Sunday, June 14, 2009

Germany Part 3

Hello once again with what has become a much anticipated blog post. With a crazy weekend of behind us I must say that it was even better than I could have imagined. Now that was the first three days, there was eight days left!

So moving right along we left Garmisch and headed back to Shane and Buffy's house in Lampertheim. On our way home we did get passed by a Lamborghini and yes it left us standing even though we were doing around 125mph or so. Gotta love the Autobahn. When we arrived in Lamperthteim I could feel the weekend catching up with me and Nicole felt likewise. We were happy to relax and get some much needed sleep. The next day we slept in and it felt great. Buffy suggested we go to a local mall and peruse a little. I went because I was promised some excellent pizza and excellent pizza I got. Yeah I know, at the mall, weird huh. It was from a place were you pick the slice you wanted and then they would put it in an open fire oven then serve it piping hot. I got the seafood slice which had octupus on it....super good! Funny side note is that the German mall seemed to get its cues from the American blueprint of malldom. The big difference is a lot of folks had their dogs with them, yeah you can take your dog just about anywhere in public including the mall. As we left, Buffy was wondering what we wanted for dinner. So I offered to cook something up for them, it was the least I could do for them openning their place to us for the week. Buffy talked about making a capresie salad so I decided to make some homemade Alfredo sauce over some German pasta or Spätzle with chicken. And of course some locally bought crusty bread. I must say Buffy and I worked well together in the kitchen and kicked out some tasty eats. We retired for the evening watching some TV then bed we would need the sleep because tomorrow was going to be a full day in Frankfurt.

Now before I get into the day of Frankfurt I must explain to you why today was pretty special to me. In 1963 my Dad enlisted in the Army and was assigned to Frankfurt, Germany in the 3rd Armoured Division. I can remember my Dad telling me about all the fun he had while he was stationed there for four years. I always thought it would be fun to return there for him. Well today was that day. So Buffy dropped us off at about in Frankfurt at about 9:15am. Yeah it was fairly early so we grabbed some pastries and they were super tasty. We walked around the main area called Römerberg, which is shown in the picture above. It is the central square of the old town in Frankfurt. Also in the picture is Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen (Fountain of Justice) which we thumbed through our book we bought to guide us around town. It had over twenty different points of interest for the town and we kind of used them to lead our adventure for the day.

One of the first things we did on our walking tour was head down to the Rhine River. They had some great bridges and walking paths along the river. After crossing the Rhine we toured a church,Dreikonigskriche and it was great because we were the only ones in there touring. To be honest during our trip to Germany I spent a lot of time touring churches. Proud to announce never got struck by lighting once. We proceeded down to the large pedestrian path along the river and walked down and enjoyed the beautiful Frankfurt skyline. The next building we were going to see was the Messeturm which is one of the tallest buildings in all Europe. Although before we could get there we decided to make a pit stop at the train station. Which we were greeted by this sign while heading to the bathroom or water closet.

Yeap that is right you have to pay to go to the bathroom. This is pretty common at all public bathrooms or bathrooms just off the Autobahn. This one at the train station was .70 euro. Pretty steep but if you have to go you tend to pay without considering the cost. As we were walking down to the bathroom we were approached by a young kid from America and he said, "You mean you have to pay to go to the bathroom?" We replied , "Yes" Were he replied, " No way I would rather hold it." Good luck to him.

It was a long walk but we did make it to the Messeturm building. It was super nice and quit tall. It is so big in fact that it is so big it has its own zip code. Unfortunately it wasn't open for tourist or anything so we just walked around the building and noticed one of the coolest sculptors we have seen yet.

As we walked into the heart of Frankfurt we headed to the next point of interest which was the Old Opera House or Alte Oper. After walking all day we decided to take a much deserved break and sat down at the fountain. It was also almost lunch time and it was fun to see all the suits waiting for their lunch dates.

Okay that was enough rest so we headed back out and headed into the main market area in Frankfurt which is know as the Zeil. It was very interesting to say the least. First of all it was pretty busy for a weekday and it was littered with some of the most high end retail in Frankfurt. By this time I was being told by Nicole that it was time for lunch. So since we knew we were going to have a big dinner we decided to just go to good old McDonalds. This is always interesting when you are in a different country. First of all it is quit expensive compared to any average sit down restaurant nearby. Also if you want more than one ketchup packet your going to pay for it buster. I know and don't even get me started on the "no ice" issue in Germany. I was told someone lost the recipe years ago.

After lunch we decided to get out of the main retail area and headed to our next point of interest which was the Eschenheimer Turm. This was pretty easy to get to considering it was pretty tall and not far from where we had lunch. I must say it was pretty cool but the traffic surrounding it was kind of crazy so it was had to actually get to it. After that we starting walking and walking and walking. Which then led to complaining which led to a mild argument on where we were exactly going. While at a light a sweet German lady on her bike asked us if she could help us. We told her we wanted to head to the river. Her response was to head "down" Down? Yes down, so she pointed us correctly and eventually we did find our way back and soon everything started to to look familiar. One in particular was one of the main focal points of Frankfurt the Imperial Cathedral Saint Bartholomeus's Cathedral (Dom Sankt Bartholomäus). This church was not much on the outside but was very nice inside. It is another structure that was rebuild after 1944 but there was still some items in the church that dated back to 1400.

After touring the Cathedral we ended back at Romer or the place we began. This was eight hours later and I was a little tuckered out. So we decided to wait for Buffy to pick us up but that wasn't for about 45 minutes or so. So I decided to get some Starbucks and was surprised to be waited on by an American barista. Nicole deiced to get a Mango ice cream cone. I should've went with a cone too, but oh well. It was a long day in Frankfurt and I have to say it was sure fun to visit a place that my Dad once was and always talked about. Overall it was a nice city filled with a lot of history and pleasant people.

Now on to dinner. This dinner was something I have be anticipating since I arrived in Germany. The place is called Waldgeist and it something you would never believe to see in Europe or Germany for that matter. It is the home of super sized food. Here check out the menu. And when I say super sized I mean super sized. For instance I ordered the giant burger and here it is:

Now I am always up for a great eating challenge but this kicked my butt. Nicole and Shane split a 1/2 kilo schnitzel and they could only finish about half also. Overall I highly recommend, if you are in Germany, to check this place out it was great!

Again if you haven't seen the complete catalog of pictures you can visit them here.

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