Friday, January 21, 2011

Surprised by Frankfurt

Have you ever wanted to extend a visit? The circumstances this past Christmas holiday allowed me to stay 4 extra days in my beautiful home state. I wanted to soak in the sun, the green hills and my gracious family before returning to cold, dark Ukraine. Because I changed my ticket, I was able to fly nonstop to Frankfurt where I had a 9- hour layover. Frankfurt, I had heard, is a very business based city. I expected skyscrapers and maybe some good shopping. When I stepped off the train tall buildings and a bustling shopping district greeted me. Luckily, since it was a 9- hour layover, I had time to explore.
My first find was a large church that housed relics dating from the early 1100s. It was something to look at and provided me a way to burn half an hour. Unfortunately, all the signs and explanations were written in German. After visiting the church, I found a cozy cafe and read. It was such a perfect hour. The tea was delicious, rain was falling, and the buzz of conversation was warm and comforting. I don't remember the name of the cafe, but I'll always remember the feeling of belonging in a foreign city.

After warming up in the cafe, I hit the streets. I found the "quaint" German district that I didn't expect to see. Romantic bridges, beautiful townhouses, churches rising up from the fog, town squares... I was truly surprised by Frankfurt. It might not be a town I would ever choose to return to, but I am so thankful that it provided me with a solitary traveler adventure.

This is why I love traveling. Travel is the art of finding joy in unexpected, unexplored places.