Tuesday, 2019 September 24

I woke up around 0300, then after being up for a while managed to get back to sleep. Unfortunately I then overslept - I had been planning on being up before 0700, but I didn't wake up until 0715. I hustled into the shower, got dressed, and headed downstairs for breakfast about 0745. Krista was only getting up when I left.

Dad was already downstairs, of course. He'd gotten lost the night before and ended up about a half-mile away. He walked into a different hotel for directions and they ended up calling a taxi for him. He said it cost 10 euros but he seemed quite happy, as his knees and hips were bothering him by that point and he wasn't looking forward to more walking.

After a bit of breakfast I walked to the train station and caught the S8/S9 towards the airport. The German trains really impressed me - everyone on them was polite (quiet conversations, moved out of the way, etc), plus they were very smooth. They really put the Seattle Sounder commuter rail to shame.

The train was a little behind schedule when we got to the airport, but I wasn't worried as I'd left plenty of time. Unfortunately I hadn't counted on how difficult the rental car counters were to find. Part of it was Google Maps, which kept insisting that the counters were in a building that I couldn't figure out how to get into. It turned out that I needed to go into the main terminal building, go downstairs, then take a tunnel over to the other building.

I was basically right on time to pick up my rental car at 0900 once I finally found the counter. After a short wait I was helped by a very nice man who (according to his nametag) spoke English, German, Arabic, and Turkish. His English was probably better than mine; I never cease to be impressed by (and jealous of) people who achieve fluency in multiple languages.

Getting my car was a bit confusing, but nothing like finding the counter. I ended up with a nice Audi A6 diesel wagon, with an automatic transmission. This wasn't strictly necessary - the original plan was that Krista was also going to do some of the driving and she can't drive a stick - but since I ended up picking it up by myself (poor planning on my part) she wasn't listed on the lease, so I'm pretty sure she couldn't actually drive it (legally).

I had brought a hands-free kit and got everything set up; the drive back to the hotel was actually relatively boring. German drivers generally seemed rational and polite, and I had no issues at all. I parked down in the hotel garage.

Krista and Dad were still hanging out in the lounge area, so I sat down with them and had a bit more to eat. We then headed up to the rooms for a while, then met up again to go see some sites.

We'd barely gotten out of the hotel when Dad said his hips were acting up and we should go on without him. He turned around and went back to the hotel to rest.

We started by going to the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt. This was a little confusing, as there was supposed to be an entrance fee but nobody was around. Luckily a woman who came in right after us said that it was closed because they were switching out exhibitions. Krista had really wanted to see this, so she was a little bummed out.

Next we walked over to the Archeological Museum, which is housed in an old church. This was small but very interesting, and well worth our time.

We wandered back towards the hotel after that; we were both a little hungry and thought that maybe Dad would want to join us. On the way we stopped at a shop and I bought a dachshund pie server for my mother-in-law, who loves all things dachshund-related.

Once back at the hotel, I called Dad; he was game for lunch. Since the weather was nice and it was close by, we decided to go to the Tower Bar and Restaurant. This was excellent; everything we had was delicious. It was also way more food than I expected, so I was absolutely stuffed by the time we left there.

Krista was exhausted so she headed back to the hotel so she could rest up a bit. I hung out with Dad a bit at the restaurant, then we walked back to the hotel as well. He decided he was done for the day. I went back to our room and relaxed for a while. Krista felt better after she woke up so we decided to do a little more exploring.

We headed southwest towards the Museum Judengasse, which was built over parts of the old Jewish ghetto, adjacent to the old Jewish cemetery. This was very interesting; depressing, of course, but they attempted to present the entire Jewish experience in Frankfurt rather than focusing only on the Nazi era.

After leaving there we walked most of the way around the Jewish cemetery; this is closed to the public (although it can be accessed with prior arrangement), but the outside of the wall has been turned into a memorial to some of the victims of the Nazis.

From there we wandered in the general direction of the Frankfurt Cathedral. This is actually closed for renovation; you don't immediately realize it since you can see the spire from all of the old town, but as soon as you get close you realize the rest of the building is covered in scaffolding.

There's a caricature museum right next to the cathedral, also in a very cool old building, but we didn't go to it.

Since we were once again so close to the River Main, we went down to the waterfront again and just watched the world go by for a few minutes.

From there we walked towards the hotel. We were both a little hungry, so we decided to stop for a "snack". We ended up at Big Chefs in the food court of MyZeil. We both ate too much; the food was good and the service was friendly, although a bit slow and confused (at one point they delivered two copies of our drink refill order within minutes of one another). Still, we had no regrets.

From there it was back to the room.

Monday, 2019 September 23 Wednesday, 2019 September 25