“Travels to a Different Time” : 15August1974: Dusseldorf, Germany: Misery at The Youth Hostel

I did not sleep that well due to creaky bed. Every time I tossed and turned there was a loud creak caused by the faulty bed. On top of that I was beginning to feel sick. The way I have been zipping around perhaps it is exhaustion setting in. Breakfast was included with the room and it was poor quality. Not even a piece of cheese. A Swedish guy I met and I walked into Dusseldorf and aside from the old town there is little of beauty in this industrial town. The old town is quiet and peaceful. About 4 hours of walking around I began to feel worse. I walked back to the youth hostel wanting to crawl into bed but again in true youth hostel fashion the cleaning ladies prohibited me. Don’t expect sympathy at a youth hostel as it seems to be a big cold bureaucracy. I sat in the lobby and read the Herald Tribune and waited for an opportunity to dodge the cleaning ladies. I had a rest then a beautiful hot shower. No cold water showers in Germany and Austria! Feeling a bit better and took a long walk in the neighbourhood. I took the bus back to the hostel. The bus is 5 times more expensive than in Yugoslavia. The Swedish guy and I went to buy some ground beef at a nearby supermarket and we took my little propane burner and had a hamburger feast. They were cooked in garlic butter and we watched the Rhine flow by which in comparison to the rivers in Slovenia was filthy but we saw people swimming in it. I wonder if they are alive now! We returned for dessert splitting a kilo of grapes. He asked if I wanted to go check out the nightlife but I was feeling too crappy so I popped three Aspirin and crashed out continually interrupted by people coming and going. They had oversold the room so at lights out there were 5 in a room for 4. A youth hostel warden came and wanted to check my papers to see if I had paid for the night. I am a quiet person and peaceful but feeling so ill I could have slugged him. As there are no private rooms in homes in industrialized Europe the youth hostel is a cheap alternative.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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