Germany welcomed me with a cold rush of wind running down my neck as I stepped off the plane and headed to the metro. We were greeted by two of Carsten’s old friends which was enough to fill anyone with warmth. Petra and Gero told me some history and fun facts about Frankfurt on the ride to their flat.  We warmed up and ate a little Stubenknecht (Little bread man from the bakery) before venturing out for the day.

Carsten and I roamed the streets of Frankfurt until my feet went numb (from the cold, not from walking). The first thing he had to do was eat currywurst (although it is typically from the Berlin area, he couldn’t wait any longer). I stopped in a small bakery and ordered a sugar cookie, which he thought was hilarious because it’s name was Amerikaner….so yes, I ate an American.  Once our stomaches were satisfied we walked around the Zeil area and went to the top of Zeil Gallery to overlook the city, then to Fressgasse street by the old opera, walked through Anlagenring park in search of the masses of rabbits, and ended the tour at the Eiserner Steg after strolling down the sidewalk of the Main river.  Since my fingers were beginning to go numb as well Carsten said he knew just the thing to warm me up! I couldn’t go with him because he said he was taking me somewhere tomorrow and I wasn’t allowed to see. So, I waited for him on the bridge. I watched as he crossed the street to a lighted area with booths and music, but I didn’t want to ruin the surprise so I walked to the middle of the bridge and began taking pictures and enjoying the surroundings. Ten minutes later he came back with a steaming cup in his hand and said “Drink this! It’ll warm you.” Glüehwein, a Hot Mulled Wine, is an acquired taste…but did in fact warm me up pretty quickly.

Dinner time had approached and we were taken to Zur Elenburg (Castle of Owls) a cute little restaurant hidden away down a cobble stoned street of the city. I ordered goose, but tasted a bit of all the different foods from everyone’s plates. We drank Äppler (Apple wine) traditional to the Frankfurt area.

The next morning our friendly hosts assembled a delightful breakfast consisting of Brötchen, fruit, jams and juice in their tiny library. We all bundled up for the explorative day ahead. The botanical Palmengarten filled with so many fun, exotic plants and blumen was the first stop of the day. When we arrived at the dessert portion of the Garden, there was a little old man sitting down reading his Zeitung. He was so excited to see visitors aftre being alone in there for hours and began to tell all about the plants and animals that live in the type of habitat…only problem, I’m stillnot fluent in German. So I stood there smiling and nodding my head like I knew what he was talking about and after his 20 minute spiel, my three companions turn to me and start translating in english, he gets a puzzled look on his face and says as clear as day “I’m fluent in english ya know?”

Around noon we stopped at a tiny cafe to have milk, coffee and cakes. We wandered the streets for hours learning all about Frankfurt.

 As we arrived at the Weihnachtsmarkt, my eyes gazed into fascination by all the beautifully hand crafted art work and sculptures designed by the Germans. I noticed the younger generation putting a lot of work into their creations to keep the tradition of the past alive. It was such a friendly place filled with laughter and mouthwatering smells of all of the different delicacies. We drank Glüehwein, Feuerzangenbowle, ate Bratwurst from the Schwenkgrill that was roasting the woscht and steak.We spent the whole night wandering around visiting the different booths, enjoying the atmosphere. Before we knew it the day was gone and we had to go to bed to get up bright and early to head to Berlin.

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