We left our hotel in Amsterdam about 9am, figuring it would take 30 minutes to get to the Metro system and then to Centraal, and with a 10:40am train, that would have worked out fine. I decided that we needed to get some money from the geldautomat since we had to pay for some things in cash over the last six days and didn’t arrive with a lot of left over euros. Every one of four different geldautomats was out of service. Let’s hope Düsseldorf is better!
We waited around in the underground part of the station until closer to the departure time of our ICE. When we got up to the track however, the announcement board said: Canceled. There were no staff around to assist, so we went to the travel center and joined a large line. The line was to get a ticket number to get helped… (we were number 90). After about 45 minutes between standing in line to get a number and waiting to get helped, we were able to ask a staff member if we couldn’t just get on the next train (whatever it was). There were two in the next hour, one a high speed ICE and another Intercity (that stops at each station). Predictably, the ICE was already booked between those who booked seats to be on the train (you must reserve seats on an ICE) and the spillover from our train. So the Intercity was our choice.
The train was leaving in about 20 minutes so we made our way to the correct track, knowing we’d also have to change in Arnhem to another train after about an hour. This all worked out as well as possible, just delaying our arrival in Düsseldorf by about 2 hours between taking a later train and one that was slower. One of the hazards of travel is having unexpected events change your plans.
We’ve not visited Düsseldorf before, so we were not familiar with the train station or tram system/buying tickets, etc. , but we figured out the ticket machine (found working geldautomats aka “ATM”) and bought 2 x 24 hour tickets (touch to pay!) to get us closer to our hotel (still have a short walk). Once onboard, we saw that the tram had a ticket machine onboard and it looked like a simpler interface than the ones in the station. It was only about 10 stops and less than 15 minutes ride on the tram to our stop and then a 10 minute walk to our hotel. We’re staying in an area that were previously docks along the Rhine River and has been redeveloped to office buildings, restaurants and hotels. There are several hotels around us that are built out on a finger of land that juts out into a part of the Rhine River. Our hotel is at the front of that point, meaning it has a great view out to the River.
We have a spectacular view from our room on two sides (corner room). After a little rest from our journey, we went up to the members ‘ lounge on the 18th floor. The lounge still isn’t open, but the view is great. We left the lounge and once downstairs, walked across a nearby bridge and then down alongside the River. It’s about 65F degrees and the weather is just beautiful. There are several rowing skiffs out on the river and a few other small boats; they stay in one channel, far away from the big tug boats pushing barges up the river or the river cruise boats we see.
We walked along the River bank, but because we arrived later than planned, didn’t have time to explore further.
P.S. in a world of high tech, there’s one I don’t fully appreciate in a hotel room; maybe it’s just me. There’s a toilet “closet” that only has the toilet. Not just any toilet. A robopotty. Open the door and the lid slowly rises up to greet you.
There are of course controls to warm the seat and determine how much water spray to apply. I wonder how much they spent on this?