November 13, 2019

All the world’s an island: Correspondent Carol-Ann covers the Globe with only a back pack Part 8 -FINAL

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By Carol-Ann Rudy

Balcony detail Frankfurt HostelFrankfurt, Friedberg, and Flying Home!

One day. One day in Granada, one day on the Mediterranean, in Rome, Venice, Vienna, Antwerp, Bruges, and six days in Paris at the beginning of my journey. Now I was in Frankfurt and environs for the last three days of my trip. Yep, what a difference a day makes, even seen through the telescope of a lifetime. As I look back on these brief visits and count what was most important and impressive, I can identify the core experiences: people, art, and architecture in that order. But now, the rest of the story:

I boarded the train mid-morning in Antwerp on the way to my reserved hostelry in the center of Frankfurt, later identified to me as “the red-light district.” Not to worry; throughout my trip, I observed all the safety Fire Department logo with Friedberg crestrecommendations (more about that at the end of my story). Staying at a hostel was on the list of things I wanted to do at least once in my life. Of course, no hostel or experience will ever be identical, but I enjoyed my two nights and three days there with these caveats: even though I booked months in advance and selected a 4-bed dorm, it was not with the expectation that it would be with both men and women. The first night I bunked with three men, the second night with two, and the third with two men and another woman, all courteous, considerate, and respectful of others’ space. The hostel had a party atmosphere and while the preponderance of guests were in their 20s, there were a few children, middle-aged, and senior citizens too. A happy mix. A second caveat: there was no air-conditioning or fan in the room (have I mentioned I’m spoiled?) and there was a heat wave in that week. I suffered.

Friedberg Summer Festival on Main StreetThe morning of the next day I boarded the train, a stone’s throw from the hostel, for the village of Friedberg. What was the attraction? In addition to being historical, my married name is Friedberg and it was a gift for my husband who is unable to travel that I planned to spend a day there. Another attraction was to see where Elvis Presley was stationed in the 60s when he was Corporal Presley. He spent just 17 months living in Ray Barracks, named for 1st Lieutenant Bernard J. Ray, a Medal of Honor Award winner of WW II.

Arriving under gray skies with a very light rain, I set out for the center of town taking photos along the way. When I stopped for a quick bite of breakfast I found the price of food more reasonable probably because Main Street of Friedberg before start of the festivalFriedberg is not a highly advertised busy tourist destination. A stroll of a couple of miles brought me to the heart of the village. It was largely deserted but there were people and vans setting up tables with flag centerpieces and place settings along a 4-block stretch of the cordoned street. I walked towards the castle, the centerpiece of the town, straight ahead. The castle enclosure was more extensive than it appeared from its exterior and I spent a happy couple of hours walking through it before exiting. Back in the village, people had filled the tables, musicians strolled about, and I learned that it was the annual summer festival. Reluctantly, I returned to Frankfurt, an uneventful afternoon, and the last hot night.

Next morning I was back on the train to the airport and an eight-plus-hour trip back to the States. After landing in Atlanta and boarding a C held Captive by two Teutonic Knightscommuter plane to Greenville/Spartanburg airport, I passed the time first with a lovely lady returning to her home in Tennessee, then a bright, energetic woman who was returning to Greenville and her job at a local television station.

About safety: I was warned repeatedly about gypsies in Europe. I had three encounters: first, when I was trying to get a ticket from a machine in a train station in Rome, a nicely dressed man was “helping” me only to be shooed away by a police officer. The second encounter was passing an aged woman dressed in clothes more like one would expect of a gypsy, sitting on stairs to a bridge in Venice, begging money for her children. She was more likely to have great-grandchildren. I was told by my hosts that groups are dispatched every morning throughout cities in Italy to beg or connive or steal and bring money back at the end of the day. Third, a man in the Venice train station “helped” me with my backpack which I happened to be carrying by its handle at the time. Again, nicely dressed; I mistook him for another passenger, but was on guard nonetheless. He boarded the train with me and hoisted my backpack into the rack above my seat. Then the clincher; he held out his hand and demanded five Euros. I looked at him in feigned astonishment (I suspected he might be looking for this and Main Street Friedberg Note the shingleswas not about to be cowed) and said no, I had no verbal contract with him to carry my bag—he did that on his own, and I had thought it was very kind of him. He insisted; I relented and put a half-Euro in his hand but he said no, five Euros. I snatched the half-Euro back, crossed my arms and stared at him, daring him to stay on the train. A minute passed. At that point in the stalemate, a nice young Australian man passed something to the gypsy (of course, I’m assuming my opponent was a gypsy—whether or not that’s pc, politically correct, or not!). The man left the train in a hurry. I asked the Aussie if he tipped him; he said yes, and related his own story of confrontation with a pair of gypsies in which he was taken for 20 Euros. I thanked him of course, for looking out for me.

Again, safety: in Paris, one of our chorus members had her purse stolen Approaching Main Gate to Friedberg Castlebecause of a moment’s inattention when it was hung on the back of her chair in a restaurant. Another member had his passport lifted from his pocket. I heard another horror story about a backpacker having his backpack cut and his passport and all his money stolen. Vigilance and pre-planning seem to be the key.

A bonus: by the end of my trip, I had lost 12 pounds and my backpack seemed lighter even though I’d added a pound to it!

And finally, the best bonus: the continuing friendship with my hosts in Europe.

On the ground in the GSP airport, I was happy to be home again in the Friedberg Castle Main Gate with Crestbest place in the world, North America. I invite you to view albums of photos and share the trip on my website at: www.carolannrudy.com .

A bientôt, Adios, Arrivederci, Auf Wiedersehen, Good-bye!

Frankfurt, Friedberg, and Flying Home!

IMAGES:

1 Balcony detail Frankfurt Hostel

PHOTO 2 Fire Department logo with Friedberg crest

PHOTO 3 Friedberg Summer Festival on

PHOTO 4 Main Street of Friedberg before start of the festival

PHOTO 5 C held Captive by two Teutonic Knights

View of Tower at Friedberg CastlePHOTO 6 Main Street of Friedberg Note the Shingles

PHOTO 7 Approaching Main Gate to

PHOTO 8 Friedberg Castle Main Gate with Crest

PHOTO 9 View of Tower at Friedberg Castle

PHOTO 10 View of rear gate and tower at Friedberg Castle

PHOTO 11 Tower in the wall of Friedberg Castle

PHOTO 12 The Door in the Wall of Friedberg Castle

PHOTO 13 Print showing grounds of castle about 1880

PHOTO 14 Elvis Presley in Interior of Friedberg Castle courtesy of msnbc msn

To read the first part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a View of rear gate and tower at Friedberg Castlebackpack published in iNews Cayman on August 11 2014 go to: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/all-the-worlds-an-island-correspondent-carol-ann-covers-the-globe-with-only-a-back-pack/

To read the second part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman on August 18 2014 go to: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/all-the-worlds-an-island-correspondent-carol-ann-covers-the-globe-with-only-a-back-pack-part-two/

To read the third part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman on August 26 2014 go to: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/all-the-worlds-an-island-correspondent-carol-ann-covers-the-globe-with-only-a-back-pack-part-three/

To read the fourth part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman on September 8 2014 go to: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/all-the-worlds-an-island-correspondent-Tower in the wall of Friedberg Castlecarol-ann-covers-the-globe-with-only-a-back-pack-part-four/

To read the fifth part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman September 22 2014 go to: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/all-the-worlds-an-island-correspondent-carol-ann-covers-the-globe-with-only-a-back-pack-part-five/

To read the sixth part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman October 5 2014 go to: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/all-the-worlds-an-island-correspondent-carol-ann-covers-the-globe-with-only-a-back-pack-part-6/

To read the seventh part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman October15 2014 go to: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/all-the-worlds-an-island-correspondent-carol-ann-covers-the-globe-with-only-a-back-pack-part-7/

 

The Door in the Wall of Friedberg CastlePrint showing grounds of castle about 1880Elvis Presley in Interior of Friedberg Castle courtesy of msnbc msn

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Comments

  1. Great read of an awesome adventure!!!

  2. Carol-Ann Rudy says:

    Thanks, Charlie!

  3. Denise Carr says:

    I have loved reading every minute of this fabulous adventure! It has been years since I traveled through Europe and this makes me want to do it all again. Thanks for the great articles!

  4. Laurie. Prescott says:

    Great. adventures

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