Mainhatten & Musicals
This is a co-post by Riki & me.
Riki got me concert tickets for Christmas, but these weren't for just any concert; the event was called "A Night of Musicals" and featured highlights from the best musical productions.
So it was already interesting to guess which performance belonged to which musical. Okay, sometimes it was obvious but honestly: Do you know everything about "Elizabeth," "The Lion King" or "Cabaret?" But before we talk about the night we would first like to talk about our DAY.
Since we would be in Frankfurt anyway, a city I had not yet visited, I suggested that we see some sights before the show. Riki got some ideas together and we headed out, by train, shortly after lunch. Due to delays in the train tunnels under the city, our first stop ended up being Frankfurt's Red Light District - thankfully, we were able to contain our visit to the classier areas.
Well, if the tunnel is blocked and you have to get off the train at the "Hauptbahnhof" (central station), it is unavoidable to pass the "Kaiserstrasse." Little side note: directly behind the Red Light District starts the banking area, so the guys working there have some "interesting lunch choices."
And just down the street from the banking area is the famous Alte Oper, Frankfurt's old Opera House. The motto engraved outside means, "Dedicated to the True, the Beautiful & The Good." I loved the juxtaposition of old-style German architecture and modern skyscrapers.
Makes me sad somehow. Later that day we saw a picture of Frankfurt after the bombing in 1945. Actually, there was no Frankfurt anymore. More than 85% of the city (NO JOKE!) was destroyed. Ruins everywhere...
Yes, the damage was catastrophic, and the re-build is miraculous. Frankfurt, even now, is building itself up; downtown there is a new shopping mall of several city blocks being constructed this year.
I guess we chose the coldest day of the year to hike around outside; it was FREEEEEZING! To warm up we stopped in a cafe for Chai & Cocoa. Next stop: Zeilgalerie, a 7-story mall with a spiral hallway all the way down. Riki surprised me with a breathtaking view over Frankfurt.
And on we went to the actual city centre - the Roemer. "Roemer" means "Roman" and is named after the remains that were found there. Several foundations of Roman baths were excavated during recent construction, dating from 65-110 A.D. Today, the Roemer is the central place for celebrations, therefore the heart of Frankfurt.
Perhaps the Roemer is the heart of Frankfurt also because it is in the heart of the city (thanks, Tips); the History Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Market Square and one of the most famous sights in the city, the Kaiserdom, are all located just steps away from this area.
The earliest foundations of the Dom go back to around 680 A.D. In the Medieval period, several German Emperors were coronated here, resulting in the term "Kaiserdom" (Kaiser meaning Emperor). Still, compared to the Dom in Mainz this one is pretty small.
From the Dom we went down to the River Main, took some skyline pictures in about -529379.5 degree Celsius and then looked for a nice place to have dinner.
Riki wanted to surprise me by taking me to a Japanese restaurant he'd previously been to; sadly, they were closed. On the plus side, during our earlier walk through the city we stumbled upon a brand new Japanese restaurant and decided to give them a shot instead. Not only was the food great, but we had a great opportunity to practise our Japanese with the native staff!
Hai! So desu, ne.
The new sushi-chef took f.o.r.e.v.e.r to cut Riki's sashimi, so by the time we left the restaurant we had only 30 minutes to get to the Jahrhunderthalle (concert hall) across town! We scrambled to the nearest station, and lucked out with only a 5-minute wait.
Sorry to oppose but the only one "scrambling" was you! I just WALKED with longer strides...
Whatever. By the time we got to the proper station we had about 3 minutes to get there on time, and a good 10-minute walk left before us; keep in mind that Riki's "long strides" are a nice jogging pace for my stumps-for-legs.
But we made it! They had just started with the first performance when "Sweaty-pants" and I arrived at our seats.
The review was fabulous! We enjoyed selections from "Phantom of the Opera," "Cats," "ABBA," "Grease," "Dirty Dancing," "The Lion King," "Westside Story," "We Will Rock You," "Evita," and, perhaps the best, "Rocky Horror Picture Show." The vocal talents were amazing, the dancing was flawless and many of the selections were even performed in English! The night was capped off by the whole audience dancing "The Time Warp" in unison! What a great time!!
Yep, and due to my perfect planning (and my beautiful legs - Hi, Kels!) we caught the train back home by seconds, a little "scrambling" included for parts of the party...
Why am I always running with you!?!?!
Anyhow, it was a wonderful day. Thanks so much, Riki, for your thought and your planning. Love you!