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Dusseldorf Travel Blog

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My TB-Cherry-Popping Dusseldorf Meet: First and Finest!

I tried very hard not to have many expectations when it came to Germany. This is a nation that I have learnt about in school, most of it negative, and that I had never visited before. Add to that a bunch of strangers that I met on the internet and I was feeling equal amounts of trepidation and excitement. Needless to say, the Dusseldorf Meet was a complete success! Many thanks have to be given, to Lauro 'Our Leader' and to all the TBs that came and made it a really awesome night. I think (hope) I met some real friends!

My journey began in Metz, on Sat the 19th I boarded my 8am train to Luxembourg! I like Luxembourg, not just becuase they have cheap booze, it has a really multi-national feel becuase that country is just SO tiny! I managed to get myself on the right train for my Germany leg (phew!).

My train followed the Rhine for most of the journey, this is a really stunning part of German countryside and I urge anyone who has to go West from Germany to try it. There are gorgeous villages and castles and farms on land you wouldnt expect a mountain goat to climb. Pretty is an understatement, this was such a pleasant surprise as (very sorry if I offend, but honesty is always best right?) I was expecting more industrialism and factories.

Unscathed, I arrived in Dusseldorf HBF at around 2pm so I had time to find the Tourism Office, that was filled with very helpful ladies who gave me the exact directions to my hostel (thank God) and of course I had to stop by the Internet Cafe (to check TB maybe?)! Happily, I found my hostel, checked in, became a member of the German Youth Hostel Society thing, and found my room.

*GASP* this is German efficiency at its finest! I had a so-clean-you-could-eat-off-the-floor 4 person room, with an ENSUITE. Now by this time I am wondering if they got my bill right... all this, including breakfast, for €24? NO WAY! Add in some very friendly staff, a bar, and internet access and I think I am MOVING TO GERMANY!

By this time I am guessing that I should change and head on back to the Station to begin my Meet Up adventure, so I had to (grudgingly) leave the hostel and basically go back the way I came, though I did make sure to ask some friendly locals that I was indeed on the right train, hey better safe than sorry! So I got to the HBF at around 3:45pm and then I have the dilema that the station is packed and I have never actually met any of these people and I just couldn't bring myself to go up and start asking random passersby if they TravelBuddies.

So I wandered aimlessly, trying to look inconspicuous and not like a crazy person, though I did have the entertaining company of a nice man with a pet pidgeon for a while... Anyway! Bondy saved me from total embarrasment (I will just point out now that I am NOT the man with the red bag!), though it did turn out that I was standing about 5ft from the TB crew for around 20mins 'umming and ahhing' and generally being a twat. None of this matters because the Goliath Meet had begun!

We started with a Metro ride, which we completely packed out, much to the dismay of anyone else on the train, I'm sure! We disembarked and walked across the Rhine on one of the huge suspension bridges, which was slightly on the freezing side but interesting all the same.

And stopped for an 'impromtu' photo on the stairs. We quickly took refuge in a Beer Garden, owned by some mysteriously happy Germans (I wonder why?) that was filled to capacity with merry TBs.

Then it was a stroll along the river front, this proved too hard for some of us and we got separated and then tagged on to various tour groups. (Who kindly shared their umbrellas with a wandering Alex; while Bondy, Wayne and I got some free info on the 'shiney silver building', pity it was in German..) Luckily we all managed to make it to the Restaurant. I am very glad of this because the food was absolutely amazing, and the waiters were infinitley patient towards the many confused diners... I'm pretty sure I had Menu 1, or was it 2? Which one was the Steak? Haha!

Dinner was noisy and delicious and social, as all good dinners are, including copious amounts of booze.

Though I was a non-drinker due to an unfortunate medical thing and a horribly unsympathetic doctor, 'but I'm going to GERMANY!' just didn't fly with him. Still, I had a blast! And even better, my night out was very much on the cheap and cheerful side. Pretty sure we put the owners of pretty much anywhere we went in a seriously gopod mood; the resto bill was €2004.00!! A tidy sum!

After some deliberation, some walking, some more deliberation and a healthy amount of standing around; we decided that the club with the 5mile line was a bit too hard and caught taxis to the Aldstadt 'Old Town'. This was the central nightlife zone and after the failed attempt at entering the Sheesha Bar '...they don't serve beer, bail bail bail!!' we swarmed into the White Bear.

oooh shiney... hey wait! this isn't our group!!!
This turned out to be a German heavy metal/rock bar so the soundtrack to out night was ACDC, Ramstein and some miscellaneous ballads. Though later on it somewhat degenenerated into an eclcetic mix of 'It's Raining Men' and 'We are the Champions'. I have to give a nod to the cast holding down the Bar: Old Hairy Bartender, Old Female Bartender, The Hat/Hair Guy, The Hot Bartender, The Creepy Glassy and last but most definitley not least... Bald Sexy-Dancing Glassy! They gave our night that little touch of the bizarre that every good holiday needs. 

The last men and women stranding, consisted of the people I consider 'the Troopers' from Room 14 at the Jugendherberger Hostel and the Brits and some random non-TB tag alongs (Lori's 'hot' old guy)!! And many more revellers, who were all finally kicked out at around 5.

30AM, much to our dismay! The night was called and we drifted back to hostels for a few hours of sleep or whatever... Unfortunately when I got home I had 3 roomates (thank God I didn't invite the party home :P) so I slipped as quietly as possible into a heavenly bunk.

The end of a wonderful night but NOT the end of my TB experiences! Thanks All!

Bondy2007 says:
There are times i wish i had picked up the guy with the red bag....:p
Posted on: May 19, 2008
wayneollerenshaw says:
Hang on...I haven't stolen your pics yet!! *gets going at stealing Kats pics...* ;)
Posted on: May 03, 2008
wayneollerenshaw says:
Awesome write-up Kat ;) Got it right about the Sheesha bar - "NOOOOOO, RUN AWAY, RUN AWWAAAY!!!!!!" Hahaha!
Posted on: May 03, 2008
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oooh shiney... hey wait! this isn…
oooh shiney... hey wait! this isn…
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note lack of right eyebrow
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boo!
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Dusseldorf
photo by: Chokk