesting and typical restaurants, neighborhoods to visit, etc. While doing a fairly extensive walk the first day I found one of those city tour buses that seem to be in every city. They showed me the route that they took for a total of 2 hours at a cost of 18 euros. Being the cheapskate that I am I found that an all day pass on the transportation system cost only a little over 6 euros so I set off on my own.

A word here about navigating Frankfurt. There is, of course, the stereotype of Germans being very methodical and organized. Well, it’s true as far as I could tell. The transportation system is extensive and consists of all kinds of X-bahns. U-Bahn, S-Bahn, whatever-bahn I guess. The preferred surface transportation there seems to be trams that go all over the place and are augmented by buses when that seems to be called for and I’m sure that the Frankfurters have figured this out very well. Add to that that there are actual, easily visible street signs everywhere does make it quite easy to get around.

The second night that I was there I decided that I really needed to get some typical Frankfurt type of food so I found “Fichte Kranzi” in the Sachsenhausen district across the river. This is a very traditional (est. 1849) Apfelwein (apple wine) restaurant – whew these names don’t exactly roll off of my tongue. So I’m going to give up on the original german words here. In any case I had the apple wine along with suggested “hand cheese with music” (I’m not kidding about the name here) and some kind of pickled pork loin grilled on a bed of sauerkraut. Actually pretty good food if a bit heavy and the apple wine was tasty. One of the guys at the table (they are all communal tables) said that the apple wine is a very local product and is shipped all over Germany but is much better here. They don’t have to heat it in the bottle so it has much better flavor.  Click here to go to their website if interested in more info.

The next day at lunch on my day travel pass I ate at another very German looking place. This time I had the camera in hand. Again it was interesting but my palate was stuck on Italian so I decided that was enough with the German food. For the remaining dinners I went to the local Italian place – which was pretty good. The last night I had their pasta with fresh black truffles which was outstanding. That change in eating habits did not extend to the pastries. They do some really great pastries there and I indulged for snacks.

The third day was a major walking day. I walked much of the way downtown to a breakfast place that was recommended. Then around some very quaint areas and a number of places with striking contrasts between the old and the new. I walked down the Zeil. That’s long pedestrian shopping street. Really the biggest outdoor shopping mall that I’ve ever seen. Still, in the end it is, after all, just a mall primarily made up of chain stores with the odd McDonalds or other fast food chain tucked in among the departments stores. Not my preferred kind of shopping.

I then walked to a large park which included the Palmengarten which is a botanical garden with an enclosed area containing exotic plants from tropical and desert climates. It was quite well done and had benches where one could sit and contemplate the exotic plants and one’s tired feet.

Before the day of departure I stopped by the local U and S-bahn station and inquired about elevators. I did locate them after all so decided that rather than the 30 or more euro taxi I would go for the 3+ euro train ticket. This only required that I haul the two suitcases about a block and a half to the tram stop and a short walk across the street when we arrived at the station and that was pretty much it. It worked out well and I was glad that I skipped the taxi ride.

And now just some other photos….


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