Same procedure as last year? Same procedure as every year!!

Frankfurt am Main Travel Blog

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So what to do on New Years Eve?

 

As the week had progressed everyone seemed to be coming down with various strains of flu or cold but as it was a bright winter's day we decided to head off for a brisk walk - take in a bit of that Germanic country air.

 

An S-Bahn ride took us to Hoffheim(?), a small orbital town on the outskirts of Frankfurt which gave easy access to a series of country walks.

 

Our wanderfuhrer (Rebecca - my sister) has a book of local rambles and the plan was to take a six or seven mile hike which wound up the hill overlooking the town (and back down again obviously).

 

This being Germany the main point of any walk would be to visit a gasthaus somewhere on the way to stock up on beer and food partway round.  This then was the plan - walk up the hill, stop off for dinner and then back to the town.

 

The flaw in our plan occurred when we reached the first of the two gasthaus on the route.  Having trekked up the hill we discovered that it was shut for a private party that day.  This private party seemed to be some sort of horse riding club as they were all arriving on horseback or in pony and traps as we approached.

 

Not to worry we thought, there's another gasthaus a couple of miles further on so we duly continued along our route, traversing the wooded ridge of the hill.

 

We duly arrived at gasthaus number two only to find that this too was shut - although this time there seemed to be no apparent reason.

 

This obviously didn't go down too well.  We'd walked all this way and there wasn't even a drink and a sit down at the end of it.  Damn you horsey folk you swine!!

 

So there was little choice but to continue along the trail back down to Hoffheim in the hope of finding somewhere to eat and drink there instead.

 

Another few miles later and we were back in the valley scouring the small village centre for the possibility of sustenance.  This is when the full horror of the situation struck:  Germany was shut!!

 

Nothing was open.  No shops.  No bars.  No cafés.  Nothing.  Well to be fair one faux American diner was open but when we went in they had stopped serving food and were due to close soon so the best we could get out of them was a swift drink.

 

Right - onto plan C then:  back to Frankfurt and eat there.  Surely there'd be places open there right?  It's New Years Eve after all?

 

Wrong.  Frankfurt was also shut.

 

Sure there were a few sandwich shops at Hauptbahnhof open when we pulled into the station but that’s hardly what we had in mind.  We duly wandered around for a bit until we found our knight in shining armour.  Well our café in sort of brown brick and wood.  Café Liebfrauenberg was open!  Hurrah.

 

Now we've eaten in Café Liebfrauenberg plenty of times (see separate review) but as it was the only place for miles serving food today it was rather busy.  We generally refer to this place as the biddie café due to the proliferation of pensioners who hang out here.  Today was no exception as they were out in force battling over tables.  Luckily for us we were in a large-ish group and they save the bigger tables by the door for just such a reason and we got ourselves sorted quite quickly - much to the consternation of the others thronging about us.

 

So that was the daytime activity done with. On to the evening.

Having established that Germany would be shut for the duration it had taken some deal of searching to actually find somewhere that would actually be open. And serving food. And serving drinks.

After much scouring and pre planning we had alighted on an Austrian restaurant called Binding am Goethehaus which was bucking the trend and had a five course set meal on the go that evening - and they were even doing a vegetarian option too. Unfortunately the flu was getting the better of everyone by this point so that put somewhat of a damper on things.

Prior to all this of course I managed to view the 'classic' fun and hilarity that is 'Dinner for One' whilst I was back getting changed at the hotel (see accompanying review). Oh how I laughed until my sides did ache...

Anyway - the meal was OK if a bit fraught and despite the threat of inclement weather we decided to continue on with our plan to walk down to the river for midnight where we had been told that people gathered to let off their fireworks.

This we duly did and were met with the sight of literally tens of thousands of people lining every inch of the river banks and the various bridges. And everyone had come equipped with fireworks of some description. And they were all letting them off in an alarmingly haphazard fashion.

We had indeed brought our own meagre pack of rockets which to be quite frank were a bit rubbish. But that was not a problem as it appears that they only sell rubbish fireworks in Germany. I'm used to buying huge display fireworks from the Chinese factory across the road from my office so this was all a bit lacking for me. When I set off fireworks I expect them to finish and the only sound you can hear over the ringing in your ears is dogs barking and car alarms sounding. But I digress...

Wandering onto the river bank we were actually somewhat fortunate to find ourselves right next to some sort of shop / kiosk. This was very handy as the roof overhung enough to form a small enclave of shelter around the building. Thus we could ensconce ourselves under cover, open our champagne and even had the use of window ledges to balance our cups and stuff on. Truly we were the kings of all we surveyed.

The rain had generally held off to this point but we weren't even hit by the fine drizzle that started to fall as the clocks ticked towards midnight. The fireworks became more frenzied (and more dangerous) and we never really knew when midnight was as everyone was going by their own watches.

Despite it not being an organised display there is something rather fabulous in seeing that many fireworks being released at the same time for such a sustained period (even if they were all a bit poxy on a one to one basis).

The only downside was some German kid who recognised the English accents and enquired if we were from Manchester? Grrr. And then when put right he asked if I supported Sheffield Pigsday??? GRRR!!!

Anyway - as the fireworks finally began to wind down and people started to be so drunk they didn't know if it was New York or New Year we decided to turn in. Lucky we did really as by the time we got off the tram it was fair belting it down with rain and we got soaked to the skin walking the five minutes from the tramstop.

As I felt the evening was still young there was time to lie in bed finishing off some wine and watching some bizarre TV showcasing the best of 70s cheesy disco...

sunsetrosebud says:
You are a gifted storyteller. How funny.
Posted on: Apr 29, 2007
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