As much as I enjoy travelling through Germany, Frankfurt was never a destination of preference. To be honest, it wasn't a destination at all. Circumstances brought my cousin Juliana to this city, and circumstances made me get a ticket and fly to the Mecca of finance, the city of business: Frankfurt am Main. The good thing about not having any expectations of a city is that you won't be disappointed once you get there. Besides, after having experienced Berlin – known for its sexy ugliness – I knew that Frankfurt would only be one pleasant surprise after the next. And indeed it was.
Frankfurt is home of the European Central Bank, it is home base for one of the largest stock exchanges on the planet and has one of the biggest airports in Europe. Nothing that would actually make me want to go there, yet what makes this city surreal and worthy of a visit, is its paradoxical chain of events that are changing its landscape: for the creation of such a 'business hub', a counter reaction to this culture of consumerism and capitalism has been taking off in the past years. Be it in form of leftists movements, organic and locally produced food habits and cultural, arty and intellectual activities. There's something in the air of Frankfurt am Main and that something – beyond the cash, the banks and the financial district – is slowly but surely changing the soul of this city.
So instead of strolling down 'money-making straße', Jules took me to small shopping streets, green spots and cosy local restaurants where I was able to soak up a bit of the less fancy but much more fascinating Germany. The Germany with the old typography in its signs, with shops that seem as if they had never left the 80's and cafés that, in their passion and simplicity, will take you, as it were, to the land of coffee makers.