Frankfurt, Germany June 24, 2014
With a little help from a transatlantic flight, two trains (regional and local), a volunteer Australian guide and our feet – we are ensconced on this rainy night on the east side of Frankfurt, Germany.
Our foggy brains from the flight cleared enough to buy tickets for the train to Frankfurt’s Hop Ban Haup (like Union Station) in central Frankfurt.
From the moment we hopped on the train, a very chatty, helpful Australian woman named Selena engaged us in conversation. Her warm, welcoming banter guided us to our connecting train on the east side of the city.
Within a very short distance we were at our first stop – Hotel Main Station (Mainkur) with décor reminiscent from my office in Burlington – we’ll call it ‘caroline green’. A very simple, but friendly establishment allowed these weary souls an early check in. My eyes were closed before I hit the bed as my transatlantic flight yielded only 20 minutes of sleep in 9 hours.
Once we awoke from our traveller’s coma, we decided to hike to the Harley dealership to begin the paperwork on our rental for the next 2 weeks. Even though our legs were unwilling participants, we pushed them and enjoyed the exploration through the neighbourhood, 3 kilometres to the shop.
When we arrived at the Harley shop, again, as is our experience at every Harley dealership in Europe, they provided very friendly and helpful service. We were so pleased to get all the paperwork completed, so that now we only have to rest and come back the next day to pick up our brand new 2014 motorcycle.
On the return trip to the hotel, we stopped at a grocery store (like No Frills) and had a blast looking at all the very cheap groceries deciding what to buy for tomorrow’s picnic and to buy a treat to enjoy with evening coffee.
Using the recommendation of the front desk clerk, we decided to go to the local biergarten for dinner. A biergarten is outside (usually) with long picnic tables and you sit together with others as family, while you enjoy your delicious meal. Upon the recommendation of one of our favourite food writers, Andy Herbach, the menu was German only. The only food item we understood was ‘wurst’ (sausage), as there are 1500 different ‘wurst’ varieties in Germany. An all German menu made it easy – we looked at the specials menu (plate of the day) and ordered the top two – confident it would yield something yummy. We were not disappointed! One plate was tender pork chops with chanterelles mushrooms and potatoes bathed in savory gravy. The alternate meal had a mustard and bacon stuffed piece of ham with ‘absolutely to die for’ potato balls and pickled cabbage.
While we imbibed on the comfort food, the beautiful game between Italy and Uruguay was being shown on big screen TV. There was lots of laughing, talking and watching under the calculated German gaze.
The heavens opened up and the harder it rained, the cozier it became in the tented portion of the biergarten. Tables were pushed together to make room for others to avoid the downpour.
We finished our meal just as time ran out for Italy to catch Uruguay in their one – nil game. The rain abated indicating it might be time to make our exit as well.
For day 1 – post flight – I’d call it a brilliant day. With a hot shower and some sleep, we are excited for tomorrow as our Harley tour begins in earnest.
This ‘big bang’ welcome to Germany cost us E63 for dinner, train and shopping – can you believe it?
Let our 2014 excellent adventure begin.