7.9.95 (Thu)

I am now in my room in Frankfurt. It is 7:40 pm.

Somehow I don’t really feel like writing these days. Maybe it is because I am reading an interesting novel and I want to keep on reading it whenever possible.

I arrived in Frankfurt before 2 pm yesterday. Before that, I took a train from Duisburg, which had arrived 30 minutes late. I shared a compartment with a tall middle-aged German. He was married (he wore a ring), unfortunately, and commonly good-looking, just like many other Germans. It was embarrassing to be in a compartment with a stranger for as long as three hours. I was stupid not to move to another compartment. The speechless air was heavy. The man got off at Koblenz and said goodbye to me. I murmured something in reply. I was relieved when he was gone.

The hotel I am in is called "Luxor". I had booked this room from Hong Kong at a price of HKD 620 per night. Here the price is DM 300 per night, i.e. over HKD 1,500. The difference is quite unimaginable. This is not a bad hotel, quite adequately equipped.

Yesterday was an exhausting day. After checking in the hotel, I went out to walk around the place. There was not much to see, just some old buildings around Romerberg. They were well restored but looked rather artificial. While I was reading my map with some difficulty on the street, a German woman offered to help. That was nice, though not necessary.

I think it is quite an achievement that I have made a reservation of the Europabus, sorted out the train timetable and made a hotel reservation at Rothenburg all by myself. Things have got quite difficult because I know nothing about German, not a word. And the information I have is unclear/insufficient. For instance, the guidebook says the Europabus office is on the right of the station, so did the tourist office. But I just could not find it. At last, after a laborious search, I found that it was on the very far end of the right side of the railway station.

I fell asleep very quickly last night. My tiredness was completely out of control. When I woke up, it was already 4 am and I had not applied the ointment to the eyes before sleeping.

The breakfast of this hotel was a buffet. Not bad. But unluckily, I did not and will not have much time to enjoy it during my stay.

I visited Heidelberg today. It was a beautiful city. Green on the surrounding hills, colourful along the streets. Clean and peaceful. The weather was agreeable with light stroking wind.

I walked around the town and got up to the castle. I crossed the Neckar river on the Alte Brucke. Then I made a very unwise decision to go to the Philosophenweg. I had to climb a very steep, narrow, long cobble-stone staircase/slope to the place only to find that it was just a trail uphill along the river. Sure the view of the old city was nice but I had not expected such an exhausting walk.

I was not sure what S-Bahn was. I thought that it was the tram. But now I know that S-Bahn are just slower or light trains that run local networks. With Eurail Pass I can take these S-Bahn free of charge. But before I found out this, I had taken the tram in Heidelberg without paying the fee. I had suspected that it was wrong but decided to take the risk simply because I was too tired to go on walking.

I then went to Mainz, mainly to inspect the route I have to take tomorrow to go from the Mainz Sud Station to the KD ferry pier. It started to rain when I arrived in Mainz and it lasted all the way through. Mainz was a small place. I took a picture of a beautiful red-brick building. But I don’t know what exactly it is because its name on the map is in German.

I am going to take the boat trip from Mainz to Koblenz tomorrow. I hope that the weather will be fine and that my eyes have recovered by then.

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