Forgive me for the delay in today’s A to Z Blogging Challenge. This post began as somewhat of a Failure….My desktop died while I was attempting to post this earlier. I have no idea if it has met its doom – or if it will recover. And thus, this is the abbreviated version of my post from my laptop (thank goodness for Plan B … or is this Plan F?!!).
It won’t be Fancy – but the show must go Forth!
F is for Frankfurt.
Frankfurt is one of my Favorite places in the whole entire world!! In fact, I have to devote two posts to this city because I have so much to share about my love for Frankfurt – this post will be a little more factual; the other, a little more personal.
You see, Frankfurt happens to be where I was born. I lived in Frankfurt from birth until age 4, at which time my mother and I moved to America (you can read about this experience in my A is for America post). I spent every summer vacation in Frankfurt from age 6 until age 20 to stay with my Oma and Opa (my mother’s parents). That’s a lot of trips across the Atlantic!
Frankfurt’s skyline of skyscrapers is responsible for its nickname of German Manhattan. Frankfurt is THE financial and banking center of continental Europe as well as the home of the world’s largest book fair (Messe). Its airport, known as the Fraport, is a major hub of world travel and the headquarters of Europe’s largest airline, Lufthansa. Frankfurt’s train station is also a major hub of the Euro-rail system.
If one includes the urban areas of the city, Frankfurt has a population of about 5,800,000 (the actual city itself has about 780,000 residents). But to me, it is just an ordinary place because I spent much of my time in Germany in a small district of Frankfurt, called Ginnheim.
Here, I walked to the bakery or grocery store or hair dresser, all which were just around the corner. My grandparents rented a little garden plot with a cottage where they had a small flower and herb garden, and they also bred rabbits for show. This actually wasn’t such an unusual hobby as they were part of a whole “small garden club” where one could only rent a plot if one was willing to participate in the annual show events.
My grandparents never owned a car, and we got everywhere in the city we wanted to go by walking, bicycle, or public transportation. Of course, relatives who had cars often offered to drive them/us to farther places.
The city of Frankfurt is divided by the Main River, and in fact, is officially called Frankfurt am Main to distinguish it from Frankfurt an der Oder, which is a town on the Oder River in Eastern Germany.
Above is a view of the “Finger” or Spargel (asparagus) of Ginnheim, a television tower/receiver that was built sometime in the early 1980’s (I remember it going up!).
Above is a view of the city from one of the many Main River bridges.
An annual Main Fest (festival) is held every August along the river. You can get all kinds of food, ride rides, and play all those hokey games of chance like popping balloons with darts and buying lottery tickets.
My home district of Ginnheim borders on a subsidiary of the Main River called the Nidda. My mother and her brother swam in this little river as children. In the 1990’s, the Bundes Gartenshau (United Garden Show), called BuGa for short, was held by the Nidda, and remains as a park area now. Above is a picture of my brother and me at the show and my mother and Oma are in the row behind us.
Frankfurt is bordered by the Taunus Mountains on its north side. There are many hiking trails through the mountains with destinations like the Hirsch Garten (elk garden), pictured above. And the Forellengut (Trout hatchery) below.
Every summer my Opa and I would take the subway to the final stop of northern line and then hike to the restaurant at the trout hatchery. He’d have fish … and I always had Schnitzel (breaded pork or veal).
Also in the Taunus Mountains is an ancient Roman fortress called the Saalburg.
Frankfurt also has many museums, to include the Senkenberg Museum of natural history in the district of Bockenheim, which is very close to the Goethe University.
There is a row of museums along the Main River which includes a film museum and art museum among others.
One of the most recognized buildings of Frankfurt is its Rathaus (city hall), above. Most marriages in the city occur here for the justice of the peace portion – church weddings are then held separately – sometimes even on a different day, if the couple chooses to have one.
The Dom of Frankfurt is another famous landmark, as are other churches such as St. Paul’s.
The Opernhaus (opera house) is still the site for concerts today …
One last thing I have to mention about Frankfurt is the FOOD!! Oh, how I miss cafés along the streets, Italian Eis shops, and the restaurants. Above I am having lunch with my aunt at a typical Epplwei (fermented apple cider) pub in the Sachsenhausen district, where we had a traditional meal of Rippchen mit Kraut (boiled ribs with sauerkraut). Apple cider is a Frankfurt tradition – you can get it straight or gespritz (with sparkling water) – you can also order apple juice, if you prefer. The blue and gray pottery in this restaurant is also typical Frankfurter-ish; the jugs, a salt-glazed stoneware, are called Bembels and keep your apple beverage nice and cool.
Other Frankfurt food favorites are green sauce (herb sauce) that one puts over eggs or boiled potatoes. There is Käse (cheese) with or without “music” (a vinegar and onion sauce). And for dessert, Frankfurterkranz, a Bundt-shaped torte with a cream filling in the middle. Of course, there are a gazillion more delicious foods available from the city’s bakeries, restaurants, street vendors, and stores.
There is so much more I could tell you about Frankfurt … and I will share a little more personal impressions tomorrow … but for now, I’ve talked myself into needing to save for another plane ticket – to the Fraport – very soon!!
(source for information: wikipedia and ask.com)