On my recent duck trip, I spent about 24 hours in Frankfurt, well Mainz to be precise. But I have to confess, I mostly just slept. Sometimes we need to catch up on our ZZZs…
My 24-Hour Layover In Frankfurt: Home Sweet Mainz
After arriving in Frankfurt, I walked over to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal…we know how well that went. From there, I walked back to the airport train station, where I had to wait about 45 minutes for a train to Mainz (due to a rail strike). It wasn’t wasted time, though, as the station now has complimentary wi-fi and it proved quite productive.
Most Deutsche Bahn longhaul and regional trains now have internet as well, so the 25 minute journey on the train was also productive.
It was such a beautiful morning in Mainz, but despite sleeping for a few hours on the flight, I was pretty exhausted.
The day before, I had not only made a reservation at the Hyatt Mainz, my mainstay hotel in Germany, but also reserved a time in both the gym and sauna. Usually a strenuous workout works wonders against jet lag, but after my workout and sauna treatment I was so tried I just went to sleep.
That’s absolutely deadly if you are trying to acclimate to the time – never do that or you will find yourself wide awake in the middle of night and be beset with jet lag for days. But since I was going back the next day and had an 11-hour flight ahead of me, it didn’ really matter.
I slept for six hours and awoke still feeling tried, but I dragged myself out of bed. The Regency Club was still closed (though I believe it has just re-opened), but the hotel was still offering World of Hyatt Globalist members a happy hour in the hotel bar. I proceeded downstairs and enjoyed some canapés (mozzarella, prosciutto) and a couple glasses of a fabulous German rosé wine.
I also enjoyed a cappuccino, which was fabulous—it was my first time in all my years of staying at this property that I had one from the “proper” coffee machine in the bar (versus the automatic machines in the lounge or restaurant). Going forward, I will be requesting all coffee comes from this machine.
Returning to my room, I worked for a few hours and suddenly noticed it was pushing 10:30pm…where did the day go? I darted downstairs, thought the Malakoff Passage (a little mall adjacent to the hotel), across the street, and into the Alt Stadt (old town). Not trip to Mainz is complete without visiting Da Vito.
I feel so at home in Mainz and I was warmly welcomed by name at Da Vito by two of the waiters who have taken care of me for years. I enjoyed a delicious dinner of stuffed cappelletti and lamb chops, followed by Spaghettieis.
Mr. Vito, the owner of Da Vito, came by the table and greeted me, then invited me over to his table for a glass of wine. We ended up chatting for an hour on the terrace. Our conversation caught us up on our families, talked about corona and vaccines, and was such a pleasure. I’m incredibly grateful to enjoy breakfast with my wife and children one day in the sweltering heat of Los Angeles in early September then find myself in Mainz on a crisp evening sharing another conversation in a different language. This is the joy of travel.
Back at the hotel, I found a note had been placed in my room—
I ended up working till about 4:40am, then walked to the train station where every other train was supposedly operating despite the strike. However, when I reached the station I saw that all service was cancelled. Consequently, I ordered an Uber and spent 48EUR (versus a 5EUR train ticket) to return the airport…I hate doing that.
I chuckled that at the entrance to the Mainz Römischer Theatre train station is a discotechque that was going at full force at 5:00am. The whole station was vibrating from the loud music. I’m not into night clubs, but I was so pleased to see people back in night clubs after so many months of lockdown.
My Uber driver was from Somalia and quite friendly. We chatted and he invited me to visit Mogadishu, a city he called the most beautiful in the world…
The journey to the airport takes about a half hour and I arrived at 5:40am, 10 minutes after the First Class Terminal opened. I’d spent the next few hours in the Terminal before my flight to Los Angeles.
Despite the midday nap that really messed up my body clock, I treasure short trips like this and renewing old friendships at restaurants like Da Vito. Next time I may visit friends in Frankfurt, but this was a relaxing respite in Mainz, one of my favorite cities in the world.