FRANKFURT AM MAIN: A MELTING POT IN THE BECOMING

A concrete jungle of culture,

diversity and a different indifference,

embedded in influential educational institutions- talk about Goethe University and the like,

A financial hub of commerce and culture…

from busy to not busy streets, less experience to expensive, to men in less formal to formality.

A metropolis, to which explored.

Frankfurt am main. A city culturally and ethically diverse. From a shift from a busy street, dirtied by waste from food stands and small businesses; to less crowds and sounds of people in conversations; to posh, big business skyscrapers, suits and further, a mixer of both spheres.

So is my view after my 2nd visit in Frankfurt am Main. My first visit was unintentional and a quick stop during my trip to Karlsruhe for my second seminar aimed at teaching about politics in Germany.

It was due to the Deutsche Bahn (abbreviated for DB), Germany´s railway company. I and a colleague were inconvenienced with a train to break down at just know-where. According to announcements after what seemed to be an over 1 hour 30 minutes stop, we were stuck 10 minutes or so away from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (main train station). Which, with so much delay was to at least try to get to the main station, allowing passengers to find alternative transports or connections.

Our arrival there meant trying to get a connection to Karlsruhe without noting what Frankfurt am Main looked like. I at least spotted a few things. We finally got a train in what was so chaotic with travel times changing. One could see how one broken train can cause a sudden disturbance to other travelling trains.

This was my experience. Even so, during my first experience using Intercity Express (ICE). I had been waiting in anticipation, perhaps.

But soon even without knowing, I had started planning a trip heading there. This time intention and aimed at better view of Frankfurt am Main and a few days excursions.

It was fantastic and of course these my experiences and maybe through my own, I can make suggestions to the next generation of volunteers, young tourists and people who are avidly touring. This is a list of different places to visit or what to eat and or generally can do do when visiting this city. The list will be continuously amended, expanding it.

  • Bahnhofsviertel (city district)
  • Münchener Straße
  • Willy Brandt Platz
  • Alte Oper
  • Goethe Platz und Denkmal (memorial)
  • Zeil
  • Kleinmarkthalle und Fleischwurst bei Frau Schreiber (Market hall and sausages sold by Mrs. Schreiber)
  • Frankfurter Paulskirche
  • Römer
  • Altsachsenhausen (city district)
  • Bornheim (city district)
  • Apfelwein Solzer
  • Handkäs’ mit Musik

Food and drinks (traditional)

  • Grüne Soße (Green sauce)
  • Apfelwein (Apple wine)

*Photo credit: Frankfurt Skyline

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Late Post: Brandenburger Tor

During Paul Veigl weekend visit in Potsdam. We walked through Berlin and visited Potsdam to catch drinks.

Paul is a good friend of mine whom I met in South Africa during his one year voluntary visit at Kliptown Youth Program (KYP). He was also teaching me German at an A1 level.

We have ever since being good friends, exchanging thoughts about various topics such as politics, university, life, history and all that is in between.

These pictures reflect and remind me of his visit and stop at Brandenburger Tor (to read more),  is a structure in Berlin, Germany. It is the only remaining gate through which people used to enter Berlin. It was built between 1788 and 1791. It is located between the Platz des 18. März and the Pariser Platz. Nearby to the north is the Reichstag building. During the Cold War, the Reichstag was in West Berlin, and the Brandenburger Tor in East Berlin (Wikipedia).

There is more to see. Berlin is an ideal place to stay in.

Feature image credit: creative commons/ Wikipedia

 

5 DAYS-4 NIGHTS, KÖLN IST DER HAMMER

Almost 14 months, a friend and also a brother to me left Johannesburg, South Africa to volunteer in Köln, Germany. We have kept our communication and support from a South-North distance and verse versa. It has been an amazing journey and I find myself in Berlin on a similar journey and interest. We have had to meet again after a year. It came to pass, and well, well, well, what an incredible time of craziness. I really missed him. With this post, I take pride in our friendship and wish him the very best on his return back home.

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I am yet again experiencing the fall in 2016. Twice in one year. It is autumn and with this kind of weather be sure to pack hoodies, pair of socks, and a warm parka with you wherever you go. Perhaps here, be prepared for wet days also.

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Regardless of the weather you still can get to your destination right? The joy of travelling in Germany can be astonishing, given convenient transportation. Hoop into a train, and try getting lost just to find your way.

 

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Initially, this is the purpose I went to Köln, to meet my brother Kamogelo and friend Amimi. An amazing chill after their final semester exams. The guys enjoying drinking Kölsh. This is Köln´ beer.

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A great stop at the Kölner Dom is a fantastic idea. Perhaps firstly if fit enough to walk some 533 stairs up the top of it and if you want a feel of being in historical or ancient architecture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reunion: Perhaps not a bad idea to meet old friends here too. Paul, Kimon, Kamogelo and I (From back left) meet after a relationship we built working for an non-governmental organisation called Kliptown Youth Program (KYP)

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Once reached the top of Kölner Dom, a nice view from inside of its sharp pointing roof brings in a special high view.
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Beautiful city view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back on low surface to wake on the bridge captured up high above: Hohenzollernbrücke, where love exist through hanging a locker to a beloved someone.

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After long walks, a stop for a Döner is priceless. A Döner is a type of Turkish kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie found in most parts of Germany. Filling and delicious.

 

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This is a great city to meet people. Often with friendly and funny characters.

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It is also great to meet up with friends who know much a place, showing around and inviting you for a traditional waffle with hot cherries. Simply simple, yet classy.

 

 

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The Kölner Dom is not the only highest point. There are several other sports to smell the fresh air from above. Also, at inexpensive prices or maybe a student discount.

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For chocolate lovers, stop at Lindt´s chocolate museum. See how they manufacture it, its history and learn some facts about the chocolate producing industry. And, get to taste some ´right on the spot made chocolate´

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dip a Lindt chocolate in coffee. The museum also has a restaurant to restore your energy should you have had a city rally.

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The night is young: City lights are on. Funfair, the noise, colours, and young people.

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Lets call it a night after having some bitter lime or lemon.

 

 

 

 

THINGS YOU SHOULD SEE IN AACHEN: MY TOP THREE

Aachen, also known as Spa of Kings, is a city in far middle east of Germany next to boarders of Belgium and Netherlands. Full of student energy. Perhaps, a great city to visit if you miss being on campus or a youth driven atmosphere.  Given the presence of Aachen University, at least 50 percent of people residing there are young and go to the university, while the other half accommodates other people outside this category.

Besides this, I am so trilled how Aachen has an amazing chieftaincy embedded history. This history about it leaves it’s visitors spell bound.

My impression of this city is that should one visit Aachen, these are a must do:

1 Three-Country Point 

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I suspect Aachen feels more or less like a three country boarder place than just typically a city as known. It feels like a city in three countries given its connection and link to Belgium and Netherlands. The Three Country Boarder, know as Drieländerpunkt (in German) is one of the worlds popular triple points. The Three-Country Point is located is located on Vaalserberg (“Mount Vaals”). Vaals is a city on southeastern part of the Netherlands and only 5 km (3.1 mi) west of the city centre of Aachen. There is convenient buses to this location but I think one of the interesting parts of this journey is when you walk through borders on foot. The position where these two countries are separated is interesting to see. Walking for a couple of minutes to the highest point of Vaalserberg can enable you to visit each of these countries from there. There is a tower offering a grand panorama of the surrounding landscape there. You can go to the roof of this tower, which is 300 higher, and have a great view of all these three country at a same time. In addition, there is a symbolic circle where three flags of these countries hanged and people do photography with them. That is a unique experience to be in three different countries and a specific point of time.

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2 Aachen Cathedral

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Talk about a sacred destination. And, this cathedral is an example of one of the most famous occidental architecture. Well according to Aachen´s tourism offices, this cathedral is “It is the coronation church of more than 30 German kings, burial site of Charlemagne, major pilgrimage church and cathedral church of the Aachen diocese since 1930”. And that, when the Emperor Charlemagne built his representative “Pfalz”, the Palace, before 800, he started to make his dream of Aachen as a “new Rome” come true.

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You need not be religious, this site is worth seeing.

Of course there is more than just these two favourite two things I saw in Aachen. The list is endless. For suggestions, I think seeing the The Elisa Fountain would be great. It was a mecca for the royalty of Europe keen to take the cure. Trying a bit of cultural food in Aachen is also ideal. I tried some Aachen Printen, which I bought home too to my host family. This is a kind of hard, spicy biscuit, made in a mould and bearing an imprint of a person or scene. Delicious! They bake it with a delicious mix of cinnamon, aniseed, clove, cardamom, coriander, allspice and ginger (the proportions are secret). Although, I am no fan of cinnamon, I think this is a great flavour combination.

Ending this on a good note, I think I would like to term Aachen as not just a city but a city in three, literally cutting across three countries: Germany, Belgium and Netherlands.