we arrived in frankfurt at about 11pm on thursday night, after collecting our luggage we caught a taxi to our friends carl and dorathea – they live in a beautiful rural village called schöneck, about 30km north east of frankfurt. schöneck is close to the river main which connects to the river rhine. it is very peaceful, i think there are about 3000 people in this village and it is surrounded by farmland and forest.
carl & dorathea’s house was originally a large farmhouse and barns on a large farm at the village, the house is 250 years old and made in the traditional style of the region. it has a cellar where all the fresh vegetables and beer and wine is kept – and despite the constant days of around 40ºC, it is very cool, maybe 8 or 10º. The main house has 3 levels where carl & dorathea live and there is an outbuilding that carl has converted into his yidaki studio where we are sleeping, it is 2 story. the garden is very green and shady so we can spend even the hot days outside and the construction of thick walls made from clay reinforced with woven sticks is very good insulation so the houses stay cool inside.
they have been incredibly hospitable and accommodating, driving us all round the local area to explore the sights. we visited a lake called, “alzenau see” (alzenua is a town and see is german for lake) which was a welcome relief in the stifling heat and we enjoyed an afternoon of swimming. they then drove us to the village of seligenstadt – we had to cross the river main by car ferry to reach it – we had a coffee and ice cream at a cafe there and then explored some lovely gardens filled with herbs that are an attraction in the village.
yesterday we visited the local city of hanau, the birthplace and home of the grimm brothers, and explored the local produce market buying some lovely fresh fruit and vegies, later in the day we visited a sort of bio dynamic farm and ‘supermarket’ where they grow a lot of organic vegetables and have cows they milk and pigs and so on.
it is a unique experience to be able to say in a rural village and see how ordinary people live day to day in germany and have absolutely no tourists in site! i think we are very lucky to be able to this and although we only have a week before we need to be in zurich, i think its going to be a very memorable experience.
we having lots of fun exploring the local german cuisine also – accompanied by bavarian beers and local wines! its certainly a foodie paradise with lots of interesting meats products, cheeses, breads, cakes and so on. dorathea is also a very good cook so between the two of us we are keeping everyone fat and full.