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Friday, October 23, 2015

GAWA Day #37B: Frankfurt

I was somewhat surprised to see all that snow on mountains just outside of Venice on the way to Frankfurt, as this is still October:

The approach to Frankfurt Airport showed that the fall colors were already here:

The Sheraton at the airport now seems spiffier, I went up to the Club Lounge for a drink and ended up deciding to have my dinner here:

If I paid $75 for salad, soup and beer at the Westin in Venice, this meal above would have cost $150 there.  Here, free. That bottom right drink is a red champagne, evocative of a time two decades ago when I was one of the investors for Phil Bossert's wine company, and accompanied him to Freiborg, when we drank 50 wines in two days, one a red champagne.  I thought that would be a big seller in China.

Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany with a little more than 700,000 people, but its metropolitan region has 5.5 million.  The geographic center of the European Union is maybe 20 miles east of where I presently am.

The city is the largest financial center in Continental Europe.  The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is one of the world's largest by market capitalization.

This is Hub City, for all major air, rail and highway links virtually pass through my hotel room.  Lufthansa is headquartered here.

The largest book fair on Planet Earth just ended here.  7,000 exhibitors and 286,000 visitors.

In September, Frankfurt hosted the world's largest motor show.  They share this venue every other year with Hannover.  Anyway, you get an idea what Frankfurt does.

So to summarize, Mercer ranked Frankfurt as #7 in its Quality of Living survey.  #1 has been Vienna since 2010, while San Francisco is the highest ranked U.S. city at #27, with Boston at #34 and Honolulu #36

There are no Michelin 3-Star nor Pellegrino Best 50 restaurants in Frankfurt, so I decided to go up to the Main Tower Restaurant.  However, they were booked for the next two days.  After a couple more checks, I decided, heck, I haven't had a good steak in weeks, so I asked for, and got a lunch reservation at M-Steakhouse, said to be the best in Frankfurt.  Not sure why this bird is at the entrance.

I had a one pound rib-eye from the USA and glasses of California Cabernet and German beer:

These are what came at the end.

The walk to Palmengarten took less than ten minutes.  I kind of got lost and ended up on the wrong side of the park, but saw a coffee shop, so I walked in and noticed the park was right there when you walk out.  I think I committed a sin by not paying the 7 Euro fee, but there was nowhere to do this.  Interestingly enough, a few minutes into the park I saw something on the ground, which was the entrance card noting the 7 Euro fee..  Must be the will of God.

So here are a few photos:

Dahlias were in bloom:

The rest of the park:

The obligatory swan:

Then, on the way back to the airport I walked around the Zeil, which was not anything special:

This was my most relaxing day of the journey.

The so-called strongest hurricane in the history the Western Hemisphere, made landfall between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta:

Scarily, Patricia took only a day and a half to strengthen from a tropical storm to a Category 5.  Unofficially, Typhoon Nancy in the East Pacific reached a 1-minute maximum sustained wind speed of 215 MPH.  Patricia hit 200 MPH.  Iniki in 1992 was a Category 4 at 145 MPH when making landfall on Kauai.


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