I can hardly believe it but we’re been here for over two months now, and we’ve well and truly settled into things in Frankfurt. Since my last post, we’ve visited a few cities and towns just outside of Frankfurt, including Heidelberg, which was my favourite. Generally, though, we’ve been spending our time in Frankfurt and have been to a lot of summer festivals here!
My German is coming along, although it’s still really difficult! My teachers still insist that everything must be in German. It’s actually getting easier to understand explanations in German, given I know a few more German words than when I started a couple of months ago. In an effort to fully ‘immerse’ myself in German, as my teachers say I ought to do, I’ve changed my iphone to German. All of my apps, itunes, facebook etc, are now in German. On Facebook, when I ‘like’ something, the German translation is ‘gefällt mir’. It’s certainly not as snappy as ‘like’! It’s pretty funny, but good practice. One of my teachers told my friend Cami and I that we should be dreaming in German! Yeah right. I’m not exactly at that level yet, and won’t be for a long time, I think! However, I have had many dreams where I am trying to speak German, and I’m thinking in English about what I want to be able to say in German! A few weeks ago my head was so jumbled with German words that when someone said ‘gesundheit’ to me after sneezing, instead of saying ‘danke schon’, I said ‘guten tag!’. We had a bit of a laugh about that!
Even though I’m getting better at the German, it’s frustrating not being able to have a spontaneous conversation with people – in the supermarket line, at a café, in a shop. I’ve had a few basic conversations with people, but if I want to make a passing comment about something, I can’t. And I can’t just speak in English, and assume that people will speak English to me, because although there are a lot of people who do speak English, there are just as many people who don’t. We found that out the hard way when we were trying to get internet, phone, visa registration sorted. We even had one guy hang up the phone on us! I suppose that’s standard teething issues in a country where you don’t speak the language. I can’t wait for the day when I can speak German well enough to ‘appropriately’ respond if I’m ever in a similar situation ;p
Frankfurt’s been a little ‘Fest’ crazy over the last month (in a good way). We’ve been to ‘MainFest’ (a fair with rides and stalls etc on the Main River), ‘Wein Wocke’ (as the name suggests – lots of wine, mainly Reislings from around the region and some bands to keep everyone entertained), ‘Italianische Wocke’ (everything Italian of course, with pizza and pasta – a welcome deviation from wurst!), ‘Apfelwein Fest’ (everything made with apfelwein, including wurst which, surprisingly, is very good!) and ‘Museumsuferfest’ which was this weekend.
Museumsuferfest was the biggest one with about 20 open air stages and bands playing along both sides of the river from Friday to Sunday. As part of the festival you could gain entry to about 20 of Frankfurt’s museums all weekend, for a flat rate of 4 euros, which was a bargain.
They change the names but all of the festivals basically revolve around wurst, bier, apfelwein (of course!) and loads of people. Tim, Cami and I have been making some German friends at the festivals – the wine gets our confidence up and (broken) german conversations going, so it’s very good practice! The festivals have been so much fun, although I think we have seen the last of them now, as it is officially the end of summer 😦
One weekend we hired bikes and followed the Main River to a small castle about 15km out from the city, and rode by some nice old towns along the way.
I’m not exactly sure what the man and girl in the picture above were wearing – am pretty sure it was part of a fancy dress thing… but they were there at just the right time for my picture.
Nothing says ‘tourist’ quite like a bike with a Nivea deep nourishing face cream advertisement splashed across the bike!
And nothing attracts attention quite like a bike that sounds like some type of electric engine about to take off the faster you accelerate! A lady actually stopped next to me and asked if my bike was a high-tech electric bike. Unfortunately no, it’s just ‘kaputt’, as the Germans would say.
We also saw a lady on her bike, taking her horse for a walk!
Last weekend there was a bit of a heat wave so we checked out the local ‘schwimminbad’. This is what happens if there is no beach 🙂
This weekend we’re going to Croatia so we’re looking forward to going to the beach!
Below are some more shots of the festivals – there are some interesting sights!
Starting the business of apfelwein production at a young age!
Bier and apfelwein candles – of course!
Cami, Tim and I sampling the Reislings at ‘Wein Wocke’ in Wiesbaden
Hugos and Mainfest!
One of the bands at Museumsuferfest setting up shop in one of the museums!
Kids in giant beach balls – fun!
‘Italianische’ Amaretti biscuits – pure sugar but so good!
Looking thrilled – so we thought we’d help them out and buy a drink. Not sure it worked…
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