For all of the times we have traveled to nearby Essen and Köln, we have only stopped in Düsseldorf one time. Our only recollection of that trip 8 years ago was going into a bar and wondering why we weren’t getting any service. After 15 minutes, we realized we were in a gay bar and quietly walked out. That was our first and last trip to Düsseldorf.
Tuesday evening after work, I traveled by train to Düsseldorf in order to give the city a second chance. One thing lacking about Düsseldorf compared to other big cities in Germany is that it doesn’t have the ‘awe factor’ when you walk out of the train station. Köln has the best awe factor when you walk out of the train station and immediately see the Dom Cathedral, and even Essen has some awe to its city center to a certain point. Düsseldorf has a doner shop outside of their train station and that’s it.
This time, I took the U-Bahn (subway system) from the train station towards the Rhein River and arrived at a really cool part of Düsseldorf. I have never heard so much English being spoken by other people since we have been in Germany. Dana and I can go there when we get homesick.
|The Rhein River in Dusseldorf|
|Had a great conversation in German with this lovely couple.|
|The sun going down means that I should already be on a train back to Borken. Instead, you get to laugh at my misfortune.|
Anyways, Düsseldorf was a beautiful city. The real story happened on the way home, however. I had a train change in Essen and was planning on taking the last train to Borken at 10:30pm. Unfortunately, the train that I was on arrived in Essen 5 minutes late. That means I was 1 minute late for the last train to Borken. The next train to Borken was at 6am and I was not in the mood to pull an all-nighter as a homeless person in Essen.
I ended up walking the streets of Essen for an hour going from one full hotel to another. The only two open hotels were €100 and €140, respectively. For that price, I would rather sleep in the park and save the money.
Instead, I went back to the train station and looked at my options. There was really no way back to Borken before 6 am, even through a different city. I decided to take the midnight train to Münster…a place I was at least more familiar with. In Münster, I could see if there were any night buses towards Borken (at least try to get me within taxi range.) There were no options, so I decided to walk to my office.
When I arrived there at 1:30 am, I was really tired and upset. My office was empty and smelled of new
paint. I opened the window, laid down my jacket as a make-shift pillow and tried to sleep for a few hours. After a few hours (ok, 3 or 4) of tossing and turning and a major case of permanent rug burn on my arms and legs, I woke up and walked back to the bus stop and took the first bus to Borken.
When I spoke to Dana the next day, I only wanted to talk about my time in Dusseldorf. I mentioned, in passing, that I happened to miss the last bus to Borken and had to spend the night in my empty office in Munster. She busted out laughing and insisted that I write a post about it. So, here it is 9 readers; my post about my night in Dusseldorf, I mean Essen, I mean Munster.