We arrived at our first destination, Frankfurt Germany, with the greatest of ease. SAS whisked us across the skies so smoothly, though they kind of starved us along the way, despite our expectation of platters of delectable open faced sandwiches and the like. Times have changed and most of what we got was standard airline fare. The plane was full of Nordic types, presumably mostly Danes heading to our first stop of Copenhagen. Surrounding us were numerous children, babies and infants. This might well spell disaster but to our relief we found their behavior to be exemplary. Maybe we Americans have something to learn from these Danes.

Comforting to see our destination posted

Comforting to see our destination posted

Passing through customs in the beautiful Copenhagen airport was a breeze. We got a stamp, neatly placed in our passports, which allow us free movements among the 26 Schengen countries without additional approvals and stamps or showing of documents. But, probably unknown to the standard American tourist, you must be out of there within 90 days and not return for another 90 days, or something like that, which no one seems to understand. Just don’t tempt the gods.

Once we landed in Frankfurt a kind of odd thing happened, in that we were able to deplane from our Airbus 321 from both front and rear exits. The plane parked way out on the tarmac and we boarded buses that drove us to the terminal, quite a distance away. Conveniently, only a short distance from baggage claim, we found the stairs leading down to the train that whisked us smoothly to the main downtown train station. From there it was a short half-block walk to our hotel, located on one of the grandest boulevards in the city, built in the 19th century to lead directly to the new train station.

I have always thought that during WW 2 most German train stations were bombed out and that the city of Frankfurt was quite leveled. You certainly wouldn’t know it from looking around our neighborhood. Beautiful old buildings from prewar days are everywhere, including the train station. We can’t wait to get out and about.

We are actually staying in a classy building, presently used as a hostel, seemingly frequented mostly by college and post college age folks, with a scattering of old geezers such as ourselves thrown into the mix.

Entry to the hostel

Entry to the hostel

Entry hall in patterned marble

Entry hall in patterned marble

We have the best of all the rooms, large in size with tall ceiling and the only one with a balcony overlooking the boulevard and the classic facade of the train station. It couldn’t be better for our needs. Upstairs at reception is the dining room and bar, with beer and other drinks at low prices, and free pasta feeds each of the two nights we are here.

Before dinner at eight, we wandered around the neighborhood and discovered that we are located on the fringe of the red light district, interesting contrast to our boulevard setting.

Scene from our balcony

Scene from our balcony

Red light district, with financial district skyscrapers beyond

Red light district, with financial district skyscrapers beyond

Now it’s time for dinner and to bed after a long, long day.

View of train station from our balcony at 9:00pm

View of train station from our balcony at 9:00pm

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