Lemonicks https://www.lemonicks.com Travel blog of an Indian couple who bring travel stories from across the globe. Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:47:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 The Sound of Music Movie Locations https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/austria/salzburg/sound-of-music-movie-locations-salzburg-attraction/ https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/austria/salzburg/sound-of-music-movie-locations-salzburg-attraction/#comments Sat, 09 Dec 2017 23:53:32 +0000 https://www.lemonicks.com/?p=20802 Only the night before we watched the epic movie the Sound of Music one more time. There were two reasons. One was to get into the mood of the movie & remember the lyrics and the second was to make note of various movie locations and try to track them in real life.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Panorama of Salzburg city from the top of Mönchsberg. On the right is the Salzburg fortress and on the hill on the left is the Capuchin Monastery

It was several decades back when it was first released in India and it left a lasting impression, not the … Read the rest

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Only the night before we watched the epic movie the Sound of Music one more time. There were two reasons. One was to get into the mood of the movie & remember the lyrics and the second was to make note of various movie locations and try to track them in real life.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Panorama of Salzburg city from the top of Mönchsberg. On the right is the Salzburg fortress and on the hill on the left is the Capuchin Monastery

It was several decades back when it was first released in India and it left a lasting impression, not the story but the music. (The other musical that impressed me was My Fair Lady, around the same time). Soon after, an LP record was duly acquired and played endlessly till it became scratchy.

At that age (I was just a small kid), Nazis and WW2 did not mean a thing. It was only later while reading history I could connect the dots. That was the time I promised myself that someday in my life I would go to those very places where the movie was shot.

Nisha too had had a similar desire in her childhood and so when we planned our 100+ day #NiVaEuro trip, we created an opportunity to spend some extra time in Salzburg. Yes, the city where it all happened.
The movie, as we all know, is based on the memoirs of Maria Von Trapp called The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers and the Broadway musical The Sound of Music. Mind you, there was another movie on the subject in German in the fifties which was quite a hit in Austria and Germany. We are told that the German version inspired the Broadway musical.

So here goes The Sound of Music Movie Locations in Salzburg and around.

Let’s start at the very beginning at Salzkammergut (of the Sound of Music)

The opening scenes were shot from a helicopter over the lake region of Salzburg, Salzkammergut. We found that the lake region was one of the most picturesque area near Salzburg. The shimmering blue lakes of Fuschlsee, Wolfgangsee and Mondsee were treat to eyes. We believe if one has to do a day trip then this undoubtedly makes the list. What’s more! These lakes are quite close to each other and there are many more lakes around this region.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
A view of Wolfgangsee lake. In the foreground is the town of St Gilgen
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Mondsee Lake on a very bright day

The title song The Sound of Music was sung by Maria while cavorting on the fields and meadows of Mehleweg about 18 KM from Salzburg. It is in Germany. Maria however claims that she was in Untersberg Mountains when questioned by Mother Abbess. We were told that it was a private property and the owner almost never allowed pesky tourists. 😉

How do you solve a problem like Maria at Nonnberg Abbey

Maria is late for the evening prayers while the Mother Abbess and sisters are discussing (musically) with exasperation what to do with this flibbertigibbet. This is filmed at the Nonnberg Abbey which is in existence since early 8th century. It was burnt and built a few times. The current structure is the same as it was in the 17th century. No one except the nuns are allowed inside the abbey, so the filming was done in Hollywood sets.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Nonnberg Abbey, Salzburg

We had a fleeting glimpse of Nonnberg abbey while driving. The access street to the abbey on the hill was too narrow for our coach to negotiate.

Mother Abbess sends her off as a governess to Captain Von Trapp’s seven children, Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretl in the order of age, oldest to youngest.

I have confidence in confidence alone!

There is a scene where Maria coming out of the abbey looks down at the beautiful city of Salzburg. In reality it is not possible as the abbey is located on the other side of the fortress. The scene was shot from the Humboldt terrace on top of Mönchsberg hill that is now the site of the new Museum of Modern art. We took the lift to the top of the hill and were rewarded with one the best views of Salzburg city and Festung Hohensalzburg (Salzburg Fortess). We lost track of time and ended up staying till the darkness fell.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Hellbrunner Allee where Maria sings I have confidence

Maria then passes through the old town arches and Residenzplatz square and splashes water from one of the most magnificent and complex fountains we saw in Salzburg. Four horses seem to jump out of the fountain while snorting water. On the rock are three giants holding up a basin with three dolphins. They are in turn holding up a smaller basin on which stands Triton, son of Neptune, blowing water into the air through his ever-present conch shell. Whew! This fountain is again seen in the scene where Maria comes to the market with the children for Do-Re-Mi and yet again when Nazi soldiers march in.

She then takes the bus to Captain’s residence. She runs down the Helbrunner Allee singing I have confidence in me. In the movie the real house of Captain Von Trapp is never shown. The gate, façade and the front yard is of Frohnburg Schloss (Schloss = palace) which has been converted to a music school nearly 200 years ago.
All the scenes inside Baron’s house were recreated in Hollywood. The real Von Trapp house address is Villa Trapp, Traunstraße 34, 5026 Salzburg and anybody can go and stay there. 🙂

Fellows I meet may tell me I’m sweet!

While having dinner the same day, Rolf the postman brings a telegram to the Captain. The plot thickens :-)… The captain is going away to Vienna to get his “friend”, the Baroness Elsa Schraeder and Uncle Max. In the meanwhile, the eldest daughter Liesl who secretly loves Rolf, slips away from the table furtively and the young couple sing I Am Sixteen Going on Seventeen. Then there was a thunderstorm.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Sound of Music Gazebo at Hellbrun Schloss Garden
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
The famous Gazebo from the Sound of Music

There is an energetic dance action within a Gazebo. We had a peek inside the gazebo. It looked too small for the action packed sequence and also considering the camera crew would have been there. The guide then explained everything. While the outside shots were of the real gazebo, it was too small for the dance sequence. So they built a much larger gazebo back in Hollywood to complete the song sequence. The original gazebo, which was in the garden of Schloss Leopoldskron, was gifted to the city of Salzburg and installed at Schloss Hellbrunn Gardens.

Captain and Maria too sang the song Something Good here before their wedding scene.

When you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi

Maria wants some cloth material to stitch play clothes for the children. Captain refuses. She makes dresses out of drapes which was anyway going to be changed.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Karajan Square & the “Horse Pond” (Pferdeschwemme), Salzburg

After Captain leaves, Maria and Children leave the house on to Helbrunner Allee. Cut to Salzburg town. While instrumental version of These are a few of my favorite things plays in the background, one can see them running and prancing on Mozartsteg, Salzburg Cathedral, Deo Trino Statue, Karajan Square & the “Horse Pond” (Pferdeschwemme) at the base of Mönchsberg, Salzach River away from the town then to Werfen which has a beautiful castle and meadows and an Ideal spot for picnic. Maria teaches the children how to sing Do-Re-Mi to impress the Baroness. Scene cuts to the Humboldt Terrace again with Salzburg Festung (fortress) in the background. Then to Altstadt (old city) streets on a carriage.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Pegasus park in Mirabelle Gardens
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
A closer view of the statue of Pegasus

Towards the end of the song , the group sings in the Mirabelle Gardens where we can see the Pegasus Statue, Arbor tunnel, the central fountain called Vier Elemente Brunnen or the Four Elements Fountain, other statues and finally on the steps of the garden, the song ends. The biking scene is along the lake Mondsee.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
The famous Arbor tunnel in Mirabelle gardens

We found that each one of the place is worth a visit especially the Mirabelle Gardens. There is a lot to be explored in the Gardens. At this point we must caution you that not all the places mentioned here are near to each other. One would need considerable time to walk or even drive to cover all the locations.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Greek statues at one of the entrances to Mirabelle Gardens
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Vier-Elemente-Bruennen or the four elements fountain in Mirabelle Gardens

Boating Scene at Leopoldskron  lake

Captain along with the Baroness and Max returns after a few days (unannounced) and sees the children on top of trees and does not recognize them and dismisses them as “Some Urchins”. Some said these trees line the road from Mondsee town to Mondsee lake but we found that it could not have been that street.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Street where the tree climbing was purported to be filmed. Many people do not agree.
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
The backside of Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg

Later when they reach home we see the back of the house which is on the banks of a lake. The back of the house scenes were of a different palace, the Schloss Leopoldskron. While we could not go up to the palace, we had a long shot of the house and the lake on which the Children were boating and fall off upon seeing the Captain near the steps. As also of the platform on which the children are introduced to the Baroness. We had a glimpse of the terrace on which they have the famous “Pink Lemonade” 🙂

The guide told us that during this shot the youngest one almost drowned. Apparently it was decided that Maria and Gretl would fall on the same side of the boat and Maria would rescue her since Gretl did not know how to swim. Unfortunately all children fell forward but Maria losing her balance fell backwards. One of the film crew then rescued her.

A lot of other songs of the Sound of Music

Most of the songs were inside the house filmed in Hollywood sets. However when we were in the tour coach, we had fun time listening to little anecdotes by the guide and also whole bus full of people sang along when the music was played. Every passenger tried their hand in yodeling at the Lonely Goatherd song. 🙂

Wedding at St Michael Church in Mondsee

One thing leads to another. Maria returns to the Abbey, Children miss her and come to visit her, Maria realizes she loves the Captain and the Children too much and comes once again to the Von Trapp house, much to the chagrin of the Baroness, who clears out soon.

As per an anecdote, the original Maria Augusta Kutschera by her own admission said that she loved the children a lot. And in a way she married the Captain because of the Children.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
St Michael Church, Mondsee
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
St. Michael Church at Mondsee. Maria and Captain Von Trapp Wedding venue
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Wedding ceremony at Wedding Church, Mondsee. Could that small girl be Gretl!

As per the facts the wedding was supposed to take place in Nonnberg Abbey. Filming was not allowed inside and so the wedding scenes were shot in a grand and beautiful St Michael’s Church in the quaint little town of Mondsee.

Owing to immense popularity of the Sound of Music there was and still is a veritable queue to get married in that church. On the day we went at least 2 couples were waiting while one couple were exchanging the vows inside. 🙂

Anschluss Österreich

Hitler’s Nazi annexes Austria and Swastika flag (“flag with a little black spider” in the words of Gretl  ) is flown all over Salzburg including the Residentzplatz square while the Captain is still on his honeymoon. Herr Zeller, the Gauleiter, goes looking for the Captain and reaches the Felsenreitschule or the Rocks Riding School converted into an auditorium of sorts. Uncle Max is rehearsing with the Children.

We tried twice to get into the auditorium but could not. Once we were late and second time it was closed (no reasons were offered). So it is a good idea to find out when it is open before going there.

The Great Escape from Nazi and Austria

Upon his homecoming the Captain is given the option of serving Nazi’s or else. Being a staunch Austrian he knew refusal would mean imminent danger to him and his family and serving Nazi was out of question. As part of the escape plan the Von Trapp Family of Singers sign up for the music festival.

The singing competition is at the same auditorium and Max has arranged their escape in a car. They sing Do-Re-Mi, Edelweiss, So long farewell as you may all remember. The family members in small groups leave the stage by the side stairs leading to Toscaninihof Courtyard and later the nuns hide them all at the Abbey.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Toscaninihof Courtyard
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
St Peter Cemetery and catacomb, Salzburg

When Nazis come looking for them, they hide in a cemetery. That cemetery scene was inspired by the cemetery which is near St. Peters Church. The Saint Peter’s Cemetery and Catacomb is worth a visit for its beautiful layout and colorful plants. We went there more than once and also climbed up the catacomb which was never used.

Finally they escape on foot across the border to Switzerland, where Untersberg is shown as Switzerland. There is a cable car that takes you to the top of mountain which is also a popular skiing spot.

General Information

We took the Sound of Music guided tour by Panorama Tours and Travels. Their Sound of Music tour is perhaps one of the most sought after coach tour in Salzburg, maybe even Austria.

Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
The Sound of Music Coach
Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Panorama Tour Bus

Their claim to fame is that during the original shooting, the Panorama Company in its earlier avatar had provided logistic support to the actors, crew and equipment and they know exactly where what happened.

The tour covers Leopoldskron Palace at Lake Leopoldskron reflecting the palace, Hellbrunn Palace, Gazebo, passing by Nonnberg Abbey, Salzburg Lake District, passing Lake Fuschl and Lake Wolfgang, Mondsee – Wedding Chapel.

Our guide was game enough to lead us up the Mirabelle garden path too… quite literally. <img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> <img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" />

We explored all other places by ourselves by public transport and on foot. Bicycles are also an option.

While the movie story is changed from the real memoir, considerably at places, to make it more dramatic, I am positive that most people wouldn’t mind it 🙂

I might add that while writing this article I saw the movie once again! And we have a feeling you would too.

We would like to know how many of you watched the Sound of Music again after reading this. 🙂

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Sound of Music Movie Locations, Salzburg, Austria
Sound of Music

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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Prague – Review https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/czech-republic/prague/mandarin-oriental-hotel-prague-review/ https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/czech-republic/prague/mandarin-oriental-hotel-prague-review/#comments Wed, 22 Nov 2017 03:00:25 +0000 https://www.lemonicks.com/?p=20723 We boarded tram #12 from Holešovice station in Prague. Before coming to Europe we had already decided to use only public transport as one of the ways of experiencing the life as locals do. We were super excited at the prospect of staying in a 14th Century Monastery, now converted into the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Mandarin oriental hotel prague review
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel, main entrance. The high walls are one of the symbols of the original monastery

The tram snaked its way through the streets of Malá Strana, the second oldest urban settlement in Prague, erstwhile capital of Bohemia. The roads … Read the rest

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We boarded tram #12 from Holešovice station in Prague. Before coming to Europe we had already decided to use only public transport as one of the ways of experiencing the life as locals do. We were super excited at the prospect of staying in a 14th Century Monastery, now converted into the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Mandarin oriental hotel prague review
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel, main entrance. The high walls are one of the symbols of the original monastery

The tram snaked its way through the streets of Malá Strana, the second oldest urban settlement in Prague, erstwhile capital of Bohemia. The roads were filled with tourists on various forms of transport including roofless vintage cars!

The Hotel

In time we reached our destination and enter the gates of Mandarin Oriental hotel which opened into a cobbled courtyard. We already felt the first sign of monastery. As if by magic, the street noise was not to be heard and it was already quiet inside the premises. The story goes that grounds was home to a Dominican monastery which over time passed into oblivion till MO hotels group acquired the property to build a 99 room hotel in 2006. It is another story how the hotel was built in conjunction with the Heritage Conservation Authority of Prague and eventually was awarded the building of the year in 2007!

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
A piece of the original plaster and painting at the Spa

The architects had made sure that much of the original atmosphere was retained, at the same time the frills of a modern luxurious hotel was carefully woven into the heritage site to produce a well-orchestrated fusion of the monastic and the spiritual with the modern comfort and facilities.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Signature fan for the Prague Mandarin hotel by Jarmila Mucha Pockova. Photo Credit Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Prague

The décor at places were minimalist by choice in deference to the historical values of the monastery.
The Mandarin Oriental signature fan, which is also its logo, is different for each of its hotels. The fan in Prague hotel is inspired by Alfons Mucha’s designs from the Landmark Municipal House.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Reception with a lone cherry blossom tree reaching the sky

The Room

The room was quite modern and elegantly furnished and generally well appointed. In fact we found that it was tad bigger than some of the other similar hotels in Europe, which was a big plus. The TV had a welcome message for us and on the table some welcome goodies, which we polished off in no time. 🙂

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Welcome fruit plate with our names on the card
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Most welcome! Chocolates 🙂
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Our spacious room

Bathrobes and slippers were of superior quality, keeping in line with MOs practice worldwide. We were told that the floors were heated however we did not feel the need for it as we were in the middle of a warm summer. In the bathroom, the marble tiles, bathtub and other shining fixtures beckoned me to take a bath ASAP.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Large size bathroom with 2 basins.

Bathroom  had two wash basins, Him and Her, this was again a quintessentially MO design element.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Slippers!

Dining

The breakfast spread was quite elaborate and very continental in nature. The service was superb and the staff impressed us by remembering our preferences of eggs and our beverages. We especially had additional helpings from the cakes and dessert counter.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Breakfast spread – Dessert section
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Breakfast spread – Dessert section
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Dinner at Spice – a multi cuisine restaurant

The Spice restaurant connected to the breakfast rooms was already buzzing with activity when we reached in the evening. Spice restaurant specialty is anything Asian. Whether it is Indian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Korean, Sri Lankan or even Sushi (Whew!). There were also some original cocktails and a collection of good wine from the region.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Dinner at Spice – a multi cuisine restaurant
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Spice Restaurant with monks’ religious habits hung on the left wall.

The lighting and decor was in keeping with monastic ambience.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Fine red for Dinner at Spice – a multi cuisine restaurant
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
A part of the well stocked wine cellar

There also was a fully stocked cellar that had some of the rarest vintage and for those who wanted a private dinner there was a secluded cave underground. It is absolutely exclusive. Only the previous week a gentleman had proposed to his fiancée right here!

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Space for private dinner underground! There is a well covered by glass here

Wellness

With all the calories tucked in, it was time for us to check out the gym. The well-equipped gym was located in the basement. Just the thing to help maintain continuity for those who are regular with their workout regime.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
“we are ready if you are” the Gym seems to say

I am normally more regular when I am back home but after having a look at the gym I had to have a go for some time.

There was once a chapel during the renaissance period, in the premises. Mandarin Oriental’s award winning Spa is built over the remnants of this old chapel. It was probably the right thing to do too. The whole spa area had a spiritual ambiance to it. The aroma, of massage oils wafting through our nostrils to energize our tired touristy selves, was distinctly Mandarin Oriental!

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Luxurious massage treatment at the welness centre

Access to the spa is via a long underground tunnel leading from the basement of the hotel to the chapel area. It looks like a walk in a museum with many artifacts collected during excavation on display here. We could even see the original foundations carefully preserved under a glass floor.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Tunnel leading to the spa from the main building. On the right walls are the artifacts excavated from this site
Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Original foundation of the chapel preserved under the glass

The Spa had an outside entrance for walk-in customers too.

Other Features

There are four areas that are fully equipped to host meetings, official banquets, private dinners and even weddings. Out of that, 3 rooms can be combined to create a huge 150 SqM grand ballroom with vaulted ceiling.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Corridor along the meeting rooms and banquet halls

We loved the way they had named the halls after various types of tea like Jasmine, Oolong, Darjeeling and Ginseng!

As bloggers we were interested in the WiFi speed and we were not disappointed with the free WiFi service that helped us to work into the night after returning from our jaunts.

Evening service or turndown service as it is also called, was excellent with bottles of water, slippers by the side of the bed, removing the bedcover and placing sleep spray tubes near the pillows, if we needed it.

Concierge knew his city very well and was very helpful in guiding us about the city. The best part was we could also buy public transport tickets from him ! So you have your tickets ready before you step out of the hotel.

Another plus point was, there was an in-house ATM in the basement to withdraw money should you require some in a hurry and we think it is a great idea.

Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
ATM in the basement

This goes a long way to make the customer satisfied. ‘Atithi Devo Bhava‘ seems to be their motto as well!

Location

Mandarin Oriental Hotel is located in Malá Strana or the lesser town. This town was originally built in 13th century just after the construction of old town on the opposite bank of the river Vltava (also called River Moldau).

It is only few minutes’ walk to the famed Charles Bridge and well connected to the Prague Castle and the rest of Prague by tram.

So all in all, we found that it was just the place to return to after a tiring sightseeing to enjoy a relaxed evening and a blissful sleep.

You may want to read our review of Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Macau.

Disclaimer We stayed at Mandarin Oriental Prague at their invitation but the opinions, as always, are our own.

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Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Luxury in a Monastery!

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Slovenia’s Traditional Welcome Bread Pogača https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/slovenia/belokranjska-pogaca-slovenia-traditional-bread/ https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/slovenia/belokranjska-pogaca-slovenia-traditional-bread/#comments Mon, 13 Nov 2017 03:38:56 +0000 https://www.lemonicks.com/?p=20681 Pogača– Slovenia’s Traditional Welcome Bread

When I first saw Pogača, I wondered what was so unique about it. It looked similar to Slovakian, Hungarian, Russian or Turkish bread! And it’s a tradition in those countries also to welcome with a salted bread. I was wrong.
Baking Belokranjska Pogača, Slovenia’s traditional welcome bread, has been passed onto from generation to generation. Locally it is known as Belokranjska Pogača (pronounced as Pogacha) or Bela Krajina flat bread. Light, salty and round in shape Pogača is baked mostly to welcome guests at home.

There is a folk song that goes like … Read the rest

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Pogača– Slovenia’s Traditional Welcome Bread

When I first saw Pogača, I wondered what was so unique about it. It looked similar to Slovakian, Hungarian, Russian or Turkish bread! And it’s a tradition in those countries also to welcome with a salted bread. I was wrong.
Baking Belokranjska Pogača, Slovenia’s traditional welcome bread, has been passed onto from generation to generation. Locally it is known as Belokranjska Pogača (pronounced as Pogacha) or Bela Krajina flat bread. Light, salty and round in shape Pogača is baked mostly to welcome guests at home.

There is a folk song that goes like this ‘Give him Pogača for a spring in his step’ when children go from house to house calling for Zeleni Jurij (Green George Festival).
Children would wait patiently when mothers prepared freshly baked Pogača but they were not allowed to eat till the guests had it. Hence Belokranjska Pogača was even more eagerly awaited! 😀

We were having it for breakfast every day! So I decided to join a workshop to learn.

How to make Pogača

Belokranjska Pogača Slovenia traditional bread
Sprinkling cumin seeds & rock salt crystals
How to make Pogača at lemonicks.com
The ingredients

I started with pouring the measured flour into a large bowl and adding yeast (which I had soaked in water to activate it), a bit of sugar, salt, oil and warm water to it. Kneading was the next step and then she instructed me to fold the dough. My hands moved fast giving it the required suppleness and consistency. The best test for it is that the dough should not stick to your hands. The dough for Pogača was ready now and was left for 15-20 minutes to rise.
While waiting, Bernarda, the certified Pogača maker, told me all about Pogača.

Pogača (पोगाचा in Hindi) is a typical Slovenian welcome bread. Round in shape, it has a diameter of approximately 30 cm. The edges are 1–2 CMs thick while the centre is 3 to 4 cm thick.

Not everybody is allowed to make Pogača. To be able to make the standard Belokranjska Pogača, one has to pass an exam to prove one’s skills and get a certificate. The official size of a Pogača is 30 CMs. From time to time, the inspectors come to check if the Pogača makers are adhering to specifications or not.

Traditionally in Slovenia the guests are welcomed with a freshly baked Pogača and wine. Sometimes when the wine is ‘measured’ meaning it’s sold out, the homemade brandy or coffee is also offered to guests. The Pogača is not cut, instead the guests tear a piece off it, as a sign of being welcomed into the host’s house. The name, Pogača, has come from the Latin term panis focacius meaning ‘hearth, place for baking’. The roots of the flatbread take us back to the Slovenian region of Bela Krajina which is also known as White Carniola in English.

Now the dough was risen, double to its size; and I knew what to do with it. I made a flat round base, making sure that the centre was thicker than the edges. Barnarda’s watchful eyes were watching me and she was fine-tuning my techniques.

Next step was to make incisions with a knife on the base. Bernarda deftly showed me how to do it, total seven incisions … one in the centre and 3 on each side. I was careful to make the incision just deep enough so as not to cut the base into separate pieces. I then turned the based 90 degrees and made 7 more incisions. So now we had a lovely chequered design.

I coated the bread with a beaten egg, leaving a portion for those who do not eat eggs. Now it was almost ready to go into the preheated oven at 200-220 C. As per Bernarda’s instructions, I generously sprinkled some cumin seeds and coarse sea salt on it before its journey to the oven.

Twenty minutes later, the room was filled with the aroma of freshly baked Slovenian Pogača. Our sensory organs were accentuated and we were eager to bite into it. The grid on the surface made it easy to tear off pieces.

Belokranjska Pogača slovenia welcome bread lemonicks.com
Freshly baked Belokranjska Pogača

Party time!

Belokranjska Pogača Slovenia traditional bread
Would you like to have some? 🙂

Soon, we were having a small party at Barnarda’s workshop cum showroom! The bread was soft and delicious. The crunchy salt crystals made it even better. We chatted with her over a glass of good quality wine Metliška črnina by K Z Metlika. Belokranjska Pogača was mostly baked in wine growing regions. It goes well with wine and in earlier days, people believed that Pogača soaked up the wine and prevented hangovers.

Barnarda has a showroom where she has displayed all the handicraft items which she procures from producers and sells. Among all the handicraft items my favourite was the embroidery work and painted eggs! I even tried my hands on an egg. It needs days of practice to be able to make some designs.

Bela Krajina bibi turizem

If you happen to visit Bela Krajina, Slovenia, make sure you try Belokrajnska Pogača. You can contact Bernarda Kump at BIBI Turizem and on Facebook.

Note: While what I made was the standard Belokranjska Pogača, the locals frequently bake with a lot of bacon or cheese toppings too. While this is not a standard Pogača, it is also quite delicious for those who love meat or cheese.

Getting there: Bela Krajina is a small traditional region in south-eastern Slovenia touching the Croatian border. It is at 100 KMs from Ljublijana and an hours’ drive from Croatian capital Zagreb.

Have you been to Slovenia before? What was the best food you tasted there? Share your experiences in the ‘Comments’ section below.

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Story of Meissen White Gold https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/germany/meissen/meissen-porcelain-white-gold-saxony/ https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/germany/meissen/meissen-porcelain-white-gold-saxony/#comments Tue, 07 Nov 2017 11:58:15 +0000 https://www.lemonicks.com/?p=20557 Strong man covets the white gold

Augustus II the Strong, the Elector Prince of Saxony and the King of Poland was an avid patron of arts and decided that Dresden would be the cultural center. He also had a great liking for gold, real yellow ones. His great love, bordering on avarice, resulted in him recruiting a young alchemist work on the Goldmacher Tinktur or the Gold making formula to convert base metals to gold.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden Albrechtsburg
Meissen Cathedral seems to grow of Meissen Castle. This was where it all started. Meissen Manufactory. PC Saxony Tourism

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Strong man covets the white gold

Augustus II the Strong, the Elector Prince of Saxony and the King of Poland was an avid patron of arts and decided that Dresden would be the cultural center. He also had a great liking for gold, real yellow ones. His great love, bordering on avarice, resulted in him recruiting a young alchemist work on the Goldmacher Tinktur or the Gold making formula to convert base metals to gold.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden Albrechtsburg
Meissen Cathedral seems to grow of Meissen Castle. This was where it all started. Meissen Manufactory. PC Saxony Tourism

You may say, oh not another of those stories but hold on.

The alchemist, Johann Friedrich Böttger, worked on it for nearly six years. However, he did not succeed in producing the gold but he, with his mentor, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, were successful in creating the white gold. While there may be a raging debate as to who brought white gold to Europe first, there is no debate as to how much it was valued during those days.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden
Augustus 2 the Strong as part of Princes Parade, Dresden Castle. Do you know why his horse is on two legs?

Yes, I am talking about porcelain. Porcelain was worth its weight almost as much as gold in those days and could be manufactured. When the Augustus saw this, he also saw profit in this process. He was excited and set up a factory in Meissen in 1710 and Meissen Porcelain Manufactory was born and is in business even today!

The location of the first factory was right inside the Albrechtsburg Castle itself and was its home for 150 years before the factory was moved out. Augustus chose Meissen because the small town had extensive local deposits of Kaolin, a clay ingredient needed for fine porcelain creation. The castle was quiet and isolated; a good place for work and creativity.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden
Saxonia and her 2 sisters in House of Meissen

After hearing the story we were now ready for the Meissen Porcelain Museum and the workshop too. Right at the entrance, greeting us was Saxonia, Saxony’s Icon specially created for the 25th anniversary of German reunification. Saxonia, who is often called the Statue of Liberty of Saxony, is perhaps the tallest free standing handmade Meissen porcelain sculpture decorated with 8000 handmade flowers on her dress. It weighs 800 kilograms, or over 1700 pounds.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden
Saxonia, Saxon Statue of Liberty, in a different light! Note the double-crossed-swords logo on the right

Abracadabra, the enchantment rooms

To see the magic we entered the first of the studios, where fresh white clay was being transformed, first into small balls of white then into various small parts that go into making a bigger object. Every part was handmade by creating the shapes required by hand or by using a mould or by a small potter’s wheel! The clay is mixed with other secret ingredients, as per a well-protected recipe and comes to this place ready to use.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden

The first Meissen porcelain products produced successfully were gold decorations. Later, in 1723 multicolor enameled painting was introduced. Initially the Meissen artists created enamel porcelain paintings of oriental patterns. Then they expanded to detailed landscapes, animals, flowers and Chinese-inspired decoration.

We were told that the white clay, called Kaolin, are mined from the company’s own mines. While the artisan was busy putting out the parts to dry; she explained that it was the Kaolin which gives the final product, translucency and other ingredients are for fluxing, color, hardness and strength.

meissen porcelain museum white gold saxony
Artisan showing off her dexterous skills in creating small folds of cloth

 

Around this time multiple pieces are joined together to make a whole figurine, if required. Once it is dry the pieces are smoothed and sent out for first firing in the kiln. It is fired for many hours. These pieces are then sent back to another set of artisans for under-glaze painting. A few basic designs may be painted by hand and then sent back to the kiln for glazing and firing again to bond glaze, paint and the base.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden

After the porcelain objects return from glazing, more intricate designs are first sketched by pencil upon the surface and later painted using bright colors by the artists. Did I say before it was magic? The steadiness of the hands and the perfection in their skills were mind blowing, to say the least. Finally the distinctive logo of Meissen, two crossed swords in blue, are painted on reflecting the mark of excellence for over 300 years.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony
Evolution of logo of Meissen Porcelain. The very first logo at the top was the initials of Augustus the strong

Now the pieces are sent for final round of baking. This time to a temperature that melts the paint particles, softens the glaze there by fusing the paint onto the surface permanently. The paint may often change color during the multiple baking steps. It is the artists who have to use their experience and talent to visualize the final color while mixing the paint.

Whew!

Exhibition of Artifacts

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden

The museum transports us right through the 300 years of Meissen porcelain’s existence in a few minutes. From chamber pot to show pieces of varying sizes, from smallest possible to life size Saxonia are all being created here? From dinner service to figurines to even radiators we saw a whole gamut of things that are churned out by a few hundred artisans and artists. All handmade.

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden

We were later told that the bells of Meissen Cathedral was also made of Meissen Porcelain! We were open-jawed. A porcelain bell? How strong must it be? For us porcelain always broke when hit hard…no?

Some of the pieces were so beautiful and intricate that we were sure that, weight for weight, they would definitely be worth more than gold!

meissen porcelain white gold saxony dresden

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday.

1 May to 31 Oct – 9 AM to 6 PM,

1 Nov to 30 Apr 9 AM to 5 PM

Tickets:

Adults Eur 10,

Children and concessions – Eur 6,

Family (2 adults + 2 children) – Eur 23.

There are other ticket options when you combine this with Albrechtsburg.

How to reach:

By car – Take B6 main road

By public transport – Train from Dresden to Meissen and then city bus “C” to Porzellan Manufaktur stop.

Tip: If you happen to be in Saxony during Christmas, don’t miss the Christmas Market in the House of Meissen. And guess what… the entrance is free! 😀

Have you been to Meissen Porcelain Museum? Or any other such Museum? What was your experience?

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Touristy Frankfurt – What to See https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/germany/frankfurt/what-to-see-in-frankfurt-top-things-to-do-guide-itinerary/ https://www.lemonicks.com/europe/germany/frankfurt/what-to-see-in-frankfurt-top-things-to-do-guide-itinerary/#comments Sat, 28 Oct 2017 03:26:53 +0000 https://www.lemonicks.com/?p=20463 It is quite often that we touchdown at Frankfurt only to take-off to another destinations. Frankfurt is perhaps in the middle of the world and offers connectivity to many other parts of the world. It is so much a hub of air travel that I often say jokingly that if you lose your luggage anywhere in the world on an international flight, it will somehow find its way to Frankfurt!

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, the main railway station

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It is quite often that we touchdown at Frankfurt only to take-off to another destinations. Frankfurt is perhaps in the middle of the world and offers connectivity to many other parts of the world. It is so much a hub of air travel that I often say jokingly that if you lose your luggage anywhere in the world on an international flight, it will somehow find its way to Frankfurt!

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, the main railway station

We had heard many a people say “There are no things to do in Frankfurt” and move on to other places of our blue planet. Our travelling souls would not take that for an answer. There are always some hidden gems and stories to a place. So on our 100+ days epic journey through Europe, nick named #NiVaEuro, we decided to give ourselves a few days in this megacity known for its financial institutions and which is often called “Bankfurt”.
The sights and attraction which we visited were definitely not to be missed. Here, we have charted out an itinerary for you.

Day 1 – Altstadt – Old Town

Romans were here before us! Römerberg

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Römerberg square. The distinctive building in the middle is the medieval Old St Nicholas Church

It is almost like a pilgrimage. One thing everyone wants to visit is Römerberg in Altstadt (old town) and, of course, Römer and guess what? We did too.. :). Loosely translated as the Roman Mountain, Römerberg is the plaza around which is a cluster of old half-timber houses bearing the distinct architecture of that era. The designs on the walls and windows made of wood were so attractive, something we had not seen anywhere else, yet.

what to see in frankfurt, top things to do, perfect guide, itinerary
The iconic Römer, one of the oldest town halls in Germany.


The first Roman settlers in
the first century built their houses and stayed here. Just standing there and thinking about how the residents and the merchants walked the very path we were standing on, is a marvelous sensation. As we imbibed the atmosphere, we saw that the center was a fenced off space which looked like it may have contained a fountain before but nothing there now. On enquiry we found that the fountain of justice was under renovation and would be installed soon.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary

What is incredible is that Römer, one of the oldest buildings around Römerberg, has been the town hall of Frankfurt ever since it was sold to the city in the year 1405CE. Even now one could get married in one of the many well decorated rooms and the Mayor of the city has his office here too. Do not miss the Emperor’s hall where coronation banquets used to be held and which could probably be hired for private banquets.

We were told that during Christmas this plaza converts into a Christmas market, something we would love to visit.

Open time: Römer being an office, keeps to office times of 10:00AM to 1:00PM and 2:00PM to 5:00PM.

Ticket : None

How to reach: Nearest U-Bahn station Dom/Römer by U4 and U5.

A view from the top: Bartholomew Cathedral

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Main River and North Side Buildings. The big tower on the right belongs to Frankfurt Cathedral
Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Dom Romer, Frankfurt

We were awestruck on seeing the imposing 90 meter tower of the cathedral which has its origin in the 7th century. Frankfurt cathedral, as it is also called, is one of the most important religious places of Frankfurt. The importance is firstly because this used to be the coronation cathedral for the Holy Roman Emperors for 230 years during the renaissance period. This event used to take place at the skull altar. Secondly the pieces of skull of the Apostle Bartholomew is rumored to be kept here. The Cathedral was destroyed and rebuilt a few times during its life. However, during WW2 it was lucky not be destroyed completely and it was reconstructed in a few years.

For us an equally interesting part was to climb the 300+ steps to the observation gallery, at a height of 66 meters and have a spectacular aerial view of Frankfurt city and its river. Be warned of the bells that, when they toll, are very loud inside the tower! It was a great idea to have a bird’s eye view of the town before we embarked on exploring it further.

If you are lucky, you may even catch an organ concert at the cathedral!

Open time : The tower is open only during summer from 09:00AM to 6:00PM.

Ticket : 3.5 Euros for the tower

How to reach: Nearest U-Bahn station – Dom/Römer by U4 and U5.

St Paul Church

When we first saw the round part of the building we were curious to find out what it was. More than 200 years old, this roundish church was the venue of the first parliament of Frankfurt, when the citizens elected their legislative members 1848.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
St Paul church, Paulskirche in German

We could see that the round shape of the hall rendered it the most appropriate place for a parliament, a place where all the people can hear the speaker. It is not an active church anymore.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
This is a World War 2 memorial for all the victims of holocaust. The names of all the concentration camps are engraved below the statue.

Outside on Berlin Street (Berliner Strasse) there was an odd looking statue. The looks and the action was so horrible that we thought it was the devil himself and were thinking what an odd place for such a statue. A closer look told that it was not the devil but that of the victim of the devil of the twentieth century. The hands were tied, the sunken eyes told stories of dreadful atrocities. This was a memorial for all the victims of concentration camps that existed in Europe before and during WW2.

Open time: 10:00AM to 5:00PM

Ticket: None

How to reach: Nearest U-Bahn station Dom/Römer by U4 and U5 or U-Bahn station Hauptwache U1, U2, U3, U6, U8

Goethehaus

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived here

Talking of the devil, a few minutes-walk took us to the house of the playwright who wrote the play Faust. The play, many of us will remember, is about Faust who makes a deal with the devil and so on and so forth. The movie Devil’s Advocate is loosely based on this.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Goethehaus, Frankfurt

The Goethehaus was the place where Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born. The street was quite narrow and for us to imagine rich people stayed here was a testimony that the value systems have changed drastically. This house changed hands many times until its last owner, the citizens’ foundation, converted it into a tribute to the son of the soil. This house was rebuilt after WW2 bombings. This and another modern building next door constitutes the Goethe House and Museum which contains rare paintings from his time and also, what we enjoyed most, artifacts owned or used by Goethe.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Vasu, Nisha and Goethe who is just a shadow of his esteemed self!

If you speak German then you are in luck. In the afternoon there is guided tour in German.

Open time: 10:00AM to 6:00PM Mon-Sat,
10:00AM to 6:00PM on Sun

Ticket: 7 Euros

How to reach: Nearest S-Bahn /U-Bahn station Hauptwache S1, S2, S3, S4. S5, S6, S8, U1, U2, U3, U6, U7, U8

Rathenauplatz

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Open air exhibition of the Jewish sports persons persecuted by the Nazi at Rathenauplatz

Goethe’s statue is located on the south side of this square. The square is otherwise empty. However, on several occasions there may be an open air exhibition on various themes.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Helene Mayer, the jewish fencing champion, moved to the States during the Nazi period

We were lucky to catch the exhibition of Jewish Sports people who had represented Germany until 1933 and later persecuted by the Nazis. These larger than life sports heroes in action are made of Plexiglas is quite tough to bear the vagaries of weather.

Open time: 24-by-7 outdoor exhibition

Ticket: free

How to reach: Nearest S-Bahn /U-Bahn station Hauptwache S1, S2, S3, S4. S5, S6, S8, U1, U2, U3, U6, U7, U8

Alte Oper at Opernplatz

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Alte Oper, Old Opera building

The old opera house of Frankfurt is situated at the Opera Square or Opernplatz. This striking building was constructed in 1880 and was completely destroyed during WW2. Due to popular demand this was built again in 1981 to host important concerts.

We could see Goethe and Mozart adorning the façade. It is not permitted to enter the Opera House unless you have the tickets for the performance.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Apfelwein festival at Opera Square with the majestic old opera building in the background

We were quite lucky to catch the surprise event outside on the square. This was the Opernplatz festival but we like to call it the Apfelwein festival. It looked as if they were waiting as this “feast for the palate” started on the day we arrived. 🙂 We got to taste so many varieties of Apfelwein or Apple cider, occasionally mixed with other fruits, and were really top of the world (so we thought). To accompany the drinks there were many snacks to explore and there was also a live band belting songs in German and English.

This was not even a weekend and we could see a crowds of people were in their formals, probably coming here straight from office. Wow! German’s know how to live it up!

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Alte Oper, Old Opera in the evening

How to reach: Nearest S-Bahn station Taunusanlage S1, S2, S3, S4. S5, S6, S8, S9 and Nearest U-Bahn station Alte-Oper U6, U7.

Main Tower

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
The 200M high Main tower is home to top companies of the world. Photo credit : #Visitfrankfurt

It was a fitting end to the day when we climbed the Main tower observation deck at 200Meters to look down at the Frankfurt we’d just visited. It was great fun trying to identify the structures and places we had visited during the day.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Aerial view of Frankfurt. Photo credit : #Visitfrankfurt

There are also options of watching the city while having food in the restaurant or even exercising in their fitness club on 53rd and 54th floor.

For those interested in art, there is an art exhibition at the foyer level, which we gave a miss.

Open time :
Summer – 10:00AM to 9:00PM Sun-Thu, 10:00AM to 11:00PM Fri-Sat
Winter – 10:00AM to 7:00PM Sun-Thu, 10:00AM to 9:00PM Fri-Sat

Ticket : 7.5 Euros (20% discount with Frankfurt Card)

How to reach: Nearest S-Bahn station Taunusanlage S1, S2, S3, S4. S5, S6, S8, S9 and Nearest U-Bahn station Willy Brandt Platz U1, U2, U3, U4, U5, U8

Day 2 onwards

Palmengarten, the botanical garden with a difference

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
The almost 150 years old Palmengarten is botanical garden, picnic place and public entertainment place rolled into one. Photo credit : #Visitfrankfurt

Translating to Garden of Palm trees, Palmengarten is one of the biggest botanical garden of Germany. It started as a private garden with shows from US and other parts being held here till Frankfurt took it over in 1931.
The version we were visiting was the brand new Palmengarten, rebuilt after being ravaged in WW2.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
climatized enclosures for tropical plants in Palmengarten. Photo credit : #Visitfrankfurt

It is situated opposite to another huge Botanical Garden of Goethe University. We could see that it was a big hit with families with children spending warm days here picnicking, boating and generally playing. There were also climatized areas for tropical plants and trees proving the right ambience for their health.

Open time:
Feb to Oct – 9:00AM to 6:00PM
Nov to Jan – 9:00AM to 4:00PM

Ticket: 7 Euros

How to reach: Nearest U-Bahn station Westend U6, U7

Main River, Eiserner Steg and Waterfront jaunts

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Eiserner Steg, Frankfurt

Frankfurt’s full name is Frankfurt am Main meaning Frankfurt on the river Main. So no visit to the city is complete without a stroll at the waterfront. The river was not very wide but the flow was quite fast. While walking along the waterfront, we reached a bridge called, very aptly, the Iron Bridge or the Eiserner Steg.

what to see in frankfurt, things to do, guide, itinerary
Love Locks galore on the Iron Bridge or Eiserner Steg, Frankfurt

It looks like an ordinary iron bridge but once you are onto it, you see lovers have converted this into a love-lock bridge. Locks of various shapes, sizes and colors could be found here, in line with the romantic tradition of Europe. Write or scratch the names on the lock and lock it and throw the key into the river. We were, naturally reminded of the fate of the Love-lock Bridge or Pont des Arts in Paris.

If the weather is good then one could choose from various cruise options by Primus-Linie. However when we went it was raining and quite cold and windy.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Mainhattan , a cluster of high rise buildings.

From the other side (South side) of the bridge one could see Manhattan …ooops Mainhattan! The high rise building cluster is clearly visible exhibiting the modernity surrounded by the various parts of the old city.

Open time: 24-by-7 – outdoor

Ticket: Free

How to reach: Nearest U-Bahn station Dom/Römer by U4 and U5.

Museumsufer, cluster of museums

Do you love museums? Worry not, Frankfurt has many of them! The so called museum embankment is located on the South bank of Main River.

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
German Architecture Museum , Frankfurt . Photo credit : #Visitfrankfurt

The museum district, has about twelve museums within few hundred meters! So for those die-hard museum fans this place would be the perfect landing place to spend a day or two. From Art, history, cultural, architecture to ancient sculpture the district covers a wide variety of themes.

Every year there is a Museum Embankment Cultural festival held at this very place. We missed the 2017 version as we had already left Frankfurt by then. In 2018 the dates are 24th to 26th August.

Opening times

German Architecture Museum: 11:00AM to 6:00PM
Museum of World Culture: 11:00AM to 6:00PM
Museum of applied arts: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
European Icons Museum: 11:00AM to 5:00PM
German Film Museum: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Staedtl Museum: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
LieBieghaus Sculpture Museum: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Portikus: 11:00AM to 6:00PM
Museum Giersch: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Jewish Museum: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Museum of History: 11:00AM to 7:00PM

*The above museums themselves are expected to take 3 to 4 days or even more if you visit each one of them.

How to reach: Nearest U-Bahn station Scweizerplatz by U1, U2, U3 and U8

Schaumainkai Flohmarkt (Flea Market)

Not to be missed is also Frankfurt’s biggest flea market that springs up along the river on the very street where these museums are located. It is held on every Saturday except if it falls on a holiday. Sometimes you may find that particular article or antique you have always been wanting to buy is waiting for you. There are also snack stalls should you be hungry after all that shopping.

Open time: 9:00AM to 2:00PM

How to reach: Nearest U-Bahn station Scweizerplatz by U1, U2, U3 and U8

Where to stay

Frankfurt, being a financial hub, has a plethora of hotels to choose from. From basic hostels to 5 star hotels, from boutique hotels to business hotels, catering to all budgets.
We stayed in Aparthotel Adagio, part of Accor group of hotels. The reason was simple. It was an apartment and breakfast was included. We could do some basic cooking when we felt like. There was enough space to spread our things as we were staying there for a few days.
Also, quite importantly, the tram stop was just 50 metres away and we were only 3 stops away from the main station, Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (HBF).

How to travel – Frankfurt Card

Things to do Frankfurt Itinerary
Frankfurt card valid for 2 days

The best way to travel from place to place within the city is to buy a 1-day or 2-day Frankfurt Card. The start date to be endorsed on the reverse. The benefits far outweigh the cost of the card. Even more so if you are group of up to 5 adults. You can get a group card for the price of 2 adult Frankfurt cards !

Prices:
1 day Frankfurt card – 10.50 Euros 2 days card – 15.50 Euros
1 day group card – 20.50 Euros 2 days group card – 30.50 Euros
*The group card is valid for 5 persons travelling together.

Benefits:
* Unlimited travel by public transport by buses, trams, S-Bahn and U-Bahn within the city districts and also to Frankfurt Airport.
* 10% to 50% discounts on the ticket prices of various attractions, discounts at participating restaurants and stores. For details click https://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/en/Information-Planning/Frankfurt-Card

There are so many things to see and do in Frankfurt that we could have filled a few more days very easily.

There are also a lot of things once could do around Frankfurt, which we will write about later.

Have you been to Frankfurt? What was your experience?

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