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It was a bit nostalgic and most certainly ironic to take pictures of Romer in the same chilly drizzle as when I visited over ten years ago. Now, though, the pictures are digital. Later in the afternoon when the sun broke through, I got more interesting shots. Visiting with others is a different experience from my solitary wandering. Meals became a fun process of reading menus and negotiating to agree on a place with something for everyone. I’d have eaten at any of the restaurants, as German cooking is much to my liking.

While I had less solitary time to reflect, we gained a trip to the recommended City Beach. City Beach is the roof of a parking garage decorated, in summer, as a beach with beach bar kiosks. In winter, it was set for Christmas. Each little food and drink stand looked like a log cabin in the snow, ringing a town square of Christmas trees. For a treat we had Gluhwein, hot, spiced, red wine-the perfect thing for winter cold. It’s amazing how welcoming a roof can be with a bit of creativity, good food and a mug of wine.

Sunday morning in the rain, I set out to find the leather museum. After all who could resist six hundred years of shoes? I walked and walked and walked but it was not where the map said it would be, or I was misinterpreting the map. But on the walk, I found the best bar name in the world-I Was Home Last Night, a tiny statue of a knight on horse on Big Hero Street and the Hooters-yes, there is one in Frankfurt. Not having found the Leather Museum, I thought I’d go to the museum at St. Bartholomew’s; it was closed for renovation. Then I decided to try an art museum but when I got there, the permanent exhibit was also closed. Museums are generally open on weekends and the websites had indicated open hours on Sunday. After the third try, I decided the universe was perfectly clear about the fact that I was not going to see a museum that day. Also, being tired of being cold and damp, I took the U bahn back to the hotel.

Overall, what did impress me greatly is the concern for pedestrian and bike traffic. This safety concern extended to the point where I took a picture of a construction site to document the extraordinary measures they took to ensure safety.

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