Monday, June 01, 2009

The Dusseldorf Diaries: Day 2: Tuesday 5 May 2009

Grey skies and light rain, but it couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm at the beginning of our first full day in Dusseldorf. Thankfully there was more clarity today and I was able to work out how the U-Bahn worked - or more precisely the ticket machine - and we were off to Konigsallee. Talk about ‘conspicuous consumption’ - I’ve never seen a city which flaunted its wealth so much!! We took the opportunity to ‘smell the money’ on our way through Sevens shopping mall as we headed to Saturn, the record shop-meets-electronic-gadget-paradise on the top floor. As mega-record-shops go, Saturn is a very wonderful place, as it’s filled with screens where you can listen to any track from any album stocked in this massive store. My two purchases today were "Stadtaffe" by Peter Fox (one of the biggest albums in Germany over recent months) and the latest instalment of "The Dome" which is like a German version of the "Now" compilation CDs. Faithful travelling companion bought the latest CD by Annett Louisan, whom he discovered on a previous trip to Germany.

Konigsallee doesn’t only have some big posh department/designer stores, it’s tree-lined with a little canal running through could be Paris. The wealth-flaunting became a bit oppressive after a while, though, so it was back down to the more comfortable surroundings of the Altstadt and the area around it, where we felt more at home.

There is some lovely architecture in this city, and the building above was one of my particular favourites. It's probably a famous building, I don't know, but I just loved the bells.

As the day progressed, the rain became relentless, although not too heavy, but you have to admit that it’s no fun walking around in the rain after a while, especially when you don’t have the appropriate clothing. My cord jacket wasn’t the best thing to wear on a rainy day :(

A tried and trusted old favourite for lunch: Maredo on Bolker Strasse (pictured above). Maredo is a German restaurant chain specialising in South American cuisine. Cologne, Berlin and now Dusseldorf - we can’t get enough of the Maredo! Chicken Fuego is fab.

After lunch we headed down to the riverside, to see the Rhine in daylight (pictured above). Grey, rainy daylight, but daylight nonetheless....

More exploring, then a trip to a cafe and back to the hotel to dry off! Lots and lots of German TV channels to choose from on our hotel telly. Thankfully they also had MTV and Viva, the latter is a particular favourite of mine when I’m in Germany.

Night-time in Dusseldorf means....the Altstadt :D yes there’s a theme developing already...there’s a little offshoot of Bolker Strasse (I can’t remember the street name) which has a row of Spanish restaurants although these are out-of-bounds as very meaty/fishy. Berger Strasse provides a good selection of restaurants and we dined at one of them tonight and had a lovely meal.

What about the rain, I hear you ask? It got heavier. The one thing I wanted right now was....a waterproof jacket! Otherwise we are enjoying this holiday, and it’s Alt time once again ...
at Zum Schlussel, one of the best known brauhauses on Bolker Strasse...
and we had a nice time in this big old bar which provided an enjoyable (and rain-free) end to our day.

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