• Elisabeth Bachmann

13 Hours: Our Trip to Frankfurt

It has been a day! Yesterday I started my last spring break trip as a college student, and I am going to Germany and Spain with my boyfriend and his family.

It has been way too long since I have gone abroad; which was abundantly clear by my constant anxiety about airport security and ensuring we showed up to the gate no less than three hours early. It’s overkill, I know, but I really don’t want to mess any of this trip up!

What Did We Do?

Yesterday at around 5 pm we departed from the United States to Frankfurt, Germany. We had no less than a 13 hour layover in Frankfurt, so we decided to make the best of it and go into town.

Shout out to the airport for having a bag check service, so we weren’t walking those cobble streets with suitcases in tow.

We left for the town around 6:30 am. Originally we were planning to go to the mall, but our taxi driver reminded us that no stores would be open that early. Oops!

Since we were already a 27 euro taxi ride into town, we asked him to drop us off somewhere we could get breakfast. We went to Eifler’s Cappuccino where we purchased some pretzel bread with cheese and meet and a much needed expresso.

Afterwards, we wandered around Frankfurt for three hours where we stumbled across a flea market and a farmers market.We also saw Eiserner Steg — a pedestrian bridge covered in locks that seemed to be put there by couples — and the Romer. Of course, you can barely stumble around anywhere in Europe without seeing a fair number of historical churches. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t really know which ones we saw, but they were beautiful!

We then stopped by another local store where we got brautworst “franken style.” The sausage and bun were really good, but I am just not a huge fan of sauerkraut. Luckily, one of us was so I can attest it was delicious — whether you get it with sauerkraut or not.

Around 10 am, the Zeil shopping center opened and we visited their lego store. I do not have too many childhood memories, but my boyfriend lit up with a type of nostalgia that may be the most pure thing I have ever seen.

Once we finished poking around Zeil, we went looking for lunch. We finally settled on the Toprak Kebap Haus. It was really good — I’m actually still munching on the leftovers as I write this post. We got Döner sandwiches, and they let us try Turkish tea on the house!

At noon we ended up crashing. It was 7 am back home and we hadn’t slept much on the flight, so we went back to the airport to wait for our 7 pm flight to Madrid. On the way back, we rode in a Taxi on the Autobahn. I have never ridden in a car moving so fast! He topped out at 200 km/hr or roughly 125 mph. The maximum speed limit I’ve ever driven in was 75 mph, so it was a bit of a shock. The driver spent some time explaining why and how the Autobahn works. Maybe that’s an article for another time!

Where I Am Now:

We got to the hotel in Madrid around 11 pm, took a shower, and headed back out to look for food. Because it was so late and most of the people in the streets and restaurants were very drunk, we ended up purchasing carnitas con pollo and a bottle of red wine from the supermarket across the street. Much to my surprise, the wine was really good. You never would have guessed it was less than 6 euros!

Now, he is watching YouTube while I finish writing. It is definitely time for bed! Tomorrow we are planning on walking to the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Food For Thought:

One of the most interesting things I thought about today was how privileged we are to be Americans. While in Frankfurt, we constantly found ourselves asking people if they spoke English. Even if they didn’t know much, they tried their best to accommodate us. Although we have some businesses in the US that try to hire people who can speak multiple languages, I cannot imagine not speaking English at all and walking into a store back home and asking them to speak in a language other than English. It was a little embarrassing once I realized that we expected the people abroad to adjust to us, but we do not adjust to others back home. Our taxi driver could speak 6 languages, but I have never met an American that could do the same. I know there are Americans that do speak multiple languages, but it just does not seem to be as common.

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