Sunday, May 24, 2009

Alone in Frankfurt

Okay, it really was Wednesday. The plane landed very smoothly. I departed and walked what seemed like a very long way (just following the crowd, really) and determined we were headed toward the baggage retrieval area.
Between the plane and that area was a cavernous room with LINES of people so heck, I got in line, too. As I got closer I was able to determine they were simply checking and stamping passports. The fellow there was quite grumpy. He stamped my passport and I resumed my trailing along behind the hordes of folks who were headed SOMEWHERE.
Aha! THE baggage carousels! I retrieved my bag and now where?? The crowds of people had thinned so I just followed EXIT signs and thankfully located an Information Desk. I waited in line and met the nicest man. He listened to my dilemma, spoke English and got me a hotel room for the evening at a Holiday Inn Express and even ordered me a shuttle to get me there. He directed me to find out when my party would arrive, then return via the shuttle for the return trip and just meet them back at the airport. YEAH!!
I still have no Euro's so am unsure about what to do for dinner. There is no ATM here in this hotel. I found that strange. Stranger still was that I had no electricity in my room. I finally called the front desk and it was determined that I had not been instructed in how to GET electricity. There was a small white box located very near the door and I had to insert my door card key in order to connect the electricity.

Cigarette machines in the lobby of the hotel? Cigarette machines on every corner?? Drive-up cigarette machines? Okay, this helps that I quit smoking before I left home.
I had no concept of time. I DID know how exhausted I was so I took a nap before I regrouped.
Upon awakening I called April who was extremely concerned about me being here alone. The sun was shining gloriously, the foliage was in full bloom and God was in His heaven. I decided to take a shower and figure out how to get something to eat.
Typically me, I changed my mind and decided to take a walk to check out my surroundings. I took off down what looked like the safest street but nothing interesting there to see so I eventually turned around and came back the way I started. I crossed a street with NO speed limit and very heavily travelled which took some time.
I ran out of sidewalk but kept going, keeping close to the shoulder of the road. I saw a sign that looked like a Campground with lots of cars parked on both sides of the street. Okay, so enter I did. And I was certainly rewarded as I came upon a very old-looking quaint German restaurant stuck back in the woods.

Even with a distinct chill in the air, several groups of people were dining outside on a well-lit area with picnic tables, a bar, a play area for children and plenty of seating. I was not inclined to eat outside so meandered on up some stairs and struck pay-dirt. A pretty girl addressed me in German, I answered in English and she invited me to be seated anywhere I chose (her answer was in English, of course).

There were several people in the little dining room, but I easily found a table and made myself comfortable. The pretty German girl came to get my drink order and when I asked if they served Diet Coke, she quizzically answered no. Then I asked for Cola and she knew what I meant. I had enough alcohol on the plane trying to calm down to do me for a WHILE.

I still had a little trouble with the German menu, but my waitress was kind and I settled on a Gorgonzola Schnitzel with fried potatoes. Oh my! I was so glad I took that walk.

After my order was placed, I could hear the mallet in the kitchen as they beat the ordered meat to tenderize it. Only then was it prepared to be served. The Gorgonzola sauce was just an extra while the fried potatoes looked to be tiny golden Yukon rounds fried in bacon grease. I thought then about how much weight I would probably gain on that trip.
My walk back to the hotel was good for me after such a great dinner. I went straight to my room and got ready for bed. The time difference still had me really mixed up. I got a text from Wayne's group. They would arrive on the same flight as I had arrived on the day before. So I called the front desk and arranged to be taken back to the airport the following day.
I slept fitfully as there was a lot of noise there and I really was not tired. I did finish reading a book I had brought along for just that reason.
More escapades tomorrow!

1 comment:

Marie Reed said...

Ohh Polly! I lived near Frankfurt for about 9 years! I so wish that I had been there with you! Isn't the Frankfurt airport weird! It's so cold and dreary and with smoking sections everywhere! It is always such a hike to get to the silly baggage claim in that airport too!

That schnitzel looks so darn good! The food in Germany is so hearty and delicious! I'm so glad that you had such a nice experience with the people and that everything went relatively smoothly! I'm glad that you called for electricity!

Isn't it weird about the smoking in Germany! The stereotype is that it's the French who have the smoky cafes. It's illegal to smoke in cafes, airports, train stations etc. here in France... I hope that in changes in Germany one of these days too. That must have been tough if you had just quit smoking! I can't imagine!

Huge hugs Polly!