July 22, 2011
Having never been to mainland Europe... and then being rather surprised by my sudden presence there... I couldn't stop laughing in bewilderment and making fascinating observations to my patient travel companion.
Did you hear that guy? He was speaking German.
Hey! That tour is being led in German!
I just saw two little kids, speaking German.
We're in Germany.
Did you know we're in Germany?
Josh and I have spent the last two days sightseeing the heck out of Frankfurt, Germany, including walking along the Burger Strasse, strolling through the Red Light District, gazing tipsily at the night sky from the cobblestones of one of the many Platzes, watching the Frankfurt am. Main River flow under us on the Eiserner Steg bridge, eating frankfurters and drinking beer in Der Romberg, and navigating the public transit system like old pros (go Josh go).
A highlight of our short European vacation was our late-night visit to U 60311, an old U-bahn-station-turned-small-and-grimy-techno-dance club. While I enjoyed the dancing — the thump thump thump of the base, the strobe lights, the DJ's skilled build of the music — there was no small part of me that was simply and quietly thrilled to be in a tiny dirty club in the underbelly of Frankfurt, Germany, dancing to techno with a bunch of Europeans.
After our first day of exploring the newer, more modern parts of the city, we set out on the second day to get a taste of pre-war Germany, of lederhosen and bier steins, of old stone buildings and churches, of cobblestones and buskers. It was therefore totally amazing to surface from the U-bahn station into Der Romberg, the public square that pretty much had all of these things. Delighted, I threw up my arms and said, "Josh! We've done it! We've found Bavaria!" A nearby musician, hearing my cry, struck up a polka on his accordion, as if had been stationed there and was just waiting for his cue.
It's another overnight flight tonight to our original destination. (CAN I JUST SAY AGAIN HOW STRAGE IT IS TO BE IN GERMANY WHEN YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO AFRICA?)