A cold day in Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
The train station in Dusseldorf city center.

Travelers' Proverbs

Better to have traveled and lost luggage, than never to have traveled at all.............................

A fool and his luggage are soon parted..........

Lose my luggage once, shame on you. Lose it twice, shame on me (for having checked it in the first place)..............

     Lest you think we were a bit miffed for having landed with only the clothes on our backs, I will have to say that it was actually quite the opposite.  Okay, maybe just that little bit of luggage separation anxiety in the beginning but we quickly saw the brighter side of the situation.  Once we told the baggage agent that we were continuing on to Frankfurt after "doing the Christmas market" in Dusseldorf for the day, he advised us that not only would they automatically forward our wayward bag to Frankfurt but also deliver it to our hotel.

I'll let all you German speakers translate this....I know it doesn't say....ein bier bitte !
  Well, this is music to the ears of an airline employee who normally is required to return to the airport and pick up their own bag if it ever comes in at all.  We congratulated ourselves on our triumph of not having to drag our bag through the streets of Dusseldorf as well as have it delivered safely to our hotel at no extra expense. 

     After a quick lesson  by a very friendly gentleman on how to use the ticket machine in the rail station at the airport, we were on our way to the main  rail station in Dusseldorf city center. It was about a 15 minute ride to the city center and the station was a virtual spider's web of boarding platforms, voies, or gleis (in whatever language you speak).

Putting on a brave face in the freezing temperatures.
  People were racing from one direction to another and would just as soon knock you down as look at you.  Kind of reminded me of driving the I-35 around Dallas, Texas.....you had to know where you were going before getting on it since you were not given any time to read any signs which might give you a clue where you needed to go.  The wave of humanity  gradually pushed us toward the ticket office where we were able to buy a couple of tickets for the afternoon train to Frankfurt.

     Our luck held as we escaped the  relative warmth of the underground station and stepped out into the frigid temperatures of a typical winter day in Deutschland.  By this time we had been awake nearly 24 hours and were falling prey to the haze of sleep that threatened to envelope us if we remained warm and comfortable.

Mark, the two fisted bratwurst eater......mmmmm good.
  The arctic blast guaranteed that our minds  remained clear and our eyes wide open.  Gone was the drowsy shuffle of feet, replaced by a quick step that would put any "race-walker" to shame.  The brisk wind continually whipped the woolen scarf from around my head and neck and made me wonder if this was a good idea after all.

     The Dusseldorf Christmas market was a plethora of "foreign" sights and smells.  It is not as large as the Frankfurt market (which we later discovered) but it held its own, stretching out over four squares and two long streets and trailing a little ways along the Rhein river that runs through the city.  In total, there were close to 250 decorated "huts" which ranged from the expected nostalgic, German gingerbread type enclosures to the tacky American "midway" style that you'd find at a State Fair in the U.

I've seen these before, but not this big !
S. of A.  You would almost expect to see a corndog on a stick except here it was the German version of bratwurst on a bun and much tastier too I might add.  There were actual craftsmen at this market who demonstrated their talents ranging from glassblowing, metal working to wood carving.  One of the special highlights was the lifesized, handcarved nativity scene  made from olive wood from the district of Bethlehem. Each year new pieces are added to the grouping. The Star of Bethlehem made its appearance at this year's market.  Another attraction  was an enormous 100 year old merry-go-round which had been restored to its former glory and not only attracted the eye of excited children but also their parents who wished they could throw caution to the wind and hop aboard.
The 100 year old merry-go-round in the old town square....oh, and Mark too.

     Hot mulled wine, or gluhwein and heise Schokolade, otherwise known as hot chocolate were enticing to the senses but we were pulled toward the bratwurst stand where "the best of the wurst" could be had for about two euros each.  Beware of the mustard though.  I discovered, too late, that this was the hot mustard for which Germany is famous. I ended up ditching the bun, which I had slathered with the evil condiment, and consumed  the weenie bare-handed.

     The early afternoon was looming and mindful of the time and firm in the knowledge that our aching joints and swollen feet would not stand the long walk back to the station, we tried our luck with the "U", Germany's version of the Underground, subway system, Metro or whatever you want to call it.

The weiner man...those dogs must be at least 18 inches long.
  It seems that we could take any one of 4 or 5 trains and still arrive at the station in minutes.  What didn't take minutes though was trying once again to figure out the ticket machines.  We finally admitted defeat and solicited the assistance of the "man in the booth" and were quickly sorted out and on our way.  One can easily appreciate the simpler things in life like sitting in a warm subway car and taking a load off the feet when otherwise faced with a half hour walk across town in less than agreeable conditions.  Enough said.

     We took the ICE train from DUS to FRA and no, that was not the climate of the car in which we sat.  This is the highspeed train, much like France's TGV, quiet, clean and very efficient.  Although I have to admit, I do like the TGV better, maybe because I can read the writing on the walls more easily in French !  So, we arrived in FRA and, THANK GOD,  only had the equivlent of about a block and a half to walk before we arrived at our hotel.

The sweets booth where the decorated gingerbread cookie hearts are sold.
  A quick word about the Hauptbahnhof in FRA.  This train station could rival Victoria Station in London with no problem.  It is HUGE.  A whole mini-mall is contained in the underground level and lots to see and buy on the upper level as well.  Of course the Christmas decorations were spectacular and only a prelude of what we were to discover in Old Town Frankfurt tomorrow. Too bad we didn't discover our bag when we arrived at the hotel.........

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The train station in Dusseldorf ci…
The train station in Dusseldorf c…
Ill let all you German speakers t…
I'll let all you German speakers …
Putting on a brave face in the fre…
Putting on a brave face in the fr…
Mark, the two fisted bratwurst eat…
Mark, the two fisted bratwurst ea…
Ive seen these before, but not th…
I've seen these before, but not t…
The 100 year old merry-go-round in…
The 100 year old merry-go-round i…
The weiner man...those dogs must b…
The weiner man...those dogs must …
The sweets booth where the decorat…
The sweets booth where the decora…
At the train station, on our way t…
At the train station, on our way …
The gorgeous Christmas tree inside…
The gorgeous Christmas tree insid…
Dusseldorf
photo by: Chokk