Wednesday, April 17, 1996 Frankfurt, Germany
Jim was up early, had breakfast (included in our room rate) and was off to the Porche factory before 8 am. He’d gotten directions and arrived at the factory early. Seems as thought the tour doesn’t start until 9:45am. So he walked around the factory and took videos of everything he could. Wasn’t allowed to use the camera inside the factory later. He saw them moving a Boxster to another part of the factory but was only able to take a video of the back of the car. Met a gentleman named Mark from Beverly Hills who owns and races Porsche automobiles. He’s an architect by trade. They exchanged cards.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel: Barbara and I went to breakfast about 9 am and then stayed in our rooms until 11 am. At that time we had to check out or pay for another day so we moved all the luggage into the lobby and camped out there. We decided to give Jim until 12:30 pm before we began to check on him. By 12:15 we were getting ready to ask the hotel to contact the Porsche factory to make sure he got to the tour and what time he’d left. He’d originally told us that he might be back as early as 10 am. Just then, he pulled up. We were so glad to see him. He’d gotten to the factory easily, but had gotten lost coming back to the hotel. Ended up pulling into a gas station for directions. Found that it was the same one we’d stopped at yesterday.
Packed up and headed to the Autostrassa for Frankfurt. Just as we were about to get on the Autostrassa, Jim spotted a red license plate on a car ahead of us and began to say that that is one of the test cars (called a "mule") and suddenly he realized it was a Boxster! He grabbed his video camera for the view from the back, suddenly we were passing it and I held the camera out the window facing the back and got more great film footage! The driver saw us filming and turned off! We missed our turn and it took a while to get back on course but was well worth it. We told Jim that if he hadn’t gotten lost we’d never have been there to see the car!
Continued on to Frankfurt, Barbara napped most of the way and Jim and I ate beef jerky for lunch. Stopped for ice cream and water on the way in. We could see the Marriott for miles so it was very easy to get to the hotel. We unloaded everything, took several trips and then spent an hour repackaging everything! Barbara filled her box (she'd brought a large box with her from home ...flattened in her suitcase) and our extra bag. But, we did get everything in the suitcases except for the painting tubes which we’ll have to hand carry. Jim is enjoying the hotel especially due to the ticker tape on the TV for stock information. But, no free breakfast tomorrow.
When we finished we started to walk to a local shopping area about eight blocks away. Found lots of “normal” shops, but no nice restaurants. Jim and Barbara together figured out the German Subway System and we got on board and even made a transfer and arrived in the old part of the city. Found a nice old German Style restaurant where we all ate Goulashsuepe (Soup) plus other food. We topped it off with Chocolate Sundaes. Went back to the Subway. Barbara asked a gentlemen about which train to the Marriott. He spoke very “American” English but learned it in school.
He and Barbara kept up a running conversation all the way to the next stop where he showed us the right streetcar to take that would bring us back to the Marriott. When she commented on his English he said he didn’t speak like “Hogan’s Heroes” or “Dr. Ruth…the sex lady”. In fact, he said his British colleagues said he spoke with an “American” accent.
The subway system is run on an honor system. They have machines everywhere for you to purchase your tickets. But you have to have the coins to make it work! We were able to purchase a set of tickets for the first trip, which no one took or punched or even checked on. Coming back, we tried to purchase another set of tickets, being the “do the right thing” type of kids we are; but could only get it to take enough coins for one ticket. OH WELL, we did try! Back at the hotel we all tucked in early for the trip home tomorrow.