by Rich Landesberg
The adventure begins. Our flight arrived about 45 minutes early thanks to a tail wind that has also brought nasty winds storms to parts of Europe. We were confronted with a dark, dreary rainy day that started way too early. The morning was spent freshening up, grabbing a bite, walking around. The afternoon was a lecture on aspects of the cold war and post-Soviet Europe followed by a screening of “Lives of Others.” This Academy Award winning movie is a powerful look at the police state that was East Germany in its last years of Soviet influence. It is a great introduction to the problems facing a unified Europe. We had a lively discussion about the film and about those not-so-long-ago times.
After the movie, we walked around Frankfurt. A quick walk to the train station revealed many future shopping opportunities. Farther along, we came to the European Central Bank and the Occupy movement tents that are camped in the park in front of the building. The camp, quiet and peaceful, has become something of a tourist attraction. We eventually made our way into one of the older parts of Frankfurt to our traditional first meal restaurant, Romer-Bembel, AKA: The House of Meat.
The wonderful waitresses brought out huge platters overflowing with six-different kinds of sausages, different cuts of pork, and other hunks of meat all piled high on a bed of sauerkraut and potatos. So much food. Our vegitarian student was well taken care of, too. The potato and vegetable plate they made for her was shared by many of the carnvorious crowd. Our first night in Germany was truly the best of times and the wurst of times.
Tomorrow: lecture and Frankfurt exploration.