We exited the train to a rowdy crowd dressed in red and black. “I wonder if there’s a labor strike?” We followed the crowd down a paved road through a heavily wooded area, passing racks of Frankfurt scarves and jerseys, and stands selling large frothy pilsners. “Frankfurt seems a lot cooler than what people say…. and woodsy….” After about a quarter mile, we reached the soccer stadium for the big game of Frankfurt v. Mainz. The only problem was we weren’t looking for it. Turns out that Frankfurt am Main Station and Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof are very different places…. Lesson learned. So we grabbed some beers at one of the stands…when in Rome…and walked back to the “Station” to travel two more stops to our intended destination, downtown Frankfurt. When we stepped out into the grand structure of the Hauptbahnhof, the huge tunnel shape typical of large European train stations, we felt pretty silly for ever thinking that our previous exit into the woods could have been correct. People say I have a knack for direction (no one says that), but I guess this was one of those serendipitous detours that are the special gifts of travel (probably one of many unintentional “detours” that I’ll take while traveling – S is still getting over the time I had us circle Philly (twice) before figuring out how to get in…it’s a very exclusive city and only those with the code may enter).
So, we made it to Frankfurt. The hazy spring afternoon made for a great day to roam around the city and casually get better acquainted with our metropolitan neighbor. Frankfurt has a charming old town square, Römerberg, lined with half-timbered cafes, and a fabulous modern art museum (or so I’ve heard. After the Station/Hauptbahnhof fiasco and beers, I wasn’t feeling in a mood to properly appreciate it…I’ll have to go back). There are also a handful of very nice restaurants and, of course, the banking district. Otherwise, Frankfurt is known for its serious drug problem and legal brothels. Not exactly the type of attractions topping our day-trip itinerary. Anyway, S and I had a fun day wandering around Frankfurt and eating frequently (including a stop for donuts at Dunkin Donuts, because it felt humorously out of place in a European city and we love donuts). Nevertheless, we haven’t quite made up our minds about Frankfurt. We’ll have to go back at least once more (and this time get off at the right train stop the first time and stroll around the museum of modern art).
Oh, the major highlight, though, was that we found a tempanyaki restaurant! S has a long running family joke about these and is always in search one. I was in hot pursuit of some good sushi and we lucked out finding a place called Sushimoto that does both. Serendipity once again! And it was delicious. The sushi was pretty simple, I’m really missing the creative rolls at Kushi and Oya in DC, but S’s miso soup, fried rice, and steak were to die for! We took the ICE train home with full bellies and hopes of coming back for dinner in Frankfurt again (now that we know how to get there).
Bis bald, Frankfurt!