Our last day on the Continent

Yesterday was spent driving the 600kms to Frankfurt – a relatively painless journey until the very end. The British Lady is tiring of us I fear. She just couldn’t quite seem to get us to our destination. We finally reached it, got settled and walked to dinner at the local Italian restaurant, where we were told the patrons spoke English. I can’t battle my way through the simplest of requests in German, I am so utterly unfamiliar with the language. We eat, we drink, we retire for the night.

So today is it. Our last day. To be honest, it seems like we’ve been waiting for this day for some time. The kids sorely miss their friends and are desperate to see them. I commented to Chris that even though we are all ready to be on that plane – and would have been happy to have been on it a week ago – isn’t it an absolute luxury to feel that way? I can’t really recall any vacation in the past when I have said to myself “OK – time to head back“. So this feels really special: like we have stayed away until we were absolutely, no question, ready to return.

This being our last day, we have no agenda: just a wander through Frankfurt. I have to say right off the bat that I am shocked that the sidewalks are not thick with obese people. The food here is a dream. Frankfurters (and I mean the people, not the weinies) must be the product of generations of metabolic tweeking, so that they can consume all of this incredible food and just vaporize it before it gets any ideas of attaching itself in unwanted places. I personally feel absolutely fat. It’s a good thing we are moving straight away – I’ll need the exercise as redemption for 7 weeks of gluttony.

No sooner have we left the train station, when we are confronted with this. How AWESOME is this? I strongly suggest you click on the photo to see an enlarged version of it. In case it isn’t clear, the huge tray of meat is set above a fire pit 🙂
The entire street across from the station is a pedestrian street and is lined with food vendors, selling the most delightful things.

If I had to put a positive spin on war, I would say this: the photo below is of a cathedral spared during the bombing. In front of it are the ruins of a Roman Bath that they discovered when they were removing the rubble from the bombings…

Of course, one of the unexpected amusements for me are all of the pumped up scooters marauding as vehicles all over Europe. They remind me of Richard Scary’s creations in his Busy Town books.

But enough of that. I’m not sure what I was expecting Frankfurt to be, but I really like it. It feels small and welcoming and really pretty. Most of Frankfurt was bombed during the war – very little of the old town survived, so we set off to see that bit first. There isn’t much of it.

As we wander through the city, we turn our minds to food and consider our endless options. Ultimately the decision is made for us – it starts to rain, then it starts to pour, then it begins to downpour. We need shelter. None of us thought to bring raincoats today. We stumble into the first sidewalk cafe we run past and settle into a booth for FRANKFURTERS!!! Actually, in the end Lucy orders those. The rest of us are tempted away from that intent by all of the other options on the menu. Cooper and Chris order schnitzle (sp??) and I order sausages – all legitimate German fare. It’s delicious.

With full bellies, we head out to walk it off. The rain has stopped and I want to see the Opera House. We find ourselves at a children’s festival and spend some time there, letting the kids burn off some energy. Most of it is free and is well organized. Thank God Cooper is wearing his cowboy hat – they have a bull ride!

Time to get back to the hotel. Our wake up call comes very early.

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