The sun shone in Frankfurt

Trip Start Dec 11, 2011
Trip End Jan 07, 2012

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Where I stayed
Adina hotel

Flag of Germany  , Hesse,
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We are sitting in our 14th floor apartment in Frankfurt looking out at the magnificent night view across the river, watching the planes fly in and out (about every 30 seconds) and trying not to think that we will be on one of them tomorrow night. Where has the last month gone? All the planning and research, and now it is time to go home.

Peter started earlier than I did this morning in an effort to maximize his museum pass over the two days. He took in a contemporary art display while I started more slowly after a wakeful night mainly because I was too hot. A friend told me before we came that we would have more trouble with  heat than cold, and she was right! We dress for the penetrating cold outside with thermal underwear and layers of wool under our weatherproof coats, sealed with scarf and gloves and it is bearable.  But when we go inside to heated venues, it can be stifling and there is a limit to what you can strip off in public!  We have found the hotel rooms generally too hot, even with the heating off and the thick doonas offer no alternative as bed covering. I keep waking in a sweat! Tonight we sleep with the window wide open to the freezing night air and see if we do better! Poor Peter - he is very patient with my fresh air fetish!.

When we did head out together in bright sunshine it was to the archeological museum which is housed in an old Carmelite monastery. It is a beautiful restored building which makes a great setting for an impressive display of old finds ranging from centuries before Christ onwards. Roman finds have been very well displayed with reconstructions and drawings and we enjoyed the Greek items and some lovely Etruscan vessels. In the centre are the peaceful cloisters where there are amazingly  preserved frescoes on the walls from the 15th century showing the life of Christ. I like seeing what is in the gardens - Japanese windflowers, hellebores, hydrangeas and a shapely magnolia tree. The greatest find was a warm little spot inside where we could have lunch and a coffee from a machine (fun trying to guess the German instructions) - an improvement on our picnics outside!

After that we did what people always do in these towns - just wandered. Around every corner are beautiful churches and buildings and open platzs surrounded by historical architecture and often with a large Christmas tree. They must use cranes to decorate them! With only a day to go we were on the lookout for small presents to take home- our family is large and our suitcases are  small! Peter wanted to buy an Indian elephant ( as you do in Germany) to add to our collection. We wandered the Zeil, a famous shopping strip with every big name shop and a lot of others. I really love the open public space down the middle of the road.  The trees are bare at the moment but I can imagine the green canopy of shade in summer.

We had an interesting encounter with an Australian couple who are here for cancer treatment for the husband.  She heard our Aussie accents and was keen to have a chat. They have been here for a month at a cost of $40,000 seeking treatment for his cancer that is not available in Australia. It involves heating up the body under deep sedation and has apparently had some good results. They have left their three small children at home with their parents and we felt for them. We told them that we are people who pray and promised to pray for his healing. We will never know how he fares, but we left feeling thankful for our health compared to his challenge. As we reach the end of our trip I am profoundly thankful for the quality of life I have been able to enjoy in spite of my heart failure and cardiomyopathy.  Having a heart that pumps at about half strength is apparently not an impediment to too many things, especially with a loving husband who carries two cases up and down all the steps! My tender ankle from the fracture over a year ago has done really well, considering that we have walked up to 5 km or so in a day.

We eventually found a restaurant where we had a lovely pasta meal and celebrated 39 years since we were engaged and signed up to each other for the rest of our lives. We are getting good mileage out of our various anniversaries, which are as good a reason as any for this trip. Peter experimented with dessert and had zabaglione, which is a foamy egg and sugar concoction with a lot of alcohol in it!

We have a few more hours left tomorrow to discover what else Frankfurt has to offer before we check in for our late flight and go home to see our loving family and check out what has happened in our vegetable garden.
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