Blogs from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Europe

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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne July 16th 2017

So after my last blog, I decided to walk back into the city centre of Bruges and climb the bell tower. I paid the 10 Euros and started up the spiral staircase on the marble stairs. So far so good! As I carried on climbing the stairs got more and more narrow, and kept changing materials between wood, marble, and stone. There was only one staircase for people climbing up and down, so there was a lot of squeezing past other people while trying not to slip on your arse! There were a few platforms you could stop at to catch your breath, and read something historic about the tower. The way up was comparatively fine until about two thirds of the way up, when the staircase became TINY!! The steps were about 6 inches wide ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne July 12th 2017

I am still on the train, and am going to attempt to bust out another entry for this rather nifty city. I must say in terms of the actual city, I wasn’t overly impressed by the majority of the architecture, most of it seems like many other generic cities, albeit with some old and impressive buildings interspersed with more modern buildings. My primary motivations for visiting this place were to see an old friend of mine, and of course to see the Cologne Cathedral. My kiwi friend, Erin had moved over to Germany with her German boyfriend of whom she’d met while she was living in New Zealand, and whilst he was travelling within New Zealand. She’s spent about 6 or so months living in a town called Euskirchen, not too far from Cologne. She has ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Düsseldorf June 30th 2017

In my head two days would be more than enough time to get ready, and it would have been, if I had remembered the things I needed. Wednesday morning started off fairly chilled, till I decided to plug my Tom Tom in to the laptop. The updates downloaded in seconds but the transfer was going to take over an hour, so I left it while I carried on packing. By 10am it was still claiming it need an hour, so begrudgingly I decided to do a few last minute jobs, which I was gong to do on route to the ferry, but would now have to go back home instead. The first was to pick up the radio remote which I thought was in my Land Rover. It wasn't, so that was a load of time ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Wuppertal June 8th 2017

Kisbee was very keen and ready for the off this morning. Last time out was in the Lake District in May when the ignition lock was failing so Kisbee has been in the garage and is now very much good to go. Weather forecast was rain at 7am and again at 10am. They were right about the 7am but fortunately wrong about 10am and we had a really lovely sunny day. We headed up the steep hill to Solingen. 1 in 10 (or 10% for my younger readers), I sat well forward, as one does uphill on a horse, to make it easier. We are after all between us up to poor Kisbee's weight limit. Bob found our way through this quite large town with the help of Tomtom which has a special "Bob-made" bracket on ... read more
Wuppertal suspension train and Bob
Wuppertal suspension train driver
Wuppertal suspension train with a car from the road below reflected in the front

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Solingen June 7th 2017

Much motorway was seen today. Belgian, a little bit belonging to the Netherlands and some German. All pretty boring and more or less flat. A few traffic jams to get past 'incidents' but nothing major to hold us up. We stopped at services in Belgium for a leg stretch and I was intending to buy some lovely Belgium chocolate but it could have been an Esso garage in the UK and there was no lovely chocolate to be had only Mars bars and the like. Shame. I kept a list as we went along of all the country marks on the vehicles we passed (manly enormous trucks), which passed us. A B BG CH CZ D E F GB H I IRL LT PL RO SLO SK TR think that's all of them. I note that ... read more
Belgium motorway traffic jam.
Road network near Brussels airport.
Netherlands - still flat

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia April 2nd 2017

The reason why we visited Düsseldorf, was not to see Germans. No, we liked to meet Neanderthals. Near Düsseldorf the first skeleton of an Neanderthal was found. Well, actually this is not true. There were already skeletons found in Belgium and Gibraltar, but no one realized those skeletons were from Neanderthals. Some 20 kilometers out of Düsseldorf is a village called Mettman. The area is called Neandertal. The inhabitants there are...right, Neandertals. So you have Neandertals and you have Neanderthals (with a h). Neandertals speak German and belong to a species called Homo sapiens. Neanderthals belong to a species called Homo neanderthalensis. They could speak, but what language they spoke we don't know. The last Neanderthal died about 30,000 years ago. In 1856 two miners found the skeleton in a cave. On the very spot the ... read more
Neanderthals lived from 180,000 up to 30,000 years ago.
Drinking Altbeer in Düsseldorf.
In love?

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Dusseldorf March 6th 2017

The greatest benefit to being Indian is all the family I have everywhere. My non-indian friends (and some of my Indian friends) find it funny how I have a relative in every country or every state in the US. We'll when you are traveling for weeks at a time this family comes in handy!! As you know (if you've been reading) I started my Germany travels in Dusseldorf where my aunt lives (well she lives in a townew starting with letter L, that is near Dusseldorf but this is the marker everyone uses so that's all I remember!!!). We traveled around Dusseldorf and Leverkusen and Laganfelderly and another L place and Koln :) And yes it's been raining off and on but apparently this Germany weather for March so I'm gunna just suck it up I ... read more

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia December 16th 2016

Cruised overnight through the industrial area on the Rhine River reaching Cologne at about lunch time. Made our way off the ship and went looking for the Hard Rock Cafe. Again after a few wrong turns, we found it - and without having to ask anyone. After the usual purchases by Bruce we headed back to the Cologne Cathedral and had a look through the Christmas Markets. Just as I expected with the decorated marquees, glass baubles, food (everywhere) and Christmas carols. The baubles are absolutely beautiful and I want to buy some but I know that it is very unlikely they will survive the trip home. After the Markets we headed inside the Cathedral and sat in awe at the beautiful building, arches and stained glass windows. We lit candles for those we have lost ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne October 8th 2016

David here... We woke up with the alarm on the Wednesday morning and had coffee before getting the final few things in the loft and giving the house a quick wipe down before walking out the door for the last time in a year. We had a little scare at the bus stop when we couldn't find the passports but we got into town, dropped the keys off with the letting agent before getting our train to Peterborough. The journey was uneventful however we had got our timings a little wrong so we only had time for a quick pint before jumping onto the train to Stanstead. Again we arrived with no issues, dropped our luggage off and got through security without any problems. We made full use of our wait in the airport, having a ... read more
Goodbye England...
...guten tag Deutschland!
The first beer in Köln

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne September 4th 2016

We cast off from Koblenz at 3:30am. It wasn't hard to go back to sleep. We docked in Cologne at 9:00am. There were lots of other big boats and they have to parallel park between each other. The captains/pilots really know what they're doing. Although there was a cruise led tour, this day we went off on our own. Our first stop was the central train station. We were told the signs were in German and English, but they weren't. Information told us to take a train from platform 10, but that went to the wrong airport. A station employee, who didn't speak English was able to understand Koln/Bonn Flughafen? He directed us to Platform 4. We'd also bought all day passes for up to five people (they come as one person or up to five), ... read more
The car (and guys)




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