Monday, 8 October 2012

From the UK to Germany...

As is customary when I have to fly anywhere, the weather is bad. Driving rain virtually all morning means the prospect of an unpleasant flight. Mind you, with take-off not until 1530hrs today, things might improve. Well, actually, they didn't, but I can report that an easyJet flight that I thought would be something like two hours, turned out to be just 56 minutes. I had enough time to drink one of those tiny plastic bottles of wine (Merlot) – plus a few nuts – before the plane landed in Dusseldorf.

The flight was surprisingly smooth considering that within four seconds of leaving the ground we were in thick cloud. However, within five minutes it was blue skies, then another layer of cloud and then blue skies again. In fact, by the time we'd reached our alloted 33,000ft, we started to descend.

Dusseldorf was experiencing better weather than the UK. Less cloud at any rate and the descent and landing was smooth. I reached the hotel just before 7pm – there's a one-hour time difference between Europe and the UK – and, after taking a wander down to the railway station and just a little bit beyond (found an amazing bike shop, but it was closed) I turned back and resolved to have dinner in the hotel.

"A table for one, please," I said, looking decidedly like Billy No Mates, and was directed to a table by the window where I could eavesdrop on the conversation of some American businessmen who were dining with some Taiwanese businessmen. They could have been Chinese, I can't recall, but the conversation was pretty drab so I contented myself with a copy of the Times, that I'd bought onboard the easyJet flight from Gatwick.
My room at the Holiday Inn, Dusseldorf – less pillows than the Atlanta
Marriott in the USA, but a very lightweight duvet.

A starter of tomato consomme was followed by salmon and noodles and an excellent glass of beer, although a glass of German red wine proved to be not so nice.

Outside of the hotel, there's not a lot to do so now I'm back in my room typing this out and considering an early night. It's 2220hrs here now, that's 2120hrs in the UK and I really ought to hit the sack. Not only is there nothing to do outside, but the street lighting is very dark, so much so that I could hardly see where I was going. Not a good sign.

I'm planning to get up with the lark to do a bit more exploring. I need to find out whether Dusseldorf has the equivalent to Montreal's Bixi Bikes and the UK's Boris Bikes. If the answer is yes, then I'll be taking a ride around Dusseldorf – if I get a free moment.

Haven't had time to take any photographs yet, although here's one of my hotel bedroom (see above). Not so many pillows as the Marriott in Atlanta.

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