In September I went to Europe primarily to present some of my doctoral research at a conference in Germany. The next few blog posts are compiled from notes I wrote while away and will feature highlights of the trip.
The trip began with a very long flight from Sydney to Frankfurt via Abu Dhabi. This was only my second long distance trip outside of Australia/New Zealand and I’m pleased to say the flights went a lot better than the previous one.
Upon arriving in Frankfurt, jet-lagged and dealing with an eight hour time difference, I had to transfer to another terminal, then catch a train out to Wiesbaden where I was staying the night. Despite having a crazy old man try to talk to me in German on the train, this all went relatively smoothly.
After checking into my hotel, as it was still late-afternoon, I decided to go for a walk around the town. Having never been to Germany before, or Europe for that matter, this was a great introduction. Wiesbaden was a perfect model German town, it had older style buildings, and felt exactly like what I thought Germany would be like through my reading of books and watching of TV shows. After a little over two hours, I returned to the hotel, where I promptly fell asleep at the late hour of 7pm.
The following morning I caught a train into Frankfurt where I had a six hour wait until a train in the afternoon to my next destination. The plan for the day was simple, get lost walking around the city. However, at first, this went a little too well. At the train station I immediately got lost trying to find the luggage lockers. Fortunately, I found a friendly Puerto Rican who was as lost as I was and had the same plan for the day.
We then spent the morning walking around the new and then the old parts of Frankfurt. During this time the contrast between the town of Wiesbaden and the city of Frankfurt was stark. Where Wiesbaden felt genuine in its old buildings, Frankfurt felt tacky and touristy. However, the city itself is a fascinating contrast of old and new, one minute you are standing in a 1,000 year old church, the next in a modern shopping mall.
In the afternoon, a mate of mine from Sydney who coincidentally was in Frankfurt at the same time joined us for lunch. He had been giving a mission to eat currywurst while he was in Germany and this is what we sought to achieve – I settled on a simple Rote Wurst. Soon after this we were joined by another friendly stranger from Panama. And after another walk through random city streets it was time for me to catch a train south to meet friends for the weekend.