Previous entry Next entry

Steph’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 24 Apr 2008

Location: Neuss, Germany

MapWell it has been a little while since we have been able to update our blog as we have been in Bacharach and Rothenburg - two smaller regional towns - so finding an Internet place was difficult. We are actually in Munich now, but first of all we´ll update you on our travels after Hamburg....

We arrived in Dusseldorf in the afternoon of 23 April, after taking the train from Hamburg. We met Anne (Nicola´s sister who also came to Australia) and her boyfriend Tobi at the station and we then went back to Anne´s apartment where we shed our backpacks and set out for the Fernsehturm or TV Tower. We were quite thankful to go up the tower in a lift after our experience with the stairs at the Siegesaule in Berlin! At the top of the TV tower there is a huge platform which has 360 degree views of Dusseldorf. The view was amazing!

Afterwards we drove over the river to Neuss to see the Westhoffs. I (Steph) did an exchange in Grade 11, where Nicola came and stayed with my family (Anne satyed with another family) and then about six months later I went over and stayed with the Westhoffs in Neuss. It was so lovely to see Eva and Wilhelm again! Both times I have come to Neuss in the past it has always been around Christmas time, so it was wonderful to see their beautiful garden full of flowers.

The next day we travelled to the centre of Neuss and actually went inside the school where Anne and Nicola studied and where I spent a bit of time during the exchange. It felt a little strange to be back at the school again - and I´m sure it felt even stranger for Anne! Then we had a quick walk through the mall area of Neuss before meeting Tobi and driving to Cologne.

In Cologne we went inside the beautiful Cologne Dom or cathedral, which is huge. I think that even though Cologne got bombed during the war the cathedral survived largely intact. The architectural detail is so intricate and the towers so high, it is amazing to think how they constructed it. Anne asked us if we wanted to climb the tower, but she warned us there were over 500 stairs. We were keen for a challenge, so up we went. It took quite a while to reach the top and about 15 metres from the top I made the mistake of looking down and got a bit overcome by the height. But it seemed crazy to give up when I was so close to the top so after taking a moment I climbed the rest of the way. The 509 steps were definitely worth it because it was such a great view. We seem to be experiencing quite a few views of cities from towers and cathedrals, and I suspect there will be even more as we head into southern Germany!

We had such a wonderful time in Neuss with the Westhoffs, Anne and Tobi and we are so grateful for their hospitality. It was also wonderful that Anne and Tobi could get some time off work to show us around!