Cycling and jogging by the river
People flying in to Frankfurt from other parts of the world often ask me what I suggest they could do here during a brief visit, and the first thing I always recommend is that after sitting cramped up in a plane for many hours they should get out and have some exercise by cycling, jogging, walking, or in-line skating along the left (south) bank of the Main River.
The regional cycling routes M and R3 lead right through here along the left side of the Main River, that is the south side or Sachsenhausen side, also known as "dribbdebach" in the local dialect, as opposed to "hibbdebach" which is the right/north side where all the big buildings are.
This (left) side of the river is also known as the Museumsufer or Museum Bank, because many of Frankfurt's major museums are located here.
Second photo: The city of Frankfurt has been fixing up the river bank very nicely in the past few years. On this side (which is the left / south bank) you can now cycle from Offenbach to Schwanheim without stopping, and have great views all along the way. The tallest-looking buildings in this photo are, from left to right, Westendstraße 1, Silver Tower, Gallileo, Skyper, Eurotower and Commerzbank Tower. For details and photos of the individual buildings, please have a look at the Frankfurt Skyline Countdown on my Land Hessen page.
Third photo: Sunbathers on one of the new grassy areas on the left bank. The suspension bridge off to the right is a pedestrian and cycling bridge called the Holbeinsteg, which leads directly from the city center to the Städel art museum.
Fourth photo: Does anyone know what these things are called?
Fifth photo: Cyclist on the Untermainbrücke (Lower Main Bridge).
Update November 2010: Thanks to VT member alza (Lou) for pointing me to an article about the sports equipment shown in the fourth photo.
It turns out that these things the guy has strapped to his feet and legs have numerous names including Adjustable Stilts, Flying Jumpers, Powerisers, Powerskips, Velocity Stilts, Flyjumpers, 7 League Boots, SkyRunner, Pro-Jumps and Powerbocks.
They were invented in the 1990s by a German named Alexander Bock, who has been awarded patents on them both in Europe (2003) and in the United States (2004).
Discovering Frankfurt By Bicycle
Renting a bike in Frankfurt used to be next to impossible. As a visitor to Frankfurt, you had to take your bike with you. For travels overseas, that was usually a hassle, because of the special packing requirements for a bike on a plane. Nowadays, the Deutsche Bahn has set up a series of stations in larger cities where you can rent a bike ? for a day or a week or even a month if you like. Their program is called Call-A-Bike , and all you have to do to get a bike is to call the number below. You use your credit card as a deposit and to pay the rental fees, and to register as a customer. Registration costs only 5 Euro, but this is credited towards your first rental.
Equipment: You can rent a bike for 0.06 Euro per minute, or 15 Euro a day, or 60 Euro a week. You might think, ?Oh what a drag! I have to go to the Main Train Station in Frankfurt to pick up the bike and drop it back off!? Guess what! You don't have to, because they have rental bike stations placed all over Frankfurt! But how do they do this? Every Call-A-Bike is locked with an electronic lock, that can be opened using a number code. If the lock is blinking green you can enter the code and unlock the bike. If it's red, then you just call the number on the lock, and ask them to release the lock where you are. When you don't want to use the bike anymore, you just park it on the corner of a major intersection in Frankfurt, and call in to have them lock the bike.
This is a great idea for people how have Eurail passes and want to ride a bike around the cities they visit. You don't have to drag a bike with you on the train, and you don't have to worry about your bike ? thank the electronic locking system. Call-A-Bike not only has bikes for Frankfurt, but for most larger cities in Germany, too.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Study Abroad
"Lauf fuer mehr Zeit"
This years race will take place on 14 September 2003 and starts at 5pm Everyone can join the race. I think you can also sign up on the day of the race. After I missed it last year I definitely want to run this time.
It is a 5 km run as well as a 5 km walk.
Equipment: Don't forget your running shoes :-)))
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
The rewards of being a slow runner
This year I ran the Frankfurt Marathon for the first time. It's a fantastic event, really well organized and with a great atmosphere.Lots of bands playing along the route, many spectators celebrating their own party with beer or champagne, and because we ran on Halloween, there were even some ghosts who eerily cheered us on.
The course is mostly flat, first zig-zagging through the centre of Frankfurt, then onto the other side of the river Main, before it goes back across the bridge in Schwanheim.
I thought I knew Frankfurt pretty well, but I was surprised to see the Frauenhof in Frankfurt Niederrad. Niederrad for me had been an office suburb, but during the marathon I was able to see the old part. The Frauenhof is a baroque building from 18th century, which was first used as a factory, but later as a cloister. We passed right through the main gate and the large yard.
Schwanheim is another one of Frankfurt's suburbs, which still keeps its village atmosphere.
That's the good part of being a slow runner, I get to see many things right and left on the course, which are only a blur for the fast runners. I'm not that slow of a runner though, that I take a camera, so there are no pictures taken by me.
The final meters are run on a red carpet through the finish line, very impressive (and most probably the only time in my life I'll have a red carpet for me). On the other hand I suppose after 42 km every runner loves to see the finish line, red carpet or not.
Equipment: Good running shoes are a must, and don't wear long tights. I guarantee, after about 10/15 km you'll be warm.
Swimming pool in Frankfurt-Eschersheim
This is one of four outdoor swimming pools in the Nidda Valley in Frankfurt am Main.
It's a large, pleasant place with a selection of sunny and shady areas.
Admission is EUR 3.50 for adults, but that goes down to EUR 1.70 after six o'clock (evening price). They close at eight.
Update: The Eschersheim outdoor swimming pool re-opened in the spring of 2010 after being closed for a year and rebuilt from scratch because the old pool had been losing too much water. The new pool looks really nice. New photos to follow shortly.
- Water Sports
The mystery of the growing hill
If you thought the only mysteries in Frankfurt were those of banks or insurance offices, no, that's not true.
Each year on the first of May a hill keeps growing. In the course of the next year it shrinks again, only to start growing again the next May day.Twice so far I have experienced this phenomenon.
The village of Nieder-Erlenbach organises a 10km and a 5km run each year on May day. The 10km consists of three laps up and down a hill.
Running the first lap, the hill is just that - a hill. It's during the second lap I first noticed this strange phenomenon. Running up, the hill is longer, is steeper, but while I was still wondering about this I had reached the top and was on my way down again.
But on the third lap there was no mistaking: The hill had grown into a full mountain, at least twice as long and three times as steep as before. Isn't that strange??
Only people who take part in the 10 km run can experience this, as the 5km does only one lap.
If you don't believe me - well, see you next year in Nieder-Erlenbach for the 10km.
Equipment: Good shoes and a sense of wonder.
OK so not strictly in Frankfurt but, if Eintracht have an away game and you fancy watching a football match Kickers Offenbach is your solution. Just a 15 minute ride on the S-Bahn to Offenbach Süd station then follow the crowds up the hill to Bieberer Berg stadion. We saw a DFB cup 1st round game against 1FC Köln from the 1Bundesliga.and consicering that Kickers have only just been promoted to 2 Bundesliga a 3-1 home win was a great result for them. At €8.50 for a terrace team it's cheaper than watching my local team in the UK, and they play in a standard many leagues below.
A trip out to the Waldstadion to watch Galaxy defeat Barcelona 15 - 13 on a freezing cold evening. A very contentios penalty descision took the Galaxy within field goal range with just a few seconds on the clock, their German kicker made no mistake to send the fans home happy. Felt a little sorry for the Dragons, they looked the better team to me and other results this season tend to agree. Maybe the two will meet again in the Worldbowl, time will tell.
Sadly the Frankfurt Galaxy and the NFL Europe are no more, 2007 was the last season.
The Commerzbank-Arena stands on the site of its great predecessor – the legendary Frankfurt Waldstadion.52 300 seats.It is the home of Eintracht Frankfurt of the German Bundesliga.Easy to access from the main train station in Frankfurt.
World Cup 2006
Frankfurt has been a host city of the World Cup 2006. My wife and I went to the game Korea vs. Togo. The stadium was just awesome and the game was allright. The funniest part of the game: The officials played twice the national anthem of Korea. We felt so sorry for the guys from Togo. The have been on the screen, looking puzzled and as their anthem finally started, the kids with the flag have allready left.
Eintracht Frankfurt at the Waldstadion
Eintracht Frankfurt aren't one of the biggest nor most successful teams in Germany, but they do have a great stadium, and it was used during the World Cup in 2006 to host high profile games such as Argentina vs Holland and the quarter final between Brazil and France.
Eintracht's low profile is a benefit for anyone who wants to enjoy a game of top flight football at a relatively low price, because the Waldstadion is rarely sold out, except for games against Bayern Munich and Schalke, and local derbies against Mainz.
Eintracht also have the added bonus of being in European football in 2006/2007, for the first time in years. They qualified for the UEFA cup after making it all the way to the German cup final (the DFB Pokal).
JP Morgan Chase Manhattan Run
If you are lucky enough to have yourself an office job in Frankfurt (I say this, because unemployment rates are up), then you just might be interested in participating in the annual Chase Manhattan (now JPMorgan) fun run. It's all about sport & business going hand-in-hand, a reminder that life is not and should not be all about working. It's about team work and well being. You can register for a team or individual on their website.
In any case, it's good fun (if you like running I suppose) and it's a great atmosphere.
It takes place every year, some time around June. It's a 5km run through a mostly financial hub of FFM. Apparently it's pretty much Europe's biggest road race of it's kind. 3 years ago they had about 50, 000 runners, who knows what they are up to now!
Argh, you will laugh at my 1st experience of this race. I had not been living in Germany long and spoke maybe only 2 words of German. This did not include the German word 'finish' - Ziel. When I was coming to the end of the race, I still had some bursts of energy, so I thought I would run as fast as I possibly could. I kept seeing these signs to 'Ziel' throughout the race, thinking it was directing us to a place in the centre called the ZEIL. I must have looked pretty funny sprinting past and through the Ziel, towards the Zeil. I think I ran almost an extra 1 kilometer... and then I realised I must have run completely past the finish... Uuuppsy...
Equipment: what ever you like to run in - even if it is your penguin suit!
- Work Abroad
Opel Skyliners basketball !!!!
Bad event for the local basketball team but on January 5th, 2005 they´ve been defeated by the italian team Benetton Treviso.
No matter about the result, I´ve been at the match cause I was curious about the event itself ... and ... WOW ... these guys know how to organize such a show.
Do not miss a Skyliners match if you have a chance !!!
Equipment: Bring a camera with you !
We took a long walk around the Green belt north of Frankfurt, along the banks of the Nidda river.... very popular with locals who take their kites, bikes and dogs there in the evenings and at weekends.
- Family Travel
Frankfurt's Revamped Wellness Spa
The Rebstockbad was the absolute swimming pool, the non-plus-ultra for Frankfurt, when it opened in the 1980's, with its wave pool with meandering underwater way connecting the pools, and an outdoor message fountain! Then in the 90's the city of Frankfurt made a grave mistake with respect to it's regular pool fans – they felt sorry for the town's welfare recipients, because they couldn't afford to have a real vacation. So they gave them free passes to the Rebstockbad. It's hard to say this here, because I don't necessarily believe that a person's income determines their amount of respect for other people's property – but there was a direct constellation between the poor quality of the water, the number of thefts and the general condition and amount of noise in the Rebstockbad and number of free passes the welfare department issued.
Finally the pool was becoming so run-down, that the city re-invested in 2003 and reopened the Rebstockbad. Now the Rebstockbad is also known as the “Aloha-Bad” and has been expanded to include the following facilities:
Equipment: Pools include: non-swimmer pool, kiddie pool, wave pool, outdoor pool, diving pool (up to 5 m), water slide (120 m long), The Black Hole water slide (125 m long), and outdoor play ground.
The Sauna area, which costs extra includes a dragon's breath steam room (45°C), the Geisha sanarium (a sanarium is for people who think a sauna is too dry for them – 60°C), the Tokyo Sauna (80°C), the Samurai Sauna (85°C), the Shogun Sauna (90°C), the Kyoto Sauna (95°C), the outdoor Lotus Sauna (95C°), the Bonsai Sauna (100°C), the Snow Chamber (-15°C), the Lotus Pond (outdoors), a whirlpool, a quiet resting room, a glassed-in patio, and a Mongolian Sauna.
For an extra charges you can now receive entrance to the hot whirlpool garden, Turkish steam bath, get a regular or a reflex-zone message. They also have baby-sitting, an indoor restaurant and a sauna health-food bar.
Please remember that beach shoes are required for the sauna area.
The pool costs 4.00 Euro for the first hour, and 0.50 Euro for every consecutive hour.
The sauna center costs 7.00 Euro for the first hour, and 3.00 Euro for every consecutive hour.
- Spa and Resort
- Water Sports
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