Confuzzledom

Just a place for me to gather my thoughts

The loveliness of Mainz

16 Comments

Mainz

Mainz Marktplatz

On Friday, I had to go to Mainz for a two-day seminar on the world of banks. I was worried that it would be boring, but the presenter did an excellent job of explaining things in an interesting and understandable manner. Always a bonus!

So, it turns out Google Map directions are crap! I took the train to Mainz Römisches Theater, which the seminar holder had said was the nearest train station, and followed a mixture of instructions from Google Maps and the website of the place to get into town. It was all fine to start with, but then Google Maps tried to make me go in a massive circle around the building to approach it from the other side while the website instructions simply said “walk straight down the street until you see the destination on the other side”. Needless to state, I went straight ahead. Silly Google…

After the first day’s seminar, I hung around for a bit with the others who were staying in Mainz and didn’t have plans so that we could arrange to meet up for dinner, then I headed off to find my hotel. The Google maps directions were fine up to a point, then they suddenly stopped making sense. I then bumped into another girl from the seminar who it turned out was looking for the same hotel. We compared maps and found that Google wanted both of us to “take the steps”… except there were no steps on that street! We eventually asked somebody, who said he’d never heard of that hotel or the street it was on, but the streets surrounding it were definitely on the other side of the train tracks. We were standing next to a bridge at the time, so we went under that then started comparing our maps to the street names again. At that point, a woman came up and asked whether we needed any help. She did know the hotel and was able to give us directions (basically follow this hill allll the way round until you get to a REWE. The hotel is next door). Lovely Mainz person number one :-)

We’d taken so long to get to the hotel that I only had time to quickly wash my face and renew my deodorant before heading back out. Part way down the hill I actually spotted some steps. As I was hesitating at the top wondering whether that was what Google had meant, a voice behind me asked whether I needed any help. I said I was just trying to get back to the cathedral area and was wondering whether these steps led anywhere useful. The guy replied that this was the shortcut and that he could tell me where to go. We then went down the stairs and I found myself ona platform at the Römisches Theater train station! So if those were indeed the stairs Google meant, it would probably have helped to be told to go through the station! Helpful Mainz guy then pointed out the ruins of the actual Römisches Theater (Roman Theatre) beside us… I had been wondering! I knew where I was now, so my “saviour” and I parted at the front of the station and I headed off on my way. Thanks to the shortcut, I ended up being early to meet the others and had some time to take photos of the old town. It was a gorgeous day, and the blue skies made the pretty buildings look even better!

I recognised these buildings from when I was in Mainz for the Christmas market If you look closely at the top right-hand corner, you can just about spot where the weird concrete/glass shopping area starts. Soooo not in keeping with its gorgeous old town surroundings!

Mainz

This is where we had the seminar. It’s a weird place, with many twists and turns. We had to go through the cafeteria to get to our seminar room, and finding the toilets was an adventure in itself!

Mainz

After we’d eaten, I headed back to my hotel. It was easy to find now I knew the way! I took the shortcut through the station again, and since it was still light I grabbed a few snaps of the old theatre. The next day, with some time to spare before my train left, I climbed the stairs again and took some photos from above. This is a combination of the photos from both days:

Back at the hotel, my first act was to fling open the window. Outside, things had actually cooled down for the first time in days (actually, as far as I know Mainz had been cooler in the evening all along…) but inside the room it was still hot. I lay on the bed savouring the breeze and following the BBC live stream of the Netherlands match (my TV appeared to be broken). Mainz is on the flight path for Frankfurt Airport so I also got to see some planes coming in.

Can you see it?

Can you see it?

After breakfast the next morning I checked out and headed off for day two of the seminar. We started earlier on Saturday, but were also finished earlier than planned, meaning I was able to get a train home at  5 p.m. instead of the 6:15 that I had originally planned! The seminar was interesting and this time Mainz had showed me its lovely side (the old town, of course, but especially the people – who I would literally have been lost without!).

Author: bevchen

No longer twenty-something, but still unmarried and unchildrened, English girl currently living in Germany. I work at a translation company and am slightly obsessed with books and travel. I also cross stitch.

16 thoughts on “The loveliness of Mainz

  1. Sounds like there are some really friendly people in Mainz!

  2. Mainz looks lovely. Perhaps the Google people need to get themselves there and check their instructions! :)

  3. Looks like a lovely place! Loving the old theatre ruins. Do you reckon Google maps power these sat navs because they often get it wrong! And the people of Mainz sound so helpful!

    • Haha, maybe. Although our sat nav is usually ok.

      Sadly, I think that is almost all the lovely, Round the corner from the market place is a really ugly concrete slab of a shopping area.

  4. I love when the local people redeem a trip! Sounds like you had a great time.

    Oh, and you’re very wise to ignore Google maps. They’re terrible outside of any major western city!

    • I’m giving Google the benefit of the doubt and hoping they would have got it right for driving directions at least (I used to walking directions option). Yes, it was good… although the one-day weekend now has me all confused.

  5. it looks lovely! germany has the most quaint and picturesque buildings!!

  6. Ohhh, Europe and its beautiful old buildings! And how nice that people were so helpful. I had a similar funny experience years ago in Bamberg. German friend and I were visiting, and having just picked up a map at tourist info, were standing on a street corner trying to figure out where to go. An incredibly nice man stopped, and not only told us how to get into the center of town, but also pointed out a church on the hill we should visit. It was great advice, as otherwise we probably would not have climbed up that hill and would have missed out on a seeing a pretty church with a rather unique painted ceiling. Plus, friend and I had *just* talked about the fact that Americans were generally friendlier and more helpful. Cool that this one German man was able to prove that Germans can also be that way!

  7. We didn’t get to Mainz during our time in the Rhine Valley last year but will have to return for a visit! So many great places left to visit in Germany.

  8. The Mainz Altstadt is lovely, but you’re right, the rest of it is pretty hideous – us Brits only have ourselves to blame for that though ;) Next time you’re there I’ll recommend a Mainzer Weinstube or two – and you should cross the river to see Wiesbaden! The people of Mainz are just absolutely brilliant – I think they compare quite well to Liverpudlians, really friendly and outgoing and very good at drinking, plus lots of middle-aged ladies with spiky, streaked hairdos :)

    • If it hadn’t been for a seminar I would have popped to Wiesbaden – I’ve never been! I was originally going to go back to Karlsruhe overnight – I only decided to get a hotel after checking the trains and realising I would have to leave at about 6 a.m. on the Saturday to arrive on time!

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