Saturday, October 8, 2011

Barcelona: Day 43 : Frankfurt-Bound .

So today we got up super early to hop on a high speed train to Frankfurt, leaving Berlin behind. I was sad to see Berlin go, but was excited about being able to visit other parts of Germany. We'll get to the day in time, but first a little disclaimer... My memory card was being really weird today and just randomly decided to stop working. The card was unreadable and I couldn't take any more pics for the rest of the day. I had hoped that I would be able to salvage the ones I had already taken, but they had to be erased in order to reformat the card. Therefore, any pictures here posted are thanks to Brittany who sent me her pics for the day.

First of all, our hostel that we stayed in was in a really sweet area. It was right on the river, and you had a nice view from the room we were in. The river has a nice bike / pedestrian path that goes along it and despite the overcast weather, it was absolutely gorgeous to just go and sit by it.
i actually took this one the following day in Frankfurt, but this is out our window
We continued the day with a walk into the old historical part of Frankfurt. This is the sort of style that so many people think of when they think of Germany. This area started out as an area of artisans and merchants, along with some municipal uses as well. There was a labyrinth of homes and other buildings. Like many buildings in Germany, this area was bombed in WWII and there was a huge fire, since they were made out of wood. It destroyed everything and had to be rebuilt -- so a simpler and less confusing version of the original area was built. In this area the phoenix has been a prominent symbol of reconstruction and is often seen on the buildings and other places. It literally has become a place that rose from the ashes.
A lot of the things in this area represent a mixture of old and new. Since so much was destroyed, a lot of it was rebuilt entirely, but the things that were left over from the destruction were often incorporated into new designs. This ensures that the area keeps its references to the past.

The next stop was a cathedral in the area, just a short walk away. It has an ancient exterior, but a really modern interior. This place is special because it was the place of quite a few coronations of German kings. Inside it is the typical plan of a cathedral, but in a modern style.

On the subject of things being combined really well, we briefly stopped into the the modern art museum, and this building actually had the old façade connected straight to the new modern portion.

We began to move into a more industrial area in a different part of town after taking a tram. Although it is indeed super industrial, the area is slowly becoming more and more residential. In the past it has had a pretty bad reputation and image, so it has since been redeveloped. Another problem with the area was that it often filled every open space with parking spaces -- nowadays some of these crammed parking lots are replaced with green spaces.
This area starts to get closer to the river, which has been completely changed since the development of the area. The Speicherstraße separates the rich and the poor; so while the poor are paying €6-7 / square meter, the rich are living in luxury, paying €30-40 / square meter. The area of West Harbor was a new area of model living and working near the Mein River. It has the West Harbor Tower (and the other buildings in that complex) as well as a ton of apartments. This has really been a focal point for Frankfurt lately in terms of redevelopment, and you can really see the difference that that has made.

One apartment complex in particular that we visited was called Westhafen Pier, whose architect is the same as the West Harbor Tower. To me, it looks pretty ritzy. It's right on the water, like a bunch of others, but its design really screams modernistic. To prove that the industry is still very prevalent in the area, she pointed out the coal plant that is almost literally right behind of Westhafen Pier. After we stopped here, the tour of the day was pretty much over and we were free to go. More about Frankfurt soon!

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