Me, Ana, Sylvie!!
This one was a looooong way coming. I had (sorely) missed the one in Amsterdam, and Dusseldorf promised to be the next best opportunity to meet all of the cool travbuddies! Thanks to Lauro and the giant forum thread with 150+ pages, this turned out great. I was waiting and waiting and finally got a schengen visa so I could travel. It was mostly about a couple of weeks ago that I decided that yesss I can go. So got my rail pass a few days ago and booked the hostel bed also a couple of weeks back.
It was my first time in Germany and what a fitting way to start my exploration of Germany. The previous week had been tiring too.. rode back into Zurich from Austria on Friday... lazy as hell, somehow managed to get my stuff packed late night on Friday, waiting for the day of the 19th to dawn! I got the second connection out of Zurich that morning at about 07:00 in the TGV to Basel, and then from Basel to Dusseldorf in the ICE changing once in Mannheim.
Tea and Devi (that rhymes!)
Morning was pretty comfortable, not too many people in the train.. and I reached around 12:30 in Dusseldorf. Got something to eat, looked around for information.. then decided to stop killing time and headed straight to the hostel. Took the bus connections, checked in at the hostel and decided to roam around a bit .. it was around 14:00 and everyone else was supposed to meet around 17:00 at the station. So I crossed the Kniebruecke on foot and explored the area around the Rhineturm (Rhine tower) a while.. looking at all the zany architecture on that street and enjoy the cool breeze and riverside. Weather so far was decent, and I didn't get a chance to use my umbrella.
After some while, messaged Lauro and he was at the station with the others, so I hurried back on the next bus, just in time to catch them.
Archie, Melissa ... and the ones in the back ha!
Most of the group left for their hostel near Kirchplatz, and I let 4 guys to our hostel (Jugendherberge) across the river. It took a while coz the bus just was every 20 mins. I moved into the room Benjamin had booked for him, Matt, Warren and Alex... two Brits, two Aussies... and me. So we bummed a bit, they got ready, we gave a short interview to a nice German girl who wanted to write about hostelling and international people who came there. And then headed out back toward the station. We got the first bus, but the next one was about 20 minutes away... so we basically walked our way back to the main station, while everyone else was already at the station waiting and waiting and waiting! After that everone got on a tram, packed into the same compartment .. packed hard enough that no one else would get into it!! We got off across the bridge, and walked across it, along the river toward the tower.
The Brit corner
By this time weather was sucky already, it was cold and raining.. and I had assumed it would remain nice and foolishly left my umbrella behind (damn Murphy!)
Stopped at an outdoor cafe for a drink at around 19:00... We had to finish off quickly and get to the restaurant at 20:00. Made right in time too.. most of the people were in by 20:05 at Trattoria Zollhof where the dinner had been arranged by Lauro. The rest of the evening was basically waiting for food, talking and talking and loads of fun chatting with everyone, and waiting for dessert and more drinking and talking!! 2win apparently felt drunk and someone even called an ambulance for her! Well after all the hard work (eating and talking!) around midnight we gathered the money and collectively footed the 2K+ euro bill !! Some people left soon after everyone made their way out.
Sweet Sylvie :).. and me.
It was still raining, but the plan was to go partying. I walked with the group for a while to one of the clubs, but the queue there was insanely long and they decided to move the party to Altstadt instead. It was late and I had to travel to Frankfurt
the next morning so I said my goodbyes (rather quickly) and walked back to the hostel and crashed into bed. Only to be woken up around 6am when my roomies returned from the insane drinking haha... gave me another hour of resting though before I got up, got ready, while they snoozed, had breakfast and left for the train station.
-- Ashish Bhambhani