Friday, May 3, 2013

One Night in Frankfurt

My Aussie husband (being an Aussie) has traveled a lot.  To a lot of places, mostly before we met.   
I am going to spend the rest of my life trying to catch up.   
One of the places he had spent a bit of time in was Germany, and as he kept talking about how wonderful it was, I figured I better include it in our travel plans soon.  For various reasons it kept getting usurped as a destination until I realized we were just going to have to find a way to at least have an extended layover there.   I finally got my wish when we were able to route our return flight through Frankfurt from a trip in Italy.  Now you may argue that a stopover in Frankfurt does not a trip to Germany make, but it was at least a chance to spend a night and do some eating and drinking.   

I was very excited as we took the train from the airport into town; it went past Waldstadion where a soccer match had just finished and hordes of fans poured into the cars dressed in all the team gear.  I thought “this is going to be a fun night to party downtown”!  We checked into our hotel, dumped our bags and headed to the old part of town – the Altstadt.  I expected crowds!  I expected revelry!  I expected to see bars packed and people spilling out onto the sidewalks!  What we got instead was a very quiet part of town, with hardly anyone out and about.  Apparently this was NOT where the party was.  Perhaps they were all eating dinner?  We found a place that had a promising menu (pork for my Aussie husband) and sat down for a feed.

Yum - Schweinhaxe
After our massive meal we thought we better walk for a bit to see the sights.  Being New World people, we love the old architecture and winding streets of European cities and were happy to see that in the Altstadt.  With our tour complete, a beer to finish off the evening seemed like a good idea so we started looking for a nice place to get a local brew.  Well I don’t know what part of town we were in by then, but there was nothing that even remotely looked like a pub.  Finally, down a very quiet street we saw the golden glow of a beer sign.  We walked in and sat down at a table, accompanied by the inevitable stares from the regulars at the bar.  The bartender came over to get our order, and brought a mug of pretzel  sticks – and an ashtray.  We thought that was a little strange as we didn’t think we had seen anybody smoking in any of the other places we had been.  As we don’t smoke, we politely pushed it to the other side of the table and proceeded to drink our beers.   When the bartender came back to clear our table, she gave us a very odd look.  We shrugged it off and walked outside…  and then passed the sign on the other side of the door proclaiming that it was a smoking establishment.   That explained a lot.  Next time, we might just want to take the time to look at the signs on both sides of the doorway.

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