Today we woke to the tragic news of Malaysia Flight 370. I'm already a nervous flier and this completely escalated my fear. I began to get nervous, I couldn't stop thinking about the poor people on the flight, the poor loved ones at home, and all of the horrible scenarios.
We checked out of the Hilton Frankfurt (after a very nice breakfast spread in the Executive Lounge). We checked in for our British Airways flight to London and took off with only one hitch. The staff boarded us onto a bus to bring us to the plane. The plane however was not yet ready for us to board so we stood on a bus (hot and cramped) for a good amount of time.
When we landed in London it was a mess with lines. Immigration and Security was packed! Luckily we had a good amount of time for our stop-over and no need to switch terminals.
After security we couldn't enjoy the leisurely lunch we hoped for so we opted for lunch at Giraffe. We have eaten at this restaurant several times and this was the worst. We normally have good service and good food. The food was still very good this time but the service was horrendous. We were seated pretty quickly considering how busy the restaurant was. One woman came over and took our drink order. From there we watched our drinks sit at the bar for over 10 minutes. Apparently, our table had one waitress to start and another to finish. This meant that no one was really watching over our table. Each waitress thought the other was handling us. Greg ordered a Burger and I ordered the Grilled Steak Sandwich. Both were good size, cooked properly, but a tad on the messy side.
We made our way to our next British Airways flight to Boston. Finally we land at home and GRRRR! More long lines at Immigrations! We get our passports stamped, grab our luggage and car, and head home to our little Freddie Bear! Oh how we missed our little puppy and our bed!!!
During the day I really have nothing to report on. We had been traveling for two weeks, I've seen amazing sights in two countries, and on this last day I was ready to be home. Here are some pictures you haven't seen yet of the beautiful sights of Frankfurt:
For dinner Greg's co-workers suggested a true Frankfurt restaurant. What a perfect last day in Frankfurt! We walked through the Romer area over the Love Bridge and across the river to the Sachenhausen area. We entered the little courtyard of Zur Germania and found an open table. We entered the little courtyard of Zur Germania and found an open table. Our waiter brought us menus but since they were only in German we asked him for some suggestions. He was patient, very friendly and easily suggested the Pork Knuckle and the Schnitzel with Frankfurt green sauce.
We started our meal with a couple of beers and then realized we should have ordered Apfelwein. Apfelwein is a lightly carbonated drink from apples. It's kind of a cross between a cider and an apple wine. It's on the tart side but not harshly so. You can order the drink straight or mixed with water. We decided to order it straight.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Schnitzel with green sauce. The green sauce is a combination of sour cream, yogurt, and 7 herbs. Thankfully dairy in Germany doesn't upset my stomach because this sauce is amazing!! Greg's dish was definitely the best one though. The Pork Knuckle (shank) was roasted to perfection. The meat was tender and came right off of the bone, the fat had been melted away, and the flavor was slightly smoky. Delicious!!
Our waiters shift was ending so we didn't get to choose a dessert or a schnapps to end the meal. This didn't ruin our experience though and definitely would recommend a visit here!
I'll be honest Frankfurt was on my list of cities to see but I'm so thankful that I got the chance to visit. Frankfurt is a wonderful city that I recommend and hope to visit again!
Change of Plans in Frankfurt Day 4
I pre-booked a tour to Heidelberg through Viator.com. I hopped in a cab to ETS Tour office at 9 am to be in time for the 9:30 am departure. I walked into the office and the nice gentleman asked me to have a seat. A few minutes later he told me that the others on my tour cancelled and I was the only one. Hmmm what does this mean? He asked me if I would be interested in taking the Rhine Valley tour instead at no extra cost to me. I was a bit concerned because I didn't really want a full day tour. He assured me I would be back by 6:30 pm to meet up with Greg so I agreed. The tour wouldn't start until 11 am so he offered me a city bus tour for no expense as well. All I could think of was what amazing customer service!!
I hopped onto the bus (it's basically a hop on hop off) and with only one other rider off we went. I saw most of the sights already through my walks but I did get to see where Palmengarten was and realized I could walk to it. More on that later in the week :-)
When I got back to the office I still had a few minutes so I took a seat again. I asked the same gentleman where the tour ends? He asked where I was staying and then he proceeded to mark my ticket with a drop off at my hotel and again at no extra cost! I am floored that a company still exists with friendly staff, efficient plans, and amazing customer service!! I highly recommend a tour with ETS Tours.
There were 10 of us on the tour plus our guide. We boarded a very nice mini-bus and headed out of Frankfurt. Our first stop was the Niederwald Monument for photographs. We then made our way to lunch. We were given the option of roasted chicken or vegetarian. The chicken was tender and very flavorful. Drinks were not included but I just had to have another Radler.
After lunch we drove further before boarding a boat for a river cruise. We had the entire boat to ourselves which was just lovely. The scenery of the region including numerous castles is breathtaking.
Finally, a nice ride back to Frankfurt. I met Greg in the executive lounge of the hotel for some beers and yummy pretzels! We walked back down to Paulaner am dom. We enjoyed Radlers (beer and lemonade) to start. I ordered the Roast Pork which was tender and in a nice beer gravy. The best part of my meal was the Kartoffel Kloesse. They are a soft and smooth potato dumpling. So delicious!! Pretty much a cross between gnocchi and matzo balls. YUM!
Museums in Frankfurt
I walked through Frankfurt on this sunny day and headed to the Stadel Museum. In the end I have mixed feelings about the Stadel Museum. The layout is Top to Bottom (oldest to newst). The Highest level of the museum is dark and closed in. It gave me a rather eerie feeling. The 2nd floor offered well known works of art from artists such as Degas, Monet, etc. This floor was a bit brighter and definitely had more natural light. The lowest floor of the museum has high ceilings, bright lights, and offers modern art in a more modern setting. This area was actually my favorite and considering I'm not really a fan of modern art I think that's saying something.
I walked along the river and came across a peculiar sight. A large film crew were taping either a tv show or movie and it was supposed to be Christmas Time. I even got a peek at Santa :-)
Before dinner we enjoyed some snacks and beers in the executive lounge of the Hilton Frankfurt. For my full review visit here. We walked over to Apfelwein Klaus for dinner. For the full review of dinner visit here.
Day 2 Exploring Frankfurt
The morning started out with a drizzling rain and a gloomy feel. Luckily, I packed an umbrella! I grabbed my jacket, gloves, and umbrella and set out to see Frankfurt. I walked around the Hilton Frankfurt (parks, and restaurants). Made my way to Hauptwache and Zeil Street. There you will find restaurants, stores, malls, and street performers. I walked towards the river and visited the Romer area again (no giant beer this time though).
On my way to the riverfront I stopped for a snack. I bought a soft and salty Pretzel - so yummy! It's been ages since I had a pretzel and none that I have had in the past could compare to this one!
At this point I was kind of cold and sick of the drizzle so I headed back to the Hilton Frankfurt for some warmth and lunch. For my lunch review visit here.
In the afternoon the sun finally emerged and so I headed back out into Frankfurt. I walked up the block to the Alte Opera (original opera house). The beautiful architecture and pretty sunset made for some relaxation time and fun photographs.
In Germany it's best to make reservations for dinner. We made reservations at Urban Kitchen. It's not traditional German it's more modern eclectic flavors. I had read good reviews about the restaurants and being that's it's right across the street from the Hilton Frankfurt it seemed like a good choice. For my full review visit here.
Heading to Frankfurt, Germany
We got a very early start this morning as we needed to check out of the Hoxton Hotel, meet our driver, and get to the airport for our British Airways flight to Frankfurt. We checked in for our flight, dropped off the bags, and made it through security fairly quick. We decided to grab a quick breakfast at Giraffe. The food is always good, the service is either really good or severely lacking. This time the service was good.
The flight is under two hours so after a quick cat nap we arrived in Frankfurt. We picked a cab and 33 Euros later we were at The Hilton Frankfurt. For my full review of Hilton Frankfurt visit here.
We were in need of some rest thanks to my mother. LOL, she accidentally called us in the middle of the night. Not too funny except when you realize she's yelling at your to hang up when you are saying hello. We had a nice joke later about how we should have been the ones to be mad at her for calling not her at us for answering lol.
After our nap we decided to go wander around. We ran smack into Fasching! Fasching is a festival (similar to Mardi Gras) that happens right before lent. Kids, teens, and adults were all in costumes, there was a 3 hour parade, floats tossing out candies to the crowds, beer stands, bratwurst stands, and so much more. What a great way to start the week in Frankfurt!!
We walked down to the Romer area of Frankfurt (old town) and chose to sit outside at a restaurant. Two very large beers later and we were ready to try Currywurst! Currywurst is bratwurst in a ketchup/curry sauce. So yummy! After the parade we took some more photos around the area and headed back to the hotel to clean up for dinner.
We decided to try Paulaner Am Dom. For my full review visit here.
P.S.Don't ask me how but I am able to eat dairy in Germany just like I can in Italy. I'm sure people will say it's just in my head but how do you explain me being sick in the U.S., being sick in the U.K, and not being sick in Germany or Italy. I truly believe there are big differences in the additives and processes that go into creating milk.
Heading to London from Boston
We're finally home from our trip and the laundry has commenced. Here's the first part of our trip review :-)
Heading to London
British Airways contacted us during the day on Saturday to tell us that our flight was going to be delayed by 4.5 hours. After taking off at 1:30 am the pilots were able to make up some time and had us landing in London only 3.5 hours late. We filed a claim online for compensation but naturally British Airways wrote us back saying it was due to extenuating circumstances and therefore they weren't liable. Right! You delayed three different planes that day because of operational maintenance (the phone agent told us) but somehow you're not liable.
We met our driver Ivan who picked us up in a very roomy car and quickly drove us to The Hoxton Hotel. To read my full hotel review visit here. After a quick drop off of our luggage we headed to the Old Street Tube Station. We got to talking to a really friendly employee who suggested we start our tour at Camden Market. I was psyched as I've read about it online. Camden Market is a funky area with stores, markets, restaurants, and more. It's a mix of a flea market, hipsters, and restaurants with a bit of punk rock thrown in.
We purchased a gorgeous painting and then decided to get some lunch. We sat at the Honest Burger stall and we were so glad we did. To read about my full review visit here.
After lunch we headed down to Waterloo station and walked over to The London Eye. 38 GBP later we were in life for a clear view of sunset over London. It didn't really feel like we had a half an hour ride but the views were wonderful.
After the ride we were feeling a bit tired so we headed back to Waterloo and purchased some waters and beers for our room. A quick Tube ride later we were back at The Hoxton for a relaxed night.
Our last day i'm London was terrific. We got to spend the whole day together. We walked and took the Tube all over.
We visited spitalfield market, Tower of London, London Bridge, Borough Market, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Whitehall Palace, and Coventry Market.
For dinner we enjoyed amazing seafood at Weight Brothers Spitalfield.
Don't forget full reviews of everything coming when we get home!!
We fly British Airways on Sunday to Frankfurt. We checked in to The Hilton Frankfurt.
After a quick cat nap we decided to go for a walk. Today was Fasching!! A type of Mardi Grass Parade. We walked along checked out the crowds, drank lots of beer, enjoyed currywurst, and had a fun time!
For dinner that night we headed to Paulaner for terrific beer, and delicious German food.
On Monday Greg headed to work at the Frankfurt office. I decided to wander around in the rain. I checked out the shopping area, the river area, and enjoyed a pretzel on the go. I also bought done adorable wooden toys for my nephews.
For dinner we enjoyed nice service, fresh ingredients and lovely permutation at Urban Kitchen.
To end the night we enjoyed Radlers (beer with lemonade) at the Hilton Frankfurt bar.