Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Frankfurt, Germany {things to do, food to eat and overall review}

Our first city of our trip was Frankfurt, Germany.  We were there for 4 nights, although we completely wasted the first day sleeping from jet lag.  Our hotel was not impressive.  We were on a budget of about $100 a night and in some cities that got us more than others, I'm not going to mention it here because I'll be reviewing all our hotels in a separate post.  We started by walking around and found a small cafe, which in Europe there are plenty of, and got an espresso.
It was not as cold as we were expecting. We all had plenty of layers and actually got "hot" a few times and had to reduce layers.
Sonja wanted to take my photo, she's becoming quite the little photographer.
We should have been eating breakfast, but since our clocks were all off, we opted for brats and Pommes Frites, we found ourselves in the middle of a Christmas festival and returned meal after meal for the inexpensive and delicious street food.  The festival was just outside of a mall located near Zeilgalerie , 60313 Frankfurt, Germany.
We bought some honey based souvenirs from this Wagners Honighaus.
Since we didn't really have anything specific in mind for this city, we were able to wonder and explore, and while we were there for probably a day longer than necessary it was nice to just be somewhere without worrying about missing out on something or rushing to see everything.  I love how we found this historic statue right against the backdrop of the larger banking buildings {Frankfurt is the financial district for Germany}.
Of course we posed for a family photo in front of the statue, one of the few family photos from the trip.
It started to sprinkle while we were walking around and Sonja was excited to use this new umbrella purchased from Target the day before we left.
We went to the Stadel Museum {no photography allowed} and walked along the water back to the metro station.  I found the metro/underground/trains very easy to navigate and with our iphones map app up and running finding nearby stops and attractions was easy.  We didn't have our phones activated for international use {which I'd definitely change for future trips}, we thought just having wifi would be sufficient, and it was most of the time.  We discovered that if the maps app was opened with access to wifi and the city loaded, the gps would work without wifi.  This was a really helpful discovery! 
back at the winter market we got some dinner.  Sonja was a huge fan of waffles and sugar while I often opted for savory crepes.  I did also find this soup stand which had delicious lentil and not so yummy tomato soup.
My favorite part of the winter markets were the actual flatware and ceramic dishes used to serve food.  The bowl above required a 5€ deposit but once you return the bowl you get the money back.  I wish our local farmer's markets also did this, it cuts back on SO MUCH WASTE! and it doesn't actually cost anything because you get the money back!
There were vendors selling cotton candy {Zuckerwatte}, gluvine and so much food!  They also made a kinderpunch which Sonja was able to try.
I kept one of our gluvine mugs.  Gluvine is a mulled wine that is heated and kind of the thing to drink at the winter markets.  {I ended up getting sick the night I drank mine, because I always get sick when I travel, and couldn't drink another one for the rest of the trip, but everyone really enjoyed it} The markets were crowded every night we were there. 
The gluvine booth was packed everynight!
After our evening at the market we slept in the next morning.  

OH and I don't want to forget to mention the Rag Bar which had fresh pressed juice, something I was seriously craving especially after all the street food from the winter market {they also have vegan sweets and coffee!}.

After our late start we met my sister and her friends at the PalmenGarten the next day.  It was one of the few activities I'd found ahead of time that sounded interesting.  I love the botanical gardens here, in Phoenix, so I thought we would enjoy it there too.
It was so eerie going into the foggy garden, but also really beautiful.  Sonja wanted to watch the little fishies the whole time, but eventually we got her to move on...
Swans were roaming the grounds, and we walked to a nearby greenhouse.
Inside we found tropical plants.
It was so humid my lens got foggy.
And there was food!
Sonja kept collecting leaves and requesting waffles, I enjoyed and espresso and some warm potato soup.
When we went back outside it was already dark! It was only about 4pm when the photo below was taken.  But it was a pleasant surprise to find the whole garden lit up with light displays, so we continued walking around.
Not exactly sure what these ghost like red figures were in this building but spooky enough to document and share.
And once we were done with the garden we took the 'train' back to the banking district near the winter market {I wasn't joking when I said that's were we ate every meal}
Sonja knew subway safety before we got to Frankfurt, since we practiced in New York this summer. But if your kids are runners you might want to warn them about the dangers of the subway.
We found this opera hall {I believe}
and this fountain too.
Then, we met back up with my sister and her friends {we got separated slightly and the lack of phones prevented actual coordinating} but all was well with gluvine and dinner.
And that's how we spent our time in Frankfurt, we also took a day trip to Heidelberg which I'll be posting about next time, after that we're off to Paris.  Thanks for your patience as I continue gathering, documenting and sharing all the experiences from our trip!

1 comment:

  1. I got hungry reading this! Looks like everyone enjoyed!

    Aunt Joanne