Frankfurt International Airport
-Flughafen Frankfurt am Main and the volcano on Iceland!
Frankfurt's airport is the 3rd most busy in Europe, the 9th busiest in the world and one of the most modern ones.
So it felt strange to see the airport from the top of the Main Tower, with not a single plane in the sky because of the volcano on Iceland that made all European flights cancelled just hours after my plane landed in Frankfurt! When arriving with a Lufthansa Boeing 737 from Copenhagen early in the Thursday morning (7.30 AM) I was impressed by the size of the airport, and the heavy traffic I experienced when going by the bus that catched the passengers. Not only trucks, cars and buses where meeting the bus, sometimes big commercial airplanes crossed the road in the airport so the bus had to stop while driving to the other terminal! Little did I know that I wouldn't be able to take the flight home 4 days later, but had to take trains and a ferry (see the text below). The airport has 3 terminals totally and a new runway to be compatible with the new large Airbus A380. The airport is a city in itself with 35 cafés, restaurants, bars, 3 cinemas, a large shopping mall, about 110 additional stores, banks, post offices, pharmacies, a hospital, hotels, a hairdresser, a laundy, a dentist, a chapel and an own railway station located direclty beneath the airport. The airport is situated just south of the city, so it takes only about 15 minutes by train to the Main Railway Station (Hauptbahnhof). A sky train called Skyline is connecting the terminals with the city.
About the volcano:
The experience of Frankfurt was something really special as the volcano in Iceland closed most flight connections in Europe, just hours after I arrived in Frankfurt. Everywhere I went, to trains and in the hostel I stayed, I talked by people who all told the same story; that they were trapped and couldn't get home or had to take the train home because of the volcano. My plane was expected to leave on Sunday the 18th, but I had to take the train instead to Hamburg, made some sightseeing there, and then took the train to Rostock, where I could take the ferry to Sweden.
This and the following photos I took from the plane window after just landing in Frankfurt Airport.
A Boeing 737-500, similar to "my" plane.
The airport seen from the observation deck at Main Tower. Note that there are no planes approaching because of the volcano on Iceland!
It takes only 15 minutes to the city center from this underground railway station.