Since I arrived in Frankfurt, my girlfriends from the UK have been planning a trip over to see me. Luckily, Ryanair does flights between the cities for around 40 euros return if you book early enough, so with a few whatsapps and phone calls we worked out the weekend before my birthday was the perfect opportunity for them to drop by and see my Frankfurt life.
Showing off the life you’ve made for yourself to others who were a big part of your old one is always really exciting; I always feel the need to explain how different everything is where I am now, and all the good bits about my life and surroundings. The trouble with Frankfurt is that it’s very much the kind of place you need to spend a bit of time in to get to know; the festivals and the weekly pop up events, as well as spending time with friends and doing things the outskirts of the city are what make it great. Otherwise it’s just like any other city really, with a lot of skyscrapers, a river and a church, and shops that are shut for half the weekend (which still drives me crazy by the way!).
So myself and the boy devised a plan to take the girls to Heidelberg for the day. Heidelberg is about 90km outside of Frankfurt, and apparently is literally the geographical heart of Europe. With a castle and beautiful surrounding parks, it’s the quintessential German town that everyone pictures is hidden in between the more modern cities around the country.
We arrived at about 12pm, with a rather elaborate picnic in tow that included fruit, sandwiches, treats and Frankfurt-made Apfelwein. We found a spot with a beautiful view of the castle, and the boy had ever so cleverly brought along shuttlecocks, one of those rocket things you throw that makes a funny noise and a frisbee.
The day was so relaxing, and the girls couldn’t be happier to get some sun; I’ve been taking it for granted a bit here, and I didn’t realise the weather was still so poor in London. One thing i can feel glad about having left is that god-awful weather, where the label ‘summer’ was surely a joke term for the middle months of the year.
So after the picnic we went for a walk through the town, which was absolutely beautiful and packed with like-minded tourists for the day. Ice cream could be purchased for 1 euro – i don’t think i’ve ever seen ice cream that cheap in my life – and after a quick look at the bridge, and a few of the locks, we started the trek home.
Before I moved to Frankfurt, I was told by quite a few people that it’s a rather boring city. After having lived here a few months now, I don’t really understand how any city in Germany can be boring if this is considered to be the slowest of them all. And i’m entirely certain that the countless hens and stag parties that parade through Frankfurt would disagree with such critics. On a Saturday night everyone seems to congregate to Sachsenhausen, where the Apfelwein pours freely, cocktails are 5 euros and tequila or jager shots well set you back just 1 a piece.
With bars everywhere, you know it’s going to get rowdy from around 9pm on every occasion. The hen and stag parties are brilliant here; they must sell alcohol and sex toys to fund their night out, which leads to even more drunkenness without the cheap drinks on offer.
Meeting up with some friends from the girls nights, one of my new found frankfurt friends was well aware of a karaoke bar up the road that we knew after one too many long island iced teas we had to try. The audience was encouraging, and we spent the rest of the night belting out Bon Jovi and Backstreet Boys songs.
|I believe this was us singing Livin’ on a Prayer|
Considering I have only been here three months, it was a pretty nice way to celebrate a pretend birthday before jetting off to Glastonbury for the real thing, and in stark contrast to my first birthday in London where I didn’t feel I had enough friends to have a proper party. It really was the perfect way to spend my birthday in Frankfurt, and a reminder of why I love this city so much.