They refer to a section of Düsseldorf as the longest bar in the world with more then 300 connected bars. It also boasts very handsome architecture. I arrived on a grey, cool day sometime at the end of October. The Rhine river flowed surprisingly quickly through the city. Some of the mid-rise stone buildings are a clear indication of wealth and power like any other established European city. Skyscrapers don’t dominate like in North America.
Getting lost after the train station happened somehow shortly after setting off for the Rhine. “I’ll easily make it back to my train in time for the evening departure,” I think, studying my ipad map. My camera and an architectural distraction is most likely at fault. Only using ipad screenshots of googlemaps rather then a proper map was also to blame.
“Wo ist das?” I think. The Rhine should have appeared off the the distance but there are just winding roads with buildings. After backtracking and reorienting myself it’s time to settle in for a filterkaffee and brötchen at a local bäcker.
The bakeries here are different owned companies then Cologne or Hamburg, unlike the big box chains in North America that cover very wide regions or the whole country. Ordering in Deutsch was pretty straightforward on my third week in Germany. You can always point, say “Das. Danke,” giving euros if you run into problems.
A bookstore in the middle of the busy shopping district city centre intrigues me inside. Staring at the magazine racks, I just want them all. I’m a moth to a flame when it comes to foreign magazines. Of course I’ll not be carting zwei hundert euros worth of Deutsch magazines in my daypack. I’ll just flip through them to check out what the Germans are doing, and wearing and eating. Magazines are like a preserved piece of pop culture. A snippet of time and culture.
Next time, the Frank Ghery building at the other end of the city would be a definite stop for some architecture photography. He also designed the Mueso Guggenheim in Bilbao.
Rather then hecticly rush around this time, I opted for a more leisurely appreciative pace. After an old area of town with many breweries and bars, I wander North along the Rhine and back through an old park in the city.
Character and design fades into function and reality in the neighbourhood around the train station as I wrap up my day trip. The efficient Deutsche Bahn then brings me in a timely fashion back to Cologne.