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Frankfurt Easter Monday

April 12, 2004


Dear Friends and Families,


The Monday after Easter is a holiday in Germany, unless you teach for the U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools ("DoDDS"). As usual, Marianne left home early so, after being together 24/7 for our ten days in France, I was on my own. I hadn't been home enough yet to make a mess that I had to clean up. In Germany, shopping on holidays is quite impossible. I turned down the car, so a drive was out and, besides, driving alone isn't any fun!


As the morning passed, the sun got brighter and I realized that my gray Frankfurt hometown might look different in this Spring weather. All winter,while we like the unfrozen streets and sidewalks, the lack of color does wear a person down. Growing up in Seattle and Portland should have conditioned me to it but you'll notice that I have moved a long way away. I decided to grab my camera to document the Spring improvement.


I hopped on the "U-Bahn", the middle-child of Frankfurt's public transportation family, and headed straight to Hauptwache Station, the center of town. The place was eerily quiet and deserted - but good for pictures. I snapped my way past the bull and bear outside the Xetra DAX, Germany's Wall Street, across empty main thoroughfares, past empty park benches, and into the park that rings downtown Frankfurt. It marks where the original wall stood guarding the town but now it insulates the residential areas outside from the normally hectic business traffic inside the ring.


Today, it was just a magical Spring park,filled with plenty of flowers and a few strollers enjoying our sun. My camera was very busy. As I made my way from flower to flower, I thought that this was almost as good as exploring for hard-to-reach mountain blossoms, and the whole excursion would only take me a couple of hours. One vote for city life.


Eventually I passed the Opera house and down Fressegasse, Frankfurt's Rodeo Drive shopping street. By now a few window shoppers and Starbucks fans were enjoying the sun, even if they couldn't go in the fancy shops. At the end of Fressegasse, an anti-war protest was marching past,laughing, talking and waving banners. At work, Marianne receives constant email warnings to not hang around anti-war protests because "they can get violent". This group seemed no different than the rest of us, out for a nice walk in the sun.


A few minutes more and I was back at Hauptwache, but a half-hour walk home seemed a better finish than the 6-minute U-Bahn, so I stayed on the streets. It was a good time to reflect on how much at home I feel here, despite my rudimentary language skills and the occasional signs of Europeans not in favor of my countrymen, or at least our leadership. I just hope we get to stay because that's not a certainty. But that's another story.


Take care and go for a walk wherever you are. Send pictures.






Click here for city walk picture gallery.


Click here for flower picture slide show.




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