Leo’s travel journal

Leo’s travel journal and other juicy bits…

Miserable Frankfurt…

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Good food!

Hello all! This post is written at 37,000ft in the air, I’m enroute from Frankfurt to Zurich… It’s been an exhausting 3 days and my body’s beginning to feel the toll of all the flying, train ride lugging 22kg worth of luggage.

As I said, it’s been hectic (in terms of work and play). Yesterday, 3rd October 2006 was reunification day of East and West Germany. It was a public holiday so all businesses were closed (besides Burger King and McDonalds of course).

Took a Rhine river tour from Cologne to Mainz but the weather wasn’t so kind to me. It was raining throughout the trip and wind chills of about 10 degrees celcius.

Rhine river tour
Nevertheless, I did not let the weather spoil my trip and took some photos of really nice castles along the river. The Rhine is a major waterway connecting landlocked Switzerland, Germany and Netherlands. It starts from the Swiss Alps, flows through Germany and meets the sea in Rotterdam, hence the presence of shippers throughout the tour.

The tour ended with a wine-tasting session of Rhine region’s famous wines. The Rhine region, is particularly famous for the Eisweine, a sweet dessert white wine from Riesling variety of grapes. Here’s a brief explanation on how it is produced.

1. The grapes are left to ripen on the vine until the first frost comes (typically end of October / early November).
2. Grapes are picked by hand early morning in frigid temperatures of -7 degrees celcius. The water in the grapes have frozen into ice crystals and remains frozen in these temperatures.
3. Still frozen, these grapes are pressed in controlled temperatures of at least -7 degrees celcius, yielding the sweetest nectar / grape concentrate whilst leaving the water content.
4. It is then processed as per normal wine making fermentation, etc.

It takes 80 times more grapes to yield a bottle of Eisweine then normal wines, hence the expensive price. Other ice wine producing countries include Canada and selected parts of France.

The bouquet of a typical ice wine is that of lychees and tropical fruits. It leaves a lingering palate of honey sweetness and fragrance unsurpassed by any other wines. Very good with sour-ish fruit-based desserts!

The river Maine
Frankfurt is a financial city with over 160 banks and financial institutions set up here. But as with all other European cities, buildings are almost low-rise and it is a refreshing change from the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur.

The old part of Frankfurt…
There was also a book fair that started today, but contrary to my impressions of a big-ass book exhibition, I found out that it is a trade-only show. Publishers meet to secure rights to publish volumes in their own country. Oh well, so much for assumptions!

Isn’t she cute?

Frankfurt 1 – 4 October 2006

Oct 3, 2006 – 50 Photos

The full Frankfurt album

Zurich awaits in the land of Swiss knifes, watches and of course, chocolates! More updates soon! Cheers from Zurich skies!

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Written by Leo

5 October 2006 at 14:10

Posted in Travel

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