August 16 (Montag) - It's colder and wetter. Today, we took the number 17 tram from end (Hauptbahnhof) to end (Rebstockbad). It took us past the Messe, a large convention center and concert hall. These two entrances to the Messe, were just next door to the tram station, and they allow you to get to the center without having to cross the busy street.. A block further down the street was the Hammering Man. You can't tell from the picture, but the arm with the hammer actually swings up to his head and down to the other hand. This fountain, that I barely had time to shoot, was in the same area.
We were all excited about the hotel restaurant re-opening tonight. It would be so convenient. But now they inform us it won't open until the middle of next month. Here's something to remember for future trips. If you're staying at a hotel, make sure they're not building a seven story building next door and make sure they have a restaurant that is going to be open.
Speaking of restaurants, we had dinner at the Cosmopolitan. I had Zanderfilet (filet of Perch), it was simply presented, but it was very good with spinach. Robb had Flammkuchen Klassik , which was like a pizza with bacon and onions, it too was excellent. Cosmopolitan is a very good restaurant.
August 17 (Dienstag) - We got up late today and just barely made it in time for breakfast. Breakfast is served only until 10h30. The weather is still kind of nasty and it appears it's going to remain that way for at least another week. Since we're doing tram "tours", it really doesn't have that much of an effect on us.
We did something different today. We took two bus tours. It started out kind of funny. We caught the 35 bus, but it just pulled across the street and that was the end of line. Robb told the driver we wanted to stay on and do the whole route. He very graciously invited us to ride with him. So we rode the 35 from end (Hauptbahnhof) to end (Lechesberg).
When we got back to the bahnhof, we walked over and attempted to get the 46, but the driver flat-out lied to us and said he was just going to sit there for 15 miutes. Less than a minute later he was gone. I guess there has to be at least one asshole in the mix.
I saw the 37 bus approaching, so we looked for his berth and waited for it to show up. It was the first ride that didn't even stop at the end of the line. He just made a U-turn and drove back to the bahnhof, where I shot this detail on the bahnhof.
The bus rides were short but very rough. Wonder if they've ever heard of 'shock absorbers'.
Because it was cold and raining, we ate again at Gaylord. The food there is really good, though I'm sure they go easy on the spices for us. A testimony to the authenticity of the place is that the other night, when it was so crowded, most of the diners were Indian.
August 18 (Mittwoch) - It's about 11h00 and there is no sign of the sun. Here are a couple of interior shots in the hotel. This is fourth floor stairwell, which we have used a few times when the elevator was slow. This is our door, just to the right of the furniture. I know, so exciting! And just when you thought you couldn't stand any more excitement, here's a picture of the bed just made by the cleaning people (who are Oriental, at least one of them is Chinese, I'm not sure about the others). You can see there are two separate mattresses and two separate duvets, which I think is the best feaature of double beds in Germany.
We decided to ride the number 11 today, and what a ride it was. We got on at the Münchener Strasse stop to beat the crowd, but at the very next stop, a couple of obnoxious little kids got on. We stood it for two stops and got off. We caught the next tram but it was too crowded, so we got off at the next stop, where we checked out the Penny Markt. It's something like the Franprix in France but you have to deduct about fifty percent on the prices. I suggested the best way to insure we get seats, would be to ride in the other direction to Will Brandt Platz, where I got this shot of the Commerzbank. The 11 showed up, we got on, found good seats and hoped there would be no more brats. There weren't. One of the places we passed was the GigaSaurer, which looks like a dinosaur display. We didn't check it today, but we most definitely will one day.
A little further towards the first end stop, we passed these apartments. All the buildings were decorated like this one, but they were all different. Once we got to the end stop, Zuckschwerdtstrasse, I saw this Trinkhalle Im Turm. Evidently, it's some kind of franchise thing because they're all over town.I also saw, just a little further down the street, this interesting building. One of the things I find most convenient at all the tram stops, are these signs that tell you how long you'll have to wait for the next tram. They do not have them for the bus stops.
At 12h45, the sun made an unexpected appearance. At 13h45, it was pouring.
On the way to the other end line station, we passed St. Markus Nied. It's pretty easy to see I shot it through the tram window. Most of the things we saw going the other way were car dealerships (you name it and it was represented) and factories. We arrived at Fechenheimer Leinpfad, got on the return tram and started back to the hotel. However, I caught sight of the Birmingham Pub and had to take a picture. The only way I could get a decent one was for us to get off. As it turned out, it was a good decision because both of us needed a pitstop. I took my photos and we entered the pub. Of course, you can't just use their facilities, you buy something. We got a couple of Binding Bier drafts. Binding is THE bier of Frankfurt, but it's the first time we had one. Very good bier.
While we were drinking our bier, the sun decided to make a major appearance and remained out for a couple of hours.
Have any of you seen the movie, Schindler's List? Well, apparently, Herr Schindler lived next door to what is now O'Reilly's, just down the street.
For dinner, we walked down to Baseler Eck. After dinner, when we went up to pay, we met a guy named Tom. Tom lives in Virginia and is a pilot for United Airlines. Since he is gay, we got quite chummy and he took us to a bar in the Meridien Hotel, named Casablanca, where they have lots of photos from the movie. The main reason for our visit there was that the bartender is world famous and he has invented a gin and tonic drink in which he uses cucumbers. I know, it sounds strange, but it really was quite good, and I don't particularly care for gin.
August 19 (Donnerstag) - For the first time this week, we awoke to a world bathed in sunlight. Welcome back, Herr Sonne.
Took a shot of the construction just outside our window, from the other side. They've got a long way to go.
Since it was such a beautiful day, we caught the tram to Willy Brandt Platz, where we saw this fountain. From there we walked up to the Frankfurter Hof because there was another jewelry store that Robb wanted to check. Then we walked over to what I mistakenly called Goethe Platz. It is really Gutenberg Platz and the statue is of Gutenberg and the two men who financed his idea for the printing press.
Walking around the area, we came across the Goethe Haus/Museum (we did not go inside) and this nice outdoor café. Near the café was a pastry shop with great looking pastries. Some of my Francophile friends will be happy to learn they also had some very tasty-looking macarons. Then we came to a solar powered parking pay station. We saw from there the Bar Celona café (and did you notice the Pakistan National Bank in the background?), and were intrigued by the play on words. We stopped for a café for me and a bier for Robb. To further the mystique, the menu was in Spanish.
We wandered past the Katharinenkirche, then the Hauptwache to the Zeil. We saw a fountain and a statue and a guy walking around selling wursts from a device he had strapped to him. A little further along, we saw a street market. By now, I was getting very tired and just as I said to Robb that we might have to take a taxi, I saw a tram. It turned out to be the one that goes to Baseler Platz. We hopped on.
We almost had dinner at Chicago Meat Packers Restaurant, but after waiting, and waiting for service and having checked the extremely limited menu, we left, hopped on the tram and went to the Römer, where we found Weinstube Im Römer. We both had the Seelachsfilet (a white fish) mit dillrosse (a fantastic dill sauce) and the best boiled potatoes I've ever eaten.
After dinner, we walked down to the river to check on a possible dinner cruise. Then we caught the tram back to the hotel.