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We were blessed, once again, with incredible weather.  The skies were sunny; the air was warm and breezy; and the Autobahn beckoned us to drive to Frankfurt.  We were considering going to the Dippemess, but Bill wasn’t keen on trying to deal with the train.  The station most convenient for getting to the area of Frankfurt where the Dippemess is going on is in Hofheim am Taunus.

We started off our Easter with Ebelskiver– Swedish filled pancakes!  That’s the closest we got to Easter eggs today.

We decided to visit Frankfurt’s old town, which we missed the last time we went there.  Last time we were in Frankfurt, it was late December and the weather was pretty dismal.  It turns out we weren’t far from the old town that time, but it was cold and yucky outside, so we didn’t explore the way we should have.  Frankfurt was pretty badly damaged by air strikes in World War II, so there aren’t too many really old buildings there.  Instead, there are many skyscrapers.  It’s the land of banks.  Below are some pictures I took today.

Today was the first day since the fall I could drop the top on my Mini.  I caught a little girl smiling at us as we rounded the bend.  My car is ten years old, but it’s still cute when the top is down…  Some people might say that about me, too.

Frankfurt on the horizon.

Near the train station.

Frankfurt is like Stuttgart on steroids.  It’s a very busy place, and it seemed like everyone was there today.

Our first glimpse of the Dom… that tower is 95 meters tall…

It costs three euros for adults to climb the torturous 328 steps to the observation platform.  It’s 1,50 for kids.

These two ladies were among many wandering musicians we heard today.  They played beautifully!  One thing I love about Europe is the preponderance of wonderful musicians who share their gifts on the streets.

On the other side of the fountain, there’s a wine bar.

The old town was happening…

 

More musicians… they were good, too, although they played the classics with a bit more tempo than I’m used to…

Pretzel anyone?

Down by the river.  This was prettier from 66 meters up.

 

Much to my shame, I consented to having lunch at Five Guys.  I really wanted to go somewhere more authentic, but every place was really crowded.  For once, Five Guys wasn’t, so we decided to treat ourselves to a rare American style burger.

 

Bill went in to get the food while I waited outside.  An ambulance pulled up with its lights going…

 

Suddenly, around the corner came an old man wearing a heavy coat and carrying a bottle of beer.  He was yelling at the ambulance attendants.  I didn’t understand what he was saying, mainly because I could barely hear him…  I could tell by his body language that he was agitated about something.  The ambulance attendants seemed amused.  They smiled, but didn’t say anything to the old man.

A Five Guys staffer came out to sweep.  He looked at me; I looked at him, then turned to face the ambulance, since the old guy had come around near the front of Five Guys.  Turning to look at the ambulance guys meant I wasn’t staring at him as he continued to yell in German, looking and sounding very stern.

Finally, after a couple more parting shots, the guy stalked off angrily.  I did notice a lot of homeless people and beggars today.  A woman hit us up for money while we ate lunch.  Bill and I have both had bad experiences with wandering people in other European cities.  His bad experience was in Seville, while mine was in Athens.

I’m sad to say the burgers were kind of disappointing.  They weren’t very hot and the pickles were a touch too sweet.  But they were still better than a lot of burgers I’ve had in Germany.  The fries were great, and the beer was a Brooklyn Lager, a nice change from the usual Weizen.

 

After lunch, we wandered back toward the Dom, passing through the old town again.  We passed one of the homeless people who had been hanging around Five Guys.  The guy was a Spanish speaker and someone was kind enough to slip him a cup of fries.  But just as we were about to pass him, another homeless guy jumped in front of the other guy and appeared to demand his pommes.  I was tempted to see what was about to transpire, but thought better of it.  Gawking isn’t nice.  Still, it’s always interesting to see real life human drama in person.

We had to tip this lady…

She was making this dog out of what appeared to be sand.  

It was incredible.  The dog actually looked real.

We did a little window shopping.  A few stores were even open today, though it’s Easter Sunday.

 

We found ourselves in front of the tower again.  It was right next to our parking garage.  I looked at the sign and asked Bill if he wanted to climb up.  I’m usually cussing at myself when I do these climbs up narrow spiral towers, but then I enjoy the views so much that I forgive myself… until it’s time to climb down again.  The Frankfurter Dom Turm is a very challenging climb indeed.  I think it took about ten very difficult minutes to get to the top, breathless, sweaty, sore, and rewarded with incredible views…

I zoomed in to get a shot of the TV tower.  Seems like every German city has one.  Still, as high up as this cathedral tower is, it’s still not as high as the Thyssenkrupp elevator testing tower in Rottweil.  That’s the highest observation deck in Germany.  You can read about our visit there by clicking here.  And thankfully, when you visit the testing tower, you can take an elevator.

A whole lot of sweating, swearing, panting, and praying went into these photos.  I will probably be nearly paralyzed in the morning.  But we had amazing weather and as long as I’m physically able, I’m going to do these things.  Hey, I probably burned off my Five Guys lunch, at least.

A quick round around the tower and we went back down.  That was tough in a different way.  You have to be careful not to faceplant.

 

The stairs pretty much look like this all the way down.  It makes passing a rather intimate experience.  No wonder they charge more for adults.  Pro-tip: If you make this climb, especially if it’s warm outside, please for the love of all that’s holy, wear DEODORANT.  Trust me.

 

We came; we saw; we conquered.  And we never have to do it again!

 

We went into the church, which is rather plain by cathedral standards.  This cathedral, officially known as the Imperial Cathedral of Bartholomew was completed in 1550.  It was renovated in the 1990s and is also undergoing some work today.

This sign explains in English and German what happened to Frankfurt on March 22, 1944, when World War II was raging.  The British Royal Air Force did a number on the city, sending a lot of old, beautiful buildings into flames.  The cathedral was also badly damaged and was rebuilt in the 1950s.  The inside of the cathedral is pretty workmanlike as a result.  The cathedral was also burned in a fire back in 1867.  

 

But the organ is pretty awesome.

Look carefully. You can see the people.  That’s where we climbed to this afternoon.

It really was worth the effort, even though I can feel my muscles stiffening already.

Before we knew it, it was time to head home to the dogs, who were no doubt wondering where their dinners were.  It’s nice to live close to Frankfurt, although I’m glad we don’t actually live in the city itself.  It’s very busy!  Still, it’s different from Wiesbaden and Mainz and, dare I say it?  Stuttgart…

On the way out of Frankfurt, we got behind a Segway tour.  

 

So long, Frankfurt.  Time for me to have a beer in my backyard, enjoying my new garden furniture and watching the flowers grow.  God bless Spring… and happy Easter to all.

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