One journalist's musings about the beautiful, bizarre world in which we live
I didn’t have to stay in Monheim Am Rhein. People suggested that I would find a place like nearby Cologne much more appealing, with its cathedral and medieval history. I’m sure it’s a lovely city.
Nevertheless, I kept myself in Monheim, a small farming community based southeast of Düsseldorf.
To get there in the first place, I took a subway to a train from the Düsseldorf Airport. I got off at a lonely stop during a dark night. I was the only one to get off there. I thought, “What did I get myself into this time?”
Stepping into the town, I found a short line of taxis that could take me to where I was staying for the night; according to the hotel clerk, I was lucky to find them there.
My hotel, Haus Rheinblick Ott, was located on the Rhine River. I spent a couple of nights there, while my days were filled with walking around and taking in the luscious farms, beautiful flowers and quaint riverside communities. I enjoyed how the forests smelled like Ontario’s, but when I opened my eyes they looked nothing like them.
In order to make it through on this little journey, I learned some basic German—where are the bathrooms, receipt please, etc. For more complicated communications, Google Translate on my mobile worked wonders. I had cell service almost everywhere.
To get back to the airport, I took a slow three-hour walk to Benrather-Schloßufer. The Rhine River has a path alongside, which took me through peaceful residential areas. I also walked along a path that took me through some woods, and past the Haus Bürgel, a museum that has remnants of Roman walls built into it.
It was a quick trip, but pleasant.
One warning though: heavy German food isn’t always friendly to the foreign digestive system, even one accustomed to Mexican street “meat” and mystery delights from student fridges.