Scotland, Europe, the world
Frankfurt's skyline has earned it the title ‘Malnhatten’
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Dishing the dirt on Frankfurt
‘ ein. nein. nein!’ Even now those Nwords conjure up my time in Frankfurt, calling forth images of two young women getting thrown out of yet another building. Their crime? lndulging in flash photography in the city’s numerous museums. In light of this I cannot stress strongly enough that if you plan to visit the fine cultural sights of Frankfurt, take something more technologically advanced than a disposable camera whose ﬂash function has no respect for your wishes. A long weekend in Frankfurt sounded innocent enough. Straddling the River Main. the city combines the kind of traditional
Staff lurk behind you and frantically polish whatever exhibit you might just have breathed on.
medieval buildings you see on Christmas cards with huge skyscrapers. housing banks. banks and more banks (388 at last count). Frankfurt is Germany's financial capital and as such it‘s a place used to visitors having a company expense account to put the bills on. If you’re on a budget you’re going to have to work a little harder to find accommodation (unless you’re happy to stay next door to the XXX cinemas and sex shops). Prepare for some aching feet as you troop around the city looking for an affordable place to eat (while making a solemn vow that you will not under any circumstances settle for McDonalds). But it‘s not all bad news. The Sachsenhausen suburb. filled with museums. cafes and taverns. is the place to go for a less corporate expenence.
114 THE LIST 15-29 Mar 2001
Having realised that our budget would not permit a glamour-filled holiday. my travelling companion and I decided to set ourselves a ‘fun’ challenge. Frankfurt has over 50 museums. seven of which are located along one stretch of the river. known as the Museumsufer. Filled with enthusiasm. we vowed to get round seven museums in seven hours.
First stop. the Museum Fur Kunsthandwerk. An impressive building despite the vertigo-inducing ramps. it is packed with applied art from contemporary crafts to Japanese flower arrangements and rugs from the Far East. On to the Museum Fur Volkerkunde: totem poles. drums. voodoo masks and dangerous looking implements fill this museum of folklore. All very interesting. but sadly the site of the first flash photography incident. producing high pitched shrieking from staff.
With large colour photographs and replica models of buildings. Deutsches Architektur- Museum. the architecture museum gives a comprehensive overview of Spanish modernism. from Gaudi’s artwork to experimental homes which have never made the mainstream. Two little words cut the visit short (‘flash photography‘).
By this point we realised the seven museums challenge was proving too much. so set out to explore the Apfelwein taverns. The
best way to describe the drink. a speciality of
the area. is flat. warm cider. But don't let that put you off. At 50p a glass and served up in
Architecture in miniature
lively pubs with long wooden benches and friendly (drunk) clientele. the Apfelvvein experience is not to be missed.
Next day. back on the museum trail after accidentally losing the previous afternoon (easily done). the Deutsches Filmmuseum stood out with its interactive guide to the history of filmmaking. With a small cinetna screening Chaplin classics and replica sets. you are allowed to take photos. but only at designated points . . . Bundespostmuseum explores everything and anything connected with postal matters; despite the subject matter it‘s colourful and entertaining. Staff are friendly even if they do have a tendency to lurk behind you and frantically polish whatever exhibit you might just have breathed on.
Bass Stadel is one for the art lovers out there. An imposing building. it has works by Degas. Monet. Matisse and Picasso as well as a large Medieval and Renaissance German painting collection. Last but not least. the Liebieghaus is a sculpture museum with Egyptian. Greek. Roman and German exhibits. It sounds implausible. but the curator really did make us go round a second time because she thought we‘d been rushing . . .
Leaving Frankfurt wasn‘t so hard to do. It had left a lasting impression. enough to make me vow I wouldn‘t return unless it was on a business trip. But don‘t let that put you off. With a big budget. a camera with a controllable flash and a good guide book. go prepared and you’ll get the best out of Frankfurt.
The List flew to Frankfurt with Lufthansa, details on www.lufthansa.com
If you haven’t got the cash to live the exhaust yourself in its plentiful stocl