Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Do a trip report here....go to another city and want to relate it to what KC is doing right or could do better? Give us a summary in here.
moderne
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3829
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 2:50 pm
Location: downtown

Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby moderne » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:09 pm

Been a while since I was in Krautland, so lots of new things to see. Frankfurt continues to grow. The new terminal at the airport was efficient and uncrowded. The skyline has as many highrises now as any city in US outside of NY or Chicago. The new European Central Bank is an attractive glass trapezoid. Interesting in that it is not in what we would call the traditional business center. Was told that this is part of the planning. They want to avoid what is a usual American style downtown of office towers that is dead after hours. So the plan is that there will not be towers on every block or even every other block. From a distance this makes the skyline look like a sprawling city but at street level just the opposite. The main shopping street, the Ziel, is pedestrian only. There is a huge mall on it "My Ziel." The whole thing is covered by a glass curtain wall in sort of a doughnut configuration. The glass wall in the center descends into the mall in a tornado like vortex. The is an escalator to the top level that is billed as the longest escalator in Europe. The odd thing that it is only an up escalator. To get down you must take floor to floor escalators of which none are aligned so you end up walking past every shop in the place. Went to a place up in the Taunus that is a refuge for threatened and unwanted medieval buildings from all over Hessen. They are moved there and arranged in groupings from different regions of the province. You can see how half timber and wattle and daub structures are constructed. There is a medieval crafts village. We in the states all know that European cities are very old compared to ours, but Europe cities did not become largely populous until about the same time as here. Frankfurt did not surpass 100,000 until 1870.
Took the fast train to Berlin. In the slow trains in the states I invariably get motion sickness. This high speed train was so smooth that unless I was looking at the view I did not even feel like I was moving. The new Berlin train station is an architectural marvel. It is both an intercity transport hub and a shopping mall. The entire center of the station is an open court so that all the train levels, shops and functions are visible and comprehensible at a glance. Because Berlin sits in sandy soil the station is elevated and when you step outside the historic center unfolds to view. Stayed in the wierdly named Hotel California on the Kurfurstendam, just a few blocks from the iconic left-in-ruins Kaiser Wilhelm church. Was somewhat disappointed in the Sony Center, expected something more of a high tech marvel. Highlight of trip to me was Nues Museum. The Pergamum Altar was an entire greek temple inside the museum. Better than the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. Its like they stole not only the sculptures, but the Parthenon also. The Ishtar Gate from Babylon was impressive. Most moving was Nefertiti. Aside from the Tut mask in Cairo, this is probably the most recognized Egyptian art. The bust is the only thing in the room and the lighting casts a shadow from her eyelids so that you hardly notice the missing pupil in one eye. The rebuilt Reichstag with its new Norman Foster dome was impressive. How this was rebuilt from a swiss cheese shell is a marvel. The block large holocaust memorial was moving, but maybe just as moving was the tiny gay holocaust memorial across the street that seemed as if it was quarantined that even the tortured jews rejected it.
Took a little side trip to Trier almost on the French and Luxembourg border. For a small city was very attractive. Set along the Mosel valley carved into a volcanic plateau it was the capitol of ancient Roman Gaul. It has the largest collection of Roman ruins north of the alps, including a basilica that is second only to the Pantheon as a roman building with still a roof. The city gate, the porta nigra was monumentally impressive. Ate lunch at a place that has meals taken out of a roman cookbook.
Coming home the states seemed trashy, broken down and not modern. They are light years ahead in transportation infrastructure. How is it that it is so difficult for us to save and adapt a single historic building(e.g., Union Station) while they are able to not only maintain hundreds of them but also rebuild hundreds of them from shattered fragments of bombed out ruins? I was also struck by the change in over a decade of my friends' neighborhood. Previously blond teutonic now largely Turkish. There is a lot of tension between the two. Since my ancestry is half German,half Mediterranean, both groups could be unfriendly towards me until they realized I was American.

loftguy
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3776
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:12 pm

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby loftguy » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:44 am

Thanks for that trip assessment Moderne. Makes me ponder what the heck I am doing here.

In particular, your line "Coming home the states seemed trashy, broken down and not modern." struck me.

I was out of the country recently and though I did not frame my return observations as such, you have keenly paralleled my feelings. Somehow this was more apparent than with prior trips abroad.

kboish
Penntower
Penntower
Posts: 2099
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:25 am
Location: West Plaza

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby kboish » Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:47 am

I will agree that if you have travelled abroad, US cities do not feel modern. I think this is something most people do not realize. They constantly hear the cheerleading media and politicians crying out "US is NO. 1!!!". and to say otherwise is unAmerican.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12168
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby FangKC » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:18 pm

This is what most people who have never traveled outside the US don't understand. That on many, many measures, the US is not No. 1.

In fact, travel outside the US is not even necessary to know this. If you just do a lot of reading, you know this.

One thing Europe does much better is cities.

There are many European countries that have a higher standard of living than the US, better social mobility, better access to health care and education, and overall quality of life, and the people are much happier than they are here on many counts.

But yet we have politicians who mock "old Europe" as sport--who totally disregard that many parts of the European model work incredibly well.

Yet, when anyone points out poor outcomes in the US compared to other nations, they are labeled "anti-American."

One thing many countries in Europe do incredibly well is education. I have know several Europeans from different countries, and the thing that astounds me was how educated they are on how the American political system works--in many ways they understand it better than many Americans do. They seem to follow our politics, and elections, closer than we follow their politics.

User avatar
WinchesterMysteryHouse
Colonnade
Colonnade
Posts: 750
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:54 pm

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby WinchesterMysteryHouse » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:38 pm

Excellent post, thanks for the tale!

User avatar
Highlander
Mark Twain Tower
Mark Twain Tower
Posts: 8832
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 1:40 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby Highlander » Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:22 pm

Thanks for the report. I love Berlin and Trier is one of my favorite small cities in Germany.

We have been to Berlin numerous times since the wall fell. What I like is that it's a very dynamic city. Always changing - particularly the eastern part of the city. Did you happen to notice any progress on the Berlin City Palace? The building is being rebuilt where it once stood on Museum Island across Unter Den Linden from the Dom. It was damaged in the war and destroyed by the communist and its rebuild is very controversial (and costly). We'd like to go back when it's finished in a couple of year.

If you ever get back to the eastern part of Germany - I'd highly recommend a trip to Dresden.

bobbyhawks
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:19 pm

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby bobbyhawks » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:10 am

Anyone with some experience in Strasbourg/Kehl area? I'll be there on the French side for a few days and am thinking of hitting up the Colmar area for a few days as well.

chingon
Hotel President
Hotel President
Posts: 3313
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 6:47 pm
Location: South Plaza

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby chingon » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:41 pm

I refuse to visit Trier because of Lars Von Trier. Fair or not, you gotta have a cutoff somewhere.

User avatar
warwickland
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4610
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:29 pm
Location: University City, MO

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby warwickland » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:26 pm

nice recap.

i fear the "broken down and trashy" vibe im going to get when i return from london and a tour of switzerland...

chingon
Hotel President
Hotel President
Posts: 3313
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 6:47 pm
Location: South Plaza

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby chingon » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:55 pm

Embrace it.

User avatar
Highlander
Mark Twain Tower
Mark Twain Tower
Posts: 8832
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 1:40 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby Highlander » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:36 pm

bobbyhawks wrote:Anyone with some experience in Strasbourg/Kehl area? I'll be there on the French side for a few days and am thinking of hitting up the Colmar area for a few days as well.


I've not been to Colmar (although I hear it's a great place to see old Alsatian half timbered buildings) but I have been to Strasbourg. Strasbourg is very beautiful and well worth the effort. Petite France is a particularly cool part of the city where the combination of rustic canals and boats and half timbered buildings set up some nice photography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petite-France). A little touristy but well worth seeking out. I went through the area several times while living in Europe - once to get to nearby Rust Germany to visit Europa Park with the kids. Another fine city in the vicinity is Freiburg Germany on the western slopes of the Black Forest and in the Rhine Graben a few miles south of Strasbourg. It's a great place to sit out in an outdoor café along streams flowing off the Black Forest. The area is kind of story book - the German wine road on the north side of the Graben and half timbered villages on the hills on either side of the Rhine and on both side of the border (although the Rhine valley itself can by pretty industrial in places- but mostly further north).

User avatar
im2kull
Hotel President
Hotel President
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 4:33 pm
Location: KCMO

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby im2kull » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:26 pm

Some of the best motorcycling in the world is to be had in the mountains outside of Strasbourg ;)

bobbyhawks
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:19 pm

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby bobbyhawks » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:52 pm

Highlander wrote:
bobbyhawks wrote:Anyone with some experience in Strasbourg/Kehl area? I'll be there on the French side for a few days and am thinking of hitting up the Colmar area for a few days as well.


I've not been to Colmar (although I hear it's a great place to see old Alsatian half timbered buildings) but I have been to Strasbourg. Strasbourg is very beautiful and well worth the effort. Petite France is a particularly cool part of the city where the combination of rustic canals and boats and half timbered buildings set up some nice photography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petite-France). A little touristy but well worth seeking out. I went through the area several times while living in Europe - once to get to nearby Rust Germany to visit Europa Park with the kids. Another fine city in the vicinity is Freiburg Germany on the western slopes of the Black Forest and in the Rhine Graben a few miles south of Strasbourg. It's a great place to sit out in an outdoor café along streams flowing off the Black Forest. The area is kind of story book - the German wine road on the north side of the Graben and half timbered villages on the hills on either side of the Rhine and on both side of the border (although the Rhine valley itself can by pretty industrial in places- but mostly further north).

Thanks for the tips! Great suggestions.

auntbigdog
Pad site
Pad site
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:08 pm
Location: Volker

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby auntbigdog » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:25 pm

The Colmar area is lovely. Lots of tiny towns with casually wonderful food and of course all that Alsatian wine. Riquewihr was my favorite -- a wee wonderland of intact architecture and an inordinate number of Michelin-starred restaurants. http://www.ribeauville-riquewihr.com/en/discover/riquewihr.htm

And if you end up on the far side of Germany, I echo Highlander's endorsement of Dresden. Really stunning, especially after you've seen the post-firebombing photographs.

User avatar
im2kull
Hotel President
Hotel President
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 4:33 pm
Location: KCMO

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby im2kull » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:29 pm

Colmar..

Image

The Wine Road near Bad Durkheim..
Image

bobbyhawks
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:19 pm

Re: Germany--Frankfurt, Berlin, Trier

Postby bobbyhawks » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:53 pm

Dang! I'm pretty excited for that.


Return to “City Trip Reports”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest