Incidents of Travel Past

Simply because I want to, I am going to start a series of posts that I am calling “Incidents of Travel Past.” In these posts I will write about funny things that have happened to me while I have been travelling in the past.

I can start with the Frankfurt Cathedral in 2011. In the winter of 2011 the Executive Committee of the University of Delaware student investment club, the Blue Hen Investment Club, went to Europe over winter session to visit European financial institutions. Greg, Vinny, and I were in Frankfurt to visit the stock exchange and the European Central Bank.

One night we planned a dinner and a night out in a popular part of town. But beforehand we decided to visit the grounds of the cathedral and the surrounding area. We were walking around admiring the architecture, but what we really wanted to do was climb the bell tower. Greg and I had studied abroad in Ecuador we we had scaled the precarious bell tower of the basilica in Quito.

Greg is second from the left. I am kneeling down in front on the right.

Circa 2009. Greg is second from the left. I am kneeling down in front on the right.

Unfortunately, it was already past dark and the Cathedral was closed. The only other person walking around the Cathedral was an older man walking his little white three legged dog. He said something to us in German (most Germans usually assumed that we were German). When we told him that we didn’t speak German he got animated.

“Americans?”

Yes, we told him, we were in fact Americans. His English wasn’t great though.

“You want to go up?” he asked, suggesting the bell tower.

“Yes we do, but it is closed.”

He pressed on with the idea of going up. “Yes, you do want to go up?”

“Yes,” we told him again. “We will come back tomorrow when it is open.”

He reached into his pocket, pulled out a small key, and grinned. “No, you can go up.”

Turns out the older man walking the little white three legged down was the groundskeeper for the Cathedral. He opened the exterior door to the bell tower for us and let us walk up to the top in the pitch black. He just asked us to close the door when we got back down. I don’t have any good pictures from that night since it was pitch black, but I do have a shot of the tower from when we went up an observation tower later in the week.

IMG_7490

Isn’t Germany so photogenic in the winter?

When we got back down he was gone. But we really appreciate what he did for us.

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