Day 8 of our 9 day trip to Germany in the fall
Early this morning I was in a half-asleep state but what happened was pretty hilarious. What we found out the night before was that the clock was going back an hour for daylight saving. Before going to bed some of us manually set the time back while some let it to the phone to pick up the new time from the carrier. The first group must’ve woke up at around 6-ish in the morning. This included Chantelle, Jeff and Emily Ho. All I heard in the morning was. Is. “Is it 6? Is it 5? What time is it? Should we go downstairs to ask? Can anyone get wifi? Did you set your time forward? I don’t think my phone time changed”. I think they eventually figured out that it was 6 and they left soon after. I then passed out again.
We woke up again at around 9:30AM because Edison was about to leave. We said our goodbyes and he went on his way to catch his confirmed flight from Frankfurt to London Heathrow.
Old Town Nuremberg
Mari and I were checked out by around 10:30AM and left our suitcases at the hostel. What was crazy was how it was sunny once again and snow totally gone.
We made our way into the old town. One thing I immediately noticed was just how quiet it was but then I remembered it was a Sunday and everything is pretty much closed.
Our first stop was the gingerbread market near the St. Lawrence Church. There were an assortment of stalls all selling gingerbread cookies, cakes, chocolates, etc. so we took a look around but decided to come back later.
We continued further and decided to have brunch at this Creperie Café. I got this parma ham crepe with coffee. We finished just in time for the 12:00PM at The Church of Our Lady clock ringing with moving statues.
Imperial Castle Nuremberg
We then made it to the Imperial Castle Nuremberg. There wasn’t any admission to walk around and even up to the top if the tower. There was a guided tour inside the castle areas but we didn’t have that much time or were we too interested so we made our way back down to the gingerbread market. Both of us bought packs of 5 gingerbread cookies and also got a cup of hot chocolate with Baileys which was quite a brilliant combo. Definitely something to try again back home.
Memorium Nuremberg Trials
With that we got back to Hauptbanhof and caught a U Bahn to the Bärenschanze. Just outside the subway exit was the Memorium Nuremberg Trials which is the actual courthouse that was used for the Nuremberg Trials in 1945. We barely had time to go through it all but at least we got to see the infamous Courtroom 600 where the Nuremberg Trials were held. Everything else was a quick fly-by with the audio guide and randomly picking numbers to listen to. Thank goodness for student discount though. All of that only cost 3 EUR.
Standing Train Ride to Frankfurt
By 3:20PM we bolted and took train way back to Hbf and back to the hostel to pick up our stuff. I checked the train schedule one last time and realized I ha made a mistake. I thought the train was for 4:06PM but instead it was 4:00PM. With it being 3:50 already we ran back to the main station, bought tickets and found platform 6. That was enough to really get the heart rate up but when we got up there the train wasn’t even there yet. We stood around the packed C platform for 2nd class and waited. Once the train came everyone rushed in. We were lucky to get in first but we peered around and almost all the seats were taken because this ICE train was coming from Munich.
The whole boarding process was confusing because neither Mari or I knew how to tell what seats were reserved and what weren’t. Midway through the car I found a seat so I stood there. Mari went ahead and found another seat but when she asked the old lady next to the seat whether it was taken or not, she responded in German and Mari didn’t know whether it was ok or not. She walked forward some more and by then it was hopeless because the other end of the train was packed with people trying to come into the aisle to find seats. In the end I felt bad but there wasn’t much we could do about it. The cars ahead were also packed with people so I just sat down and Mari just sat down on her suitcase near the junction point of two cars.
For two stops I was good which gave me time to do some blogging but when we got to Würzburg a woman claimed we reservation seat and I was relegated to stand near Mari for the remaining 40 minutes. So not quite what I expected out of the more expensive ICE trains but I guess that’s what happens on a Sunday when everyone is trying to get back home.
Mari and I were pretty disappointed. She was saying that the Japanese trains make much more sense with cars dedicated to reservation and non-reservation. I guess the Germans do it this way so they can cram as many people in as possible even if that means standing.
Reunited at Five Elements Hostel
We got to the Frankfurt station promptly just past 6:00PM. I had my instructions to get to the hostel ready so we found it relative ease. Five Elements Hostel was rated number 1 on Hostelworld but funnily enough it is situated in the red light district so we walked through quite a few strip clubs as casinos – a common thing to have near main train stations of major cities??
Anyways we got to the hostel and realized we were the first ones there since we had agreed beforehand to meet at 6:30PM. While we were going through the check-in process Emily Chan and David showed up – right on time.
Once we got on the wireless I got a message from Chantelle telling us that try had actually made it on the 5:00PM flight directly to Toronto which would explain why they weren’t at the hostel. That was a relief! We got nothing from Edison so we still had no idea about his whereabouts.
We went up to our reserved 8 person apartment room. The entrance is totally sketchy looking and the elevator is tiny with a key required to go to your specific floor. That didn’t matter when we got to our room which was simply huge, furnished with new Ikea furniture and spot clean. If only all hostels could be this awesome. The reason this place was so great was because it was a legit apartment building separate from where the hostel rooms are. They simply bought an apartment suite for their own use. All of our neighbours were normal people.
A Pho Dinner
The 4 of us updated each other on our adventures for the past two days and then we head out for dinner. Originally the plan was to go to a place for Frankfurters but I think everyone was getting a bit sick of sausages so we decided to just walk around the train station to find something. Eventually we found this Pho/Chinese place. The Viet food was mediocre but it was nice to have some Asian food again. Don’t worry though I still had beer so my trip drinking streak was still intact.
After that we walked around the neighbourhood which really was a red light district (see some my iPhone photos haha) but it got too cold so we just went back home.
We used the wifi in the lobby and then back up to our room where we spent the rest of the night drinking the wine Mari had bought in Rothenburg at Glocke and playing Big 2. It was quite the fun night.
Tips & Tricks
- Five Elements Hostel is awesome and in particular the apartments- Ikea furnished, large and extremely clean
- Reservations for DB during high season or on weekends for a long distance trains. Totally worth the 8 extra Euros
- For these long distance trains using ICE or IC it’s also probably wise to make reservations well in advance if your schedule is fixed because it only gets more expensive as the time comes closer
- Chantelle, Emily Ho and Jeff leave the hostel at 6:30AM
- Edison leaves at 10:45AM
- Mari and myself hang out in the old town area
- Lunch at this Creperie Cafe
- Watch the 12PM clock ringing at the Church of Our Lady
- Walk towards the Imperial Castle Nuremberg and roam around
- Head back to the St. Lawrence Church square to buy some gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate with Baileys
- Subway from Hbf to Bärenschanze on the U1
- 20 minutes at Memorium Nuremberg Trials
- Rush back to the hostel via U Bahn to pick up bags
- Leave hostel at 3:50PM
- Mad dash to run back to the main station, buy tickets for ICE and find track 6 leaving at 4:00PM
- Arrive in Frankfurt Hbf at 6:04PM
- Check-in to Five Elements Hostel and meet up with Emily Chan and David
- Dinner at Pho/Chinese restaurant near the train station
- Back to hostel for wifi, wine and cards
Check out the Next Day
To read about my standby adventures back to Toronto, check out Day 9 – Frankfurt – Spin The Standby Wheel.