We rolled into Frankfurt at 3pm with about 70km under our belts and no accommodation organised. It is a massive city, it would be great to stay a few days and sightsee, surely we would have a plethora of hotels to choose from, right?Wrong.
There was an Expo in town for the next four days and all the hotels, hostels and BnBs were booked out or had the prices through the roof. We cycled around to a few hotels trying our luck with no success. Even a shabby 1 star hotel was €140/$190AU for the night with nothing included and no secure place for the bikes. That’s a week’s worth of camping fees. Boo! Groaning, we got back on the bikes to the nearest campsite which was 7km away. But it was the best decision ever!
The campsite, Campingplatz Mainkur, was pretty, well-maintained and had a lush bathroom/kitchen/dining setup. We had a great view of the river Main and what has been the trend, we were the only tent onsite. We’re a little early for the camping season (by about two months!) but motorhomes are very popular almost all year round. Most of the campsites we’ve stayed at don’t have wifi, so every few days we have to drop into a McDonalds or such to use their free (and fast) wifi to catch up on emails, blog stuff and to research our next steps and accommodation. How glamorous! So now you know :). The €1 menu helps us not spend a lot there but still be polite.
As the campsite had a dryer as well we spent the next day as a proper Wash Day, our first one in over a month. It sounds gross but the weather has been so cold there isn’t a lot of sweating and also we had been doing shower/sink washing where we could. Clean clothes – amazing! We also squeezed a trip into town to arrange train tickets.
Looking at the map and calculating the time we had left on our Schengen Visa we decided to take an overnight train to Prague, Czech Republic. Public transport websites can be really confusing especially when you’re not familiar with the system. The website Seat61 helped a lot with our train planning from Frankfurt to Prague. Seat61 is a train travel website set up by Mark Smith and is a wealth of information in an easy layout. From this we knew what ask for and how much it would cost before going to the station.
We spent a very leisurely morning packing up as our train wasn’t until 1am. Riding into town we could have visited some of Frankfurt’s amazing museums, or historic main square or zoological gardens.
But taking one look at the green boulevards stretching along the banks of the Main and seeing everyone sprawling on the grass, picnicking and snoozing, we decided to join them. And we spent a good few hours in the sun doing just that.
The train station was surprisingly busy due to the nightclub next door and we spent the last few hours at the station’s McDonalds (!) until 20 minutes before the train arrived. We took the bikes up the escalator, there were no lifts and we couldn’t be bothered to take the bags off and on again for the stairs.
We shoved the bikes onto the train’s bike carriage and carried all the bags down two carriages into our 6-bed bunk, three beds a side with four already occupied. Squeezing our bags behind the bunk ladder and ourselves into each middle bunk we fell asleep in the pitch dark.
Camping fees: €19.50
Camping fees: €19.50
Shower tokens: €2
Train tickets to Prague (Sleeper Carriage): €160