Last weekend I have spend in Frankfurt aM and in the Rheingau area close to Frankfurt - for the very first time. To be honest I have been a bit prejudiced and thought in a very cliché way, that Frankfurt is just full of skyscrapers and other grey monstrous buildings and showing the cities' even more grey face. But it turned out that I was (once more) terribly mistaken. Frankfurt has definitely a beautiful side next to their grey banking towers which do not seem to have heard of the financial crisis and still innocently whispering invest!- invest!-invest!! and helps to protect the people of the real truth...
What brought us to Frankfurt was a huge fair - in fact the worlds biggest fair for architecture and technology - the light and building 2012 at Messe Frankfurt. My darling successfully developed a product for a big light manufacturer, that is why we had no booth of our own.
The area around the congress and fair area was actually quite beautiful, very metropolitan, compared to our home base Eindhoven. Opposite was a small park, comparatively quiet of traffic, as most people seem to travel by underground / train to the area.
A perfect place for Josie to play and make friends...
This time a Jack Russel lady.. whose food is from a special shop, I would say - equivalent to a person who is eating vegan. The owner was a hippie lady from Berlin...
This is the view to the huge Messe show hall where all big lighting manufacturers tried to show their very best achievements and engineering research results. Philips Lighting alone had a whole hall on its own, but for my taste there were not that many interesting new things to see..
This time a small girl whose parents were originally from Burma. She was such an enchanting little girl and was completely head over heels with the dog -- and vice versa... When saying good bye, she had tears in her eyes, and would beg her daddy to stay a bit longer for as long as we could see and hear them.
This weekend I did not only see Frankfurt for the first time, but also booked a place via airbnb for the first time: It was a little adventure. What is airbnb? Well, airbnb is a similar concept of a social network, but this time it is a network of people offering private places to stay for travelers. It does not matter wether someone travels for business, as a student, or even for a family vacation, everyone could find a temporary home. Usually it is offered by private persons having a spare room, interested in meeting new people and to contribute something to the connectedness of the world and to a travelers' network. The use is super simple, as someone does not need to go through a long registration process, but can easily connect via Facebook or twitter. The only disadvantage is , that short term inquiries might not be replied to soon enough, so that it is always good to contact many, or at least a couple of hosts. Another was, that we landed not quite in Frankfurt, or close to, but around sixty kilometers away...
We actually stayed - in the end - in a place called Oestrich- Winkel, for most people just a too difficult to pronounce name of a place. For many it is a place very familiar, as it is the same location of the European Business School, a privately held university offering elite graduate and undergraduate programs in finance and business management.
The place is so BEAUTIFUL! Surrounded by vineyards and the river Rhine the scenery is overwhelming! Even though the wind was blowing so hard and the temperatures were arctic it still caught our attention big times.
Sunday evening we had dinner in the idyllic village of Oestrich-Winkel at the restaurant of Hotel Schwan ****.
The old place was spreading a warm and cosy atmosphere offering great food and great wine and a huge deal of hospitality.
The owner of the hotel was incredibly friendly, offering great service and a warm welcome. Classical music in the background and free wifi (we had none in our b&b, that sucked, so we were more than happy) made it a perfect stay and a definitely more than recommendable place to eat (and certainly also to stay at the hotel). The hotel Schwan is located approx. 50 meters from the shores of the river Rhine, and we could watch big Rhine ships (mostly from the Netherlands) passing quietly by.
By the way - I had an awesome salad with honey coated goat cheese which was heavenly and a nice glass of dry white Rhine wine with it - especially from that area (She told me from which vineyard exactly, but I could not remember). It is really nice to taste food and drinks were you exactly know where it comes from.... The Rhinegau area really impressed us and I already cannot wait to go back!
To sum it up - it was busy, quiet, beautiful, impressive, delicious and successful - and not to forget, I am grateful to have been able to meet up with my dear friend Sandra again! Hope to see you again - soon!