Going to be a short one today as it was mostly uneventful travel.
Today was all about farewelling Hamburg and travelling to Dusseldorf. I’m not really sure what to expect in Dusseldorf itself, I’m mainly using it as a base to see things in Wuppertal and Bonn but will happily see what I can find on the tour bus tomorrow. Old town is supposed to be quite pleasant (but what old town hasn’t on this trip?) so that could be a good shout.
I have to mention that if you are coming to Germany be prepared to say “Sorry, I don’t have any change” either in English or German a lot. There’s like, a bubble, in the vicinity of every main/central train station I’ve been at in Germany that brings out beggars. This morning while waiting for my intercity train I was approached seven times, three of those times by the same person. I had to escape to the overly packed platform due to a cancelled service to avoid further interactions.
The train ride to Dusseldorf was uneventful though. It was one of the older ICE models that are speed limited to 200kph and the train lines continue to be lined with trees or sound barriers to basically prevent you from seeing anything. The older models don’t have the same storage capacity for luggage as the newer ICE models so I had to awkwardly leave my case near the doorway, so that wasn’t great.
Anyway we arrived in Dusseldorf just after 3:30pm, a few minutes late but due to the cancelled service we left a few minutes late anyway. I knew the hotel was close but I didn’t realise it was actually IN the train station. I was thinking that Brussels would be the closest station to hotel distance, I was wrong.
But in typical fashion I was inside the bubble and my first experience of Dusseldorf was to get asked if I had any change. It really does spoil the first impressions of every single location I’ve been to that this is the first interaction I seem to keep having. Even when the hotel I’m trying to get to is inside the station. It’s a marked difference between genuinely homeless people (and there are unfortunately plenty of those around too) and beggars that have made leeching money off people an actually profitable hustle.
I dropped off my case and made the trek down to the riverfront. The Rhine at this point has flowed all the way from just west of Chur (though it really starts from the source of the Vorderrhien near Disentis or the Madrischer Rhine down near the Italian border), through Lichtenstein and the north of Switzerland (where I crossed it on my way into Germany), before defining part of the border between France and Southern Germany. It then passes through Bonn, Cologne and Dusseldorf on its way north and crosses into France to become the Waal river. It finally exits into the North Sea at The Hague in the Netherlands.
So that was basically it, I walked back to the hotel, found the nearest laundromat and completed the necessary housekeeping before finding some dinner and calling it a day.