Frankfurt, Germany

As if to offer me a sign that I need not fear being alone as I travel solo, the universe saw fit to seat me next to my former coworker for the nine-hour flight between Denver and Frankfurt. I mean come on, the odds… out of 345 seats I pull 25A and Keith pulls 25C (no B on this particular plane). This was a really nice surprise as I was tired, not really up for foundational, idle chit chat and to have someone I already know to share a pre-Ambien beer with was lovely.
Nine short hours later and Keith and I parted ways.

I headed for the luggage carousal and commenced the hour-long wait for my begrudgingly checked bag. This minor delay it turns out was also quite entertaining as I immediately noticed a large entourage, which stood out for the hegemonic German stock waiting for their bags. This entourage was large not so much in numbers but in mass. Six men grossing a combined ton easily, the smallest of whom looked familiar to me.

Fame is a strange thing. Whenever I see a famous person I feel compelled to say hello, not because I am star-struck, but because my instinct is that this is someone I know and common courtesy implores that you say hello when you encounter an acquaintance. Fortunately for me my mind caught up before my mouth started working – impressive given my fatigue. “Rachel, you don’t know him, you have only seen him on TV.” This is how I came to spend an hour waiting for my bag and chatting with Ice Cube. Chatting is a stretch, I said about ten words to him and perhaps two paragraphs to his tour manager, but nonetheless we made an odd pairing sitting on the conveyor, me waiting for my one lowly pack and they waiting for ,I can only imagine how many,  Louis Vuitton bags. Again, oddly comforting to see someone I ‘know’.

I left Ice Cube still waiting for his luggage and made my way to the train station below the airport. A few broken German inquiries later and I was almost positive I was on a train headed for the city center and that in three stops I should get off. Indeed this worked beautifully and delivered me to the main station in the heart of Frankfurt.

Before I left, my father asked me what a suitable 35th birthday present would be seeing as how I was so short on packing space and I replied that getting me a nice hotel for my first couple of days in Europe would be really appreciated. An expense I was having a hard time justifying so early on in the trip. So my parents kindly complied, and what a nice way this has been to get my feet under me. I am staying in a cute boutique hotel three blocks from the train station. The rooms are minimalistic for sure, but comfortable, clean and the hotel is smartly decorated.

Upon arriving I took a short nap, I know everyone has their own manner of beating jet lag and almost all agree that sleeping upon arrival is the worst way to assimilate, but I am a sleeper and so I slept. I got up around 5pm and went on a walkabout. I happened upon a street market, bought an amazing wedge of some heavenly blue cheese/brie blend, a grapefruit infused Hefewiezen and booked a tour for today.

It took all I had to stay awake until 9pm, but I managed. I slept for a solid 4 hours, woke right up at 1am and took advantage of the time difference to chat with a few friends and my father back home. By 2:30am I was asleep again and didn’t wake up until the rain and thunder roused me around 9:30 this morning.

One of the reasons I chose this hotel is because it offered a complimentary German breakfast. I wasn't sure what this would entail and frankly I was a bit frightened by the array of sausages I was anticipating. However, now I know that German breakfast is my kinda breakfast! No Grand Slam spread or American Sunday brunch could ever top this layout. There is everything from cheese, to dilled cucumbers, pastries to latkes. An assortment of meats that would make any US butcher blush and the juices! Oh the juices... there is orange, mango and banana juice, something called vitamin juice, and as if that wasn't enough, there is liquor for the juices, vodka and Champagne.

I am currently sitting in the garden, eating blue cheese and prosciutto and sipping a banana juice mimosa, celebrating this day. The first day of my round the world trek – wow, what a day!


Mama said…
Hi Rachel. It's Annie - from SkiCo (finance). I was sent a link to your blog, and just wanted to send you my best wishes. What an amazing adventure you get to be on. Perhaps you should read Eat Love pray. I haven't read it, but I hear wonderful things about it and I think it has much in common with your current journey. May your roads ahead find you a new peace in your soul. Much love!

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