Day 1, day 1 ½ , … it’s been about 39 hours long so I don’t remember …
We always knew this would be a bit of a crazy start to our trip since we were basically flying from Sydnay to Frankfurt in one go. Sydney to Singapore was on good old QF1, the first leg of the iconic Sydney to London. What a pleasant surprise Qantas was, great seats (I had preselected via our Lufthansa booking) excellent food, plenty of drinks etc, a massive choice of in flight entertainment and all done with a smile.
We landed in Singapore at 10.30pm Singapore time and really only had time to get our Lufthansa boarding passes, and go to the loo. Changi airport is huge, enormous, massive!
The Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt left on time and we were lucky enough to have no-one sitting beside us so I didn’t have to share the armrest with a anyone. We departed Changi just after midnight local time (3am body time) and got fed before the cabin lights were turned out. I got a couple of hours but I don’t think Tony got much.
We landed in Frankfurt a bit ahead of the 6am scheduled arrival time and then walked, and walked, and walked to the immigration counters. No-one in the line, a smiling young blonde german chap asked us how long we wanted to stay, stamped our passports and we walked some more to the baggage claim. Our bags were among the first off so we grabbed them and headed for customs. The red “something to declare” line was closed up, so despite having food, beer etc to declare we went to the green line… and straight through – no-one there to ask anything. In under half an hour we had landed, de-planed, gone through immigration collected our bags and exited the airport.
We got German sim card for the phone and had a coffee while we rang Christoff & Nadja’s and tried to figure out what train we needed to catch. In true German efficiency, the train station was directly under the airport arrivals so we found the ticket machine, punched in Worms as our destination, got our ticket and waited the 7 minutes for the next train that went in our direction. Our only blunder was to get off one stop before our designated change in Mainz, but the driver heard me asking Tony if we had got off at the right place, stuck her head out her window and told us we were a stop too early and happily opened the train doors for us to get back on again.
The German rail system is amazing and we hopped off the train at Mainz Romanisches Theatre station, changed platforms (via lifts thank god) and straight onto the next train to Worms. Lauren was waiting for us just off the platform ready to take us to the flat we are renting for our 10 days here. We stopped for breakfast on the way, walked through the still quiet Christmas markets and negotiated cobblestone streets, the medieval walls round the old town and soon arrived at her house.
The apartment we’re renting is about 50yards from her place, and is owned by a friend of C&N. Manfred is a master craftsman and the furniture, fittings (drawer & door handles etc) and decorative items are all his own work. It’s lovely and light, warm and has everything you could need.
Trying to follow the rules about jet-lag and travelling to far off lands in different time zones, we unpacked, had another cupper and headed out to explore Worms with her rather than collapse into bed for some very much needed sleep. Bracing is probably the best term to describe the weather, and any need for sleep soon evaporated in the chilly 5 degrees.
The Worms Dom (St Peters) is huge, built of a red sandstone and stands majestically at the edge of the Alstadt (town centre). This is the cathedral where Martin Luther began his scrap with the Catholic church which ultimately led to excommunication. Apart from the rococo alter it is quite austere but still amazing when you consider it was built in the 12th century – older than anything man made in Australia.
The need for sleep finally caught up with us, and Lauren had to be ‘back at work’ so we came back, had a 2hr combat nap and headed out again about 5.30pm for a wander through the night markets and some dinner. It’s just after 9pm and sleep beckons again.
Didn’t have internet access today – not sure where & when I will be able to get it … hopefully I can get this posted to the blog tomorrow (Tuesday… I think)