Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Visiting a deserted Frankfurt on the Day of German Unity

Visiting Frankfurt was one of my childhood dreams when we would see our nation's flag carrier airline PIA's ads of Frankfurt as one of its best travel destinations. But when the day finally came to be in Frankfurt on a bright sunny day, all my dreams were shattered as it was the German Unity Day on 3 October 2014 and the entire city was closed owing to the national holiday.

So what was to be done? Visit the closed Malls and shopping arcades and follow the streams of tourists wandering the alleys and streets aimlessly !! Yes to an extent this was to be our half day that we had in this beautiful German city before leaving for Switzerland.

 My family posing in front our hotel

Distressed, we phoned a friend's friend who said he would pick up us from our hotel and take us on the city centre ride. This was some solace and we got ready and hurried down the Garni Hotel stairs and drove to a meeting point in front of the Marriott Hotel to be picked up in our host's car and be taken around.

Our pick up point near the tram station in front of the Marriot Hotel - we were to come back here (see last photo) after the 'visit' to Frankfurt - See the deserted road with no traffic at all

Soon our host arrived and so started a short tour of the city on deserted roads with hardly any worthwhile traffic commensurate with the size of the city like Frankfurt. And it did not take us long to see the Frankfurt skyscrapers and finally reaching the city center we had visited the night before. 

Our host Mr Anwar waits while my family chooses the ice cream flavour of their choice

Our host Mr Anwar was feeling sorry for us for not being able to see Frankfurt in its true might with tourists thronging every mall and eatery but offered us ice cream form one of the parlours open to give us some semblance of his hospitality. The ice cream was good and creamy and was a good starter for a long walk from where we parked the car down to the city city center.

The Day of German Unity (German: Tag der Deutschen Einheit) is the national day of Germany, celebrated on 3 October as a public holiday. It commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990, when the goal of a united Germany that originated in the middle of the 19th century, was fulfilled again.

Since the everything was closed, the roadside stalls made a thriving day for they were the only attraction for the tourists. People had brought used and old artifacts and decorations pieces to sell to the tourists at prices much higher than their actual and go back home with their pockets full. 

There were many things to buy, but the prices restrained me from doing so. I almost bought a CD of Beatles' Rubber Soul - but its 20 Euro price tag was too much for this old album and did not stir any nostalgia in me to really go for it as I already have the LP.

The two major attractions of the city center are St. Catherine's Church (above) and Hauptwache of the 'main guard-house.'(below). Hauptwache was constructed in 1730 as a prison. It is situated in the city centre opposite to St. Catherine's Church and houses a famous café. Because of presence of the historic building of Hauptwache, the square surrounding the building is also called "Hauptwache." 

The Hauptwache square itself is one of Frankfurt's main shopping areas, complete with a large underground mall. It's also the point from which the city's main shopping and commercial streets radiate: the pedestrian-friendly Zeil heads east, and Kaiserstrasse, with many places of entertainment in its side streets, runs southwest by way of the Rossmarkt and Kaiserplatz to the city's main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, built in 1888 and one of the largest stations in Europe.

Bronze sculpture of David, sitting on Goliath's head

I too was photographed !!
Statue of Johann Wolfgang Goethe- the famous German writer and statesman

I pose while Mr Anwar shows my wife the Galleria from where one can have an overview of the Frankfurt skyscrapers - we did climb up and a wonderful view - I will share the photos in my next post

Well the city tour was over in two hours as there was nothing much to see except driving on the roads.

We came back to the same tram station to be dropped off by our host for our journey to Switzerland

But the tour wasn't that bad after all. As there were one special feature that Mr Anwar had up his sleeve to show us. Besides there was a bubble maker who caught tourists attention and we too had enjoyed the bubbles he made - the bigger than big bubbles I had not seen before. I will share these in my next two posts.

My previous post(s) on Frankfurt
Frankfurt - our overnight pitstop to Switzerland

If you like Jaho Jalal, please follow us on Facebook