Leaving Frankfurt by Plane

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It was a hot night for everyone in Frankfurt. We tried to sleep in till 8 a.m. and then packed up our gear and headed to the third floor for breakfast. The breakfast room was very busy. We tried to be friendly with the people sitting opposite to us but all they said was they were from Finland and Germany. They obviously weren't keen to chat. So be it!

 

Last few hours in Frankfurt

We asked at Reception if we could leave our baggage at the hostel and pick it up later in the day, just prior to heading out to the airport. We were told we could and we were also told we could have a shower there later in the day before starting our long journey home.

We were relieved to know we could have a shower there. We had visions of getting sweaty (no one could fail to get sweaty in the extraordinary heat) and then having to sit on a plane all the way back to Australia.

A shower later in the day would prove glorious.

 

Killing time in Frankfurt when it is a heat wave

So, off we went trying to kill hours in a hot city. Really we just wandered along the shady sides of each street. Every so often we stopped in "cool" areas so we could drink water and eat ice creams.

We've found enormous differences in the price of bottled water in Frankfurt. We bought a 500 ml bottle for 2,50 euros in one place and later bought a 1.5 litre bottle for just 1.95 Euros elsewhere.

Boy, did our day drag. We found the Main Tower and decided to go up to view the city from 200 metres up in the air.

 

View from Main tower View from Main tower
The TV crew The TV crew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see the railway station almost in the middle of the photo above right. It has the series of curved roofs. There wasn't much shade up at the top of the tower. However we tried to sit in it for a few moments just to kill a little more time. We were entertained by a TV crew who were doing a story of some sort.

Wandering on we found a lovely air-conditioned shop called Carousel and spent a good hour in there. Especially interesting is their gourmet food section which is at the bottom level of the complex. I've never seen so many types of pasta. Some were bows with stripes of colour within the bow. We found a huge choice of lollies for 1,19 Euros for 100 gms. so we have bought a variety to take home with us. We noticed they have a big top floor restaurant and importantly they have wonderfully clean toilets.

We dragged our feet back to the hostel just after 4 p.m. Sure enough the Receptionist gave us a key to a dormitory so we could shower. She even told us to use the hostel towels which we thought was kind and certainly beat taking wet towels with us back home.

Feeling refreshed we left the hostel. It was 32 degrees Celsius outside but luckily we had only a few metres to walk to reach the subway of the railway station.

Even with the hostel instructions we couldn't work out how to use the railway ticket machine. Again a sweet unknown soul came to our aid. This time it cost us only 3,40 Euros for each ticket. We soon found the correct platform and our train took us to Airport Terminal 1. From there we had to transfer to Terminal 2. We took an elevated railway called Skyline to get there. It cost us nothing. It was very fast and within moments we were in Terminal 2.

We had our dinner at one of the airport cafes. It really was quite nice. Ian had Spaghetti Bolognese and I had smoked salmon with a jacket potato, sour cream and salad. It cost 18 Euros which we thought wasn't too bad a price for airport food.

Eventually we moved on to the passport control section. It was very quiet and we were able to go straight up to one of the counters without even waiting in a queue. The officer took our passports and asked if we were born in Germany. We smartly said "No", thinking what a silly question it was to ask us. He jokingly said "Well what are you doing at this desk then?" We hadn't realized we were in the section where only Germans could pass through. He probably wondered what kind of idiots he was dealing with. Our only excuse is we were tired and didn't read the sign properly. He still stamped our passports.

A while later we boarded our Qantas flight back to Australia. We slept like logs on the plane that night. The long journey really didn't seem that long after all.

Train back to Bunbury The train back to Bunbury

We have no further photos of Germany or the flight home as it was dark all the way which is such a pity.

We arrived back in Perth around midnight and easily found ourselves a taxi to the YHA in Perth. Although we were only there one night the YHA impressed us as being well run. We were able to buy a cooked breakfast at the hostel which suited us well. We chose to stay there as the hostel is only metres away from the railway station where we would catch our train home the next morning.

It was lovely to hop on that train knowing we were only two hours from home.

It was a great journey back to Bunbury.

We had a wonderful holiday. We had some fabulous times. We also had some scary times too, especially when the Provodnitza mislaid one of our tickets. We had revolting times when we stayed at Artyom's home. We had a few frustrating times particularly with the language barrier at train ticket offices. We loved Russian food almost without exception. But, most of all, we met some very kind and friendly Russian people who made our trip so extremely memorable. A piece of Russia has come back here to Australia with us and is lodged here in our hearts.

 

THE END

 

 

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Our trip in the order it happened:


Travel Planning Necessities
World time zones, world weather, currency converter, language translator services.

HostelWorld.Com
Search over 25,000 hostels.

Trip Advisor Forum - Russia
The place to find information about Russia when you can't find it elsewhere.

Way To Russia
Another very good forum

Getting A Russian Visa
The process is explained

Trains between Moscow & Saint Petersburg
Explanation of the types of trains on that route.

Firmenny Trains
An explanation of what they are.

Moscow's Railway Stations
A map of their locations and proximities.

Learn How To Speak Russian
Free lessons.

Map of St. Petersburg
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Map of Moscow
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Moscow Times Newspaper
English version.

The Russia Club
A forum for all those interested in anything "Russian".

Russian Rail Timetable
It takes a bit of mastering but Ian managed it (eventually).

The Art Of Travel
Very interesting travel information for all locations.

Smart Traveller
Australian Government's site dealing with current travel advice.

Travel Independent
A site written by travellers for travellers. Lots of information.

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