When we arrived at the generously-proportioned Frankfurt airport it was a little before 6pm and still dark. I stumbled out of the cabin, found my bags, went through passport control… and discovered myself out in the free side of the airport.
What happened to customs? Maybe they were all asleep – the gates were open and we all just wandered through. Oh well, that was easy. Still feel a bit gypped by the passport control though, they just scan your passport digitally and you don't get a stamp in your passport.
The day doesn't work out as well as I hoped. This is going to sound really silly, but: one of the zips on my bag jammed on the way out to the airport.
Yeah, not exactly world news. The thing is though, the pocket in question had a bunch of stuff in it, and the heavy-duty zip has got the heavy-duty fabric stuck in it so badly that now, the best part of a week later, I still can't get the bloody thing to budge – and neither can anyone else who's tried.
I spend most of an hour trying to get the zip open, totally fail, drag out the contents of the pocket through the partial opening and repack my bag.
So anyway, I'm trying to get to Mainz to catch the morning cruise up the Rhine all the way to Cologne.
I've now missed my original train; get the patient Deutsche Bahn man to explain how to work the ticket system – confusion coming not so much from the interface but from it not being obvious which station is which – and wait for the next one.
So, out to Mainz by regional train. However, this was actually a bit dumb – having missed my original fast train, there wasn't any point going to Mainz as there was no longer time to walk around and see its Cathedral and get fruit from the market and all that jazz.
Lesson learned: if I miss a travel connection, reconsider whether the next step still makes sense (eg. I could have gone on to the next point up the river).
So, rush over to the cruise terminal and get on board. The day passes smoothly, though the weather was pretty poor – overcast all day – so the photos are a bit disappointing.
But they really do have a LOT of castles on the river, only a small selection of which are shown here! Also various interesting bits and pieces around the towns, like a couple of 400-year-old rotating cranes that they used to load & unload ships. Seems kinda impressive for the time.
ps. Tried out my (terrible) few words of German ordering food the first time. The waiter didn't even pretend not to be pissed off by my appalling pronunciation! Used English the second time :).