DUSSELDORF A CITY OF CHOICES
When a group of Rhineland peasants decided what to call their village they had two choices as they had two rivers to give them a clue.
One of the rivers was called the Rhine the other was a rather pathetic looking specimen called the Dussel and in the end they opted for the latter and so the city of Dusseldorf was born!
In these debt ridden times although they went for the smaller choice, the Dussel may flow with such a small volume but they can shout quite loudly on the financial front as they are one of a few German cities that are debt free!
Their choice of city name may have seemed an odd choice but in the end they made it all add up to become not only financially sound but use that money to become fabulously rich in arts.
Dusseldorf sitting on the mighty river Rhine as it does has built a city of some culture.
Concert houses of international repute, opera museums and galleries a plenty litter the central area of its hub.
Surprisingly the city is closer than many people realise it is reachable by train from the UK. It is possible using Eurostar from St Pancras to make a fairly quick connection via Brussels and Cologne using the very efficient Deutsche Bahn.
A second class fare can cost as little and get you there without airport hassle in about five hours of train time. Currently there is a four hour stopover in Brussels but that is not wasted time you have time certainly for a little exploration time and time to grab a very enjoyable lunch sampling those great tasting Belgium chips (cooked in beef fat) yummy! Just like they were years ago before the health police had their say. Moules and frites the number one Brussels meal choice.
Leaving Brussels you on a DB ICE train as you continue your glide eastwards towards the Belgium border an onto Cologne at speeds around 250 khm a quick change in Cologne and you are soon pulling into central Dusseldorf and the main station, with public transport and taxis a plenty.
There is much to say for the plus of travelling on a train once you have crossed the border at St Pancras you are pretty free no more waiting for departure lounges and the hassle of boarding a plane waiting for luggage at the other end etc. it may take around the same time in total but I would bet most would arrive at their destinations in a much more relaxed state off the train.
Dusseldorf is keen to attract visitors and the British are well up their list of desirable and welcomed tourists. Discount travel and entrance cards are available to help the visitor make the very most of their stay in the city.
I suppose the starting point would have to be the Rhineturm or Rhine Tower as from its 200 metre high vantage point you get a great feel of the city layout and the way the river Rhine meanders through the edge of the city. The old town is a where there is a concentration of shops, bars and plenty of culture.
You can walk to a great number of points of interest or use your discount card to jump on and off the ample public transport network if walking is not you, there are building sin the city that date back to the 12th century but unfortunately the second world war did impact on the cities buildings, you can see lines of more modern structures and nestled alongside them an original one.
Much of the medieval layout is still there in the closed in streets nestling around the central cathedral and part of the old town hall or Rathaus with its traditional market square in front of it. A place at Christmas time where one of its main Christmas markets are held along with nearby squares all hosting their own distinctly styled advent time markets. As with nearly every major town and city in Germany Christmas markets are popular not only with tourists but the locals too who throng and make them such fun features in December and late November.