Whenever you tell anybody you are going to Germany, they are quick to tell you not to bother going to Frankfurt. Even our elderly Singapore taxi driver offered up this piece of advice (his main piece of advice was actually to try fried white asparagus while we were there, which unfortunately we failed to do – yes, one more food quest unsolved for those playing at home).
However Frankfurt is the main international hub for flights into Germany, so it makes it a convenient place to meet up with some friends, who will be our travel buddies for the next few weeks (we are now Myles and Keelie, our favourite married friends and our godchild – a formidable bunch if ever you saw one). It’s also a major centre for business and trade shows, known as Messe in Germany. For this reason, hotels in Frankfurt can be astronomically expensive. Fortunately for us we are travelling with a friend with industry contacts, and we get a serviced apartment with views of the River Main for a ridiculously good price.
It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon when we arrive, so we wander down to the riverside. There a number of pop up stalls selling beers and food, including a boat selling kebabs. We’re a super smart group so we can’t bypass beer and sunshine, and our time sitting on the grass and overcoming jet lag/travel craziness is very pleasant.
After a couple of beers we decide to find somewhere for dinner. A traditional German restaurant was recommended by the hotel, and we go there. We order a platter of pork. Pork ribs, pork sausage, pork belly, pork shoulder and probably a few other cuts of pork we either can’t remember now or never knew the names of. It was all very good, and while our group can generally finish even the biggest of meals, we barely make a dent in it. (One of our group eventually dreams of finishing the platter, giving us all the closure we needed).
All of the wait staff were grossly overweight, probably from years of eating staff meals. They say you should never trust a skinny chef. I’m not sure if this truism also extends to the wait staff or not. If so, I would trust this establishment with my life.
We only had one night in Frankfurt, (because you know, don’t bother going to Frankfurt) so we go for a wander after dinner to see the sights. We see the giant Euro sign, which was built in 2001 and only intended to be a temporary display for a few months as the Euro entered circulation. It is now one of Frankfurt’s most recognisable symbols, and was taken down for much-needed maintenance just after our visit.
We had also hoped to bring you another chapter in our ever-popular around the world in 80 ways series. However the paternoster was not operating when we went to go and ride it. There are only two paternoster lifts still in operation today. You’ll have to read about our time in one either the next time we travel to Frankfurt or Sheffield UK. Even better than riding in a lift, we have a beer nearby before returning to our hotel in preparation for another early start.
I may have to sneak in a quick trip to Sheffield!