Thursday, August 23, 2012

Downtown Frankfurt

One of the my favorite things I got to see over in Germany was downtown Frankfurt. After dinner one night the whole family walked over to the train (U-Bahn) station, and headed downtown. The train system was so confusing, partly because it was all in German; however, even if it was in English I think I'd still get lost. It took me forever to figure out the buses here in Richmond. Anyways, the trains were pretty neat--I've never done the Subway or Metro or anything here in the states, so it was all new to me. We got off at a stop underground, and the first thing I saw was a big KFC. We took the elevators up onto the street, and then we were downtown.

Our train stop (Dornbusch) is easy to remember because it is the only one that is above ground.

Train ticket: the honor system is pretty big over there, so you don't actually show or give your ticket to anybody. Everyone is just trusted to purchase their ticket and be honest. However, if you get caught riding without one, there is a 40 Euro fine :)

Once we were on the streets we walked through downtown. There was a lot of people, and one of the coolest things to me was that walking 5 feet you can hear people people speaking five different language. So many people over there knew German and English at least, and many times even more languages than that. The buildings were really neat, too. Some of them are very ornate and detailed, and then there was the Burger King, too :). Funny to see how countries can be so different, but also have so many similarities as well. There were a lot of bakeries and pretzel stands, and also flower stands. Both seem to be pretty common there!

Like in most busy places and cities around the world, there were a few street performers. These guys got a lot of people's attention.

This is actually a postcard of what Frankfurt looked like at the end of WWII. Almost everything was destroyed and burned and had to be rebuilt. The building (church?) in the middle of the card was one of the only things to be left standing.

Here is part of that same building from in the postcard. This is still the original structure, whereas most of the other buildings were rebuilt altogether.

I think Leslie said this series of buildings and shops is a pretty well-known spot downtown. The Christmas Market is set up around here, and apparently it gets crazy packed.

Cute wooden toys in one of the windows of a shop.

The detail in some of the buildings was just crazy! Very ornate and detailed.

One of the street signs: "Market"

The edge of the street intersects a river, and so we walked onto the bridge and hung around there for a little while. The river was really pretty, and with the wind blowing it was really peaceful. I suppose over there it is tradition to go to this particular bridge with your spouse or significant other on weddings, anniversaries, etc and place a lock with their names and dates engraved onto the bridge. Once the lock is on, the couple throws the key behind them into the water, showing that their love is everlasting. It was pretty cool, and looking at all of the locks was fun. A cute little tradition :)

Leslie and Landon on the bridge

View of the river

Here are all of the locks: the bridge looks like this all the way across and on both sides.

Close up of some of the names and engravings. Each lock had its own little personality, and the oldest one I spotted was from 1980.

While we were on the bridge a crew team started practicing--I thought it was funny so I snapped a few pictures :)

One of the buildings on the other side of the river--really pretty

After we were finished on the bridge we planned to get some gelato. I was pretty excited about it, because I had never had it before, and the kids were definitely excited about getting a treat. Jocelyn started complaining that her legs hurt from walking and was falling behind a little, and then next thing you know she was running right past me. Leslie told her that the faster she walks the faster she gets ice cream, or something like that. That statement sure made a sprinter out of Jocelyn! The gelato stand was really cute, and they had a ton of flavors to chose from. I could tell what almost all of the flavors were, just from the little bit of German I still remember. Plus, many German words are close enough to the English words that you can make a pretty good guess.

Jocelyn sprinting for that gelato!

Aubrey and her cone

I tried the pistachio flavor. I had heard it was pretty good, and I love pistachios, and it was actually really good!

We finished our cones as we walked around downtown making our way back to the train station. It was definitely one of my favorite nights in Germany, especially because I got to see a lot in just a short amount of time!

No comments: