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    • Day30


      July 3, 2015 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      'It's too hot,' my boss said. 'The office is closed tomorrow, you have the day off.' So, yeah, today has been a free holiday. In the morning, I had to run some errands, but from about 12 onwards I was free, left with nothing to do. The good thing, though, about Düsseldorf is its proximity to so many other cool places. I thought about going to the Netherlands again for the second time this week, but the logistics of going getting my car and then sitting in it put me off. I thought about maybe Münster, but I didn't fancy sitting on a train for over an hour. Eventually I settled on the idea of going to Bonn. I've always wanted to see the old West German capital, so I checked the train times and made my way over to Düsseldorf Bilk train station.

      As I reached the top of the steps and made my way onto the platform, I saw there was a train pulling in and that its destination was Neanderthal. Change of plan, I thought. I hopped on and off I went. Again, I repeat, the cool thing about living in Düsseldorf is having so many cool places near by and accessible.

      It took about 20-25 minutes to get to Neanderthal, which is just as well considering that it was over 35 degrees outside and somewhat hotter in the train carriage it self. I was amazed at how quickly we were out of the city, how it suddenly just stops and gives way, completely, to a dense forest. And what forest! The Neander Valley is just that; a valley, one hell of a valley. The result is an almost vertical wall of trees.

      Anyway, I made it to Neanderthal, got off the train and made my way, through forest, towards the village centre. A village centre that almost entirely caters to the tourism.

      The river than runs through Neanderthal is the Düssel, which, of course, is where Düsseldorf gets its name from. You wouldn't much know there were two rivers that followed through Düsseldorf, because compared to the Rhine the Düssel is but a pathetic stream. It is the Düssel, though, that collects the water from the Neander Valley and carries it through the hills here to the Rhine.

      I followed the Düssel for a while, through the accompanying forest, to the spot where the first Neanderthal was discovered. Again, I carried on walk for a bit, before deciding to turn back, head into the village and explore the museum.
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    • Day30

      Neanderthal Museum

      July 3, 2015 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      The Neanderthal museum strikes a good balance between not dumbing down the subject matter yet simultaneously managing to appeal to children and/or Americans by providing lots of visual display.

      The exhibition starts of informing you about how the Neanderthal came to be discovered and what the implications were for the scientific world (Origin of Species was published just two years after the Neanderthal was discovered here) . It then moves on to focus on the environment and how modern Homo Sapiens (us!) have by tacked natural selection and that there will, in time, be painful consequences for doing so - an over reliance on antibiotics for example.

      I liked everything about the exhibition. That is apart from the 'what would the Neanderthals look like today part', which basically consisted of a five foot wax model of Jack Straw.
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    • Jun8

      Der Neandertaler

      June 8, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      1856 erblickte in einer Schlucht unweit von Essen und Düsseldorf der Neandertaler das zweite Mal das Licht der Welt. Zuvor war es ein beliebtes Wandergebiet der Einheimischen, später wurde Kalkstein abgebaut und irgendwo dazwischen fand man in den Karsthöhlen den Schädel unseres Vormenschen. Sehr viel mehr kann icb euch eigentlich gar nicht dazu sagen, denn es war Montag und das Museum hatte geschlossen. In Deutschland ist das eben üblich. Armes Deutschland wenn es Wissen wieder mal nur auf Zuteilung gibt. - Mach ich eben Urlaub und genieße das Wildtiergehege nebenan. Der Förderverein hat dort Eiszeittiere angesiedelt. Wisente,Auerochsen, Zurückgezüchtete Tarpane usw. Leider ist denen in der Mittagshitze ebenso schwül und daher sieht man sie kaum.

      Alles in allem habe ich vom Neandertal mehr erwartet. Soweit ich weiß war er dennoch ein schlaues Kerlchen, weitaus kräftigere Statur als wir heute. Selbst als Hölenmensch war er wohl technisch begabt und doch später technologisch unterlegen. Bis zuletzt muss es eine Coexistenz mit dem Neandertaler gegeben haben. Man kann das wohl anhand von Funden belegen die einen Austausch zwisch beiden Kulturen aufzeigen. Dennoch kann ich es leider nicht näher beschreiben.

      Auf nach Düsseldorf! Dort überrasche ich einen Freund. Es gibt Kaffee, Kuchen und ein bisschen Großstadtflair. Düsseldorf gehört jedoch zu den Ecken in Deutschland, die ich bereits sehr gut kenne. Es geht weit hinaus gen Westen in die Rheinische Tiefebene.
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