David and Noel Coory
Middle East Trip
A mix of old and very modern buildings
Impressions of Frankfurt, Germany
• Quiet reserved people.
• Very clean city.
• Orderly, law abiding people.
• Clean modern cars.
• Huge railway station, 34 lines.
• Local men mostly tallish and sandy haired.
• Friendly helpful German women (Fraulein's).
• Food displays exceptionally attractive.
• Shop window displays of a high standard.
• Expensive, the NZ dollar's worth only half a Euro.
Monday 11 July Frankfurt
Takes 3 and 3/4 hours to fly from Cairo to Frankfurt
For the last 3/4 of an hour before reaching Frankfurt, from the plane window, I see below us a very attractive patchwork quilt of green German fields and a scattering of endless little villages, probably 100 or more, nestled in among these fields. A very pretty site.
There are no houses at all between these villages, just roads and rivers running in between. A very lush green. No sign of any large towns or cities at all.
Even as Frankfurt appears in the distance, it looks compact for a city of nearly 4 million. (Germany has a population of 82 million people.) A river runs through the city of Frankfurt called the River Main.
Frankfurt is near the middle of the map,
just below the word GERMANY.
Quiet orderly temperament of Germans
It's late afternoon as we land at Frankfurt Airport. Noel tells me to observe the German passengers as we get off the plane. He said they will file out in total silence. He is right. Not a word is heard as all the passengers walk silently and orderly along the airport corridors into the customs area. There is none of the animated chatting and noise that we have always experienced up to now. No hand movements. No babble.
We are processed professionally through customs. Now to find the railway station into the city. We eventually find the station but are confused by a maze of different tracks. We helped by three friendly Germans, one man and two women.
We catch a train into the city
We pay our €3 euros (NZ$6) each into a ticket dispenser and are soon sitting in a train, very much like the commuter units in New Zealand. Twenty minutes later we arrive in a huge, old fashioned railway station, not unlike the Wellington railway station but several times larger. We count about 15 different lines from all over the country coming into this hub.
The walk to our hotel
The tourist office in the station gives us a map and we decide to walk to our hotel which is only about 1 km away, towing our suitcases which have wheels, behind us. It is twilight as we set out along the streets. Other tourists are doing exactly the same thing.
on the way to our hotel, looking back
the way we have walked.
What a contrast between this city and the Middle Eastern cities we have experienced in the past fortnight. All the cars here are driven in a very orderly way. No erratic lane changing and constant honking of horns. And most of the cars are very new looking and without dents.
We see numerous cream-coloured Mercedes taxis parked near the railway station, but not one driver hassles us, and no taxis pull up along side of us every minute saying, "Taxi."
Most of the buildings look modern, sleek and impressive.
The air temperature is moderately warm, much as I would expect in Tauranga on a mid-summer evening.
The German people we see are taller than the people of the Middle East, but apart from that they look quite ordinary, apart from more fair hair. A lot of the men look very much like Noel, tall with sandy coloured hair. With my Semitic looks I am the one now who looks like a foreigner.
However, as we continue walking to our hotel, we do see all shapes, sizes and nationalities of people, in particular Asian and olive-skinned Mediterranean.
We hear many attractive (to my ears anyway) female German accents. Cute and feminine.
In fact Frankfurt has a highly civilised feel to it. A sort of 'I could live here' feeling about the place. I suppose orderly would be the word to describe Frankfurt so far. A very orderly city.
Our hotel is near the River Main. It is an oldish and of medium size.
The hallways inside the hotel are finished in a white scalloped plaster which looks very unusual. Our room is rather small but OK. The bathroom smells musty however. There is no air conditioning.
Our hotel room.
Night walk in Frankfurt
Once settled in, it is dark outside, but Noel and I decide to go out for a short walk. We decide to walk over the bridge that crosses the river near the hotel. The Main is quite a large river. We cross the bridge, walk about a km and come back on the other side of the road. Traffic is light.
We come across a statue of a rather scruffy looking individual, probably best described as a hippy. Not your traditional municipal statue. There's no name on the statue that we can see in the dark. There's a photo of the statue below. If you know who it is, let me know.
Photo of hippy statue.
Next day Tuesday 12th July
Back to beginning of trip