I may have missed seeing the Red Light District in Amsterdam, but I sure found out where all the prostitutes and sex shops are in Frankfurt!
So. I got lost on my way back to the train station. I had an eight-hour layover in Frankfurt, so I planned to take the train into downtown so I could wander around and see the city. I was there on a Monday, so most of the museums were closed, which was kind of a bummer. But the one I REALLY wanted to see — the Jewish history museum — was not only closed for Monday, but closed through 2018 for renovations! #themoreyouknow
Even though my plans for the city didn't really pan out, I did wander around Frankfurt and see some cool churches and shops.
Thankfully, the city is laid out in a grid so it wasn't too difficult for me to read a map. (I am notoriously bad at directions. For some reason, my mind assumes that the direction I am going must always be north. It rarely is.)
So I had finally gotten comfortable enough with the map, in that I had managed to find my way to this cool old church (Alte Nikolaikirche) and back, so I was feeling confident enough to wander off the main drag that the helpful lady at the tourist office told me about. I moseyed through a nice park that had a statue of Beethoven that looked like he'd just been caught having a threesome.
It's totally because of the expression on the face of the girl on the right. Scandalous!
I found the Alte Oper opera house and decided to rest my legs and people-watch for a while.
Frankfurt is a big financial hub in Europe, so I saw lots of smart bank workers in fancy suits and pretty shoes.
And then, assuming that I knew the general direction from which I came, I wandered back that way. And got completely turned around.
I knew I was in the wrong place when I walked past a casino midday and saw a woman in micro-shorts and heels with her stomach bared, when I was regretting not having my heavy coat with me.
Statues holding up a bridge!
Gold detailing and strung lights!
An American restaurant that presumably serves Chicago-style food! (I did not eat there.)
One of my favorite parts of the day was ducking into the Alte Nikolaikirche church. I took some photos outside, and then I wasn't sure if it was open for visitors or not, so I tested the door, not wanting to disturb any worshippers.
Inside, it was empty save for this older gentleman. I'm not sure if he was a church member or a historian or what, but he told me all about the church, and about some of the pieces of artwork and stained glass. Some of the glass creations had survived World War II and were now on display in this 11th century building!
Gravestones depicting the man who gathered land to create the city of Frankfurt, and his rich wife.
Crazy hair day. A 4 a.m. wakeup call will do that to you.
I also loved that there was a big river that cut through the city and that there were nice walking bridges across. There was an accordian player performing on one of them! That was so cool.
There were locks all around the bridge.
After I had a quick, late lunch (not much to say about it; most places in Frankfurt I popped into to try to get out of the cold did not take credit cards and I only had a few euros that I had gotten from my co-worker, so I just had a simple sandwich), I made my way back across the bridge, back to the train station and shuttled back to the aiport in order to get ready to fly back home! (The gate agent asked me where I was headed. I said "the United States!" He told me that wasn't good enough, that I needed to tell him WHERE in the U.S. So, that was embarrassing.)
And thus ends Allie's First Big European Trip. Hopefully I'll get to go back to all these places someday, as there's still so much I'd like to see and do!
Have you been to Frankfurt? Are there any other places in the world where people actually play the accordian?! Do you prefer researching places to visit, or just wandering?