August 9 (Montag) - Things are not going so well. We got up early, I felt better than I have in about a week. We went down, had breakfast and came back to the room. Suddenly Robb was so tired, he had to go back to bed. I guess the jet lag finally caught up to him.
After he awoke, around 13h30 or 14h00, we went out to get some stuff we need. We walked to the sundry store, got some stuff there and started off down the street. We've been looking for a local market and came across one that I had seen on the internet. Robb bought a bunch of stuff there, including a box of un-refridgerated milk. It's quite tasty.
Walking back to the hotel, we passed O'Reilly's Irish Pub, it's about two blocks from the hotel and we've never passed when it wasn't crowded, except this morning when I took the picture. But then again, it was morning.. Robb ordered a nacho salad with wine. I ordered my very first Guiness. Both were great. We sat outside because the weather is beautiful and the people watching is much better. We stayed about a hour or so. We got back to the room, and I was exhausted. Okay, I swear this is the last time I'm going to talk aboiut my health, and I only mention it for those who might be wondering why we're not doing very much at all. Truth be told, I was worried about this very problem long before we left, but I figured, at least we'd be in our beloved Europe, even if we couldn't do anything.
Last night, on the advice of the bartender (bar manager?), we went looking for a restaurant he had suggested. We found it but it was closed. Tonight Baseler Eck was open. When asked about a drink, we both ordered apfelwein. Robb, because he likes it and me because I've never had it. I did not like it and gave mine to Robb to finish. For dinner, I had bratwurst with potatoes and sauerkraut, Robb ordered Rippchen, a pork roast.. The bratwurst dish was very good but I could barely finish the meat, much less the potatoes and sauerkraut. Needless to say, Robb cleaned his plate.
August 10 (Dienstag) - After breakfast, we walked over to the apotheke (drugstore) where Robb got some Alka Seltzer and I got some sleeping pills. We took our stuff back to the hotel, then walked down to the Baseler Platz tram station and bought our day ticket from the Fahrkarten machine.
When it arrived, we boarded the number 12 and rode all the way to the end of the line, the Zoo. While we were waiting for the tram in the opposite direction, I noticed this cool building across from the zoo. The really neat thing about buying a day ticket (or better, a monthly pass), is that if you see something interesting, you can get off the tram, check it out and catch the next tram. And that's what we did. We spotted a full size grocery store, got off at the next stop and walked back. I have been trying to find a place that sells small, hand-size sponges and was hoping this place would have them, but we were out of luck. BTW, if you're interested, they're called "schwamm" in German.
We walked back to the tram station and waited for our number 12. We could have taken any tram that came by, but I insisted on the 12. It came and we rode to the other end of the line, Schwanheim. We had to get off and get on the tram that was already there. Then we rode back to the Baseler Platz station. The round trip took a little over three hours and was a very pleasant way to see a lot of the city we would not have otherwise seen.
When we got back to Baseler Platz, I decided I could walk over to the Main River for a few photos. We did make it, though I had to stop many times. These are the pictures I took from the Friedensbrücke; one, two, three. Just on the other side of the bridge and on the river, is this neat building. I also got a shot of the Smart Four Door.
After our walk to the river, we started back to the hotel, but happened upon a little store selling ice cream. Since the temperature today was all the way up to 26°, we stopped and bought a white chocolate popsicle. OMG, it was fantastic! The hotel is practically next to the little shop, and they have tables set up outside, so we sat there and ate our ice cream. While we were there, I saw a Peugeot that is obviously intended to rival the Smart Car. It's the same size and only looks slightly different. You have to look for the Peugeot emblem to really know. I will be looking for one to get a picture.
Tonight, we ate at an Iranian, oops, I mean Persian restaurant. It's part of the Hotel Oriental. I had Fessejan, which was chicken in some kind of sauce. Robb had a dish with eggplant. Even though we can't remember the name, Robb said it was very good. The decor of the place was very nice also, except the lights were too bright and there was a set of steps on each one of which there was a light that, after awhile, became quite nasty.
August 11 (Mittwoch) - We walked over to the bahnhof today and got our month-long tram passes (Monatskarte). They're also good on the bus and the metro. Then we walked to the Baseler Platz station where we caught the 12 to the Römer and MyZeil. In the tree-studded Zeil, we sat at a bench where I shot this picture of one of the overhead lights. Then, we entered MyZeil and rode the escalator all the way to the top floor.
I was wondering the other day, how or if, they clean the skylight-roof. Today, I got the answer. I managed to get this picture of the guys out there cleaning 'windows'. Afterwards, we covered almost every store on every level. Robb was looking for a German Eagle pendant, but we didn't find any.
After doing MyZeil, we walked over to the Galeria which is next door. We entered the H&M store. Robb bought a hat and I bought a T-shirt. Robb felt the call, so we had to go to the top floor. While we were there, I went to the outside terrace and took some pictures. The church with the clock is the oldest cathedral in Frankfurt, two: the church on the left is the one of which I took the night picture of its steeple, this one shows some of the skyscrapers, I think this is the Alte Oper (opera), but don't quote me. Next is an area of the city called the Hauptwache. This one also. This is supposed to be a solar operated gas station, according to a picture I saw before we got here, but now I'm not so sure it really is. There are solar panels on top of it, but I didn't see any gas pumps. Maybe they meant a place to recharge an electric car.
Robb was getting hungry, so on the walk back to catch the tram, we stopped at Weiner Feinbäcker. Robb spotted a pastry his grandmother used to make and got one for each of us. It's called Pflaumenkuchen and it's a plum cake. It's also quite good. While we were sitting there eating the Pflaumenkuchen, we noticed a guy with a professional video camera and a girl with a microphone. They were interviewing whoever would stop and talk to them about what appeared to be a Brita water filter. A lot of people either never heard of it, or just didn't want to be interviewed. This woman did.
After eating, we walked down to the tram station, but we had just missed our tram, so we walked across the street to an upscale souvenir shop. We didn't find anything but the saleswoman told Robb about a store that sold the pendants he was lookig to buy. We started to the store but it was too far for me and Robb took off on his own. While he was gone, I took these pictures of the bridge between two buildings and a ratskeller (beer hall).
Then it was back to the tram station and our tram back to the hotel.
On our way to dinner, we had a happy accident. We were planning to eat at the Markt im Bahnhof (MIB in the picture). It is a huge place with so many varieties of food, you could eat there everyday and not eat the same thing twice. But, as we were walking toward it, we looked up and saw the sign advertising the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. At first, we only saw the steps leading up to it, but then found the elevator just in back of them. Up we went. We were totally surprised to find such a great restaurant in the bahnhof and had previously been quite unaware of its existence. We were seated at a table with a fantastic view of the trains. That's Robb wearing his new hat. Our waiter is from Afghanistan and spoke no English. Every once in awhile, I answer in French before I realize it, so now he thinks Robb is American, but I'm French. We had a great dinner. I had steak medallions with wonderful French fries, and Robb had salmon.
August 12 (Donnerstag) - I've been eating a lot more for breakfast than I would ever eat at home. This morning, for instance, I had a glass of orange juice, a glass of milk, two cups of coffee, a waffle, a muffin and a banana (that I took back to the room for later). At home, I would have had a cup of coffee and maybe a piece of toast later. Of course, I'm not nearly as active at home as here. This where we have our breakfast.
The train stations in Europe are a good place to find a lot of things, including ATM machines. We've found that it's much more convenient and considerably less costly to use the ATMs. As you can almost see in this picture, there is a branch of the Commerzbank in the bahnhof also. There is a great model railroad set up enclosed in glass, with five different train sets that you can start moving by putting in a couple euros.
If we leave our room, walk, down the hall and look out the window, we can see this rooftop. I've noticed there are a lot of places like this in Frankfurt. Probably more than anyone except someone in a plane will ever see. This one could use a bit of trimming though.
Robb wanted to check a couple more jewelry stores, so we caught the tram up Münchener Strasse where we had seen a couple the other day. They didn't have the one for which he was looking, but I saw this building and liked it.
Today, we caught the 21 tram and rode to the end of the line in each direction. On the way to the second line end, we got off because we saw a place selling bags, and Robb is still trying to replace the one he lost at the airport in Fort Lauderdale. He didn't find anything he liked, but I got this picture of a typical German neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. Once we got to the second line end, we entered a Rewe super market, where I bought some sponges (schwamm) and Robb bought a bottle of Obst Wasser (a kind of schnapps). Across from the tram station was this Grillstation. The smell from this place almost made us want to eat again.
We rode back to Baseler Platz, started back to the hotel, but were drawn into a store by the strong pull of white chocolate popsicles.