Auntie Helen's July in Germany... with trike!

Auntie Helen

Ich bin Powerfrau!
Hello all.

Yes, I'm in Duesseldorf for a month. I'm attending a language school but I brought my trike over in the car and intend to do some exploring by bike.

I arrived yesterday and watched the footie, then cycled around Duesseldorf a bit to get an idea of where things are. Lots of post-football match excitement too.

Today I decided to go to Cologne/Koeln, where I was born in fact. It's only about 30 miles from Duesseldorf so a nice day's ride there and back at slow cycle path speeds.

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I set off at about 9am after reassembling the trike (it's living in my car whilst I'm here as there's no suitable shed at the house).

I decided to cycle to Koeln on the eastern side of the Rhine and to cycle back on the western side. The path varied quite a bit from lovely asphalt to distinctly grassy field (although I think that was a mistake on my part, going off the main route!)

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The Rhine is a very interesting river and a vital artery in Europe for trade. There is a never-ending stream of barges going up and down on the long voyage.

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After about 18 miles I stopped for some refreshment.

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Then I carried on past the very industrial town of Leverkusen.

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There are loads of cycle paths in the region and sometimes it took a while to work out which sign was the one I needed.

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A good bit of Schadenfreude from the Germans after last night's drubbing of Argentina:

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A doggie in a trailer. There were loads of children in trailers but this was the only dog trailer I saw today. The owner said they had made it from a beer crate.

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You can always tell when you're getting near to Cologne due to the whacking great cathedral someone's built there:

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I crossed the Hohenzollern Bridge to get to the other side of the Rhine and to begin my journey homeward.

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The bridge has now become a site for Love Padlocks. Deutsche Welle article on Love Padlocks (in English)

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Lunch was Schnitzel and salad.

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I then cycled past the huge Ford works at Merkenich. This is the reason I was born in Germany - my Dad worked for Ford. I hadn't realised how enormous the place is though - it felt like I was cycling for miles to get past it.

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After all that cycling it was time to stop for afternoon tea and cake at Dormagen, ten miles from home.

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As there aren't many bridges across the Rhine I decided to take the car/bicycle ferry from Zons to avoid going too far out of my way when returning to Duesseldorf (I am staying in the south of the city).

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My little Rhine cruise cost 1 Euro 50.

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I got back rather warm and a bit dirty from some of the worse cycle path surfaces, but I had a very enjoyable ride. 57ish miles on the clock and the bike is now back in the car, with its tyres let down a little as we're in for a hot day tomorrow.
 
Nice pics AH.
Auntie Helen said:
Tomorrows ride? Rotterdam the day after :rofl:
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Auntie Helen said:
After all that cycling it was time to stop for afternoon tea and cake at Dormagen, ten miles from home.

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I say! Is that a real pot of tea? I think I could like Germany very much!

(It's on my list of places to go...)
 
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Auntie Helen

Auntie Helen

Ich bin Powerfrau!
Well it's a pot of tea but it's German tea so it wasn't very nice. They supplied two thingies of coffee cream (10% fat) and the tea was very uninteresting. I usually bring my own teabags but had forgotten to put some in my bag (I've got a box of 80 Tetley Drawstring here at my accommodation).

Germany is a brilliant place to visit, but the tea is substandard.
 

gavintc

Guru
Location
Southsea
Looks very nice Helen, quite jealous of your cycling up and down the Rhein. I am also in Germany, just south of Munich for a few days with work, but we are having rain and sadly I did not bring the bike as I flew.
 
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Auntie Helen

Auntie Helen

Ich bin Powerfrau!
Have just plotted a route from Duesseldorf to Wuppertal as I want to experience the delight of the Schwebebahn, the amazing hanging railway thingie, info here. It's a nice 17 mile route but it goes pretty uphill at the end; the return journey will no doubt be fine, but I might be finished off on the way there. Oh, and I will go through the Neaderthal (Neander Valley) which is cool!
 

Speicher

Vice Admiral
Moderator
I have a plan to visit Koeln one day. My grandfather and grandmother lived there. Grandfather was a conductor on the trams. Also have vague plan to do an intensive German course. I am very interested to hear how you get on. The food looks good as well.:welcome:

I would, however, prefer to travel by train (or boat).;)
 
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Auntie Helen

Auntie Helen

Ich bin Powerfrau!
I travelled by car and boat to get here but travelling by bike is much more fun when you're actually here as you see so much more wildlife.

I did an intensive German course three years ago in Berlin and I would say I learned in a month about the same amount as I've learned in a year at Uni doing German, so it certainly makes a big difference. But your head tends to explode with all the new information.

Tomorrow I find out which level I am for the group; in the general European language framework thingie I'm C1 so we'll have to see what that translates to in this group.
 

gavintc

Guru
Location
Southsea
Auntie Helen said:
Have just plotted a route from Duesseldorf to Wuppertal as I want to experience the delight of the Schwebebahn, the amazing hanging railway thingie, info here. It's a nice 17 mile route but it goes pretty uphill at the end; the return journey will no doubt be fine, but I might be finished off on the way there. Oh, and I will go through the Neaderthal (Neander Valley) which is cool!

The hanging railway line looks interesting. I was not aware of that despite have spent time in Duesseldorf in the past. Every time I come back here, my first impression is just how well made everything is. Not all the architecture is to my liking, but it is solid.
 

Speicher

Vice Admiral
Moderator
Auntie Helen said:
Have just plotted a route from Duesseldorf to Wuppertal as I want to experience the delight of the Schwebebahn, the amazing hanging railway thingie, info here. It's a nice 17 mile route but it goes pretty uphill at the end; the return journey will no doubt be fine, but I might be finished off on the way there. Oh, and I will go through the Neaderthal (Neander Valley) which is cool!


21st July 1950 - the day an elephant travelled on a train! ;)
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Auntie Helen said:
Well it's a pot of tea but it's German tea so it wasn't very nice. They supplied two thingies of coffee cream (10% fat) and the tea was very uninteresting. I usually bring my own teabags but had forgotten to put some in my bag (I've got a box of 80 Tetley Drawstring here at my accommodation).

Germany is a brilliant place to visit, but the tea is substandard.

Never mind. When on the continent, I'm quite good at switching to coffee and chocolate.

My only experience of Germany is this year's trip to the SPEZI show in Germersheim, for 3 days, but I liked what I saw - including the Rhine.
 

Andy in Sig

Vice President in Exile
This thread makes me homesick. I love Düsseldorf. Don't forget to pedal up to Kaiserswerth about 10 km N of the city. It has some very nice (and posh) restaurants. Did you see the eatery tips I posted on one of your other threads?
 
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Auntie Helen

Auntie Helen

Ich bin Powerfrau!
Andy, not sure if I did see the eatery tips - if it was recent, then I think not. If you could find me the link I would be grateful!

Today I did a little pootle following a GPX track I downloaded from GPSies.com (I just looked for something about 15 miles starting from postcode 40591). The route turned out to be rather nice, almost entirely on cycle paths and taking me round Elbsee and Unterbacher See. Some of the cycle paths were a bit more off-road than I would normally like and I got a bit mucky due to not having my front mudguards (after all, it's summer here!) but overall it was very enjoyable, apart from the 3 flights of steps I had to carry my trike down for an underpass. Still, ich bin Powerfrau and I managed it OK.

My German lessons are taking place from 14:00 - 18:00 which is a bit of a disappointment (I hoped for the morning group so I could do lots more cycling in the afternoon/evening). Still, if I can get out to do some mileage in the morning I should be fine. The problem is that with the cycle paths it's almost impossible to average more than 10mph so the journeys take much longer than I am used to. It's great to have some new places to experience, though, especially using other cyclists' GPX tracks to add that sense of adventure...
 

Andy in Sig

Vice President in Exile
I would recommend that you get Bikeline book of the Niederrheinroute. It's actually a complex of routes in the area of Mönchengladbach and the Dutch border. You can take the S-Bahn out from Düss to MG and away you go. It's especially good if you start early on a Sunday morning. Another must see place is the little Altstadt of Hattingen (not to be confused with Ratingen) and then you can cycle back along the Ruhr bike route.

Eating places:

Mercatino on Stockumer Kirchstrasse about 50 m down the street from the X Roads. (The U Bahn stop has the same name.) From the outside it looks like a schnellimbiss but the restaurant is in the back. Don't confuse it with the restaurant which is actually at the Xrds and is no good.

There’s very good Italian bistro on the junction of Friedrichstr and Herzogstr. It’s diagonally opposite a big bank HQ (the WestLB I think). You can eat well and cheaply there.

The basement of the Carsch Haus dept store (you can get into the basement from the Heinrich Heine Allee U Bahn station) has a fantastic deli area with all kinds of things from local to Japanese, eating places as well as food shops. The Italian is again brilliant, excellent coffee, tiramisu and at the other end, pizzas and anti pasti.

There are too many places in the Altstadt to mention but if you want good spicy food, then the Korean opposite the knife shop is good. You can get excellent local cuisine in En De Canon. There’s a good café for Sunday breakfast but I’ll have to dig a bit for info on that as I can’t remember the name.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Andy in Sig said:
Mercatino on Stockumer Kirchstrasse about 50 m down the street from the X Roads. (The U Bahn stop has the same name.) From the outside it looks like a schnellimbiss but the restaurant is in the back. Don't confuse it with the restaurant which is actually at the Xrds and is no good.

Oooh! Ohhh! <waves hand in air> Is that a 'fast food resturant'?

We have an 'imbiss' in Pocklington which I know is a cafe, and schnell is 'quick' or 'fast' or something isn't it?

My knowledge of German is very much the odd word, combined with words that look a bit like the same in English...
 
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