Frankfurt Hahn Airport

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Last weekend I took a trip home. Not for any particular reason, I just missed home and wanted to visit friends and shop and stuff.

When I go home, I always go with Ryanair. The reason being that they fly to Stanstead airport, which is just 40 mins from where I live, and Dad can pick me up (in exchange for a few bars of Ritter Sport!)

The downside to this is that I have to use Frankfurt Hahn airport which is the most inconvenient airport I have ever come across. I think it’s been named at the airport furthest away from the place it pretends to be in – at a whopping 2 hours by bus away from Frankfurt, it’s really ridiculous that it’s still carrying the city’s name.

Since it’s such a pain to get to, and since I am pretty much a Hahn expert now, I thought I’d do a little post on how I travel with Hahn. I take the same flight each time – it leaves at 6.45am so it’s always an early start for me.

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The first bus of the morning leaves at 3am and I always take that one. It takes 2 hours to get there, so it’s just the right amount of time for me.

The bus company is Bohr and they leave from the south side of the main station Hauptbahnhof. The photo above shows exactly where you need to wait. The buses are ALWAYS busy, even the morning ones. I advise getting there 30 minutes early (at least) and to use extreme queuing techniques to get a space. You can check the times on their website HERE but if you are in Frankfurt I advise just looking at their sign (below) as it’s much easier to work out.

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The journey will take you to Frankfurt International airport first, and then on the long journey through the countryside to Hahn. The buses are pretty nice, actually. I’ve been in much worse ones in England. I guess they should be nice, though, since the journey will set you back 14 euros each way. You can get a 24hour return ticket for 20 euros if you are unfortunate enough to have to make this trip twice in one day.

You buy the tickets from the bus driver, not online. There is no reserving of seats.

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There is nothing more than a sandwich shop and a McDonalds on the outside of the airport so I recommend waiting until you get inside if you want to buy something to eat. There’s a small convenience shop (above)…

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And a few cafes as well. They are very strict with only customers sitting in their chairs (there is no place to sit as you wait for the boarding area to be opened) and I once saw an American man get very very angry about this. I usually just sit on the floor in front of the sign.

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Going OUT of Hahn is actually a nice journey and I don’t mind doing it at all. Coming back INTO Hahn is where it’s painful as the immigration has a queuing area that makes most of the queue stand outside (it was horrible at Christmas) and getting the bus back into town is really hard as there are so many people you really do need to fight for a seat. I’ve wormed my way in front of people before, seconds before those same people were told there was no more room and they will have to get the next bus.

This Christmas I hope to go home via the normal airport since Ryanair have changed their website to be really confusing and I am just tired of them trying to trick me at every stage. This time they tried to get me with the insurance. To opt out of it, you need to select that you don’t want insurance in the drop down menu where you say your nationality. However, it doesn’t show up on all browsers. This is with Chrome –

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This is with Safari –

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If it wasn’t that Ryanair are a bunch of cheats, I’d gladly carry on using Hahn airport as it’s not such a bad airport and I like how small and quiet it is. Frankfurt international airport is very big and busy while Hahn is just laid back but inconvenient.

So anyway, I hope this helps anyone who is looking to travel to/from Hahn in the future. There isn’t much info in English to help, so hopefully I filled an info gap there!

Gundi – Turkish food in Bockenheim

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We went to see our wonderful friend Ben sing whilst playing his keyboard in a curious yet terribly planned event in Bockenheim. The idea was that we were to wander down the street and enjoy stopping off at the participating places to enjoy some art. Unfortunately, it seems Turkish restaurant Gundi didn’t know what they were getting into when they agreed to host Ben.

The place was pretty full when we got there, but no one was there to hear Ben’s wonderful music except our group. They were much more interested in the belly dancer who was performing a little before.

The service left a lot to be desired, but they did do some good food. I had the platter (above) but sadly the hummus tasted like it had been left out in the warm air all day and wasn’t very fresh at all. The rest was ok (though there could have been a vegetarian option…)

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The boyfriend had this cheesy, greasy mess above. I think he said it was “ok”.

Their Qype page has a lot of German recommendations so perhaps we just picked the wrong kinds of things. The food was fairly average; not good enough for me to go out of my way to visit again.

If anyone knows any restaurants in Frankfurt that are similar, but better than this, then I’d love to know!

Find Gundi at Leipziger Straße 85 – 87, 60487 Frankfurt am Main

Staring

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The other day I was on the bus going to work from my boyfriend’s place. Halfway through our journey, a woman stood at the door in front of us, ready to leave the bus. It was then that she noticed us – me with my ghostly white skin and him with his dark Indian skin. Her eyes went from my face to his face, to our hands that were interlocked on my lap, then back up to our faces.

After having lived in Japan, I know that a good way to deal with people staring at you is to look right back at them. Most of the time they will snap back to reality, be very embarrassed and then look away.

This woman did not do this. She just stared right back into my eyes as I glared right back into hers.

Like I said, there was a lot of staring in Japan. That was because I lived in the middle of nowhere, where people had genuinely not ever seen a non-Asian person before. Though it was by no means their own fault, they were some of the most culturally ignorant people I have met – I was asked if I had blind spots because of my “tall nose”, I was TOLD that brooms do not exist in Britain because we have carpets everywhere, and if I had 100 yen for every time I was asked if we have rice in Britain, I’d be able to buy a nice meal out somewhere by now.

So when I caught an old person (as it often was) staring at me, I just looked back, or just smiled at them. They don’t know any better, since I was one of a small handful of foreign people in our city.

But Germany, and especially Frankfurt is not backwater Japan.

One of the things my mum said when she came to Frankfurt was how lovely it was that there were so many different people and different cultures blending together. If (like myself) you don’t want to go with the cheap supermarket Rewe, you can go to any of the cultural shops – from Turkish, to Indian, and even a British shop to get all your British things. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to go very far before you see someone who is not a white German person. And it’s not beyond belief that in a city with lots of people with lots of different skin tones, there are some people who will fall for someone who is not the same colour.

Staring really does bother me, though. I get stared at quite a bit in Frankfurt. Men will stare at my boobs as I go by. Women will stare at my (perfectly normal) fashion choices as they walk past me. I’ve not really had this kind of staring in the UK before (British women are very adventurous with their fashion so I hardly stand out) but I do wonder what it would be like to be an interracial couple there.

And let me just also say that if I said I never stare, this would also be a lie. People stare because they see something unusual, something their brain needs to analyse a little more. Personally, I find myself doing a double take when I see parents who have obviously adopted a child of a different race to them. I do this because I am genuinely interested in this kind of thing – I love listening to stories from ethnically Korean friends who have been adopted by Western families.

But there is a difference between double taking because it’s something you don’t expect and full on staring because you can’t comprehend something as simple as a homosexual couple, or someone who looks different to you.

Are there times when you are stared at where you are? I’d love to hear other people’s stories!

VIPHO Vietnamese Restaurant

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When a girlfriend invited me out to a Vietnamese restaurant I had not yet been to, I couldn’t really say no, could I! VIPHO is a little way past the Metropolis cinema, and I must have been past it so many times but had never noticed it before. I decided to bike there but as soon as I stepped out my front door it started to RAIN REALLY HARD and I got absolutely drenched. So I was so happy to see that the menu at VIPHO has lots of lovely hot drinks but also some homemade lemonade – which, you know I love.

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I was a meat-eater for the night, but there were veggie options on the menu (though not as many as there could have been.) I had some summer rolls for starters and they really were yummy-tastic. The dipping sauce was also really good… Just thinking about this starter again and how it tasted is making me really hungry… whoops.

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For the main course we had some noodles that actually my friend mixed and matched. We had the soup from the chicken one with the meat and toppings of the pork one… but the waiter seemed slightly put out so I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you visit. The soup really was excellent and he poured it fresh onto our noodles, so perhaps the chicken one would have been the best one.

Though I think the options would be limited for vegetarians, I would like to go back here again. I think this is neck and neck with Phoin in terms of taste, but the restaurant is far classier and the presentation is a lot nicer.

You can find VIPHO at Oeder weg 21 60318 Frankfurt

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