The D&O Diary was on travel in Europe this past week, with an extended sojourn in Germany. It was delightful to be back in Germany after the long pandemic-caused travel interlude. The pleasure of the journey was substantially enhanced by the absolutely terrific weather we enjoyed during our visit.
The primary purpose of the first leg of the trip was to participate in a conference in Frankfurt sponsored by the DRRT law firm. I have participated in prior versions of this event in past years, but this was the first live event in Frankfurt since 2019. This year’s version of the conference was, as always, well-organized and well-attended. It was great seeing many old friends and making some new friends as well. I think everyone was happy just to be getting together again. I would like to thank Alexander Reus and his DRRT colleagues for inviting me to be a part of this event. It was a great honor and pleasure to participate again.
The weather in Frankfurt was just about perfect while we were there – blue skies and daily high temps in the mid-70s. Throughout the city, the flowering plants were in bloom. It was a particular treat to visit the city’s very fine botanical gardens, called the Palmengarten. I have been to the gardens before, but only in early spring; I did not expect the sheer floral profusion of the many blossoming trees.
Based on my prior visits to Frankfurt, I have come to enjoy and to appreciate the city. However, in my prior visits, I have always found that the city is a little bit, well, dull. On this trip, we did have the good fortune to explore the Sachsenhausen neighborhood on the South side of the city. Though it is just a few U-Bahn stops from the center city, Sachsenhausen feels worlds away. It is pleasantly quiet and calm, and full of small, family-run restaurants featuring German specialties and the locally famous apfelwein. My advice for anyone planning a trip to Frankfurt, particularly in the warmer months, is to plan to spend some time in Sachsenhausen.
We also had a little time to tour Frankfurt itself and to visit some sites I had not seen on my prior visits.
From Frankfurt, we travelled by train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a well-preserved walled city in historical Franconia. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Rothenburg was a prosperous town, but its population was nearly wiped out in the Thirty Years War, and it never really recovered. The city became something of a backwater, which probably helped the city avoid damage during WWII. It is now a beautiful, almost absurdly picturesque jewel of a place.
Here’s a video of the view from the Castle Gardens in Rothenberg, looking back toward the walled city. Turn up the volume and listen to the birdsong. It was such a beautiful day on the day of our visit there.
We would gladly have stayed longer in Rothenburg, but we had other places to go. Our Germany travels continued on from there, as I hope to report in a post in a few days’ time.