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Frankfurt am Main, und Heidelberg

Darmstadt, Germany

On Saturday afternoon I arrived in Frankfurt, took a nap, and went out searching for food, culture, and adventure. The city center is thirty minutes away by foot and on the way I had a quick lunch at a café, which by coincidence turned out to have an unusually large American clientele. I ate the equivalent of a German mac and cheese, and a beer, of course. When in Germany get the beer.

After lunch I went off to Goethehaus (Goethe House), the family home where Goethe grew up. He came from a rather affluent family, and the house is a four story building which features a music room, many musical instruments throughout the house, a large library, and numerous paintings and statues. Goethe, however, did not like Frankfurt, and upon turning nineteen he left, never to return again.

I walked through the main square and to the Main Tower to view the Frankfurt skyline. It’s a very nice view of the whole of Frankfurt. I suppose every major city has an observation platorm of some kind. There is no verbal substitute for the photos, so I will leave it at that.

Then I made my way to the Iron Bridge, the first cast iron bridge, with its large welcome sign to foreigners in the form of a quote by Homer, written in the Greek. Around here I had dinner by the water, once again with a few beers. Towards the end of the night the jetlag finally set in, and I hastily made my way back to the apartment.

On Sunday I began with a tour of Heidelberg, a gorgeous old town, and the only one in the region not destroyed by American bombing during World War II, because it was apparently too beautiful to destroy. This town is built around the University of Heidelberg, the oldest university in Germany. It is also home to Heidelberg castle, the former seat of power of one of the Prince Electors of Germany. The castle, situated on a hill above the town, is now in ruins, largely destroyed by the French during the thirty years war. However, tourists can still explore the remains of the castle, and view the Heidelberg Tun, the world’s largest wine barrel, with a capacity of over 200,00 liters!

The tour was quite short and I did not spend as much time in the city as I’d have liked, but I did get the chance to walk a little along the river Neckar, and sit in the main square and eat lunch. I ordered a tarte which turned out to be a personalized flat bread pizza, but it was delicious. Say what you will about the bees going extinct, this does not seem to be happening in Germany, as they attacked me and my food and forced me to eat inside. Being inside was perhaps the right choice because it was incredibly hot in the town, a combination of the heatwave hitting Europe, and the unusually warm microclimate in Heidelberg itself due to the large hills that surround it.

I explored the castle and the wine barrel, had a glass of Riesling, and looked at the red roofs of the town from up above. This town is definitely worth seeing, from down below, or from up above, it is simply beautiful.

After Heidelberg I had a walking tour of Frankfurt, which took us around several parts of the city, including the old part of town, with buildings in Gothic, Baroque and Rennaisance styles, mostly reconstructed after World War II, during which 85% of the city was destroyed by bombings. It was also the last day of the Apfelwein (applewine) festival, so I went to celebrate and drink the apple wine together with my new friend Aloy from the Philippines whom I met at the tour (Hello Aloy!). We drank applewine, listened to the concert, and enjoyed the festive atmosphere of a hot summer night.




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I can't believe I found this! Hello to you, too, Boris! So you do have your own writing hub! You should have included not just your fling with the wasps and our apple wine spree but also how twice in a row, you got lost on the way back to the bus you came back huffing and relieved we didn't leave you behind. Haha! And also that freakin rocker who got teleported from the 70's with his big hair and neon green jacket and sequined collar, that's an optical imprint that's never leaving my mwmory. After all, it capped the night for us. But great to see you writing, man. It's all good!