Hours later my train rolled into Frankfurt Railway Station. The high arched ceiling and impressive stone columns and facade spoke immediately of a grandeur that was far more in keeping with my expectations of European architecture than my disappointing surrounds in Hannover. I was met by my saviour, the lady who had found my new host family. I spent the night at her home before meeting my new hosts the next day.
My experiences in Hannover and Frankfurt were truly like chalk and cheese. In Frankfurt I was embraced by a most loving family. They were in fact of noble blood and their actions and mien mirrored the dutiful, admirable, ethical and virtuous qualities one associates with true nobility. I was taken into their family and treated as one of their own. The environment provided the perfect balance of discipline and freedom that allowed me to fully seize the many opportunities that this year away presented. They encouraged me to travel, to study, to take music lessons, to make friends independently, to experience the German culture to its fullest extent. And gone were the days of my basketed, undersized girl’s bike! In Frankfurt I walked down cobblestone laneways to catch a heated train, the route of which meandered through rolling hills, as I sat warm and enchanted by interchanging vistas of the town castle, or fields of pristine wildflowers, or delightful woodlands with the occasional deer springing forth from the verdant undergrowth. Grace rained down upon me as if some cosmic alignment had generated an inconceivable force of good fortune. Hooray!