Sonder Gemark

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    • Day34

      Hiking the lakes of Dusseldorf

      August 15, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Up early, we headed to Erkrath, south-east of the centre of Dusseldorf to hike around the lakes here. The walk ended up being similar to hiking around Rutland Water, under the first overcast sky in a long while - perfectly pleasant but nothing mindblowing. Grabbing a train back from Hilden, we wandered through the shops of Dusseldorf, which weren't open yesterday, before grabbing a pint on the Rhine Promenade. The advertising pillars in Dusseldorf are topped with sculptures of people, which are perpetually terrifying when you think someone is about to fall off them! By the time we got back to the hotel, Fitbit said we'd walked about 24km and nearly 35,000 steps! We booked an extra night here but plan to use it to day trip to Arnham tomorrow.

      Beer Index (Dusseldorf) - €5.36/0.5l
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    • Day7

      Schloss Benrath

      June 10, 2015 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      I went on a daytrip to Holland today. It was for work. And then later in the evening I visited Schloss Benrath. I really can’t complain.

      Schloss Benrath was built in the late 1700’s and sits on the bank of the Rhein a couple of miles south of Düsseldorf. It takes roughly about a year and half to get there on an apocalypse tram. Or, to be more precise, about 25 minutes. But that is a lot of time when you’re in a race against the setting sun.

      I got to Benrath at about 9m, so only had about an hour and a half to play with before darkness set in. I didn’t get a chance to see much of Benrtah, the town itself, or the enormous palace gardens, but both seemed really nice. Tonight, I was here just to see the palace.

      Pink, Baroque, lovely. The palace sits, raised slightly, in front of a circular, tree lined pond. Geese and goslings, ducks and ducklings swam about the pond, which reflected the pinkness of the palace and the pale orange of the retiring sun. There are two wings on either side of the palace, which curve about the perimeter of the pond.

      To the back of the palace is another pond; a long one that seems to stretch on forever. Here nature has been tamed and controlled, in a very French, ordered way. A mini Versailles. The lawns were full of people, sitting watching the world go by or walking their dogs. (One person, would you believe it, was walking a bear. A barking bear! I jumped, ever so slightly, when I saw that beast.)

      There is an Englischer Garten too, full of roses and tulips and other flowers I couldn’t put a name to. An Englischer Garten with tulips. You see, Mum, there really is no excuse.

      Then there was an orangerie, an enormous orangerie. I’m partial to an orange myself, but these lots must have taken it to a whole different level. The orangerie was larger than the actual palace itself.

      Schloss Benrath seems to get overlooked. It isn’t on most people’s radars. Whilst my spinach ravioli was cooking (two days down, six to go), I was studying the new Düsseldorf street plan map that I’d just bought. I was trying to figure out the best way to the palace, when a housemate walked in and offered to help me. ‘I’ve been once,’ they said, ‘but that was over ten years ago, and I was there only by accident’. That was coming from someone who had lived in Düsseldorf all their life. So we worked out the best way to get there, and off we went.

      It is worth remembering, though, that this is the Rhein land. Palaces here are a plenty. So if Benrath should fail to get the attention it deserves, it’s because it’s a small fish in a big pond. If you head south there are palaces and castles scattered across the entire landscape. I remember travelling from Koblenz to Strasbourg, and for much of that journey the train followed the Rhein. On both the French and the German side, there were palaces and castles and fortresses almost every 200 meters are so. This patch of land has, over the years, been fiercely thought over. Although watching the geese paddle around the Schloßweiher, you would never have thought so.
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    • Day19


      May 16, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Värmen kom i en väldans fart här i Tyskland. 29 grader, i skuggan!!. Bilkörning nästan en omöjlighet. Vi lyckades ändå köra kring 15 mil i bilköer och vägarbeten. Checkade in på en camping nära vattnet. Kläckvärme..!!Read more

    • 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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    • Day2

      Bank & Versicherung

      August 16, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Erst mal ab dem Tag X alle Versicherungen und Rentenversicherungen die man nicht braucht stilllegen. Kann man problemlos für ein Jahr ruhen lassen, kostet nur einen Unterschrift.

      Die Haftpflicht gehört natürlich zu den Versicherungen die man nie nie nie abwählt!

      Der Dank geht an unseren Berater bei der Bank, es ist jedesmal ganz ungezwungen und wunderbar bei Ihnen!
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    • Day2

      Top Frühstück, Schloss Benrath&Kochabend

      October 29, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      Heute starten wir sehr ausgeschlafen in den Tag: Die Nacht wurden die Uhren eine Stunde zurück gestellt und wir sind erst um 10:30 Uhr mit Jacky & Toni zum Frühstück verabredet. Also nochmal umdrehen und in Ruhe die freistehende (zugegeben auch gewöhnungsbedürftige Dusche) genießen und dann ab in die glutenfreie Patîsserie Isabella! Ein sehr heimeliges Ambiente sowie super leckeres Frühstück erwartet uns. Ein wundervoller Start in den Tag und ein super ausgesuchtes Geschenk von Jacky zu meinem Geburtstag!

      Anschließend geht es durch Sturm und Schauer mit dem Auto zum Schloss Benrath. Wir buchen die Führung um 13:30 Uhr und machen bevor diese beginnt noch einen kleinen Spaziergang durch den herbstlichen, großzügigen Schlosspark. Gut, dass wir das vorher gemacht haben, denn pünktlich zur Führung fegt der nächste Schauer vom Himmel. Zum Glück ist die Führung drinnen. :-)

      1 Stunde lang wandeln wir unter der Führung eines vermutlich südeuropäischen Kunststudenten auf den Spuren des Kurfürsten Carl Theodors und seiner Gemalin Elisabeth Auguste durch deren einstige Sommerresidenz. Auch wenn sie selbst das Schloss laut der Überlieferung nur 3 mal nutzten, spürt man die adelige Atmosphäre in jedem der herrschaftlichen Räume. Ein prunkvolles Schloss mit vielen Geheimtüren und -gängen sowie vielen spannenden Geschichten. Sehr zu empfehlen und einen Besuch in jedem Fall wert!

      Nach der Führung treibt uns das nach wie vor kalte, stürmische Herbstwetter in ein gemütliches Café. Bei Riesenwaffeln, Kaffee und Kakao wärmen wir uns auf bevor es zurück in die City geht.

      Wir gönnen uns 2 Stunden Ruhepause im Hotel und laufen dann zu Jacky in die Wohnung und kochen gemeinsam Spaghetti mit Süßkartoffeln, Feta und Spinat. Es wird ein geselliger, ruhiger Abend mit lustigen Anekdoten und schönen Urlaubsbildern aus Andalusien.
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    • Day9


      September 26, 2022 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

      Nach dem Besuch bei Michael fuhren wir Richtung Hilden. Eigentlich wollten wir noch eine Zwischenübernachtung einlegen, aber aufgrund des schlechten Wetters rauschten wir durch und waren am Nachmittag bei Karls Mutter.
      In ihrer Straße konnten wir wegen einer großen Baustelle nicht bleiben und so stellten wir uns auf den Parkplatz eines Großmarktes. Nicht gerade ein romantisches Plätzchen, aber nachts wurden die Tore geschlossen und es war sehr ruhig.
      Es gab einiges zu erledigen, wie einkaufen, kochen, Kuchen backen und die Restaurierung der Frisur 😉
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