Frankfurt am Main or simply Frankfurt, is a city with just 700,000 inhabitants, which is not even one of the largest in Germany, but it is surprising to see how today is one of the reference metropolis of our continent, and one of the most historically and economically important throughout the country.
It wasn't even 8 in the morning when we had already taken a taxi (26 EUR), passed the security controls (today we carry a suitcase) and we were having breakfast (6.55 EUR) in another of our usual corners of Barajas airport (one day we will create a post of "corners that lead us to the imagination" and in many of them airports will appear).
The flight, today with Air Nostrum (much better than Iberia's medium-sized aircraft in both comfort and service - they still give a soda without paying) lasts about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The feeling of flying is something I can never describe (Isaac) although Paula doesn't share it so much. See yourself taking off and in a few minutes overcome the cloud layer as the sun rises over the horizon, knowing that when the plane you are traveling on takes land you will find yourself in a new place for yourself ... it is simply something that nobody should miss. Unfortunately In our environment there are still many people who think that traveling is throwing money, and more in the times that run and it does not matter the arguments that you give them. An old friend (whom we all know) says that "traveling is investing in life", and we believe that every day we agree more with him, as long as we know how to find that complicated balance between the obsession to travel and family life, a balance that we are still looking for many (some that is helping us with the summer trip between them, !! thank you very much for everything!).
Half an hour before noon we are already stepping on Terminal 2 of the huge Frankfurt International Airport (the second largest in Europe with 50 million annual passengers after Heathrow), which is 12 km from the city. Moving to the center is not difficult, since T2 and T1 are interconnected by trains, every 2 or 3 minutes, and free buses, every 10 minutes (we take the Sky Line Train that is a kind of monorail, similar to the ones we saw at the Orlando Orlando Airport on our first big trip, that leaves aside the huge parking areas) and from the T1 there is a station for Long Distance trains and another for Regional, from where we take an S-Bahn (S8) to reach to the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) next to where we will stay.
The location of the Intercity Frankfurt Hotel (ALL THE ACCOMMODATION INFORMATION HERE). We are at !! 1 minute and a half walking !! from the Central Station, and it is a more than correct accommodation. We have checked in, left our bags, bought a water (1.50 EUR) and took the sandwiches we brought from yesterday (thanks mom from Isaac) and set for our first stop of the day, the Messe pavilions, where we have arrived from the Frankfurt Hbf, although this time using the U-Bahn. Of course, just a few moments have been enough to know that we are going to spend VERY COLD. We are between 2 and -2ºC these days. This is why Paula bought some gloves in a shop along the way, since she had forgotten them (4.40 EUR)
The The difference between the S-Bahn and U-Bahn is not clear either, because in practice they are very similar (the U-Bahn in Frankfurt are also not deep underground). The S-Bahn in theory reach regional populations at the end of their journey and the U-Bahn do not. At older people there is an impressive tram and bus network, and on top of the 4 media they have frequencies of just a few minutes. In short, a public network that many cities already want.
With the entrance to the Fair we have included free transport throughout the RMV network (regional Hesse), but as in Prague, we have been curious to see how there is no type of control machine here, that is, if an inspector did not come you could travel "unethically" for free. !! FOR NOTICE TO BROWSERS! It has been to get on the U4 towards the fair and 2 inspectors have appeared asking everyone for tickets and tickets after identifying with a card, including ours. It is the first time we see it on any trip or getaway.
The first thing we have found, just arriving at the impressive pavilions of Messe where the fair takes place, is the third largest skyscraper in Europe, the Messeturm (257 meters). Almost next are the pavilions 5, 6 and even 11 where we are heading
We are not going to talk too much about the Fair we attend. The "Christmasworld" in Frankfurt is the great meeting of Europe for the decoration and summer products sector, and more specifically for Christmas products For the new campaign. Here are the new trends and innovations.
Admittedly, there are really innovative articles, especially in one of the pavilions through which we have gone through mere curiosity, after a short break and some refreshments (6.20 EUR).
After a first contact (we will return tomorrow) we have decided to divide Frankfurt into two routes. The first thing to know about Frankfurt is that during the 1944 bombings, 80% of the city was completely demolished, so that the merit of the city's spectacular economic recovery is absolutely dazzling. The first route, today, will take us precisely to that symbol of recovery, the financial Frankfurt, the communications, the skyscrapers; leaving the most traditional for tomorrow. Our route has been something like this:
For this we have gone down to the S-Bahn of the pavilions and moved to the Taunnusanlange station. Walking parallel to the street of the same name, we begin to observe the magecious buildings that appear on postcards of the city as well as some new building in full construction that requires imposing cranes to rise
Almost unintentionally we have reached one of the city's symbols, the Eurotower or Eurotorre, where there is currently a macrocampada in protest of the system that controls the markets and invades even the euro symbol. In this skyscraper, 148 m, is the Headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) that we have heard so much about in the news lately. Its construction was completed in 1977.
Going north by Neue Mainzer Strabe we see the real financial district, a street that mixes colossal skyscrapers with lower moles of stone and aluminum. We are in the economic heart of Europe.
The Main Tower that we saw before by far will be our next stop. It is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the financial district of Frankfurt with 200 meters high, completely crystallized and with 56 floors, and a point of reference for a first look at the city's situation. The elevator, after paying the entrance fee (5 EUR Isaac and 3.5 EUR Paula with student card), gives access (at speeds of up to 20 km / h that you feel in the head) to floors 55 and 56 only and exclusively, where there is a restaurant / bar and the walkway to the terrace overlooking the city.
Today we will not be lucky. The intense fog that since we landed invades the city, seems taken from the best horror and suspense films. What we can see is a building to consider right next to us, the Commerzbank, built between 1994 and 1996 and designed by Norman Foster and its partners using up to 18,000 tons of steel.
But according to the list of tallest skyscrapers in the world from Wikipedia, in Europe we have a lot to "climb" if we want to reach the level of other continents. The top 30 positions in the entire list are filled by just 5 countries (Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United States, Taiwan - if it can be considered a country - and China). To find the Palace of Triumph in Moscow we would have to go to position number 69, and for the Commerzbank to 156. Anyway ...
The intense yellow light that is usually seen in the Frankfurt Sky Line comes from this building, so it is not lost to reference it
Curiosity causes us, already coming down from the heights and a few meters later, the Operplatz or Opera Square It houses the former Opera Theater. He suffered a great deterioration during the bombings of World War II but was rebuilt and today remains impassive around him in the midst of these monsters of steel, aluminum and stone
Leaving this great square behind we enter the Bockerheimer gardens where almost at night we begin to see the Main Tower and the Commerzbank Tower fully illuminated in the background. In this new green area, next to the practically frozen pond, you will find the Nebbien Arbor which was commissioned by the editor Marcus Johann Nebbien in 1810 on the occasion of his third marriage and is still preserved. Right at the end of the gardens we see a lookout and prison tower, the Eschenheimer Tower, which belonged to an old medieval fortification between 1426 and 1428 and today is almost a symbol of a street with a high traffic volume.
We continue walking on this curious modern route that we have designed today, to reach the An der Haupwache square, a curious and immense square that contrasts Hauptwache, a baroque-style surveillance station built in 1730 that also served as a prison, with largest boulevards in the city full of shops, shopping malls and local restaurants.
Precisely in one of them, the Zeil Galerie, we are going to shelter for a while from the cold and try to drink something hot. We have been struck by the glass facade and the glass dome ...
... but what we did not know is that in its roof it has a terrace with some of the best views of the city, with Haupwache and the Sky Line as main attractions.
After that coffee and that crepe (7.20 EUR), and already with the body in temperature far from freezing (it is cold but it is not humid as in Prague), we have reached the Frankfurt Stock Exchange where the funds of the companies of the country are traded and negotiated and it is also the third most important stock exchange worldwide. Outside meet two statues that symbolize two stock terms, the bull and the bear. The bull is qualified as bullish moment and the bear quite the opposite, bearish. This terminology seems to have begun to be used on the New York Stock Exchange when sales of bare shares were legal and "people sold bear's skin before hunting it." Anyway ... we are very skeptical of all this, so ours
And ours is called gastronomy, and in this area it is called Grobe Bockenheimer Strabe (or also known as Frebgrass), wide street that offers a variety of restaurants of all kinds and gourmet and delicatessen shops (curious). It seems that there is even an annual party in the months of June with very popular shows
We have decided on a Typical German local called Das Wirtshaus that we liked a lot, and that for 45 EUR (including tip) we have put two beers for the body, a salad, a goulash soup (Hungarian style), a specialty pork dish with fried egg and a mixed sausage ... !! TAKE NOW! hehehe
¿Sausages? The truth is that we were not sure about the difference between the types of sausages (wurst in German) that exist, and it never hurts to come to the sausage paradise Frankfurt to start distinguishing them (not that it is our devotion, but since we are). In the photo below we see that of the 3 that appear, the middle one is what we all know as Frankfurt. Well, it seems that the one that sells the most in the city itself is not that, but that they are the Wiener or Vienna. The difference is that the Frankfurt is exclusively pork and smokes, and the Wiener is a mixture of pork and beef and does not smoke.
In addition to Frankfurt, the one above is a Bratwurst type sausage, made with pork and stuffed with natural guts and the one below (we believe) a Oaxacan sausage.
Leaving the sausages aside, it is too late and tomorrow another intense day awaits us. Before we bought some postcards (3 EUR).
As always, family, friends and readers, we are great for this small metropolis. In fact, there are those who speak of Frankfurt as Mainhattan, relating the term Frankfurt Main to that American city. After knowing today its most imposing side, the Frankfurt of the heights, we give faith to it. More tomorrow…
Paula and Isaac, from Frankfurt (Germany)
EXPENSES DAY 1: 108.35 EUR