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.