Listen, if you go to Frankfurt...
Listen, if you go to Frankfurt you really should go and see the sheep in the museum of communication and post (can't remember it's real name), south of the river.
I'm looking for a photo I'll get it online and explaiin more....soon
Wicked cool Christmas markets!
I was in Frankfurt one year as they started putting up the shacks on the Römerberg, for the Christmas Market. At the time, I didn't know about these markets... I'd seen them in picture books from Alsace but didn't know it was a German tradition.
It was surprising to see this frantic building activity start suddenly... after all, the place was dead quiet the day before. Now I'd spent a couple of hours in a warm restaurant and the Römerberg was unrecognisable when I came out! Pine branches everywhere, music, bells, and most of all, a wonderful aroma floating in the cold air.
This was November 24, it was dark at 3 p.m. -- I wondered if I'd had too much wine or if they'd moved the Square during lunch... I had to find my way back to Sachsenhausen hahaha...
One man in a sort of Santa Claus house called me and gave me two sausages! Too bad I wasn't hungry anymore... Then he gave me a little paper cup of something to drink, maybe it was Glühwein? But I think I'd have recognised it... I knew a Swedish guy who made spice wine for Christmas and I had tasted his production (yum!), it's got to be similar. I rather think it was Apfelwein, which I'd had the two previous nights, mostly for the fun company found at the bar near the hostel...
Is it possible that Apfelwein is offered at Christmas Markets? My host had the largest mustache I'd ever seen and a booming voice. I don't know how I managed to tell him that it was my birthday but I guess I did... He didn't want me to pay a thing, just wanted me to taste and show thumbs up for his products. So I tasted and smiled widely, like a sandwich-advert man. Sachsenhausen could wait...
After that trip, I heard about Christmas Markets on VT, more and more. I used to think they were real old-fashioned... but I was wrong, it seems that drinking Glühwein in the cold of the night is cool and fun. This year, I'll try to make it back to Frankfurt and go visit my friend Christine (tini58de) in Karlsruhe. They have a tradition of organising a VT meeting during Christmas Market and I'd like to be part of it now. My fingers are still crossed, not absolutely sure I can go yet...
Tuesday Night Skate
From April to October there is the Tuesday Night Skate. Start (8.30 pm) and Finish (aroung 11 pm) is at Deutschherrenufer. You are skating/blading about 33 - 45 km. The route varies and is not published beforehand because the organisers want to avoid skaters to join later. They are afraid of accidents. Roller skates and protection
Another 30 minute train ride away is the elegant and expensive city of Wiesbaden, the state capital of Hessen and home to many of Frankfurt's wealthiest workers. The city doesn't have a great deal to see in terms of tourist sights, but it does have some nice buildings, including my particular favourite the Marktkirche, whose red bricks glow wonderfully in the late evening sun. The city has some nice parks too, like the Warmer Damm, which sometimes host interesting events, like the Oldtimer Rallye with its classic old cars.
>>>My Wiesbaden Page<<<
For half a century after the Second World War there was a large American military presence in Frankfurt. (Which I was not a part of, by the way. Not that I didn't try.)
Extensive American housing areas were built here after the war. Some of these were near the television tower, as can be seen in the photo.
Since the US military pull-out in the 1990s, these areas have gradually been returned to the local real estate market in one way or another. Barracks have generally been torn down and replaced by new buildings, but the former family housing areas have been preserved and renovated, and now have local tenants.
The renovation of these buildings was a problem because there was considerable asbestos in the walls, which is definitely a no-no in German housing because it causes cancer.
Another problem was that in American apartments the front door opens right into the living room, whereas German apartments usually have a little entrance hallway of some sort.
Some of these ex-American housing areas now have the reputation of being problem areas because of a large percentage of non-Germans and/or welfare recipients, but you wouldn't notice that just cycling through because there are unusually large amounts of open park-like space around the buildings, and a nice children's playground every block or two. In fact I think there are more playgrounds in the ex-American areas than in the entire rest of Frankfurt, though I haven't gone through and counted.