Frankfurt and the Ruhrgebiet

I’m backkkk from a more than a week long vacation to neighboring Germany.

I arrived at Düsseldorf International Airport at 10pm, 26 July. My friend Sandra picked me up at the airport. The following day, we were to go to Frankfurt and stay overnight with a friend of hers.

 

Friday, 27 July

European Central Bank

European Central Bank

 

Lunch for that day was my first authentic German dish native to Frankfurt – flammkuchen.

 

The flammkuchen resembles a pizza but instead of tomato sauce it uses sour cream. It also has a thin crust. Really tasty. Dammit I’m craving for one right now as I’m writing this.

 

It was a hot, hot day in Frankfurt. Plus I was having trouble with this new pair of sandals I bought just before my trip. I was suffering from blisters. *Lesson learned: do not ever use newly bought sandals that will be worn for the first time on a trip.*

 

workers cooling off at a fountain

 

After a filling lunch it was stroll time once again. We are headed to the Iron Bridge and passed by the Römerberg.

 

The Römerberg is a plaza featuring timber-framed houses which was the style then. It was completely rebuilt after it was destroyed during World War II.

 

Wertheim Haus

 

Surprisingly the house above holds the record for the only timber-framed house in the downtown area that survived the war. Right outside the Wertheim, there were protesters holding out placards and flags. I was told by Sandra that the protesters are from the political party of Hitler. But the demonstration is contained. There were police all over for security.

 


That night we went for a night-out together with Sandra’s friends. It was a rowing club party and apparently new in Frankfurt. Before heading to the club, we stopped by her friend’s friend (the description isn’t very lengthy thank goodness) at their rooftop with a splendid view of the Frankfurt skyline at night complete with lightnings. What? Are you waiting for pictures? Sorry I didn’t have my camera with me that night so everything that happened would have just to be committed to my memory. Never mind that I didn’t have pictures partying but the Frankfurt skyline would have been awesome. Yeah I’ve become a sucker for skylines and observation platforms.

 

Saturday, 28 July
The following day was museum day! Städel museum was the pick. It was the first time I’ve really liked a museum (looking forward to visiting El Prado and Reina Sofia Museums in Madrid).

posh neighborhood near Städel Museum

 

The museum boasts of a vast collection categorized into Ancient Masters, Modern and Contemporary Art. We spent two hours lingering about the paintings and art pieces.

Städel Museum

 

Passing by the Museum of Modern Art. No didn’t go in. One museum a day is enough thank you.

 

Sunday, 29 July

Brunch at the Road Stop.

The restaurant serves an eat-all-you-can buffet of American and German breakfast fare. I loved it equally with its all-American interiors.

Joining us for lunch is Sandra’s family. It was nice meeting them wonderful people.

 

I was so full. Burp. Still I had to squeeze in some dessert. The choco mousse was very tempting. I was also intrigued by the rice milk or milk rice (whatever I don’t remember the exact order of the words) and for good measure I threw in some fruits.

 

The choco mouse mixed with milk rice was just uhmmm… heavenly. :p

 

All group pictures taken were unfortunately blurry but this still will do as a memento.

 

After lunch, Sandra’s parents had shown me the town of Hattingen where timber-framed houses are well-looked-after. This was the typical housing style back then.

at the old town of Hattingen

 

There was even a moated castle of modest size.

Haus Kemnade

 

Much later on in the afternoon, we dropped by the home stadium of the Dortmund football club or simply known as BVB. It’s Sandra’s favorite football team.

 

Would have been nice to watch a game cos this team doesn’t play in the Champions league though apparently it’s a favorite team in Germany.

 

Monday, 30 July

We are visiting Melanie, also a friend of ours in our MBA program. We headed to Bocholt and we were to be accompanied by a close friend of hers.

 

Meet Criban. He’s Mely’s horse and I will be riding her that day. 🙂

 

He knows when he’s being photographed and he doesn’t like it. One has to be sly taking photos of him.

 

But he likes to be combed and tada! A nice picture of him looking straight at the camera. Good boy Criban!

 

We then headed for the city center to grab lunch.

 

In Germany, the custom is to split the bill individually. This means more work for the waiter who has to break down each person’s bill. Leaving a tip is also common. I did bad this first time of leaving a tip. I got confused and ended up not giving a tip. :-/ Anyway I’ve learned now how to do it. When they tell you your bill, you can give them an amount slightly higher than the bill and tell them they keep the change. That’s the cue. The waiter will know it that you’re leaving him a tip.

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing through clothing shops. It also rained a bit.

 

 

Tuesday, 31 July

The itinerary for Tuesday was to visit one of the coal mine museums. Neat. I didn’t know there were coal mines in Germany and an important industry to boot. Most of the mines were concentrated in the North Rhine-Westphalia.

Nightingale mine tour

 

The tour was actually in German. Sandra had to translate everything to me in English. I should remember to tell her she has a future as a translator. 😉


We were expecting we’d be able to ride through the tunnels in a mine tram but unfortunately those were not available on an every tour basis. It was an on-and off thing. Would have been nice to go by tram. It would have felt like one of those theme park rides where you go to a dark tunnel of horrors. Oh how I love a good scare!

 

Much later on in the afternoon we decided to drop by the downtown area of Witten to get us some ice cream. Since Sandra said spaghetti ice cream is common and most probably a very German thing, I had to try it.

 


 

Would’ve looked more like a spaghetti had I ordered strawberry but I’m not so much intro strawberry ice cream so it had to be chocolate. 🙂

 

Another foodie highlight is the currywurst.

 

The owner asked Sandra if I’m visiting and where I’m from. And with that our order just got upgraded for free with a sprig of parsley and salad. Plus I was given a sticker which says Ich Will Wat which.. unfortunately I’ve forgotten the English meaning.

This currywurst is pretty good. The sauce is saucily good I bet I could eat rice with it HA!

 

I was to compare the currywurst in the Ruhrgebiet area and in Berlin since both have been claiming theirs is the best. My verdict will be appearing when I post my Berlin travels. 🙂

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