Düsseldorf, Germany
51° 13' N 6° 46' E
Jun 29, 2009 19:56
Distance 1000km

Text written in: English

Tango - and other fun stuff - on the Rhein

I flew into Düsseldorf without problems and made my way to the hostel where I'd stay four days.  It was called Backpackers Düsseldorf and was located a 10-15 minute walk from all the places I wanted to go... the Rhein Terrace, the Altstadt (or old part of the city), Königsallee (the ritzy shopping street), the botanical gardens and the Hafen, or port area, with lots of crazy, funky modern buildings.  I spent the first two days doing A LOT of walking around and talking pictures, the third day stayed in (due to the stormy day) and the fourth day headed back out again for some final sightseeing. 

For some reason - maybe because of the nice weather on three of my four days, or maybe as I was trying to save money - I really didn't have any desire to go into any museums.  Instead, I spent most of my time outside while in Düsseldorf... enjoyed hanging out on park benches and wandering through old churches and the small, cobblestone streets.  I found most of the Düsseldorfers I met to be quite friendly, especially the young people running the hostel (execpt the owner-guy, who always seemed to be in a bad mood... could have been the three different groups of guys - a Belgian soccer team, a German team and a group of Spaniards - all of whom were staying there over the weekend and causing havoc...  They irritated everybody!)  I enjoyed the city (it was my first time there), but really didn't fall in love with it.  The Old Town and the Promenade along the Rhein are lovely, but otherwise I felt that there wasn't much different (or any better) than other German cities I had seen.

Luckily, there were some great folks I met while there... One guy, Florian, from Heidelberg, was actually in Düsseldorf to tango.  Tangocamp is an International Argentine Tango Festival held in various locations throughout the world and Florian had come to take classes and dance all day - and all night - with some of Argentina's well-known tango teachers.  Here's the link: http://www.tangocamp.com/  I don't know how to tango, but was intrigued, so on Friday night he invited me to come and watch the dancing.  The Orquestra Sexteto Milonguero, from Buenos Aires, played several sets and had everyone (minus me) out on the floor.  They were a treat to watch and in between there was a DJ spinning one song after another so the dance floor was never empty.  I sat up above in the auditorium and just observed, taking pictures and enjoying the dancers.  Florian was having a good time, I caught him popping in and out of view occasionally with different ladies on his arm each time.  Later in the evening, several of the teachers gave some wonderful performances.  I videoed most of them... I'll try to upload a few of them here.... It was a great evening and really made me want to learn to tango.  Florian did show me a few steps before he left on Monday, but there wasn't much time (thanks anyway, Florian!).  So, I guess that's just another thing I need to put on my list of Life's To-Do's: learn to tango! =D

Another new friend I made was Claudia, a real sweetie who was living in Berlin, working for a publishing company but currently in Düsseldorf looking for an apartment and meeting up with her soon-to-be new coworkers at a different publishing company. She speaks very, very good English and had even taught German for awhile in Indiana at Purdue.  She would be returning to Berlin the same time I would be there, so we made plans to meet up and hang out during my time there.  Look for photos of her in my Berlin entry...

Photos / videos of "Tango - and other fun stuff - on the Rhein":