Sunday morning, I woke up to what I thought was cheering. I was really confused until I opened the curtains and saw that the Berlin Marathon was going right past our hotel.
We had coffee and checked out of the hotel. Thankfully, the marathon wasn’t blocking the route to the S-Bahn, which we rode from Alexanderplatz to the Hauptbahnhof.
The station was crazily busy, and it was a pain in the ass to be hauling our rolling bags around. None of the machines seemed to want to produce pre-purchased tickets, but someone finally directed us to an office upstairs where that could be done. We went to grab breakfast and sat outside feeding the sparrows on the patio.
We then went to grab some snacks and beer for the train, then went to wait on the platform. Of course I had to go use the bathroom before we left, and ended up standing in line and coming back right before the train arrived. We also didn’t exactly know where to board, since our tickets didn’t really indicate what section we’d be in. It pulled up and we jumped on, and there was a mad scramble of people running around.
An old guy finally looked at our tickets and directed us; we were in first class. We figured we didn’t have time to get off the train and run around to the other end, so we had to haul our bags down the aisle through several cars. Luckily, it wasn’t as many as it seemed, and the restaurant car was in between. We found seats, put our bags up on the overhead racks, and settled in for a ride on the ICE train to Frankfurt.
The ride was incredibly comfortable, and the conductor in first class was an adorable old man. He passed out train crackers:
The ride was about 4.5 hours total. We first went to Hannover, then the train went backwards to Frankfurt. We had a good view along the way, and I got a lot of knitting done.We arrived in Frankfurt shortly before 5pm, and went outside to map the walk to the hotel that was supposedly right by the train station. Well… that wasn’t exactly true. (I think mostly I was too half-assed about booking it, since it was a one-night stay.) It was about a mile away, and we had our big rolling bags. Google also had zero information about public transit for some reason, so we hailed a cab instead.
It was well worth the 10 euros to the hotel, because it would’ve been a long, hilly walk. Our room at the Holiday Inn Express was very small but good enough; it was kind of disappointing after our shockingly nice accommodations in the other two cities. Also, the location was pretty far away from anything. AND Google didn’t seem to know that Frankfurt has buses or streetcars; its only information was regarding the subway, which was nowhere close to us. It was really confusing.
I downloaded a local transit app, and that helped somewhat. But since we were used to walking 10 miles a day and weren’t even approaching that, we decided to walk to dinner. We wanted simple, familiar, and hopefully somewhere we could watch American football, since it was Sunday. Matt found the Champions Sports Bar at the Marriott, and that looked perfect for our very much lowered standards for the evening. (I think mostly we were sad to not be in the awesome places we had been, and I was questioning the decision to spend a whole day in Frankfurt, rather than just flying out of Berlin. Berlin was so great!)
We headed up the hill toward the Marriott. We passed over a million tracks leading into the Hauptbahnhof we’d just arrived at, and passed by a subway station that Google knew nothing about. We walked down a main street that had a bunch of buses Google didn’t know about either. It occurred to us that maybe we were a *little* too reliant on technology.
A mile and a half later, we arrived at the Marriott. Champions was a lot nicer than we expected, and actually had a really excellent menu. And there were sports, but unfortunately they involved the Packers. You can’t always have everything you want.
In case you’re wondering if ‘internet sports pundit’ is a universal stereotype…. the answer is yes:
We had no interest in making that walk back to the hotel, so we got another cab and headed back for the night. It was only 11.5 euros, and totally worth it.
Miles walked: 5.57/ 109.86 total