Day 26-31: Do So in Düsseldorf

I’m finally getting around town and am starting to like this place. There’s a reason for it being in the top ten livable cities in the world: a vibrant economy, clean streets, energetic people, and lots of historic and cultural sites to visit. What’s not to like?!?

Sunday Strolling along the Rhine is a Dusseldorf must-do, and a beautiful one at that. Its promenade is one of the longest and prettiest that I have seen anywhere. Here’s a snippet of the casual ambience, combined with a Sunday afternoon book fair. Of course everyone reads books here!

Many of my friends are astounded by my staying power for German culture. It could be regarded as passionless rather than passionate, dry as opposed to juicy, tired instead of energetic. To me, they are all the positive words I used.

My deep respect for the technical foundation of Germany was obvious to our family friend in Bath.  He knew exactly why I come here, and cited the Bauhaus before I could claim the catch phrase. Even though he can’t claim to be as obsessed as I am, he’s close to being an architect in mind and practice. Judging from his beautiful home in Bath, he already manifests an architectural way of thinking and living.

I’ve written about this in great detail in the past, but for newcomers, I’ll summarize three reasons, well actually, four, why I come to Germany every year:

1. To learn the second language I started in high school, fell in love with (after 5 years of loving French), but never had enough time to pursue;

2. To develop my love for art and science in architecture, and to savor Germany’s application of art history and technical ability together;

3. To learn and follow opera in German.

4. An extremely understanding husband, who lives with a crazy woman and gets a month off every year to recover from the other 11 months of being with her.

That’s my reason for being in and doing Germany. As for Dusseldorf, it’s in the top ten of liveable cities in the world, so why not? It’s the fourth in a series where I have chosen to study in Germany, after Dresden, Schwabisch Hall, and Berlin, in that order. Some of you may have missed earlier posts.

Yesterday, our German teacher explained that up until the Soccer World Cup win in Germany in 2014, Germany had never openly displayed the German flag. We were just learning the word for flag, and it was her teachable moment.


Here’s a quick shot of the curtain call from our class evening at the opera, “Tosca”. The stage presentation wasn’t as impressive as those in larger cities, but the performance was still very good.  A group of students were invited to go free of charge, so we were delighted to attend and enjoy an evening getting to know each other.

A quick overview of our German class postings is below. Our teacher is great. She keeps us on our toes during the entire four hours of class each day!

Köln Cathedral: The last posting showed the interior of the cathedral as I breezed through it on the way to the opera performance. It’s situated directly opposite the train station, and therefore hard to muss.

A UNESCO World site, the cathedral is probably one of the top 50 buildings in the world, and yes, one of our classic architectural history gems.

I’m attaching the Wikipedia link to those who might want to learn more about this impressive Gothic Cathedral. It is one of the tallest during its time, with two rows of columns on the exterior to support the vaulted ceiling. Gerhard Richter was tapped to design the stained glass windows!!

Be sure to click on photos if you want to see enlargements or captions.

2 thoughts on “Day 26-31: Do So in Düsseldorf”

  1. You are truly a multi-lingual world traveler, able to German & French besides English. Also I assume you’ve picked up more Cantonese from years of working in Hong Kong and of course from your husband. Looks like you’re in an excellent German class. Is it made up of mostly non-native German speaking people? Are there a lot of other Americans in the class? When I look at your teacher’s posted notes, some German does come back to me.


    1. Well, let’s not go too far. I tried my stifled Mandarin on the Chinese students in class the other day and all I could do were some muffled Cheutsch words! It was embarrassing, and out of desperation I resorted to some bad Cantonese. After a soliloquy of certain time, they commented, “I didn’t understand a word of what you just said”. I will assume it was that THEIR Cantonese wasn’t good enough, not MINE!!!
      There’s a fine mix of Scandinavian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian, British, Saudi and Turkish in the class. About as international as you can get. Even better, there’s only one other American in the group. I’ll try to add a final set of post-its from the class before the end for you. Some of my other German-learning buddies might find it fun to see too. Du sollst ein Kurs überlegen!


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