3.20pm 06/29/12 Onboard flight from SFO to FRA: Frankfurt “Fraport” Airport
Shaky landing at Fraport in 15 minutes. Outside the window I can see patches of farmland embedded with clusters of redroofed houses; lots of slim highways snaking across and splitting the flat green land. This was my first ever take on Germany, or as my brother likes to growl menacingly, “Deutscheland!” As the first stretch of continental Europe I have ever set eyes on (minus the UK in 2005), it was somewhat antidramatic. But then again, what was I expecting? A giant Würstl accompanied by Weißbeer in bright neon lights? That would be like having a billboard-sized Siu Mai greet passengers as they land in Hong Kong.
…which, would actually be pretty awesome.
So before my imagination takes over and you facepalm in disbelief (‘why the hell am I reading this?’) let me continue. In fact I’ve barely started! Flying over a canal flanked by more neat rows of red/white houses, my excitement was slightly quashed by my impending realization that, darn it, I knew next to nothing in German. Down below, each district forms its own distinct cluster, like an island of buildings among a sea of trees. It’s definitely a very different city as well as regional planning compared to the Bay Area. Ooh even the trains are red. Gotta find out why everything is painted red. Holy crap that’s one dense traffic jam on the highway. OK landing!!! Wow this airport is huge (later I found out that in 2011 it ranked as the busiest airport in Germany and 9th busiest in the world!). Looks like there are 3+ runways (later confirmed to be 4).
Bam, seamless contact with the ground. 3:50pm and we’re taxiing.