Frankfurt was just as I remembered it, an economic centre with little to recommend it to tourists. Fortunately, I only saw it from the car window as we drove first to see my friend´s family, and then to her flat. Both of these were in the outskirts of Frankfurt´s suburbs, almost in the countryside, and much more pleasant places to be
. She is now a nurse in Frankfurt hospital, and has a beautiful flat with her boyfriend. He is a carpenter, so their place is furnished for the most part with hand-made bespoke furniture. Seeing how grown-up, organised and house-proud she has become made me quite conscious of not being any of these things; for a split second I wished I´d used the money I saved for this trip to Get A Life, but the feeling passed.
In the evening we met friends of theirs and the five of us had dinner, drinks and played darts in a local bar. For all that our situations have changed over the years, our dynamic seemed just the same, so hopefully it won´t be so long before we meet again. In the morning there was more scrambled egg, spek, brötchen, wurst and cheese, and another packed lunch. German hospitality is not to be sniffed at.
Back in Aachen, I had to find out whether to implement plan B, which was to continue due east across Germany, or plan A, which was to catch a train to Frankfurt and visit my school exchange partner, who I have been too lazy to contact for over 4 years. The decision rested on an email, so my first stop was the internet cafe. Happily, despite my failings as a friend, she was happy to meet me again, so plan A it was. This meant one more day in Aachen, and then catching the morning train to Frankfurt. I abandonned the internet as a reliable source of information and went straight to the tourist information office, who gave me a list of campsites within 5km of the town centre.