October 16, 2013

Dusseldorf, Germany - Across the River Rhine and Back Again

The River Promenade at Dusseldorf
After being rained on for the last 4 days at Amsterdam, we were hoping that the weather at Dusseldorf will be better, but no! The rain clouds seem to be following us a everywhere. Before I carry on with my rant with on the weather, most Singaporeans will be scratching their heads and wondering where and what is this place called Dusseldorf. Personally, I was one of those ignorant Singaporeans who haven't heard of this place before I set foot on it


From Wikipedia:

Düsseldorf is an international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Düsseldorf is not only widely known as a centre of German advertising and fashion industries: in the last few years the city on the Rhine has become one of the top telecommunications centres in Germany. Located within the Blue Banana, the city is headquarters to five Fortune Global 500 and several DAX companies. Messe Düsseldorf claims to organise nearly one fifth of all world‘s premier trade shows.

Hence, began my story of running within the fashion capital of Germany:

After days of pouring rain, on the day we are about to leave for Hamburg, the clouds lifted briefly and we quickly took our chance to explore this beautiful city by jog. Big Boned Guy (BBG) decided to explore the early morning gardens and shopping streets to the East while I decided to try out the area around River Rhine. Alcoholic decided that the morning is simply too cold for him to even venture outdoors, so he shouted at us to turn off the lights and snuggled deeper into his bed covers.

Our hotel is located at the old town of Dusseldorf on the east bank of the River Rhine. Although city was completely destroyed during WWII, the old town was rebuilt according to the old city plans on its foundation wall, making it looks like an authentic historical town.

The run took me past the city hall (Town centers are always gold), the promenade along River Rhine (lots of cool cafes and pubs), the Rhine Tower, the Rheinkniebrücke bridge, the left bank of River Rhine where Größte Kirmes am Rhein ( Largest Fair on the Rhine) is being held, the Oberkasseler Brücke Bridge (Oldest Dusseldorf Rhine Bridge), Tonhalle Düsseldorf (Biggest Planetarium in 1926. Now a concert hall), Maritime Museum (Used to be the City Palace).
The Old Town Area
City Hall

Rheinkniebrücke bridge
the Rhine Tower
The Apartments on the West Bank of Rhine
Beautiful tree lined track
the left bank of River Rhine where
Größte Kirmes am Rhein (
Largest Fair on the Rhine) is being held
Oberkasseler Brücke Bridge
The River Promenade from the Bridge
Tonhalle Düsseldorf
Maritime Museum
The city is having a huge trade fair the next day.
Contractors setting up a Viking Ride for a theme park
Banner welcoming visitors to Trade Fair
The run will be perfectly enjoyable if not for the fact that my knee started to act up, right AFTER I ran across the River Rhine. The problem is, beautiful scenery, beautiful weather, and I am on the wrong side of the river! The main problem to tackle at that moment in time is whether to continue forward or do a U-turn the way I came, with both options just as bad as both ways back are around the same distance. On the hindsight, I should have just done a much shorter run, but the allure of a view of the whole city on top of the bridge was too much too resist at that point of time. I had underestimated the severity of my injury at that point of time. I decided to push on with the original route, thinking that new sights and sounds should serve as a good anesthetic towards any pain. My pace dropped from a steady run to a run/walk procedure after the 3km mark.

After another 1km or so, the pain got so bad that I decided to quit pushing myself and surrender myself to a brisk walk back to the hotel. The brisk walk soon became a limping trod as the pain started to bite every step that I took. My friends were getting pretty worried about me by this time, because I was out for more than 1 hour already. After assuring them that I was still very much alive and unharmed, I managed to limp back to the hotel like a wounded soldier...

This little episode haunted me for the rest of my 2 weeks in Europe and months after.

The punishment included: 

- Moaning on every flight of stairs that I have to conquer (which there are many)
- Moaning in pain when we were chasing after any bus/train/flight
- Moaning in pain when standing up from bed/chairs
- Moaning in pain after prolonged walking in the huge museums of Europe.

The pain persisted even when I came back from Europe.

This is when I realize that I might be quarantined from running for the next few months for my knee to heal and that includes the upcoming Stanchart Half Marathon which will be held in a month's time. 

I pray that my knee will heal with time and my running career is not permanently stunted.....   




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