So I’m finally getting round to publishing my series of posts on our recent trip to Germany (May 2019). My computer has been having a minor meltdown this past week or so! Monsieur has been helping me fixing it but it seems every electrical communications device I own has suddenly reached its “use by” date – a desktop software update has improved things but my iPad and IPhone are apparently well out of date and it’s now increasingly hard to use them for blog purposes. At some point I need to go shopping…..
Anyway back to the matter in hand. We chose to base ourselves in Mainz for 6 days in between visits to our respective families in Yorkshire and Somerset and a later trip back to London to see our daughter, Mlle.
Why Mainz? Well we prefer slightly less well known places, we’d been to the Rhine region a few years back (see here) and were keen to return and it gave me an opportunity to practice my German (I’ve been part of a weekly German class for over 8 years now!). Rest assured though English is widely spoken in Germany it’s just that I prefer to get the German conversation practice with native speakers.
First though I’m doing a bit of a detour by explaining our travel route. We took a British Airways flight from London City Airport to Frankfurt then caught the local regional train down to Mainz (about 25 minutes away). On the way back we took the rail route – 3 trains from Mainz to London St Pancras in under 8 hours.
We hadn’t been out to London City Airport before and the rail journey from our meeting point at Kings Cross Station took us out through East London and the old dockyards by the river – areas that I’d rarely seen before even though we lived in London for 9 years and of course things have changed dramatically in recent years.
We found the airport rather crowded and muddled our way through their self service check in point. I must admit to an embarrassing episode in security, which shows even experienced travellers can mess things up! We had the boarding passes in electronic form on Monsieur’s phone and we were waved away from the manned security gate to the self service gates instead. I tried to go through with Monsieur as he had both our boarding passes on his phone but this unfortunately triggered a security alarm. What I should have done was wait for Monsieur to go through, then he needed to pass his mobile phone back to me so I could activate my own pass. Just beware of this as we had not encountered it before. With the blaring sirens subsiding and the security staff thankfully lenient we made our way (in my case rather sheepishly) through the security screening gates and through to the boarding area.
A meal and welcome glass of wine later we boarded our plane for the relatively short hop over the Channel to Frankfurt. There is only one runway at London City and the planes have to taxi along the runway to take off – again something we hadn’t seen before. Despite the grey skies and cloudy conditions we did get an excellent view of the docklands area as we took off.
The plane was, as you would expect, more of a shuttle service but all very pleasant apart from the very bumpy descent into Frankfurt due to the cloudy conditions. We were scheduled to land at Terminal 1, according to our itinerary. This is more convenient if, like us, you are connecting to a local train as the Regional Bahn Train service is situated under the Terminal 1 building. However for some reason we landed at Terminal 2 instead so had to take the SkyLine shuttle service bus between terminals (see here for more info).
Finally after a very long travelling day (we had both had early starts from the north and west of England respectively) we arrived at Mainz Hauptbahnhof in the early evening. A couple of minutes walk across the main square took us to our hotel, the AC Mainz. With our baggage we preferred to stay close to the station rather than lug our cases into town (about 20 minutes walk away). We easily got about either by walking or taking one of the many trams, which stopped just outside our hotel front door. Despite the proximity to the station it was actually surprisingly quiet and the hotel restaurant had a lovely view out to the square and the impressive station facade.
I settled down for an evening relaxing at our hotel whilst Monsieur headed out to see a football game FC Mainz against Leipzig (an exciting 3 all draw and he returned with a newly purchased Mainz scarf to add to his collection).
Next day though we set off to explore downtown Mainz – lots more photos to come!
Copyright © 2019 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved