Frankfurt - from both sides (of the River Main)
Frankfurt am Main Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
Pulling into HBF station, I wasn't sure if I was in the correct station. I got out anyway and started my ascent of 2 levels. Upon seeing the glass arched roofs and old columns, I knew this was right. It's much like Gare du Nord in Paris, just smaller.
Out the front and crossing the street, I briefly look back and take a picture fo the front of the grand European train station. I walk down a tree lined boulevard. It's a mostly pedestrian area that is hopping with energy and excitement. I see a lunch option. It's a bagel sandwich shop. They have some very intersting combinations (Review). I ordered an antipasti bagel, take away. My thought was to have lunch in the main square of old town or by the river. Either one would have great ambience.
I leisurely stroll my way through a popular park. It had a lot of green area and a water fountain. The fountain was stone and had carved faces on it with fish on the corners, spitting water. Why are fish always spitting into fountains? It also has a distinctive feature, a large blue Euro symbol with the yellow EU stars surrounding it. It was very cool but, I was really surprised and confused by it.
I keep walking and make my way along the back side of city hall, an area that I hadn't been before. Through an archway I can see colorful frescoes of life, here, long ago.
I reach Romer (Old Town Square) and walk around abit talking shots of everything that I found interesting. The details on the front of town hall are especially of interest to me.
The town hall is one of the city's most important historic buildings.
The Kaisersaal, the large historical hall where many of the kings and emperors of the 'Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation' were coronated, was rebuilt in simplified form. The hall contains portraits of 52 German kings and emperors, from Friedrich Barbarossa in 1152 to Franz II, who abdicated in 1806
I found an empty spot on a bench in front of Old Nikolai Church and have my antipasti bagel.
Next, I made my way to the church with the two torpedeo looking spires on it (St. Leonhard). It was founded in 1219They are an Engish speaking, multi-cultural church. During the bombing of Frankfurt by Allied forces in World War II, a phosphor bomb came through the roof; a quick-thinking nun, Sister Margarita of the Franciscan Order in Erlenbad, is said to have cleaned up the fuel with bucket and mop before it ignited. Most of the artworks had been removed to the countryside for safekeeping and survived; however, many windows were broken.
There is a better view and it could be from the pedestrian bridge in front of me. How lucky for me! I climb the stairs and walk out on the bridge a bit to be rewarded with great veiws of St. Leonhard and all of downtown. I decide to walk acroos to the other side.
There is a Baroque spire that I could see in the distance behind the Church of the Magi, a Gothic Revivial church on the opposite side of the river.
Crossing back over the river, I stopped at the caracature museum, housed in a castle like building with a moose in a trenchcoat sculpture, out front.
The street connecting this area to Romer (Old Town center) has a row of extremely modern townhouses. Each one of them a work of fantastic design and each very different from each other. I couldn't help but stop and photograph some of them and their special details.
After reaching the center, I found the courtyard of the town hall, again. I noticed an interesting fountain and stairway. The closer that I inspected the details, the more excited I became. There are some fantastic details in the window grates. There are faces and eagle's heads - WOW!
I exited the courtyard and walked around to the other side and found a grand medieval palace - The Emperor's Palace - fantasy like. There is a tower with a great fresco facing the square.
Across the street is Paulskirche, an important political symbol for Germany. It was opened the same year as the French Revolution and became the seat of the Frankfurt Parliament. This was the first publicly and freely elected German political body. There is a nice area next to it with shade trees and benches to enjoy the views even on a hot day. I made the block, around the town hall, and discovered the beautiful tiled details on the building corner.
I stopped into a souvenir shop about finding a post office. I was given directions that I, sort of, understood. I had talked to Rob and he was coming into the city for dinner so, I had time. I went in search of stamps. I took a passageway away from the river / old town area. This area is newer and the farther away from the river, much more modern.
There is a fantastic mall integrated into this pedestrian area. It has a facade that is all glass panels shaped to form a grid that swirls into a vortex like hole in the building that punches through to the other side. It is so very cool!
I continued to an open area with a local market selling everything from pretzels to jeans. There were a group of young, pierced, colored spikey haired, guys and girls having some fun and getting into people's faces. One guy, shirtless, was stopping people and flexing his muscles for them. The whole group took turns kissing each other. Sometimes guys and guys, sometimes guys and girls. They just kept swapping. They were looking for attention, obviously. Ok, I gawked for awhile as did many others.
Back to my task at hand, I returned down the same way that I had come.
Down the center of this pedestrian area are rows of Linden trees with intergrated lighting for evening enjoyment, under the trees. Continuing on, I come to a very, very large open square with a colorful paint job. St. Kathrine's Church is located here. They were preparing for a concert that evening. On the back of the church is a beautiful relief of Madonna and Child.
I decided t give up on the postage and return to Romer and write a bit and take in the view and people watch. Rob should be here soon. On my way, I passed a mattress store with a strange mattress support.
I stopped, again, and took more detail shots of the Emperor's Palace. There was so much here that fascinates me. Then to my same bench spot from lunch. I had fun watcing the tourists take some of the same shots, over and over. I had taken them, too. It made me wonder about how many photo albums I wind end up in.
Rob arrived and we decided on a vegetarian restaurant based on a reccomendation. It was quite a hike to get there but, the food was tasty and very creative mixtures of ingredients (Review).
On our way walking back to the parking, I took Rob to the building with the hole in it. It was now night and lit very nicely. I also took some great nice shots of the city. The city is dramatic at night - alive with light.
In the car, on the return to Friedrichsdorf, we were almost hit, by a car, on my side. Then we took a wrong exit as Tom Tom wasn't acurate. This put us coming into Friedrichsdorf from a direction that was unfamiliar. We accidentally ended up in some park that had no outlet so, back we go. We were entering town in an area where the streets were under construction, serious construction. It was impassable. So, all we could do is guess at streets but, this was getting us nowhere. I had a though of trying to get Tom Tom to get us to the train station and then the hotel is close to that. This worked and we were, finally at the hotel twenty minutes later. What an adventure!
We relaxed a bit and then booked our hotel for Heidelberg for Friday night, a lovely place right on the river.
Tomorrow, an early start and on to Berlin. It's been two years and I'm really excited to go back.