Saturday, August 1

I am currently in the train in Germany! Pretty cool, eh?! Apparently it is a good thing that I travel, because otherwise I wouldn’t ever write anything down anymore!
I arrived in Frankfurt yesterday and managed to find the main train station. One older, scraggly guy was trying to get me to use his train ticket at the airport – thought I’d avoid that issue and not do that! The ticket machines in Frankfurt, however, are not tourist-friendly to say the least! There are about 50 options of ticket purchase combinations, and at the same time you have to enter in the origin and destination in order to get the proper fare…all in German, en plus! In any case, I did, eventually, get on the right train and make it to where Sophie would be arriving.
While waiting for Sophie to arrive, I took a little walk around downtown Frankfurt! The first thing that I remember thinking is that “wow, I didn’t know that Frankfurt would be so much like India!” Seriously! All around the train station was the Indian sector and there were goulabjaman (sp) being sold, and sari stores, gold bangles, etc. It was a little ridiculous, considering!! My next thought, when I’d left the Indian part of the city was, “wow, I was most definitely born on the wrong continent.” It is awesome here! All of the walking paths with the shops and the river with like, three different churches. It made me pretty happy – don’t understand a thing that people were trying to say to me – but it was beautiful, otherwise!
Sophie came in when she was supposed to and we found each other no problem, quite amazing considering that we arranged to meet in a train station that neither of us had ever been to! It was great to see her again. And, she hardly brought anything with her! She definitely beat me in that department!! All she had was her good old, OSEF bag! It was quite impressive, I must say.
We navigated our way on the tram to the hotel that I had booked on-line. It wasn’t right in the centre of the city, but it only cost about 2E for the trip on the tram, so it ended up being a good deal. Actually, the hotel was only 35E, which was even cheaper than the cheapest hostel when you consider it was the both of us. It was in a good location and was very clean, and safe-feeling, so it was all good!
After dumping our stuff, we headed back out to the city centre, stopping at a grocery store on the way to buy food for lunch/dinner. We only spent 7E! I love being cheap, sometimes! J We brought our cheese, bread, and tomatoes down to the park and ate lunch in the sun by the river. We then continued on our way, using the map and information that I had printed off at home, to explore the main sites. There isn’t too much for tourist sites in Frankfurt, actually. There were a lot of museums, none of which we visited. We also saw St Paul’s Church, which is well known because it represents democracy and national unity in Germany. There was a large painting with a lengthy description as well, but I was losing steam, having not slept too much on the plane, so it was more just a look about.
We continued on and saw the Römer, which is the town hall. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful with the gables and balcony, and is known throughout the world (go figure). There was a big fair happening in the central area here, so pictures weren’t great, but it was kind of a cool building. We also went into the Imperial Cathedral (the coronation site of German emperors in the past). It was all red stone on the inside, instead of the grey-brown sandstone that is so common elsewhere. And, there was a wedding happening, which was interesting to see. They were obviously quite wealthy to have rented out this cathedral for the wedding…Sophie and I sat on a bench watching and criticizing their outfits as the guests were busy hugging the guests and all that jazz!
We were dying of thirst by this point, so we walked back to the train station area, and found…hold your breath…a Starbucks! Sophie is an addict! Starbucks are everywhere in Germany, but are more rare in France, still (thank goodness), so it was a treat for her to have a frappachino there! It had better have been a treat, because the costs are absolutely astronomical! It was nice to sit and chill, however! We rested up and had a nice chat regarding houses and real estate – don`t worry, I haven’t considered buying anything here!!
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped and got some fruit and juice for breakfast tomorrow morning. And then I went back to the hotel and died….slept…until this morning! Quite nice, really.

A demain!

-Allison

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