Germany has always been a country that I’ve wanted to visit (ever since 8th grade when I took German for a year). Well, the stars must have aligned because a month before Christmas, I found out that Jody (fiancé) and his colleague David were going to Frankfurt for work, and I could come along. After figuring out all the logistics, having some discussions, and experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, I was going to tag along for some fun and exploration!
We flew out of Denver airport on Christmas Eve, had a quick layover in Houston, and departed on an international flight to Frankfurt. After 10 long hours of flying and an 8 hour time change, we arrived on Christmas Day. The airport looked like a ghost town. I got my passport stamped (yay!), and we rented a small Volvo (stick shift). After wrangling 8 suitcases into this tiny car, we were off. David did all of the driving, and yes, the speed limits were high. The traffic lights were on the same side as your car, so you had to look up to see when the light changed.
The first thing I noticed about Frankfurt was that it had several cool skyscrapers, and the weather was chilly and cloudy (felt like Seattle). We arrived to Hotel InterContinental, where we checked in our bags and longed for a nap.
After taking a short nap and messaging my mom on Facebook that we had arrived (I turned off cellular data from my phone for the whole week and only used WiFi), our stomachs rumbled for some food. We chatted with the concierge about places we could eat on Christmas Day, as our German was limited to zilch, and everything was closed on Christmas. Then success! He found us a place to eat at Druckwasserwerk. We drove to the restaurant on some cobblestoned streets and parked. We walked in, where you can’t miss the lovely circular light on the ceiling.
We ordered a few drinks (mineral water) and looked at the menu for about 10-15 minutes. Everything was fancier than we expected! I ordered creamy pasta pockets with small tomatoes. Restaurant service in Germany is different from restaurant service in America. The server took our orders, delivered our orders, and asked if we wanted more drinks. This is customary, but we flagged her down to get the check and leave. In Germany, it’s about enjoying the food and conversation! 🙂
The next day, everything was still closed except for the museums. We walked across the passenger bridge to the museum district.
We spent 2 hours in the Städel Museum, which includes works by Monet, Frida Kahlo, and Andy Warhol. We looked at works all the way from the early 14th century to modern day.
We then walked around Frankfurt for awhile to check stuff out. Oh, everything gets dark at around 4 p.m., so daylight was pretty limited. Lots of building had pretty lights though.
On Tuesday, we walked along the Main river and walked over to Römerberg, where we saw landmark sites.
We saw Eschenheimer Turm from where we were standing.
We saw historical buildings.
We also saw a humongous decorated Christmas tree!
Jody worked Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night from midnight to 5 a.m., so we only had a short amount of time in the afternoons and evenings those days to go sightseeing. As I only had WiFi, I didn’t want to risk traveling alone and getting lost, and I didn’t want Jody to miss out on anything.
On Wednesday, we toured the Goethe House, which was Johann Wolfgang Goethe grew up. The house had three floors with a large staircase and several paintings of his family. I kind of felt like I was eavesdropping into someone else’s life (haha). I just love history, so it was fascinating learning about his life and how he grew up.
Later that night, we went to Koblenz and walked around the Ehrenbreitstein fortress. The fortress was built in 1000 A.D.! You could feel its ancient vibes with its hidden passageways and small jail cells.
On Thursday, we shopped in the mall and walked around Römerberg to buy souvenirs for our friends and family. On Friday, we walked around some, but it was getting chilly, and snowflakes started to tickle our faces.
On New Year’s Eve, we went to a small pub called Klimperkasten in Westerburg, Germany, and we drank and played darts with some of Jody’s German colleagues and their friends. Everyone was fun and friendly, and we had some intellectual discussions about American ways and German ways. Then the clock struck midnight, we toasted 2017, we drank and talked some more, and then we drove back to Frankfurt.
On New Year’s Day, we flew back to America (on different international flights). It was a long day of traveling, as I only slept a couple hours the previous night, and I didn’t sleep much on the plane. I was grateful to arrive in D.C. and then fly to Denver. Frankfurt just can’t beat Colorado’s tap water.
The Frankfurt trip was filled with fun, laughter, enjoyment, and confusion, and it was an international experience I will never forget. Despite the jet lag and German language barriers, it was all worth it. Our hotel was comfy, the beer was tasty, the people in Frankfurt were friendly, and the sights were beautiful. If you ever get a chance to visit Deutschland, do it!
Danke for reading!
Have you been to Germany? What was your experience like?