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A Day in Frankfurt, Germany – Day 43
Saturday 12th September 2009 – Germany
Today began with me waking up, which was a first for this trip I think, as usually I’m already awake, having not slept at all. I had a great night in my double room all to myself, no noise, and plenty of rest. I slept from 10pm until 8am on and off, and it was a well needed rest. I needed to get up now though.
Needless to say I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, but I had to drag myself out to make it in time for breakfast. I like the fact that breakfast is included with most hostels, it saves a bit of money at least, and effort.
After breakfast I packed my things and wasn’t aware, or didn’t realise more like it, that check out time was up until 9:30, and it was already 9:15 when the cleaner knocked on my door. I don’t think she was too impressed that I was still there. So I hastily packed and left.
A short walk across the river was my next accomplishment, and as a reward I sat by the river for an hour or so before going to the station, which was right next to me. A lot of people ride bikes here and they were forever riding past on the walkway alongside the river. Tour boats were also readying themselves for their days labour, some even setting out with their first passenger load of the day, eager tourists ambling on-board, foraging for that perfect seat, but never really finding it. I can mock, but I know I am one of them.
I managed to pick myself up from my dreamlike state and carry myself into the hustle and bustle of the train station, searching for the timetable board that would guide me to my departure point, but I was too early. I went outside and sat on the steps to the huge Cathedral, watching the entertainer entertain the crowds. He was one of these human statues on a small box, with a flower in hand and a particularly feminine dance I thought, but people seemed to find him endearing, and my attention was certainly grabbed.
I walked to my platform in the station and was horrified to see my train was cancelled, and I looked to the guy next to me for guidance. He was extremely helpful and explained they were dispatching a replacement train that would be around 10 minutes later, so I was a little happier, and extremely thankful for his help. He even showed me where to look to find an English translation for the delay. He was a business guy and I was surprised he had the time of day for me, but that seems to be the way in Germany. Everyone likes to help you, and everyone is friendly. I love it.
The new train arrived and I hopped on gladly. I was surprised how quiet it was. I had a compartment of about 8 seats and a table all to myself, and it was easy to just kick back and relax. I watched the scenery pass by while we followed a line parallel to the river. Countless small villages that hugged the riverside came into view and slowly passed one by one. I couldn’t help but notice the characteristic look of German buildings, they have that German look about them, almost toy-like. I was mesmerised, and gave myself a stiff neck. The views were fantastic.
Once in Frankfurt, I switched on the sat nav for directions to the hostel, and also had a mini map in my rough guides book just in case. I walked for about an hour and arrived where the hostel should have been. I even consulted the map and spent over an hour walking around the area back and forth without finding the place. Surely my sat nav and the map couldn’t both be wrong! As it happens, they were. I walked back along the river down the road it should have been on, and eventually saw the signs that lead me to it. It was nowhere near where it was suppose to be, and was actually about half the distance I walked initially. What a waste of energy, and it was hot, but at least I was there and managed to get some pics along the way.
The hostel was alright as it happens, and I put my things in the room before setting out again instantly. I took a map from reception and made tracks for the touristy bits. It ended up being another long walk but I saw so much. I came back along the main shopping stretch, and it was heaving. People were everywhere, yet it was exciting. I also passed a lot of smaller bars where men had gathered outside on the streets to watch the football on all the TV screens. I couldn’t make out who the teams were, but there was a big roar as the game finished.
Time was getting on by this point and I wanted to make my way back as I’d been walking for some time, so I headed in the direction of the river and was amazed when I found myself directly opposite the hostel, just over the bridge, yet I thought I was miles in another direction. I got to the hostel and asked if there was somewhere near to get food, and he said “yes, here”. It only cost 5 Euros and I got a 3 course meal, which was really nice. It was certainly better than paying about 10 Euros for a smaller meal in a restaurant, so I was pleased.
After dinner I sat on my bunk bed listening to the music that the 2 French brothers – who were also occupying the room – were playing on their mini Hi-Fi. It was all cool 80s music so I was happy to listen to it. I’m missing my music. The 2 guys were quite cool, and had a mini DVD player with the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’, which they let me watch also. I was managing to pull off long conversations with them in French which I was very pleased about. The two of them went out that evening in search of ladies, so I was able to watch the film. A German guy arrived late on to occupy the remaining bed. He was also a cool bloke.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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