friends in Frankfurt, old and new!

Out of all of my posts describing my spring holiday travels, I may be the most excited to write about this one.  My favourite thing about memories is being able to share them with people, and I spent time with quite a few lovely people in Frankfurt.  I mentioned in my last post that Scott & I stayed in a hostel (my first one ever!) for two nights: I could not have asked for a better place to stay!  The hostel was quite close to the train station (which was very convenient for us) and from the moment we walked in I could tell I was going to like it.

After storing our luggage, we went down to the common area for free crepes and to hang out.  Over the course of the evening we talked to people from Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Australia, and all over the United States and Europe.  I really got to practice my Spanish, too: I had a great conversation with five native Spanish speakers from both sides of the Atlantic.  Several of them were staying the second night as well so we got to talk more.  Two of them were brothers from Spain, Miguel and Carlos, who gave me a small Miraculous Medal (inscription in Spanish) on the last night to remind me of our shared faith and our Holy Mother.  Though I have several of my own, this one has special meaning to me and I wear it often.  We  talked with a couple of US Army guys and a Canadian firefighter, as well as a very sweet American man who moved to Europe after graduating high school and became a flight steward. He is still in Europe over a dozen years later and loves travelling.  I also loved talking to the guy who was on night shift at the hostel: he was Australian, Catholic, and had dreadlocks and we got along quite well.  There were many others but I do not want to bore you too much.
I absolutely loved meeting everyone and hearing their stories: where they came from, what travels they had done so far, and where they were heading next.  I am still in contact with several of them and it was truly a great experience.  Who knew that a hostel stay could be such an adventure?

Scott decided to spend our last day in Germany studying for a big exam he had after the holiday, so I spent the day exploring Frankfurt with Anna.  I was originally going to visit another friend from high school who is stationed at the air force base nearby, but his work schedule didn’t allow any time for it so Anna agreed to come meet me. It was really nice to get to see her for a second day! She knows as much about Frankfurt as she does about Mainz: I learned a lot and had loads of fun in the process.

I always thought of Frankfurt as an extremely urban area known mostly for banking and big business, but Anna showed me the old part of town which had so much charm and a lot of friendly small-town feeling.  I will let the pictures do most of my talking: included are my usual collages, pictures of churches, pretty views, slightly cheesy poses, and the mandatory opera house shot.

The old square in Frankfurt.  I couldn't decide where to focus my attention!  It was quintessentially German and I loved every bit of it.

The old square in Frankfurt. I couldn’t decide where to focus my attention! It was quintessentially German and I loved every bit of it.

Of all of the beautiful buildings and sights in the old square, this teddy bear store is what caught my eye. Go figure. The sign around his neck says that you can't touch him, which is just torture. What child (including adults who still act like children..ahem..) would not want to hug this? So I gave him an air hug.

Of all of the beautiful buildings and sights in the old square, this teddy bear store is what caught my eye. Go figure.
The sign around his neck says that you can’t touch him, which is just torture. What child (including adults who still act like children..ahem..) would not want to hug this? So I gave him an air hug.

After getting to the old section and wandering around for a bit, Anna took me to Eiserner Steg, the Iron Bridge, over the River Main.  What an incredible bridge! It is over 100 years old and strictly for pedestrians.  The ancient Greek inscription overhead is a line from the Odyssey and means something like “while crossing the wine-dark sea to men of strange speech.”  That is an awkward translation of a phrase that describes the way that people of all civilisations have crossed bodies of water to find people of other languages & cultures.  I read that they chose this saying to represent the diversity of Frankfurt.  I would have loved another day in Frankfurt to explore the part of the city across the bridge; perhaps another day!

Eiserner Steg from Homer's Odyssey bridge collage

I love that there was a man playing an accordion on the corner: it seemed so appropriate!  And I loved seeing the love locks along the edge, a common theme on my trip.
We next went to see  Alte Nikolaikirche, the Old St. Nicholas Church.  It was lovely!

Alte Nikolaikirche inside St Nicholas organ stained glass collage

We then visited the Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus, or Cathedral of St. Bartholomew.  What a building!  I was unable to fit the entire building into one shot, so I will regale you with photos of the inside instead.  Construction began in the 14th century.  I apologise if I have sounded repetitive in my posts when I talk about churches and cathedrals: I find words difficult when it comes to describing both the structures and the feeling of actually being inside.

We walked through this cool courtyard on our way to the Cathedral. I felt like I was participating in a piece of modern artwork.

We walked through this cool courtyard on our way to the Cathedral. I felt like I was participating in a piece of modern artwork.

entrance sanctuary art

This organ.

^^this organ.

Mother Mary Mother & Son

I didn't notice this when we entered the Cathedral, but it stopped me in my tracks on the way out.  How can you not be humbled?

I know you are quite possibly sick of reading about Germany but I promise I am almost done! I have ONE MORE blog to finish up Frankfurt, and then I am so excited to tell you about Brussels!  Writing about these travels has kept the memories alive and brought me so much joy; if you have smiled even a bit or learned anything from my writing then I feel very fortunate indeed.  To be completed soon! God bless xx

Random Moment in Europe

While we were in the beautiful city of Salzburg (place of everything Mozart), a couple of friends and I ran into a college choir from Catawba College North Carolina. Words cannot express how exciting it was to finally run into people who spoke English and were from around the same area as a majority of us in Choraleers. ha. The group had just come from Switzerland, Paris, and I believe England as well, so Germany was their last stop.

We ran into them right on time too. As we were walking, some friends and I noticed singing and when we figured out it wasn’t other people from our group we went to check it out. I’m so glad we did because it was cool to make some new friends through a common love for singing and music! We heard them sing and then this other group of men from Macedonia joined in and sang some songs. Unfortunately we didn’t have our whole choir with us or even enough to sing a selection but we did just kind of mess around with some current pop songs with them. It was pretty fun.

I have a feeling that these random moments in Europe are going to be some of the best memories of the entire trip. =D