Monday, August 24, 2015

Passing through Königsallee, Düsseldorf

The tour of Schengen countries including Netherlands, Belgium and France finally came to an end with us passing through Düsseldorf and heading Kiel on the Baltic Sea from where we had embarked upon our almost two week long Schengen Tour.

Leaving Viersen

After a memorable stay at Mr Qamar Baig's house in Viersen, I have details of which in my previous post, we after a hefty breakfast bid farewell to Qamar Baig and his German wife and headed towards Düsseldorf, just about 32 kilometres due east - our last pit stop before Kiel.

Düsseldorf is the capital of the federal state (Bundesland) of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and is one of the economic centres of Germany, located along the River Rhine in the densely populated Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area.

The first thing that one sees entering the city is the tall Rheinturm or the Rhine Tower on the city skyline (as seen above). The 240.5 metre high tower houses many aerials for telecommunication besides a revolving restaurant and an observation deck at a height of 170 metres.

Although the observation deck is open to public, daily from 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM, we did not have time to visit the place as we had a long drive back to Kiel. As per Wikipedia, there is a light sculpture on its shaft works as a clock. This sculpture was designed by Horst H. Baumann and is called Lichtzeitpegel (light time level). The light sculpture on the Rheinturm is the largest digital clock in the world. 

Some of the places to visit in the city are Schlossturm, Castle tower, Pegeluhr and St. Lambertus Basilika, the City Monument, City Hall and Jan Wellem in front, the 'falling-like' Gehry Buildings, Pillar Saint: Bride, Jröne Jong and the Benrath Palace.

Driving through city streets, one is often trailing trams or being trailed by these. One has to be very careful of these machined monsters as they take time to stop - so thumb rule is just stay away.

My son found this red Ferrari parked just a few cars away from ours and could not resist a hurried snap.

My younger son posing with a sculpture

Due to paucity of time, we straightaway headed for Stadtmitte or the city centre or the Königsallee - the King's Avenue, or just 
Kö as it is lovingly called by the natives. The Königsallee is approximately one km long along the canal which is fed by water from the Düssel, from which the city got its name.

Besides the the landscaped canal that runs along the Königsallee center, it is here that most of the expensive shopping malls are located. Like 'good tourists' we parked the car, had an extensive window shopping. Occasionally we went into the malls, asked the prices of shoes and lady bags and enjoyed the 'prices' and promised to come back after  surveying the market to pick a few !!

The canal with its tall trees that protect it from the sunlight has clear reflecting water - which provides a serene place right in the city centre for travelers and tourists to take a stroll or rest on the benches and enjoy the cool view for hours. 

While I accompanied my wife to the shopping centres, my sons had ample time to take snaps of the canal and resting.

The quick and short window shopping visit to Kö, it was time to head home to Kiel. While driving out, we left behind some of the sweetest memories of our lives - from meeting a friend after 43 years at Groningen, Netherlands, the lifeless was statues of Madam Tussaud at Amsterdam, the Moroccan dinner at Shahid Latif's house in Rotterdam and a full four day visit to Paris.

The first part of our travel to Schengen countries thus came to an end with a nostalgia that will stay with us for as long as we live.

But this was not all - as we got back, we started planning for our second tour to Switzerland and Italy. So stay with me as my travelogue is far from finished. 

Adieu (French Goodbye) for now - Hasta la Vista (Spanish 'see you later' - pronounced as Asta-la-VEE-sta)

Or the German Bis dann (until then - BISS-dun) Auf Wiedersehen (Good bye - owf-VEE-der-zayn)

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