Tom and Linda’s 2008 Europe Trip

Frankfurt, Germany and the Night Train to Vienna

Leaving Bacharach

Packed in the morning, had our German breakfast with Irmgaard, and walked back to the little Bacharach train station to catch the little local train that stops at all the little towns along the Rhine.

Amazing that these are all electric trains - what we'd call cable cars. Quite a network!

The tracks are mostly right on the river bank, so the scenery is quite nice. We were headed for Mainz.

Frankfurt Express

In Mainz we found an express train to Frankfurt and made our reservations for the night train from there to Vienna.

The train from Mainz to Frankfurt was very nice and very fast.

DB is for Deutsche Bahn, which just means German Rail.


We got to Frankfurt much earlier than we needed to and had quite a bit of time to kill. After our experience in downtown Brussels, we decided to ask for advice. We stopped by the TI at the Hauptbahnhof and picked up a walking tour of Frankfurt and a map.

First we walked to the river Main.


In a large square we found a guy busking with a hammer dulcimer in front of these beautiful half-timber buildings, reminiscent of Bruges.

Roman Ruins

In the middle of town, while excavating for a new building just a few years ago, ruins of Roman buildings were found. Plans were changed, and the ruins are now a little subterranean park.

Selling Sex

On the main road back to the train station we found lots of upscale sex shops.

Street Food

There was also a street fair going on. We bought a few things to eat on the train.

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof

But everything pretty much closed down around 19:00. There were a few places in the train station mall that were open late. We found a bookstore, where I bought Terry Pratchett’s “Thief of Time” in English paperback for €12!

All we could do was hang around for a couple hours and wait for the train – not good planning.

We had decided to spring for the 2-berth cabin for the sake of privacy and a convenient toilet in the middle of the night. It was a bit expensive, but I'm glad we did.

Breakfast On Board

The cabin was quite nice – up a little half-flight of stairs with two berths, a little table and chairs, closet, toilet, sink and shower!

I think the two cabins below us were couchettes that shared a toilet and shower at the end of the car.In the middle of the night, it was nice to have the bath ensuite.

The attendant took our passports and passes, in case they were needed for any crossings in the night, and offered us wine, which Tom accepted.

Water and OJ were out on the table waiting for us. We ate our street-fair food and talked for a while before climbing into bed.

Neither of us slept well – too much noise and movement. I think we were dropped in some station for an hour or so, then picked up by another train.

Breakfast was included – continental, but not bad, served at the time we requested by the attendant from the bottom of the stairs. We had plenty of time to shower and dress and pack (glad our bags were small!) before reaching Vienna.


1 Beginning 5 Paris 9 Frankfurt and the Night Train 13 Bavaria and Tirol
2 London to Edinburgh 6 Bruges 10 Vienna 14 Motorcycles in the Alps
3 The Fringe 7 Amsterdam 11 Hallstatt and the Salzkammergut 15 Switzerland near Interlaken
4 Scotland and Wales 8 Bacharach in the Rhine Valley 12 Salzburg 16 Home again

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