The Last Full Day

Today is my last full day in Germany for this trip. Tomorrow I will wake early and head directly to the airport after breakfast.

A Boring Day
I spent the better part of the morning commuting from Köln to Düsseldorf. Not wanting to be rushed, I walked to the main train station and bought a mid-morning ticket. If should I say the pushy woman who insisted on helping me bought my ticket and then asked for money. This is akin to all of the helpful men who hang around Shakespeare Tavern who want to teach you how to use the parking machine. Needless to say I was not thrilled with the experience, but don’t have the temperament to tell people to piss off, which is exactly what she was preying upon.

After settling into my hotel I took he U-Bahn to “old town” and sat in bars watching soccer. Of course it was raining again, so this didn’t seem like a waste of time.

Last night I went to two Irish bars, mostly because I was hell bent on eating something other than pork steak and potatoes for dinner. Instead I had an “American Diner Style” hamburger with french fries. If not for the fact that something on the burger was the saltiest thing I have ever eaten –did they use salt pork as their bacon? – it was a nice change of pace. Today’s food intake will be 100% German.

Today I plan to play American Tourist In Düsseldorf. I have purchased a “Düsseldorf Card” which gets me free public transit rides, and free/reduced entry to attractions such as museums. I’ll spend the day inside, which will mean that it won’t rain today.

The Bike Tour Wrap Up
First off, would I do it again? Absolutely, but maybe not this exact route since I have already done it.

– having someone lug my luggage from hotel to hotel.
– the scenery was outstanding.
– the clothes I brought for riding were lightweight, fast drying, padded, and comfortable. Well done me!
– the hotels: running the gamut from family-owned to corporate, were all nice enough for me.
– the bicycle: it may not have looked like much but I was glad to have its wider tires, fenders, and pannier when riding through rain, water, and dirt.
– German breakfasts: thanks to all of the exercise – cycling, walking, hashing – I may actually lose weight with no thanks to the amazing cold cuts, bread, and boiled egg that I have eaten each morning.
– stopping for beers occasionally on my journey.
– knowing I am six hours ahead and have plenty of time to get a blog post done.

– I didn’t spend enough time looking at things along the way. I was too focused on getting to the destination town.
– cellular access: I bought a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card but have yet to use it because people need to call/text me using my American phone number. In the future I will will switch to a European number straight away and tell people to use it. Last night I consumed the last of the paltry 300MB allotted to me under AT&T’s International Plan.
– opt out of the dinner plan if possible. It’s not that any of the meals I ate were bad, well the first night’s Italian meal was “meh”, but I paid for and didn’t get dinner on Saturday and I think that I could find a acceptable restaurant on my own and spend less than 20€ every night.
– lack of photos: as I have whined about before I am not shooting enough. I will be interested to see what I have on the Nikon when I return.
– not being able to properly embed photos in my blog posts.

Notes to Future Paulie:
– more underwear, fewer socks
– more technical shirts that will dry quicker
– bring a change “purse” (stupid Euro coins)
– work harder to use German before falling back to English
– well done regarding money/passport management

Off to experience my last day. Return tomorrow for a very special edition of InsideThePerimeter.

Paulie [düsseldorf/dl]

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6 Responses to The Last Full Day

  1. Barb says:

    Great recap!
    I think buying a cheap “burner” phone when you get there probably is the best idea. Taht way you have the correct country codes or whatever to be able to contact anyone locally.

    Have a great uneventful flight home.
    I’m busy with my sis – talk to you all later!

  2. Stacy says:

    I’m guilty of the “getting to the destination” myself sometimes and always wish I hadn’t after. On one trip home I did manage to make myself pull off and go to Metropolis, Illinois (yes! Superman!) and was SO glad I did, but on other trips I’ve always driven right by this big dinosaur park in Kentucky with the thought: I should stop! The pictures I could take! …But then I never do. Why do we do this?

    Speaking of pictures, I’m looking forward to seeing yours, however few there may be.

    A special edition tomorrow? Will it be done over the Atlantic, perhaps? 🙂

  3. steve says:

    You still have not said anything about anyone else along the ride. How many were in the group? ‘merican? Euro? Nippon?

    I was on the way home and wanted to scope out my choice of mower repair place in Newnan (someone’s backyard, while I’m sure would do quality work, wasn’t what I had in mind). As I drove right past my tire and oil change place I picked up a lag screw in my tire!! I pulled over to verify, did a 180 and headed to repair it straightaway. I heard the screw come out and my “low tire pressure” alarm went of a moment later. The repair place was pretty backed up, so I left it with them and called Debbie for a lift home.

    Loading the mostly unresponsive mower was a bit of a challenge- between the mowers own power, a come-along and a push from the tractor, it was secured. The mower man said 2 weeks, so I may be renting/borrowing a mower for the Ben Hilton. Our yard can be cut with the tractor as long as monsoon season doesn’t start back up.

    Safe travels home (Safe reist nach Hause)


  4. The trip was semi-self-guided and I did it solo. At the beginning I was given an itinerary telling me the name and address of my hotels for each night. The route followed the Rhine (duh) so the only direction I needed was when I should cross from one side to the other. For the most part he ride occurred “on the left side” so as long as the Rhine was to my right o was headed the correct way.

  5. Jenka says:

    The cheapest and easiest option is just to turn off cellular data and use the hotel wifi. It’s not like you’re going to get a million messages, and answering them while resting at the hotel works. iMessage still works, and/or you could download a free texting app. Or just use Facebook, for most of us. 🙂

    If you’re not picky about when, flights to London this morning are less than $700 round trip. Thanks, Brexit!

  6. I was in Airplane Mode for a majority of the trip. However I resorted to using cell data when I got lost a few times, as well as the two days when I was trying to be in contact for the friends here in Germany. While on cell my phone did things like check/download mail, etc. One or two nights I caved and used Twitter and all the images people post chewed up data. 300MB just doesn’t go that far these days… 🙁

    Off to get my final dinner of this trip.

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