Earlier this month AERA members and selected colleagues were invited to the German city of Frankfurt on a Fam Trip kindly sponsored by Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn and Frankfurt Tourism. This trip gave us the opportunity to experience the highest standard of rail transport available in Europe, learn about one of Germany’s most culturally important cities, and of course, celebrate an early Christmas and New Year.


Our journey started early on the 26th of November at St. Pancras International Station in Central London, where existing members congregated and made full use of the Business Premier facilities before the first journey of the day. As always, the Eurostar was punctual and immaculate, making for an incredibly smooth and relaxing journey through the channel tunnel. 


Following a quick transfer in Brussels Gare du Midi, we caught our connecting ICE train to Frankfurt. Again, the service aboard the train was first class, and we were looked after extremely well all the way to our final destination. We then checked into the wonderful Hyatt Place at Frankfurt Flughafen, where we were able to look at the facilities, learn about how expansion plans for the surrounding area and pick up gift bags from both Hyatt Place and Frankfurt Tourism. 


That evening, we ventured into Frankfurt City Centre, where we were treated to a guided tour of the city from a local with extensive knowledge of not only the city’s rich past (far beyond its post-WW2 rebuild) but also the exciting plans in place for its future.


We were able to explore the modern financial district, stroll the banks of the Main and marvel at the Iron Bridge before we stopped for food at the Christkindelmarkt (Christmas Market). Here, we filled up on Flammkuchen, Glühwein and eggnog before making our way back to Hyatt Place for a good night’s sleep before travelling back the following day.


The next morning, we were fortunate enough to get a few hours to further explore Frankfurt either solo or with the rest of the group, spending additional time in the places we were shown on the tour the previous evening or shopping for gifts at Christkindelmarkt.


The group arrived back in London around 22:00, where we said our goodbyes and departed for our connecting trains or overnight accommodation. 


Once again, a huge thank you to Enrico Soresini from International Rail, Ulrich Teitz from Deutsche Bahn, Aurélie Riaud from Eurostar and the staff at Frankfurt Tourism for making the trip possible. To all other attendees, thank you for accompanying us on such a fantastic trip! Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and hope to see you all in 2020.


Scott Batchelor