We had a 10am train to Dusseldorf booked for this morning, we were all up and out of the hotel at just after 9am and took the train over to the main train station. Wendy and Chris were on the same train as us, we were due to arrive in Dusseldorf around 3pm.
There was lots of sleep going on on the train during the journey, i watched a couple of films on my laptop and wrote a couple older blog entries.
Kami and Wendy resting her foot, Chris was in awe of the Berlin station! Kami and Chris Guess who!
Stuart and Ole were on the train an hour behind us and had text to say they were on their way, Frank was also on the train with them. I'd found out hotel a few months ago right in the centre of Dusseldorf and mark had booked it for Him and Beth, Kim and Jo and Kami and i. frank had booked the same hotel, Wendy and Chris were in a hotel a stones through away and Stuart and Ole were in other place close by.
The first thing we noticed when we came up from the underground train station was how warm and humid it was here! It was pretty cold in Berlin when we left and it was nice to feel the warmth for a change! Of course the second we came out of the station there was a huge sign in front of a store with a picture of a smashed iphone screen! How did they know Wendy was here! It took us a while to get our bearings, my Google maps was messing up on my phone and i had Beth in one ear, Kami in the other and everyone else standing around waiting for me to show them the way! After walking for 50 yards one way, we turned around and started walking the correct way! Took us a while to get on the right track but we got the eventually and walked through the shopping area of Dusseldorf with our suitcases in tow, i looked like the Pied Piper with a line of rats following me! Kami took over the directions and became the Pied piper for a while while i dropped back and became a rat!
Five minutes later we could see the hotel and everyone relaxed a little. After checking in the hotel Mark buzzed through to our room and asked if we all wanted to do a boat tour. Sure, we said, i checked into it online and tried calling the number on the website but there was no reply. Kami and i took a walk up by the river where the sight seeing boat went from and found the last one left at 6:30 and there were plenty of places available and we didn't need to book. We let Ole and Stuart know and message Chris and Wendy to tell them we would meet in the lobby of our hotel at 6pm. it was now around five and Kami went off to the store to pick up a few snacks and drinks for the boat ride while i went back and took a shower.
The river walk Twisted spire on the church
Wendy text me to say her foot was pretty painful after being on it all day and the walk from the station so she was going to sit out of the boat ride but Chris was going to go. Myself, Kami, Kim, Joe, Mark, Beth, Chris, Ole and Stuart all met up in the lobby and walked down to the boar. It was abeutiful sunny evening, the temperature had dropped a little and was just right, the breeze while out on the boat and the company made it the perfect 90 minute trip, well apart from Wendy not being there.
While the 9 of us sat on the boat, eating fresh bread, Salami and cheese and drinking wine and beer while watching the world go by, i text Wendy to tell her how what an awful time we were having and how everyone was sea sick and not enjoying it at all! It took her a while to realize that i was only trying to make her feel better but hey, she had just had her blonde highlights done before coming on the trip!
It was so relaxing that after a day of travelling there was a little more sleeping going on the boat after the food and drink!
There were some amazing building along the side of the river/
We found a bar along the riverside that did some fantastic cocktails, we sat there and watched the sun go down and even though we had all been together for a few days now, it was nice to actually sit down without having a show that night and have some quality time to relax and talk together. Wendy was on her way to join us, earlier in the day after arriving in Dusseldorf, Chris had found a place that sold crutches to help Wendy out. 10 minutes later she came hobbling up the river walk waving her crutches in air!! Of course we all had to have a go on the crutches and it was the second we saw Wendy that she got her nickname for the rest of the trip, Tiny Tim!
Tiny Tim arrives! Watching the sunset from the bar drinking Long Island Iced tea!
Of course, EVERYONE had to have a go on the crutches and a couple of cocktails it was amazing how Wendy could walk without them! Its funny, you can take Roger away from us all for one night but you cant take the Roger out of the geeks! No Wendy, its a crutch not Rogers machine gun!
None of us had had lunch, just a few Harribo gummy bears on the train and the snacks on the boat. it was gone 9pm now and we were all hungry so made our way up to the old town to find somewhere to eat for dinner. A couple of weeks before the trip, Kami had been to see Jimmy Buffet with her mom and dad and for whatever reason she had fallen into the grill and burnt the side of her leg! she had been changing the bandage a few times during the trip and her wound was healing and getting better but imagine our surprise when walking up towards old town when we saw this graffiti on the side of a wall!! it was identical to her burn mark!
We didn't realise that of course it was going to be as bury as it was in the old town and trying to find a restaurant that would seat nine of us, outside was near on impossible! The girls waited at one end of the street while, myself, Chris, mark Joe and Stuart walked the whole length trying to find a restaurant, we turned right and saw a great place with a table for four free and a table for two free, it had a nice big outdoor covered patio and was just what we wanted. The waiter made a few changes to the tables and told us a table nearby were ready for leaving and he would let us know when it was ready. Mark, Chris and I headed back to get the girls, it was then we saw Stuart and Joe were missing! there's a surprise!! We got the girls and by the time we walked back to the restaurant the tables were all arranged for us but we still hadn't found Joe and Stuart. A few phones calls and 25 minutes later they came wondering up to take their places at the table after letting us know they had been back to use the bathroom at the hotel!
We had a fantastic meal, the food was great, the company was unbeatable and the laughs and jokes we had at Tiny Tims expense were priceless!
Beth and i passed on the dessert as we had spotted a Gelato place on the corner just before we got to the restaurant, however it was gone midnight before we all got up and left the restaurant and the place was closed for the night! we took a walk round to try find a bar or somewhere but gave up and all headed back to our hotels and on the way passed some great bronze statues of Roger and Dave!:) Of course the biggest geek on the trip was all over the Roger one!
Album below with pictures from day 1 in Dusseldorf