The next day, we made our way to Frankfurt. If Salzburg was Portland’s sister in weirdness, Frankfurt was Portland’s twin in looks.
Not only was Frankfurt hot, it was incredibly humid. Like I’ve mentioned, we don’t have a whole lot of humidity in the NW, so I was a little (a LOT) uncomfortable. I tried not to let it ruin our time there, but I will say I broke down and bought a 7 euro dress and shitty flip flops in desperation. The couple we met in Munich told us that Frankfurt was mostly good for shopping, and they weren’t lying! The malls (!) were huge. At one point we spotted a Columbia Sportswear store, PDX represent!
Our hostel was very close to the train station, but you had to walk through the Red Light district to get to it. The district is not nearly as safe as the one in Amsterdam. There were a lot of shady, angry men stalking around, keeping an eye on their “employees” and a severe lack of police. To get into our hostel, we had to be buzzed inside and then show our ID to the front desk, who would then buzz us into the stairwell. We felt very safe inside the hostel, but you kinda wonder what happened to put those security measures into place.
After dropping our stuff off, it was time to explore! Ok, and find food. We happened upon a Japanese place, where I filled up on the biggest, most delicious bowl of veggies, tofu and noodles. Believe it or not, you can get sick of pizza. But apparently, we don’t get sick of beer.
After our lunch we set out to explore. Frankfurt was a last minute addition to our trip, so we didn’t have an itinerary whatsoever. It turns out that the Women’s World Cup was taking place all over Germany and Frankfurt had an awesome viewing party going on at the waterfront.
We did manage to find the touristy historic quarter, where we were overcharged for beer and privy to the most awesome graffiti I have ever seen.
The rest of our time in Frankfurt was spent wandering through the various pub quarters, checking out a cute street of food carts, eating fantastic treats from a natural foods store and grimacing at the incredibly loud Americans staying at our hostel.
Our last day in Frankfurt was really our last day in Europe. We hopped the trains to Brussels, making a stop in windy Cologne along the way. We gawked at the ENORMOUS cathedral and drank some of the most delicious nectar I’ve ever had, Gaffel Kolsch. I asked our server where I could buy one of these delicate Kolsch glasses and he replied, “Oh, I see nothing,” and walked away. I managed to get it home without breaking it, but it barely lasted a month before I managed to knock it to the ground.
My next post will be a follow up on eating vegan in these beautiful cities and more of my thoughts on travel. I’ve had so much fun reliving our adventures and I hope that I’ve inspired somebody to get out there and explore our world!