A day at the VGF Zentralwerkstatt in Frankfurt

Last Sunday was a day that I had been looking forward to for a long time.  I first discovered the “Zentralwerkstatt” – the central maintenance depot – in Frankfurt some years ago by chance.

I was curious as to where the lines went past the end of the last U-Bahn station, as they followed the road and suddenly disappeared behind a set of iron gates. Google Maps provided the answer – behind those gates lies the depot where the trams and the U-Bahn trains go in Frankfurt when they need servicing or repairing.  There is even a 800m long running track to test them on.

So when I read about an open day I grabbed the chance to visit the site and take a look around.

The end of the U5-50 train over a maintenance pit

The end of the U5-50 train over a maintenance pit

On what was one of the hottest days of the summer so far, the grounds had been turned into a mixture of trains and their components to see and a childrens’ playground with refreshments. [Read more…]

Service at McDonald’s

The local McDonald’s has put signs up recently saying that they are now open 24 hours every day.

Whilst this can be useful when we fly back from Madrid or Lanzarote in the middle of the night, it probaby won’t affect us much.

Or so I thought! Recently I’ve noticed that the staffing levels during the breakfast hours have gone down. The other day I ordered one item at the drive-thru and had to wait about 15 minutes for it – and those were 15 minutes that I didn’t have!

On another recent visit, none of the counters were staffed:


Not a sight you see very often!

No cheese please – we’re Glocken!

It had all the elements of the Monty Python “cheese shop” sketch – except that in this case, there was too much of the stuff!

My local baker’s has introduced a “Treue-Pass”, a card that you get stamped when you spend 3 Euros on, and this is important, “Backwaren”. With 8 stamps you get a free load of bread.

“Backwaren”, by the way, means “Bakery products”. Wikipedia defines it as “food that has been baked”.

Well, I spent 3 Euros there today, and didn’t get my stamp because… my roll had cheese baked over it. Also, the Käsestange (pretzel dough in an oval form with cheese backed over it) didn’t count – again, because of the cheese.

I asked why, and was told that this was not Backwaren, these were Snacks and did not count.

What does count? Anything else: rolls, bread, pastries – anything except drinks and snacks. And anything baked, but with cheese melted over it, is considered a snack and not Backwaren.

Not wishing to leave it at that, I rang the head office in Frankfurt. Herr Klein informed me, that I should have got my card stamped as all bakery products are included in the offer.

I went back to the bakers but there was no-one serving who had been there this morning.  Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow…

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