Lunch in Frankfurt. Why Not?

Cheaping out on our flights to and from India resulted in what some may deem an undesirable itinerary: Bangalore to Frankfurt (with a 5-hour layover); Frankfurt to Munich (that’s backtracking, in case you’re unfamiliar with European geography); and Munich to Montreal. It was great for us, though, as it meant catching a tiny glimpse of Germany for the first time. Five hours proved just enough time to clear customs, orient ourselves in Frankfurt’s uber-efficient rail system, and make our way downtown for an introductory visit to this delightful European town.

Stepping onto the train was like entering the twilight zone – we were most struck by the deafening quiet throughout the car, the towering heights of our fellow passengers, and a refreshing respect for personal space. When we emerged from the underground station in the centre of town, the stillness persisted and we sort of felt as though we were walking on the moon.

The focal point of our quick foray into Frankfurt was a trip to the Kleinmarkthalle, a sprawling market that we immediately deemed the greatest place on earth. We wandered wide-eyed through the pristine aisles sampling buttery pastries, warm sausages with mustard and Frankfurt’s famous grüne soße (a creamy, eggy, herby condiment), and perfectly frosty beers free of the taste-killing preservatives common in Asian beer. At a fish market nearby, I tried a satiny herringsalaat that still haunts my dreams but that Ric thought was a bit gross.

Having sufficiently partaken of Frankfurt’s culinary offerings, we ventured down shady lanes and back up wide boulevards, checking out slick design shops and soaring Gothic church spires before reluctantly trudging back to Hauptswache Station and the airport.

Here’s some photographic proof of our morning in Frankfurt:

In stark contrast with the 9-step handwashing instructions found in Singapore bathrooms, the German style seems a model of efficiency.

First view of western civilization after over 3 months in Asia. Where are the people? Cows? Chickens? Goats?

I proudly made use of the German I learned in university to order a pastry, but couldn't understand the reply. Probably because the pretzel vendor sounded nothing like my German teacher. Sigh.

Herringsalaat. Get some.

Frankfurt is a town of fascinating juxtaposition. But then again, aren't most towns?

We easily justified beers before 10am by telling ourselves it was actually still the middle of the night on Bangalore time. Anyway, as I always say, it's 5 o'clock somewhere!

Against all odds, and with an inspired combination of gesturing and nodding, we overcame a wide language gap to end up with this tantalizing plate of warm sausage, grune sose (herbed sauce), kartofelsalaat (potato salad), and a healthy dose of mustard.

We'll be back, Frankfurt.

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