Our New Year didn't really improve the next morning when I finally found a staff member at the hotel and discovered that there was no breakfast being offered because it was New Year's Day. The German's take these public holidays seriously, nothing was open in the old town as we headed to the station. Nothing was open at the station either, but at least the trains were still running to schedule. We breakfasted on choc-chip cookies and sugar-coated nuts purchased from a vending machine.
This was the last day of our Eurail pass and involved three trains to get to Dusseldorf. Our hotel was close to the station and was easy to find. It's also good value, only 20 euro more for two nights here compared to one night at Rothenberg and it included breakfast!
We have hosted three students from Dusseldorf over the years, in 2016 it was Jule. We went to her house for dinner. It was good to see Jule and meet her mother Heike. They both have more than adequate English and we had a pleasant meal (lovely to have some home-cooking for a change) and chat. We arranged to meet Jule again the next day for her to show us some of the sights of Dusseldorf.
In the morning we walked to the Altstadt (old town) and looked in a couple of shops before meeting Jule. We went first to K20 - the 20th century art gallery. The special Paul Klee exhibition was interesting. Klee was a professor at the Dusseldorf Art Academy in the early 1930’s until he was removed by the Nazis/National Socialists. In 1960, as an act of atonement for this, the state of Westphalia North Rhine purchased 88 works by Klee. This collection travelled the world from 1966 until the mid 70’s - first to Israel in 1966, it was in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in 1974. The special exhibition was of the works but also included some photographs and information about the travelling exhibition.
From there we walked to the Rheim Turm (Rhine Tower) and went to the top. Good views over the city as expected. Yesterday and today were the first time we’ve seen any sun for a while so it’s ironic how annoying the sun was when trying to view to the south! Saw the interesting shaped Frank Gehry buildings that I’ve seen in photographs.
Back into the old town for some lunch, finally a good coffee. Then we caught the Ubahn out to Kaiserswerth, a suburb to the north, also on the Rhine where there is a ruined castle. Unfortunately locked up for the winter but it was a pleasant place for a walk along the river and we stopped for cake in a cafe. It was very nice to spend time with Jule. We caught the train (more like a light rail/tram) back to the Hauptbahnhof (main station) and said our goodbyes to Jule.
A couple of hours of quiet time then we walked back to the Aldstat to meet Moya (who we hosted this year and who Giselle stayed with) for dinner. It was nice to see her, she was much the same as when she was visiting. On the way back we went into a supermarket and got rid of some euros by buying some chocolate!
This post takes me to the end of our time in Germany and Switzerland so I thought I'd finish up with a few things I've learnt along the way (in no particular order):
What's happening here?
I'm off on an adventure to Europe, on my own for 12 days and the remaining 3 weeks with my 17 year old daughter. This is where I'm going to share my adventures.
On the map
See a bird's eye view of the trip on Tourbuilder
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