After a long 9 hour flight and almost a 2 hour train ride from Frankfurt Airport, I finally made it to the first city of my #Come2Germany trip.
The beautiful city of Düsseldorf!
Before arriving, I didn't know too much about Düsseldorf. The only information I was given was that it's a city in western Germany known for it's fashion industry and art scene.
Fashion and Art? Sold!
As soon as I arrived to my hotel, I dropped off my bags and met up with my tour guide to immediately start exploring this metropolitan city- and before the jetlag set in.
We took a double decker bus and went to the Königsallee, which is an urban boulevard known for its landscaped canal and fashion showrooms and luxury retail stores surrounding it.
We strolled around and admired the picturesque scenery. How breathtaking is the canal perfectly adorned by the Autumn leaves?
Nicknamed Kö by the locals, which literally translates to "Kings Avenue", the Königsallee is by far Germany's most busiest and upscale shopping street.
Even if you don't do any shopping, it's still worth exploring this luxurious area.
Close by is the Kö-Bogen, or the "King’s Bow", which is a large-scale office and retail complex whose sinuous form hugs the point where the Königsallee Boulevard converges with the newly created Hofgarten Park promenade.
The complex sits on two plots, comprised of two structures—one to the east, the other to the west—separated on the ground by a central pedestrian passageway and joined above by a two-story bridge.
The façade is intricately patterned: horizontal from some vantage points, vertical from others, and conceived so that the arrangement of stone and glass panels and aluminum louvers express a homogenous interpretation.
Later in the evening, we ventured to Old Town Düsseldorf, also known as Altstadt.
The Old Town has an area of half a square kilometer- which is less than a quarter of a percent of the whole city and has less than a percent of Düsseldorf's population.
When people visit Düsseldorf, they'll most likely come across an image of a cartwheel during their stay. They are one of the most popular Düsseldorf souvenirs and the city is filled with references and statues of these cartwheelers.
The most famous one is this Cartwheel Fountain in the city’s historic Old Town.
*Fun Fact: The city founded an annual cartwheel championship in 1937, and now more than 700 boys and girls from up to 15 countries compete every year
One of the highlights of the day was riding on The Wheel of Vision, an impressive structure placed on the Burgplatz next to both the Rhine promenade and Old Town (Altstadt), that offers spectacular views and pictures of the river and city.
After a long day of traveling and sightseeing, I went back to my hotel room and knocked out. It's a good thing too, since the next day was another jam packed day of exploring, this time on my own, without a tour guide.
Luckily, I was given a metro and wifi card. A traveler's best friends!
While walking around and taking in all of Düsseldorf's beauty, a big bright wall caught my eye.
If you know me, you know I'm a huge fan of murals. So naturally, I veered off my itinerary schedule and went to take a closer look.
The mural was massive!!
After taking a few pictures, I sat down and admired the wall for a couple of minutes. I think in that moment it finally hit me: I'm in Germany! The day before had been so nonstop that I didn't have time to process where I even was.
Whenever I travel, I love to take time to reflect on what I'm seeing and feeling. It makes you appreciate the journey just a bit more.
Ok, now back to this unbelievable wall!
The 27 meter long mural, called Hornets, is located on Paul-Klee-Platz, directly behind the Kunstsammlung. I later researched the person responsible for this art piece is English-American artist and filmmaker, Sarah Morris.
She used hand-painted tiles whose overall honeycombed structure alludes to the movements of hornets, hence the mural name.
Sarah Morris’s paintings and site-specific murals are positioned along the threshold between the geometric abstract art of modernism and contemporary graphic design. You can check out more of her work here.
After the mini detour, I headed to Breuninger, where I met up with Dusseldorf Tourism's Marketing team to get a private tour of the five story shopping center.
Breuninger is one of the oldest and most successful department stores in Europe. Founded in 1881, it still remains as one of the best places for luxury shopping.
The company’s passion for style and it's outstanding focus on service has established its status as a premium retailer, guaranteeing an exceptional shopping experience. Today Breuninger operates 11 department stores in Germany, with it's flagship store in Stuttgart and Düsseldorf.
All the stores bring together exclusive fashion, beauty, shoes and accessories from lifestyle labels and luxury brands like Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Céline, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Prada, and Valentino.
Customers preferring to shop in an atmosphere of privacy can take advantage of the exclusive personal shopping VIP area.
For lunch, we ate at the Breuninger Restaurant, located inside the massive shopping center. I tried, for the first time, an Apfel-Schorle- a sweet apple juice fruit spritzer.
It paired perfectly with my delicious shrimp pasta. Yum!
My next destination took me to the NRW-Forum museum, where the exhibition called "Ego Update" was being displayed.
I was really looking forward to seeing this project. The Ego Update cleverly illustrates how the "selfie" and digital revolution has influenced and changed photography all over the world.
"The future of the digital identify revolves around the phenomenon of the "selfie", investigating the fundamental question of "Who am I?" is taking shape, changing and evolving under the influence of digital media. How are world-wide digital and technological developments encroaching on human identity, and what kind of society will ultimately emerge?"
The word selfie was confirmed as the English word of the year in 2013. In 2014 Time magazine declared Düsseldorf the selfie capital of Germany.
"I photograph and document, therefore I am" - Ego Update.
Well hello there Mr. Ryan Gosling!
You haven't truly lived until you've seen an actual foot selfie ramp.
Yes people, a selfie ramp!
Taking a selfie in a selfie exhibit.
After seeing all those selfies, it was time for a drink!
I headed back to Old Town, to dine and taste the famous Altbier (German for "old beer") at Zum Schlüüssel Brewery.
Altbier is a style of beer originating in Germany and is a speciality of Düsseldorf.
Although I'm not a beer drinker, I was pleasantly surprised I enjoyed (and finished) their famous in house beer, the Original Schlüssel. For being a dark beer, it wasn't too strong and it had somewhat of a mild sweet taste.
My kind of beer!
With a beer in hand is how I ended my Düsseldorf trip.
Thank you to Düsseldorf Tourism's Marketing team for planning such a fun itinerary and making sure I had the best time possible.
Next stop on my #Come2Germany adventure: Rüdesheim!