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12 Hours in Frankfurt: A Stroll Around Altstadt

It’s 10am and gloom gathered above Alstadt, the historic district of Frankfurt. I stand in front of Frankfurter Dom, officially known as the Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew (German: Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus). Here Holy Roman Emperors were crowned for almost half a millennium. The Gothic structure’s tower overlooks an impressive view and it goes down in history as meeting place of some of the most powerful German princes long before Germany was born as a nation.

Up until 1792, so-called electors head to this cathedral to select the emperor of an empire that exists in name only. The huge door swings wide open. The Elector-Archbishop of Mainz, who presides among the electors summons a delegation of kings, princes, dukes, counts and church officials to cast their vote.  The election itself is merely a ceremonial one, for since 1438 until 1792, the heads of the House of Austrian House of Hapsburg were understood to be automatically elected as leaders of an empire that exists in…
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12 Hours in Frankfurt: Finding My Way Out the Flughafen

My first ever trip abroad, which took me from Manila to Wroclaw, Poland, took 33 hours! The plane ride from Manila to Germany was approximately 12 hours and I have 15 hours for myself to explore the city before the trip to Wroclaw. The plane landed  at the break of dawn.  
I had to figure out how to get out from the airport. 15 hours for a layover is a total waste of time if I didn’t explore one of Germany’s biggest cities, the former seat of the Holy Roman Empire, the city with futuristic skyscrapers.  I had to find my way around the Flughafen (Airport) and I thought it was adventure time. The thought of being a lone stranger in a strange land excited me more than I had worry about losing myself  and struggling to find my way back. Good thing there were some Filipinos working at the airport. They were most helpful with the directions and in locating the ticketing station. I paid 9 euros for a day trip of the S-Bahn, enough to let me take as many train rides as I can to go around the…

Tales from the Airport: from Manila to Frankfurt

It was 8pm already. My flight to Hong Kong (my first ever international flight) was almost an hour late and I needed to catch my plane bound to Frankfurt! At the back of my mind I was wondering: “Will Lufthansa wait for me?” But I was quick to brush aside the need to worry. No, I had to enjoy my trip. That was my first trip abroad and I resolved to savour every bit of it.
The flight attendant led me to my seat. Next to me is a slender lady in her late 30s. I smiled at her and decided to exchange small talks. “You going to Hong Kong?” I asked. “No, I’m heading to Frankfurt,” I beamed with what I hear. I knew that Hong Kong Airport is an extremely huge one and you could get lost there! Knowing I would have someone with me to look for the terminal was a source of relief. I asked her name but I couldn’t remember it anymore, so in this article, let’s call her Teri.
We talked while the plane progressed from the Manila to Hong Kong and it was then that I found out that Teri was heading to…

Thank you, Mataji

“ So, what do you want to do?” she asked as soon as we took our seat in an airconditioned café not far from her home. It was a respite from the sweltering heat that plagues the March afternoon. A bead or two of sweat fell from her forehead and she took a hankie to …..
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to finally meet a friend who I’ve been in constant communication with virtually. She’s Mataji and she’s a yogi, painter, and traveler who had lived in India, Africa, and Europe. She’s been back to her hometown seven months ago, but the free-spirit in her yearns to explore the world again. She is a vibrant soul so enthused with life that it beams in her authentic smile. The moment we exchanged pleasantries, I thought that already knew her for so long. She asked me this question that inspired me to : “What do you want to do?” Wow. It hit me inside. 
For that seemingly simple question I was stunned.
“What do I want to do?”
“Hey, self, give the lady an answer! What do I want to do?”
Sounds pretty…

Experiencing Malate, Manila’s Bohemian District

Malate lives up to its image as Manila’s bohemian district. Or so I thought. One late afternoon, I ventured out to stroll on its two-lane alleys. Life seems the same as any fast-paced streets of the metro, but wait til darkness comes and excitement would come out from its daytime slumber. 
I checked in at Malate Pensionne, a romantic accommodation that offers guests that old-world feel. I got the Eco-Air Room, which is airconditioned but doesn’t have its own comfort room and shower so I have to take the communal amenities. Rooms do not also have wifi connectivity, though.  Below are photos of the hotel and of the room that I got. 

A short walk away is Café Adriatico where a friend and I had coffee. The tsokolate,pan de saland white cheese, and chef’s salad really satiate the palate. The cozy, masculine interior offers a very inviting ambiance—especially for intimate moments.

It is my habit to attend the anticipated mass every Saturday so I decided to go to nearby Malate Church. But havin…