Cold. Biting, freezing cold.
That was the first thought in my head as our English-speaking guide greeted us with Willkommen in Frankfurt outside the airport as I shivered under the weight of thermals and jackets.
It was a great welcome indeed. Albeit, one I would only partake in with heavier, more suitable clothes on.
Located on the banks of the German river Main, Frankfurt is the financial and commercial hub of Europe. With a population of just under 8 lakh people (I know, right!), Frankfurt also happens to be the headquarters for many international banks including the European Central Bank as well as the host to the world’s largest motor show and trade, book fair.
Frankfurt was a wonderful place to visit. Weather notwithstanding, the city had a quiet beauty about it. So, here are a few sights and sounds of the city of Frankfurt.
Up…. In The Air
I’m not a fan of heights. Correction: I hate them. My legs tremble at the thought of even approaching the railing of the balcony back home. Imagine my surprise then when I volunteered to go up Frankfurt Tower 185, a 656-feet tower in the heart of Frankfurt. It’s the tallest building in the area and offers some breathtaking sights of the old city including the Goethe Centre, the Museum District and the River Main.
^I shot this. Thank you very much.
^I took this too. 656-feet in the air.
The Römerberg (Public Square)
Overlooking the Römer building which has housed the Frankfurt City administration for the past 600 years, this old city square has witnessed quite a few imperial cornoations of the Holy Roman Emperors in its time and is today, the heart of Frankfurt’s reputed Christmas fairs. Partially reconstructed after the bombing raids of the RAF in World War II, this town square is surrounded by quaint, ornate, half-timbered buildings including the old town Cathedral.
Snow, Snow Everywhere
I was lucky. The city of Frankfurt, too often a target for frequent, heavy snowfalls didn’t see any during my time there. Alas, I did see snow. An hour away from Frankfurt, lies the small town of Baden-Baden. A town specifically built for the purpose of catering to the spa and health needs of rich Middle-Eastern and European tourists, it lies nestled on the outer edges of the Black Forest and sees just under a million tourists each month visiting its nude spas and pools.
The Black Forest itself sees over four to five feet of snow fall sometimes and the top of the hills offer stunning, picturesque views of the mountains.
Some Other Random Sights Of The City
^The Eiserner Steg, an old footbridge dating back to the 18th century which was later blown up by the Wehrmacht during the last days of World War II. They say a wish is granted with every padlock. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten what my wish was.
^Alto Oper, the once famous opera house and now, a concert hall that dates back to 1880. Like most monuments in the heart of Deutschland, was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1944 before being rebuilt slowly.
^This weird, wormhole-shaped glass thing-y on the face of a mall in the heart of the Zeil shopping district
^Claims to make the world’s best pancakes and serves the best cider. True on both counts.
It’s a shame I had barely two days to get around the city of Frankfurt. Despite my apprehensions, my lack of knowledge of German didn’t hinder my experience of the city. Getting around was easy, with both most people and directions being well versed in English. Very unlike a city such as Paris. Spoiler Alert: The French really do look at you with a bit of disdain when you ask them for directions in English rather than making an attempt in French.
Now, if only Frankfurt was blessed with some better, sunny weather. If only.
Featured Image Source: Google Images | Rest: Author’s own