After we left the “delightful” town of Keflavik, we hopped onto another plane (at 7 something in the morning!) and headed over to one of my old stomping grounds – Frankfurt. For those who don’t know, as a child I lived just outside of Frankfurt and as a “worldly” 19-year old I lived in Frankfurt for a few more week – I just couldn’t manage to land a job there! Though in all honesty, I may not have been trying too hard as I was feeling rather overwhelmed and much younger than I believed I was!
As we sat on the plane, I will admit, I started to panic a little. I hasn’t seen my cousin Verena in 10 years, since I’d stayed with her as that wide-eye 19-year old mentioned above, and I was suddenly terrified that neither of us would recognize each other. What a relief to walk through the doors, see Verena and instantly recognize her! Poor Mike, the German just started flowing out of my mouth . . . let’s be totally honestly here, there was a large part of me that thought I might not even remember how to speak enough to limp through a conversation – totally NOT the case 🙂
A little bit about Verena. Her and my Dad are first cousins – her Mother and my Opa (Paternal Grandfather) were brother and sister. I have some great memories of Tante Grit (Verena’s Mother) and sitting around with her chatting – in both English and German. Man, Tante Grit was one SMART lady. Back to Verena. She lives in Frankfurt in Tante Grit’s old house, which is also where she practices Psychology (as did Tante Grit). This old house in Frankfurt is AWESOME! I love it, I want it . . . sadly, I can’t have it 😦
Back to our trip. Verena picked us up and whisked us away to her home, all the while pointing this out to Mike and asking me if I remembered where things were (for the record, if I looked up the bus number I could have STILL found my way to the house!). We got settled in, and Verena proceeded to feed us a lovely German Lunch – read poor Mike had no idea what to do with the copious amounts of food and courses Verena kept bringing out. I guess I forgot to tell him that Lunch is the big meal, and Supper the small one! Once we were all stuffed, we loaded back into Verena’s car and headed into the City Centre of Frankfurt.
Now, if you’ve never been to Europe, you may not realize that most City Centre’s are more pedestrian friendly then they are car friendly. So we ditched the car and headed off on foot. We walked all over, crossed the River Main (man I love that river!), explored a Mall and went into a very beautiful old Church. I’d actually forgotten just how beautiful Frankfurt is, and Mike seemed to quite enjoy it as well. I think it also seemed a little more familiar to him than the barren landscape of Keflavik.
We only got to spend one night with Verena, but it was one of the most peaceful and enjoyable days/nights we spent on the whole trip. Conversation flowed (and Verena speaks fantastic English so I didn’t have to translate), and everything just felt comfortable and easy. We stayed up late chatting, and in the morning came down to a lovely breakfast (including Kraueter Buetter which Verena correctly remembered me loving!). When it was time to leave we were both quite sad, and wished we could have spent a longer time with one of my favorite German relatives. Fingers crossed we get to see Verena again soon!