Brief foray into Germany

Frankfurt Travel Blog

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Huge airport

I arrived at the Frankfurt airport a day later than I was supposed to. Not a good omen for my trip :(

Why did this occur? Well, I was supposed to fly out on Jan. 7th from Palm Beach International Airport to Newark Liberty International, and then from there to Frankfurt. But the plane in Palm Beach had a mechanical error that derailed my flight, and there was no way for me to get up to Newark until the next day. A rather unfortunate circumstance, especially since I officially lost a day of time in my ultimate destination of Cape Town. But I give Continental Airlines some credit: They did rearrange all my flights at no financial cost to me (of course), and they offered me a $150 credit toward my next flight with them for my trouble.

Cold and raining outside

But anyway...

I was surprised that once the plane landed, I actually to walk outside to take a bus to the terminal. This was the first time that I've ever had to do this on my travels. Very interesting lol...once at the terminal, I made a beeline to the first bathroom I saw so that I could wash up as best I could with some sanitizing wipes. I ended my clean up with a rinse of Listerine, and then I headed for customs...which was surprisingly desolate. I thought I was in the wrong place at first, but sure enough, I walked up to the officer and, after a few cursory questions, he stamped my passport and sent me on my way. Wow!

I thought that was a bit too easy, and I was right, in a way -- I asked a customs official how to get to the airport's train station, and he responded me by taking my passport and basically asking me the same questions that the last guy did.

I could've bought my ticket here, but I was nervous about making a mistake
He was friendly though, and I didn't mind. I told him that I planned to take a train to Nuremberg for the day to visit the Nazi Documentation Center and that I would be returning to the airport that night. He directed me properly, and I was on my way again.

Some of you might read this and wonder why I wanted to visit such a place. For one, I love to visit historical places, and for two, it gave me a chance to understand how the Nazis rose to power, leading to one of the largest wars in the history of the world.

First, though, I needed some money. It took me a while to locate an ATM, and by the time I did, I was dismayed to find out that it didn't accept my bank card.

Bought my expensive ICE ticket here
Puzzled and a bit nervous, I looked around for an ATM by a different bank, and this one gave me the money I needed. :)

Now I needed to buy a train ticket. I saw the self-service stations, but I didn't trust myself on those (in hindsight, I should've given it a try), so I went over to the ICE customer service area and bought a ticket there. The train ride from Frankfurt to Nuremberg would be about 2.5 hours, and the second class ticket cost, if my memory serves me correctly, 108 euro. Scheisse! I wonder now, in retrospect, if I should've taken one of the older trains rather than the ICE. Oh well. I paid the money, got my ticket and headed down to the station to wait.

The train arrived momentarily, and it was nice! Probably the most luxurious train I've ever been on.

My platform. I had to catch the train bound for Munich
Roomy, comfortable seats, and it wasn't really crowded (no wonder that damn ticket cost so much). There was a little girl making a lot of noise, singing loudly (and badly). And of course, her mother did little to discourage her...sigh...

By the way, if you ever ride the ICE, remember to keep your ticket on you for the conductor to verify. If you're caught without a ticket, you face a major fine.

Anyway, about 2 and a half hours later, we arrived at the Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof (main train station). The building houses lot of places to shop and eat, but of course, I did neither lol. I immediately sought out the place where I need to buy the tram ticket to take me to the Nazi museum. This turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought. I also wanted to find a locker at the station where I could leave my bag during my brief visit.

I ended up at the information desk, and they told me where I could do both. I found a locker down stairs, stowed my bag, and then it was off to buy my tram ticket. I wound up in a room that was similar to what Americans go through when we visit the DMV. You take a number, and you wait and watch  on the screens for your number to be called to go to a window. The wait took a while, but I finally got my ticket and went outside to catch the tram.

It was cold and drizzling, a rather nasty day. Still, it felt good to be outside for a while. :) The tram arrived and off I went to the museum.

I got off the tram about 20 minutes later, right outside the documentation center. It was about 3:15 p.m. at this point, so I needed to hustle if I was gonna get through this place, which was pretty big.

The Nazi Documentation Center
I got in, paid for admission and was given an English speaking device to guide me (German is the only language featured on the exhibits).

Sadly, because my time was limited, I had to really rush through the museum and didn't have the chance to fully appreciate it :( I needed to catch the train from the hauptbahnhof back to Frankfurt airport at 5:20 p.m. So I only had about an hour to go through everything before I had to be back outside to catch the tram. I did the best I could, and I did have a picture taken of my by a fellow American while at the museum.

As I left, the tram arrived and I ran up to it to catch it, even though I didn't have to, because it sat there for a while lol. I got on and sat down, and outside, a little girl waiting for a bus turned around to stare at me.

Me, standing outside in what was to be Hitler's Kongresshalle.
So I stared back with amusement, and she stuck her tongue out at me! So I stuck my tongue out at her and she turned around. Lol What the hell was that about? :P

This older woman on the tram began to talk to me, but as I know hardly any German at all, the conversation didn't go far. Fortunately, another woman got involved in the conversation, so I just sat and listened to them speak in German to each other, trying to see if I could understand anything they said. Of course, I didn't lol :P

So we got back to the station, where I got my bag from my locker and caught the train going back to Frankfurt. I ended up falling asleep for a bit on the journey back, but I woke up in time hear the Frankfurt station announced. I got off, somewhat groggy and began looking for the signs to direct me to the airport.

Oops, wrong train station!
But there weren't any...and it took me a moment to realize that this station didn't look totally familiar. I quickly went back to the train and asked someone on board if this was the airport station.  He said no, it was the next one. Whew! Glad I realized something was wrong! The train left just a couple of minutes after I got back on the train.

Indeed, the next stop was for the airport, and finally I decided to get something to eat. I bought a bratwurst and a Fanta, my first meal of the day, and then I went to my gate and waited for my flight to Cape Town. Time to go to Africa!

Jamal1280 says:
Thank you :)
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012
dahling says:
Nice - and very adventureous
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012
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Huge airport
Huge airport
Cold and raining outside
Cold and raining outside
I couldve bought my ticket here, …
I could've bought my ticket here,…
Bought my expensive ICE ticket here
Bought my expensive ICE ticket here
My platform. I had to catch the tr…
My platform. I had to catch the t…
The Nazi Documentation Center
The Nazi Documentation Center
Me, standing outside in what was t…
Me, standing outside in what was …
Oops, wrong train station!
Oops, wrong train station!
Pretzels! Get your pretzels here!
Pretzels! Get your pretzels here!
That what my train looked like
That what my train looked like
Nice train!
Nice train!
A very tired me...
A very tired me...
Burger King lol
Burger King lol
This is where I bought my tram tic…
This is where I bought my tram ti…
Very popular treats in America, an…
Very popular treats in America, a…
Outside the station
Outside the station
Arriving at the Nazi documentation…
Arriving at the Nazi documentatio…
Public bicycles for rent
Public bicycles for rent
Hitler was very popular with the l…
Hitler was very popular with the …
An American newspaper making fun o…
An American newspaper making fun …
Hitler was planning to build a Con…
Hitler was planning to build a Co…
The unfinished Kongresshalle
The unfinished Kongresshalle
The lake outside the museum. Aroun…
The lake outside the museum. Arou…
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Frankfurt
photo by: Jamal1280