A Few Hours in Frankfurt: Roaming in Römerberg

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
Trip End Dec 30, 2009

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Flag of Germany  , Hesse,
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our plane arrived a little late, but not bad. It didn't matter for us anyway, since we had hours to pass before our train. We got our luggage and went through passport control. Now we just had to make our way to the train station.

We found a DB (Deutsche Bahn) office, so we validated our Eurail tickets which we could also use for the S-Bahn into downtown. First we went to the Hauptbahnhof Main station where we put our luggage into lockers. We only needed two; they were a nice size (4 euros each).

From there, we went two more stops into Römerberg. We weren't quite sure which way to go out of the station, but DH met a nice German gentleman who was walking the way we needed to go so he walked with us. We all went into St. Leonhard's Kirche and looked around.

The man then went on to meet his wife while we made our way to the old town square. To our delight there was a Christmas market there! We had a lot of fun looking at the stalls all festively decorated. DH and DS ate a ginormous chocolate covered pretzel. There were stalls for roasted chestnuts, decorated gingerbread cookies, candy (you could smell the licorice a few feet away), and mulled wine (gluwhein). Eventually we gave in to the mulled wine (red) and it was absolutely delicious. Plus you can keep the mug that says the name of the Christmas market, so it was a must-have.

I finally got hungry, so I had a currywurst, which was basically some sort of hot dog/sausage thing cut up on a plate squirted with ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder. Then you get a roll to put it in. I have to say it was good. We met a Japanese family who were also having currywurst; they shared our little walkup table. They were very nice, and the dad took a picture of us all.

We walked and walked and needed a break so we looked for a coffee place. There was a Starbucks, of course, but I refused. Sadly, all we could find was this funky Tchibo place. The coffee was even worse than Charbucks, and they sold random items inside...I can't even compare it to anything American. Kind of like if Starbucks and Target had a baby.

We then went to Kaiserdom, the imperial cathedral. Right in front of it is the ruins of a Carolingian fortress. The Dom was built in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. We also went into the Alte Nikolaikirche, built in 1290 which was the court church. It is now a Lutheran church.

At some point we were ready for a meal, so we had seen this cool restaurant and went back to it. It is what I would describe as an old German pub, extremely charming and full of character. There were all kinds of ephemera on the walls and pillars, even the ceiling. The windows were made with beautiful stained glass. Our meal consisted of a cheese plate, meat plate, and a wild boar dish. DH and I had these giant beers, and the kids drank Fanta. How do you say, "Yum" in German?

It had been cold and was getting colder as the sun set. We went into a department store mainly for the sake of getting warm, but we still had to pass some time. We walked around for a little while, then saw that they had a cafe on the top floor, so we went up there. I braved the cold and took some pictures of Frankfurt from the rooftop patio. We got some warm drinks, and DH got a dessert. The kids fell asleep at the table. Jet lag. Plus it sucked not having anywhere to go and relax for the entirety of the day.

We finally saw all there was to see in Römerberg, so we headed back to the Hauptbahnhof. We still had a good three hours to kill though. We shopped in every store there was, and even sat in McCafe for quite awhile (surprisingly, the coffee was way better there than at Tchibo, or Starbucks for that matter). It was the only place with lots of seating; it was huge. We whiled away as much time there as we could.
Finally, we went and got our luggage out of the lockers and went to our platform. It was still early. And cold. We took turns going into the bookstore to warm up. Finally, our train arrived. We were assigned to the first car, so we got right on and into our seats. We were on an ICE (Intercity Express) train, so it was sleek, new and fast. The seats were comfortable and spacious; we all zonked out.

Next stop: Munich.

Note to self: Don't schedule trains and planes hours apart on the day of arrival.

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