9 May 2013

A longer look at Frankfurt

On my first afternoon in Frankfurt I managed to see most of the old town, and more, so I had to move a little further away from the centre to start my exploring on the second day.

This was a Bank Holiday there which meant that many things were closed, including almost all of the shops (how unlike England!), and the the public transport was less frequent. Still, my plan to catch a bus to the opera house worked.

And a very nice looking opera house it was too, very traditional in design and scale, it could hardly be anything else.

It sat in one of the open spaces created by the former boundary to the old town, much to its benefit. Again the contrast with London is obvious, and not in London's favour, with the Royal Opera House sitting on a busy road.

The square there was also the humble start of the main pedestrian route through the town which I headed down in the absence of anywhere better to go. That brought me to the square where I had eaten the night before. Then I had noticed an observation deck on the top of a shop and I was pleased to find that this was open, even though none of the shops underneath it were.

I ascended to the top of the little mall only to discover that all I could see from the top was Frankfurt and that is not very interesting.

And I had to scare myself half to death to get there. The last leg was by an open stairway made all the more interesting by being wet after that morning's rain. At least the cafe on the top level was open and I was able to have a customary mid-morning latte to ease the nerves.

From there I continued along the main pedestrian street that I had admired in the gloom the evening before.

Not surprisingly it looked even better in the day light though the absence of people gave it a somewhat eerie look.

The street ended at an empty market square at the other side of the old town and returning there seemed the best option, so I did.

The square was busy but not packed, no doubt the rain and threat of more to come was a deterrent to some.

This was the view of the main square looking north towards the road where the trams ply their helpful trade. Behind me was the river.

And one of the many bridges crossing that river was this heavily engineered pedestrian bridge that looks as though it was build for much heavier traffic though it was not wide enough to carry two lanes of traffic.

The bridge was appealing but the far bank was not so, having ventured along the bridge for a while to get the views up and down the river, I turned back toward the old town.

As before, I had nowhere in particular to go and plenty of time to get there so I explored in my usual fashion, choosing each street on its degree of interest rather than its direction. Of course I had the safety of a travel-card and the knowledge that the city had a richness of trams, buses and also an underground train.

Somewhere along the way I found this building. It was not unique in its interest (I was taking around 200 photos every day on the holiday) and it got selected simply because of the angle of the shot that makes the building fill the frame.

A rest was called for so I headed back to the hotel.

The easiest way back to the hotel was a tram back to the main station and then walking through it, in via the main entrance and out on the north side. I could have walked around it but that route was hampered by a car park, a taxi rank and a distinct lack of a pavement.

Rested, I went back out in the evening and made a point of going back to Willy-Brandt-Platz to take a picture of the large euro sign. I still think that it is an excellent idea and I am sad that the UK shows no intention of adopting it.

That was my second day in Frankfurt and, despite the early rain, it did all that I could expect of it. I had a good walk and found some interesting things along the way. And that was exactly what that holiday was meant to do.

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