Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Frankfurt, Germany--Day 235

Entschuldigung. That means "excuse me" in German. One of the first of many phrases that I am busy learning now that Elizabeth is here. We spent the day today walking around Frankfurt with me practicing my new phrases. Elizabeth's German is amazing (she is so modest about it) and its definitely nice to have her here.

According to her family back in San Francisco, they now refer to me as "the hippopotamus friend." I guess that really could not have been avoided, but despite all of this hippo-ing, I do not think that I am actually beginning to resemble anything like them. At least, I hope so.

Anyways, Elzabeth's jet lag proved to be a nice excuse for me sleeping in and we up and at em pretty late this morning. We headed to the downtown area on the U-Bahn and emerged to find a big festicval going on. There were street vendors selling all sorts of wonderful things---bratwurst, cheese, cakes, you name it--and what seemed to be a farm fair, with tractors and farm animals in pens on display. Booths selling homemade honey soaps and wooden kitchen utensils lined the streets. We made our way down to the internet cafe sampling food along the way. After checking email, we stopped to figure out what our next move was going to be and ended up at the modern art museum. It was a nice big building--Elizabethäs interests lie in green architecture--making buildings that are environmentally friendly--like using skylights instead of electricity and having garden roofs be the "environmental footprint" (replacing the greenery that it got rid of by being built by making a rooftop garden. Anyways, Elizabeth was excited about the buildingäs use of natural light and design so I was equally impressed to hear all about what she had to say about it.

The exhibits were ok--we found much of them to be under construction and temporarily unavailable. I guess the newest exhibit was going to open up this Friday so the museum was in the process of setting up the new exhibits. We then headed back out to the rainy weather and walked around, crossing the bridge over to the other side of Frankfurt. We then found a cafe, spent a few hours drinking coffee and catching up. Elizabeth ordered me a "heisse milch mit honig" which is hot milk with honey (which I have declared as my new favorite drink). We then walked around a bit more in search of these green roofed buildings that apparently Frankfurt is famous for. Elizabeth claimed that 60% of Frankfurt has gardens on their roofs, but the architecture company that we stopped at to ask was not sure about that. But the recommended that we go to this galleria and find a good lookout spot to see for ourselves. So we did, climbing up to the top lookout and only spotting one green rooftop. But that didnät deter us--we spotted an even higher building that people seemed to be on top of and decided to find out how to get up to the roof of that building.

So we set out in the rain and eventually found the building and the sky tower lookout that it boasted. Climbing in the elevator "with a lift boy" (as opposed to the one that didnät have a lift boy) we made it to the top and braved the wind and rain to get to the lookout. And there we immediately spotted numerous green rooftops all over the city. It was quite exciting and I think I was just as excited as Elizabeth was about our findings.

We stayed up there for a while before we came back down and went in search for a WC, which led us back to the building that our first lookout location was. We then hopped on the U-Bahn and got off in an area that we had heard had nice places for dinner and walked around for a while, in the rain, trying to find somewhere. We eventually settled on a Persian food place which was excellent--and we were the only people in there the whole time!

Since it was early we U-Bahn-ed it back to the hotel, determined to head back out on the town when it got a little bit later but after changing into sweats and settling into bed, this was not going to be the case. We were both out by 10 p.m. with no chance of making it out again until the morning.