A 12 hour meet-up, Düsseldorf, Germany, december 2008

Dusseldorf Travel Blog

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the gang on the way to the old town

TB meet-up Düsseldorf 27/28-12-2008

 

The story of a 12-hour meet-up

 

There are frequent meet-ups nearby for me but commitments to society  prevent me from attending them all.

As dysfunctional as it may appear on the first and many other pages of your average newspaper, I do value society. Even if it’s only because you have to value something in life, besides life itself.

Düsseldorf, Germany was the theatre of action.

stopping for photo's, in front the abductee Ket

I had visited the city in question twice before in my time spent in this life so far.

The first was a trip to the splurge typical of Germany and adjoining plots: the Christmas Market.

This is about thirty years ago and led to no mental damage that I’m aware of, or it would have to be that I’m denying it.

Which in itself wouldn’t be that bad because denial is a feasible alternative for psychotherapy at a later stage in life.

The second time had to do with entertainment for the masses of an altogether different nature. A Metallica show at the local football stadium in the year 1993.

as stated in the previous pic

The excesses that accompanied this musical event did not lead me to the city centre so it was as new to me to loaf about these streets as it was for all but two of the assembled TravBuddy’s.

The pitch forked tour guide acquitted himself of this task very well. When the group slipped by a statue, he explained it was a Guy On a Horse. As you would have it, we were indeed gazing at a statue of a Guy On a Horse.

Dinner reservations were at nine and since the meet-up started at three there is one activity these groups like to indulge in, besides sightseeing squares with statues demonstrating figures on their mounts, namely bar-hopping.

The first stop was a place called Weißer Bär, White Bear. Bears were nowhere in sight so we sunk down in the back part of the establishment for the first drinks of the night.

first drinks at the Weißer Bär, or White Bear Lieke, Anna and Brett

The place was well suited for this purpose and it was nice hanging around in it, getting acquainted with people and their drinking habits.

As the occasional coaster was cleaving through the heavens the conversation was as abundant as the camera flashes. One would start to imagine TravBuddy meet-ups are somewhat unsuitable for the camera-shy.

As jetlag started to skulk its way  into some of the Americans furtively, we decided to head towards the river Rhine and betake ourselves to the restaurant of choice, a Mongolian place twenty minutes walk from where we were.

Upon reaching the river alcohol and the aforementioned jetlag enhanced the effects of the winter cold and another bar was breezed into. The Shaukel Stülchen, or Rocking Chair, was a place not unlike the one we were in earlier.

Anna and her camera problems
Again we settled in the back which we had all to ourselves. It would be hard to imagine where any accidental passers-by looking for a seat in this bar would have to throne. It was enough of a challenge for the other habitués to make their way to the bathroom, having to plough through this international horde to get to their relief, on occasion having to wait for a photograph being taken. A few of those photographs went out to a local TravBuddy who couldn’t be there as a result of unfortunate events in the personal field. The concern that radiated from the group is something that came up almost unnoticed but a keen observer for that human touch, I did lock onto it.

 

When dinnertime neared some people decided not to brave the wintry cold anymore and took taxi’s while the rest of us opted for the twenty-minute walk. This generated plenty of quiet conversation time and the chance to have a prolonged talk to some people. The cold was merely a peripheral phenomenon.

The flock that had arrived by taxi enlightened us as to why they were still standing outside the Mongolian place: the staff had lost the reservation and had dished out some garbage about not confirming to the discontentment of the person that had called for and confirmed the reservation.

a statue of a guy on a horse

Seasoned travellers adapt quickly to new situations and a solution for our rumbling stomachs was found. Brazil beat Mongolia by seventeen to nothing that night as we poured into a place called Tucan’s to feast on Brazilian fare. Judging by the volume of noise that went up from the two tables everyone was very much enjoying themselves and several other table companions near them.

There was a spacious vegetable buffet with besides the classics also some foodstuff of unclear origin. Without giving a full description, I’ll never look at opera singer Placido Domingo in the same way again.

Various meats and poultry were prepared on huge metal skewers, sometimes called sticks, and cut off to your hearts’ content directly onto your plate.

As the evening wore on and the all-you-can-eat formula was taken maximum advantage of, jetlag again bubbled up and caused some eyelids to close and sent some heads slowly but steadily towards the table.

snacking between two bars

The lion’s share of the group decided to turn in and took a herd of taxi’s to their respective kips while me and three of the Dutch TravBuddy’s want to get another drink or two.

The quiet of the cold Düsseldorf night contrasted sharply with the racket inside as we made our way back to the old town.

We ended up in the bar where it all started, the Weißer Bär. This time however the place had turned into a dive with extremely loud music and a crowd you could expect anything from. Or nothing, depending on how you look at it.

Three man-mountain security guards suggested it was the kind of place they don’t mind sweeping up the eyeballs after closing time.

One of the local barflies didn’t have the most enjoyable day and to add lustre to this he smashed a few glasses onto the bar until he was escorted out by the personnel qualified to do so.

see who can take the most pictures! Sven, Lynn, James, Erin and Julie
I actually don’t know if the were qualified but I wasn’t going to question them. I do also value my eyeballs and most other body parts enough not to have them swept off the floor of a German bar.

At three in the morning we called it a day and walked out of the Altstadt together until the point where the four of us split into two two’s to go to our respective hotels to try and thread together some hours of quality sleep.

The hotel was a nice place and my roommate for the night and I both woke up well rested.

At breakfast neither of us could stop smiling as we recalled the previous night’s events although a text bringing some unfortunate tiding in my personal field did curb things a little. In life the positive and the negative often lie close together. I prefer to focus on the positive. Naïve, I know but the alternative’s much worse.

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the gang on the way to the old town
the gang on the way to the old town
stopping for photos,
in front th…
stopping for photo's, in front t…
as stated in the previous pic
as stated in the previous pic
first drinks at the Weißer Bär, …
first drinks at the Weißer Bär,…
Anna and her camera problems
Anna and her camera problems
a statue of a guy on a horse
a statue of a guy on a horse
snacking between two bars
snacking between two bars
see who can take the most pictures…
see who can take the most picture…
Sven and two of his best friends :)
Sven and two of his best friends :)
Brett, our tour guide
Brett, our tour guide
Erin and Brett
Erin and Brett
Sal looking on from a distance
Sal looking on from a distance
Anna busy in conversation
Anna busy in conversation
in front of the infamous Mongolian…
in front of the infamous Mongolia…
the Brazilian place
the Brazilian place
at the veggie buffet
Ralph and Sv…
at the veggie buffet Ralph and S…
at the other side of the veggie bu…
at the other side of the veggie b…
the seriousness at our table
the seriousness at our table
meat on sticks
meat on sticks
just cut the hoofs off and bring …
"just cut the hoofs off and bring…
Sals fingerfood
Sal's fingerfood
jetlag getting hold of Wade
jetlag getting hold of Wade
Sal and Sven looking to squeeze in…
Sal and Sven looking to squeeze i…
you dont wanna know!
you don't wanna know!
the group breaking up. Theres maj…
the group breaking up. There's ma…
with my two Dutch Darlings
with my two Dutch Darlings
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Dusseldorf
photo by: Chokk