After our stop at Rüdesheim the Scenic Jasper headed up river. And stopped at Frankfurt on the Main River. The city wasn’t on our schedule and Cruise Director Alex had to explain. It seems there’s an old, no longer used railway bridge upstream from Frankfurt and because of the height of the river, the ship couldn’t fit under it. That meant we couldn’t reach our next stop at Würzburg. So, we were here until the river level dropped. Alex had arranged for coaches to take people to Würzburg and Bamberg, both ten-hour days including something like four to five hours in a coach. We’d been to both cities twice before, so we opted for a stroll around Frankfurt and some shopping before Christmas Day tomorrow. We were moored within easy walking distance of the city so we braved the icy wind and headed into town.
Frankfurt was flattened during World War II but the Allies had learned a lesson since World War I. Instead of burdening Germany with reparations debt the Americans pumped cash into Europe via the Marshall Plan which was designed to rebuild war-torn regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, improve European prosperity and prevent the spread of communism. [source] The Germans went about rebuilding their ruined cities, fixing up the cathedrals and restoring many of at least the facades of the old buildings. So, the centre of Frankfurt looks like it would have done before the war.
The Christmas Tree outside the town hall is one of the largest in Germany. Note the flags of Germany, the European Union, and Israel.
This being Christmas Eve, the Christmas markets weren’t open and although the streets were fairly busy, the city wasn’t packed. We looked around for an apothecary to stock up on paracetamol and throat lozenges. Quite a few people on the ship had a cough – as happens on these trips. Prevention is always best.
All the cruise ships offer good food and plenty of it every day, but they hold a special dinner for a group of guests in a small restaurant, in this case near the ship’s bow. We were invited (everyone gets a turn) for dinner on the 24th. We duly turned up and sat with four other passengers we hadn’t met before. It’s a good way to meet other people. As it happens, one couple had lived not far from where we lived in Victoria so we had something to talk about.
By the way, if you’ve happened upon this page by accident and you’d like to read more about the tour, go to the tour page where you’ll find the rest of our adventures.