Germany

DSC_0598Along the Main river sits the large German financial and travel hub, Frankfurt.DSC_0583Frankfurt has Germany’s second largest metropolitan region, and is seventh for quality of living (not to mention the most expensive city in Germany).DSC_0579Frankfurt combines their large skyscrapers with many forests and parks. DSC_0611Over 50% of Frankfurt is green area.DSC_0623Frankfurt has come a long way since 1945. The city was devastated and severely bombed with only 2% remaining.DSC_0587All of Frankfurt’s old downtown city centre called Römer was newly rebuilt.DSC_0592Many parts of Frankfurt harmonize old history with its new cosmopolitan atmosphere.DSC_0619Besides being Germany’s home to major banks, Frankfurt also has many critically acclaimed museums (over 30) and is a prime spot for business trade shows.DSC_0624Frankfurt  also has one of the largest and most crowded shopping streets in Germany called the Zeil.DSC_0613It is hard to characterize the city, It’s huge! Frankfurt consists of 9 different districts.DSC_0648Frankfurt’s old opera was heavily bombed and used to stand as a ruin until 1981 when it was completely restored and now a fully functioning concert hall.DSC_0653With all the sights, museums, and parks there is no better way to end a hot summer day in Frankfurt than with its specialty: Apfelwien (apple wine). (I think Trina agrees)DSC_0565Whether for business or pleasure, Frankfurt is a cosmopolitan and beautiful Germany city with a fascinating past of destruction and revival.

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A 40 minute train ride from Frankfurt can take you to the unique city of Mannheim

DSC_0675Mannheim’s water tower is the city’s main civic symbol.DSC_0687Luckily for me I was able to meet up with Bianca who showed me around her beautiful university (Mannheim university).DSC_0694
With many buildings resembling palaces, Mannheim is a student city with a history of many great engineers.DSC_0672Mannheim was a major target in both world wars due to its many factories and power houses.DSC_0699Today Mannheim is an analytical German student city with a completely linear street grid.Screen shot 2013-06-11 at 9.09.16 PM

Unlike most German cities, the baroque city of Heidelberg was not bombed in World War II.DSC_0704Heidelberg is hands down the most beautiful city I’ve seen in Germany.DSC_0794After seeing so many German cities filled with gritty steel, bombed buildings, and shiny reconstructions, it was incredible to see what a well perserved German city looks like.DSC_0708Wandering around Heidelberg oddly reminded me of Prague, Rome, and Copenhagen.DSC_0713I even spotted my German dream mansionDSC_0722After spending hours wandering around the residential area thinking I was in the Altstadt, I finally made way for the downtown center and Heidelberg castle.DSC_0778Originally built in 1214, Heidelberg Schloss overlooks the city and river.DSC_0797In 1619 Frederik V known as the “winter king” reigned for a single winter before the House of Habsburg took the crown by force, ultimately leading to the Thirty Years’ war.DSC_0815Besides sounding like an episode of Game of Thrones, Heidelberg today is a major tourist destination.DSC_0820Although the effect of tourism in Heidelberg is evident, the authentic German character makes up for it.DSC_0802If you’re in Frankfurt, a day trip to Heidelberg is easy and encouraged.DSC_0804Heidelberg had some of the most beautiful mansions and houses I’d ever seen.DSC_0811During the Nazi regime, Heidelberg was a stronghold for the NSDP.DSC_0801Unlike Frankfurt or Mannheim, Heidelberg presented no threat and was used as an American garrison after the war.DSC_0831Today Heidelberg is a growing city with a great university and young/hip atmosphere.DSC_0849Heidelberg is definitely a city I wish I could live in…or retire.

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