Open-air opera at the Konstabler Wache
At first glance, the Konstabler Wache in downtown Frankfurt might seem like an unpromising venue for an open-air opera performance. This is one of the least distinguished public squares in Europe, if not the world, and is bounded on one side by a busy street with bus, tram and automobile traffic.
At second, third and fourth glance it doesn't get any better.
I never realized how many low-flying aircraft there are over Frankfurt until having them as ambient noise last night during the opera Nabucco, by Giuseppe Verdi. Police and ambulance sirens (the typical German ta-ti-ta-ta) helped to fill any odd silence that might have ensued, as did groups of drunken pub-crawlers outside the fence.
All this didn't stop the promoters from selling some 1500 tickets (my estimate) at premium prices. The cheapest seats cost EUR 30, which is roughly three times the cost of the cheapest seats at the Frankfurt Opera on a Thursday night. The Konstabler Wache is after all highly accessible by public transport and Nabucco is a very popular opera.
The orchestra, chorus and singers were from the Silesian State Opera in Bytom. (Three VT members live in Bytom, but no one has yet posted any tips or pages about it.)
As a spoiled Frankfurt opera goer I try not to get arrogant or overly critical in this sort of situation, but I'm afraid the orchestra and conductor were quite awful and the chorus was just so-so. Fortunately the main singers were OK -- not outstanding, but at least they were competent professionals doing what they were getting paid to do and bringing it off reasonably well.
Other plus points:
• It was a beautiful summer evening.
• Some of my friends were there.
• We had some beers.
• And Verdi's music is so brilliant that nothing can drag it down.Related to:
- Theater Travel
Over $500 for Luggage at Lufthansa!
On a flight from London Heathrow to Frankfurt, the Lufthansa check-in lady had a problem with me checking in two (2) bags of 20 kilos each. She said that I was only allowed one bag of 20 kilos. I tried to explain that I had just brought these two bags over the Atlantic Ocean on United Airlines for FREE, but she didn't care. She told me she would not take the bag unless I paid for it, and sent me to another counter to pay.
When I went to the next counter, I don’t think the girl could speak English, because she never said a word to me. She just took the paper and gave me a receipt. I had paid for extra baggage before, but not very often. It usually ran about fifty dollars. Oh well.
However, when I looked at my receipt from Lufthansa, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was I dreaming? Nope. I had just paid $527 for a suitcase?! My ticket was even less than that !!! How could they make such a mistake?!? But, it was already done, and I was rushing out to catch my next flight. There wouldn’t be another for 24 hours!
When I got to the plane, the stewardess assured me that I would be able to fix the problem when I got to Frankfurt. I waited in the Lufthansa line the entire time I was in Frankfurt, but I had to leave again to catch my flight!
Now that I am home in Chicago, I wrote to Lufthansa to see if they would fix this matter. They wouldn't. They told me that $527 for one extra suitcase was reasonable.Related to:
- Budget Travel
"old" Sachsenhausen quarter
This quarter is just behind the Youth Hostel. It is very often recommended, but for my taste it is just to much of a conglomerate of places where you can wine and dine. Not very good though, nor anything but cheap. Everything cheap you can get in there is cheap for a very good reason.
The majority of the people there are consequently tourists. (At least that is what I have experienced so far).
As we all know, there is nothing bad about tourists, but whenever I´m someplace else, I want to go to the places where the locals are.
This seemingly general insult is not valid for the whole quarter. Just leave the so-called "Old-Sachsenhausen" and explore a bit further. You´ll find nice places and loads of pubs.
Fun Alternatives: Another typical tourist trap is quite nice, hence it isn´t actually a "trap".
Do an one hour trip on the river Main, if you like these kind of things.
In the summertime it is possible usally at least once an hour.
It is about 7 Euro (2007).
Check out this website for timetables and prices:
I suggest that you do only the trip via the Ost-Hafen to Gerbermühle and back.
The trip in the other direction (Griesheim) is not that nice/interesting, even though it costs only 2 Euros extra, and you´ll spend almost two hours on the river.
Start is at "Eiserner Steg" (pedestrians bridge) close to the "Römerberg".Related to:
- Budget Travel
Germans love to complain about the high cost of living in Frankfurt ... and they have a point. As Frankfurt attracts many well-off professionals, the cost of living is rather high. Nevertheless: On an international level (look at London, Oslo, Tokio ..), this is not the case. Compared to those cities, Frankfurt is rather cheap.
Alt-Sachsenhausen & Sachsenhausen apple-wine-bars
Tacky, tacky, tacky. It's always recommended as great night spot. In fact it's not.
Nothing but bad, cheap Caipirinha bars in "old"-style houses, bad food everywhere, and many drunk tourists. Don't go there. Rather have a look at my tips to have a great night out ;-)
Unique Suggestions: There's one recommendable spot there, the Stereobar. Very nice 70ies-style club/bar, find it in the Abtsg?sschen.
Fun Alternatives: Bars: Stereobar, Orion Bar, Minibar, Kleinlaut&Brown, Sugar, Oppenheimer Bar, Rote Bar
Clubs: o25, Robert Johnson, Unity, Monza, Cocoon, Nachtleben
Restaurants: Gingko, Mirador, Gebrueder Bauer, Wega, Zur Schoenen MuellerinRelated to:
- Women's Travel
- Study Abroad
KaiserStr/main train station
This place has really changed since I was stationed in Frankfurt from 79-81. When I was in the Army, we would go up and down KaiserStr "just looking around"
Now, there are crackheads laying on the sidewalks and it's a very dangerous area.
Unique Suggestions: Stay in the train station.
Short Cruise on the Main River
Before I drag it down to the "forget it" level - let me say that I love boating on the Main! It's just that the 1 hour trip is not really worth it, because all of the things that are worth seeing on this part of the Main that you could see from the boat, you can alreay see from either side of the river. The other part that you get to pay for to see include Degussa's mountain of industrial slag and the Frankfurt power plant in the West, and a number of scrap yards and the smelly oil harbour in the East. Somebody might even pee on you if they happen to use train toilet while crossing the bridge while the boat goes under the train bridge in the West!
Besides the trip is short, because they only go between the locks, about 2 miles in each direction.
Unique Suggestions: Main cruises are worth it, once you get past the Frankfurt/Offenbach lock. Book a day trip to Aschaffenburg on a Sunday, or just show up and buy your ticket at the window on Sunday by 8:30 a.m.
Fun Alternatives: The Primus Line, the ships that cruise the Main, have a few other trips that are really cool, including the Riverboat Dinner, the Sunday day cruise to Aschaffenburg, and the Salsa parties that you can board on Saturday evening in Offenbach.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Avoid the Roemer Restaurants
The main tourist magnets is the area between the Roemer and the Paulskirche. At both places, you got lots of cafes and restaurants. but both in price and value, they can't come up with the more quiet places a little away from the main scenes.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Enoteca Contessa - good but not worthy !!!
Soooooooooo ... italian restaurants around the world ... what a pain !!!! Actually I'm not a fan of italian restaurant when I'm abroad cause I prefer to check some new kind of food but sometimes it happens I go there.
This "Enoteca Contessa" located in a nice winter-garden few steps away from Alte Oper in FFUrt (actually behind the Central Park Cafe') is hell expensive even if I have to admit some food is really good (meat).
Unique Suggestions: At least eat meat ... and do not care about the noise all the people running the rerstaurant do !!!!!
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