I am in Frankfurt for two days this week before heading to Prague for an AU style user event. My client meeting is not until tomorrow, so once I got some work done (and before the EDT people woke up) I managed to take a walk around town and see a few things.
I saw a lot of signs pointing to the zoo, and other attractions including plenty pointing to “bahnhof”. Which reminded me of when I was 15.
The summer after my sophomore year in high school, I won a scholarship to do a short exchange outside of Zurich. At this point, I had studied French for three years, and German for about 15 minutes on the plane. Zurich is on the German side of Switzerland, so this means that I arrived with only the absolutely most rudimentary amount of German skill. Or you could probably say none. Let’s go with none.
Zurich is a lovely place, and back in 1991 (and probably still today) it was a very safe place to let a 15 year old take the train alone from Adliswil and wander around in a clueless American girl fog through the Niederdorf and taking boatrides on Lake Zurich. After a few weeks, I began to notice that everything was named Bahnhof. There was the big Bahnhofstrasse in downtown Zurich, and every town seemed to have a Bahnhofplatz or Cafe Bahnhof as well. There were a lot of things named after Wilhelm Tell, but Bahnhoff really was far more visible.
So I asked my host family one night over dinner who was this Bahnhof person? He must be really famous because so much is named after him. They kind of stared at me funny for a few moments, then nodded and said that Mr. Flughafen was nearly as important.
Man, the internet has made life a whole heck of a lot less embarrassing.
I will write more descriptions and such once I get some work done, but in the meantime I threw my photos up on flickr: Frankfurt Am Main April 2009.
And yes, they have some really pretty manhole covers here.