As some of you may be aware I’m now in Germany for a little holiday and then to Denmark for my first international arts residency. It’s the sort of ‘holiday’ my family and friends are slightly envious of as they see me jet set (yet again!) to another exciting destination.
I left Australia 28 December 2012 and arrived at Frankfurt Airport on Saturday at 6:10am feeling a little flustered after losing my passport in Singapore. I went to buy perfume at the duty free shop and couldn’t find my passport…I panicked…checked bags in and out and went straight to the info desk. I explained I must have left it on the plane. She smiled and said Mrs Masters! I said yes and how did you know? She replied “we have been paging you for a while. It is a loud speaker system”. I apologised and said I was still tired from the trip and very embarrassed at my mishap of leaving the passport on the plane (it slid out during the landing but I didn’t see it). Little did she know I was busy trying on perfume to buy and totally zoned out to anything beyond which fragrance to choose!
Anyway, I’m now in Frankfurt after hair-raising 160 miles cabs ride along the autobahn and a full day exploring the city on foot. I think I covered 50kms (felt more like 100kms) in total as I pounded the walking paths, pavements, cobbled streets and shop floors. It wasn’t till I got home @ 6pm and took my shoes off I realized I had bloodied feet, torn my brand new stockings all in the sake of being a tourist. But it was worth it all as I was so lucky to have sunny weather the whole day and later found out it had been raining all week – hence the crowds. Actually, I discovered the reason why there were so many people out and about was the sales. Yes, end of year/post Christmas sales and everyone was on the hunt. I tried in vain to look for a proper winter jacket in the popular shopping strip – Ziel.
My cute duffle coat won’t cut below 1 degree and do you think I ended up finding one? I was confused with all the brands and so many look like skiing jackets and moi does not slide anywhere, as she’s not a fan of the slopes. While I saw a lot of American brands I really wanted to buy a German jacket designed especially for their winters. I had no luck finding someone to help as sales assistants were run off their feet and I think I had tourist written all over my face as they avoided me. Generally speaking, most people were helpful but English was limited. A shame. Well onwards and upwards as I head to the flashier end of town – Goethstraße.
This is where all the luxury fashion and jewellery houses are and I came across a second hand shop (these are very popular in Germany). The ladies were fantastic as they chatted to me about Australia, shopping and helping me find a jacket. While they had beautiful weekend wear jackets they were not practical for day-to-day wear. As I headed to another part of town it started to get cold and I put on my hat, scarf and gloves. Quelle horreur – a glove is missing! I panic and retrace my 1000 steps all the way back to every shop I’ve visited. I’m a crazed woman as I have lost my favourite leather glove. No such luck and I head off to the next district, which is more art/design/craft, focused. I exit the train station and am totally lost as the street signs and map are confusing. I ask for directions and find that the street I want is split in two – go figure!! It’s getting dark and finally I find the shops I really wanted to look at. I zip in and out, trying on cute skirts, looking at designer items and eventually find the shop I was after. Although it’s a fashion shop and I explain to the man the shop I want. I show him my trusty book and he says “Yes, my friend owned that, she got pregnant, and offered me the space so I now have it”. Anyway, I decide to check it out and to my amusement he and this lady want to read my little Wallpaper guide, ask me all sorts of questions and offer me a glass of champagne once they hear how far I’ve walked. I spy a top, try it on and discover he is the designer. Instantly, I purchase the top as its my one and only purchase (a shocker as I had been shopping for 6hrs!). TIP: don’t focus on purchasing one item like I did….I was fixated with trying to buy a jacket and missed out on so many other nicer things to buy).
On Sunday I had a srumptious breakfast in the Wintergarden with its twinkling candles, ornate candelabra and his and her matching joggers running past outside next to the Main river.
I plan to catch a train from Frankfurt to Freiburg to meet my friends Marion and Nicole as they whisk me off to the black forest (Schwarzwald) to celebrate New Years Eve with 8 grown ups and 6 children on a farm with cute family apartments. The Bauernhof is located in Emmendingen (near Freiburg) in the very south of Germany – the site is written in German but if you check it out the photographs you can see how quaint the setting is http://www.ferienhof-buehrer.de/index.cfm.
Well, auf Wiedersehen (bid farewell) and please watch this blog as I continue to post about my adventures in Germany and Denmark – the land of snow, fairy lights and gløgg (mulled wine). Oh! And Happy New Year to everyone!