Monday, March 01, 2010

36 Hours in Frankfurt

I really love the articles in the New York Times that are "36 hours" in a major world city. Since I love to travel and explore new places, I like getting a flavor for all these varied and sometimes remote destinations. Today I will write my own 36 Hours because that's about how much time I spent there. But I promise it will be nothing even remotely as cool as the NYTimes.

7pm: Arrive to Frankfurt airport, collect luggage, meet my cousin whom I haven't seen in almost two years and who is working teaching English in Frankfurt. He has hair down to his shoulders. I ask him what our grandma had to say about that at Christmas. He looks at my African braids and I stop talking.
8pm: Eritrean Food. I don't catch the name of the place because I don't see a sign, we don't order from a menu since my cousin is a regular here, and I don't see any business cards. In any event, there is sand on the floor, and there can't be too many Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurants in Frankfurt with sand a foot deep and low sofa-like seats. I have a great Hefeweizen and a ton of delicious food. I secretly really enjoy eating with my hands. It just. Tastes. Better.
10pm: Walk through Nordend, my cousin's neighborhood. Cute shops, loads of awesome restaurants in a huge range of cuisines. Quiet and quaint. Exactly the kind of place I could live.

9am: La Maison du Pain in Nordend. I decide I want to have a small breakfast of a chocolate croissant and latte. Because obviously that's what one would do in Germany. I do so in this place that is oddly reminiscent of Le Pain Quotidien in NYC. Which may very well be true because they may very well be the same company. Yum.

11am: Navigate the subway, aka U-bahn and aboveground trams to go to my cousin's school and watch him teach. This is a great way to see the city because I have to walk to the subway, deal with the ticket machines, get on in the proper direction, then find the trams once off the subway, and finally walk a few minutes once off the tram. I get to pass by the sweet downtown HUGE EURO. Not too shabby.
I also get a great shot of Old Meets New- the tower of Eschenheimer Tor and a modern office building.

2pm: Homemade lunch, courtesy of my cousin. We shop for the supplies at a cute grocery store that makes me so excited to be out of eastern europe (no offense, Romanian grocery stores). I point out a few German brands that we have in Romania and tell my cousin that by and large the German brands are the better option for quality. He laughs because everything I point out is the cheapest/least good stuff in Germany. Perspective is a funny thing.
5pm: Rock climbing. For seven hours. So my cousin is training with a German friend to do a 300 meter climb this summer, and Wednesday is their training night. All well and good. The reason I'm visiting is to see him, not Frankfurt. Clearly. But I think maybe he thinks I would be deterred if he told me ACTUALLY how long he planned. Yeah except I am just really confused at about hour 5 why we're still here. However, it's good, challenging fun for me, as I've never done this before. It's also great to see him and his friend be rock stars.
My cousin is on the left

Learning to tie my own knot

Nothing too crazy, but I do alright
12pm: Crash into bed. So exhausted.

9am: Vague pain everywhere. Yes, I kind of feel slightly achey slightly everywhere. Nothing to write home about (but apparently to write a blog about), but this is less than exciting because I have to go on a 10 minute walk with my 30 pound backpack and 20 pound carry-on suitcase to the subway to the airport. I'm not whining, I'm just saying. Not. Fun.
1pm: Fly. Off I go back to the US of A. And this leads me to another story...

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