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Amparo Bertram

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04:05 pm: Europe Vacation 2016 - Part IV - Frankfurt
On Tuesday, October 18, we boarded a train to Koblenz that traveled roughly along the Mosel River. One interesting thing we noticed about the train is that it didn't have windows built to open in emergencies; instead, there are glass breaking tools attached to the walls at intervals, with nearby windows marked with red spots where people are supposed to crack them open if required. I don't think I've ever seen such a system before.

After arriving at Koblenz, we went on along the Rhein to Frankfurt. We had originally thought about getting off the train to take a short cruise up the river for the scenery, but that would have added a lot of time to the trip, and we could see a lot from the train windows anyway. It was just hard to take pictures due to the speed and the foliage of trees blocking the view. Still, I did get a few shots of the many cathedrals and quaint villages and castles (...and more castles...and more castles...) we passed.

We arrived at Frankfurt Station early in the afternoon and checked into our hotel, which was conveniently close (though the tradeoff for that was that the location is in the red light district). It was gray and rainy, but it was still light enough that we decided to walk around the city a bit. We mainly wandered around wherever the sights took us, without any particular goal in mind. (At one point, a large police-escorted procession passed us, and we thought maybe Angela Merkel was in the convoy, but we later saw on the news that she was in Berlin, so it must have been someone else.) We came across lots of scenic buildings and strolled through another cathedral.

Oh, one more thing. The burning question whenever it comes to trip planning: Does it have MANGA?

Yes. Yes, it does.

After supper, we wended our way back to our hotel, using distinctive skyscrapers as landmarks. (It's definitely quite the modern city, despite all the historical sites we visited.) We repeated the experience the next day, taking different routes to see more of the city. We came across some more fun sights, like an out of the way Lego store, and a decorative restaurant. We did get a tad lost along the way, accidentally walking to the complete opposite side of the city and visiting the zoo gift shop, but at least that was a big enough landmark that we were able to re-orient ourselves and head back.

One sobering part of our exploration was coming across commemorative metal markers embedded in the sidewalk noting the names of Jewish people who had been taken away during the war. There was even one a few yards away from our hotel.

After lunch, as we were on the way to our hotel, I stopped in at the local game shop to browse. I was hoping to find some games that I'd like to buy that are available only in German and were never published in English, but sadly I didn't locate any of the ones on my list. However, I did make a different discovery. When I was preparing for trading games at Essen, one person contacted me and offered to buy one of the games I had available. He also asked if I could order a particular title that he said was sold out in Europe. Sadly, it wasn't available in the US either, so I wasn't able to get a copy for him. As it turns out, though, this shop in Frankfurt had a copy of it on their shelf. When we got back to our hotel that evening, I managed to send a message to this person to let him know it was there, and he contacted the store and ordered it. Happy ending!

We spent the remainder of our evening playing games in our hotel room and listening to the rain outside. It was almost time for the final leg of our journey.

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