Cruising Around

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
Trip End Dec 14, 2015

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Flag of Germany  , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Saturday, August 17, 2013

Howdy folks,

After a night of fireworks and touring the city, it was good not to have so much planned for the next day. I had a good breakfast with Hans-Peter and Heideröslein and we got ready to go into town to do a harbour boat tour. Duisburg is a large industrial area and it has the largest inland harbour in Germany so it was well worth checking out. I don't often get to do boat tours and it would be good to get off our feet!

We boarded the White Fleet boat through another boat which sold the tickets and everyone was cramped inside while the last tour got off. Eventually we managed to get a good spot in the sun on the deck and we were ready to go. The boat cruised out through the harbour past plenty of cranes and logistic areas before coming out into the Rhine River. We were told that one of the cranes could even lift 30 tonnes! There is so much commercial traffic here on the Rhine with coal and container ships cruising up and down the river. For a country like Germany which has a good river system and is small enough, it works well, but it could never work in Australia. We just don't get the rain!

We cruised back into another inlet past the Hafenfest which was quite busy. There were dragon boats on the water doing some training and even a paddle steamer. Further in, there were absolute mountains of differing stockpiles: coal, Volkswagen scrap metal in cubes and rusty pipes. Normally you wouldn't get a sightseeing tour like this through an industrial area, but it is a really important part of the German economy and I guess people are just curious.

The boat looped around and back to the dock and the whole cruise was 2 hours: a good amount of time. We stopped in the city centre to do a little bit of shopping before finding a place to eat. We had lunch at an interesting Balkan restaurant not far from home and the meat skewers were pretty good.

Back at home we relaxed and Melanie and her daughter came over after driving back from their holiday in Holland. It was good to catch up with them before Denise and her boyfriend Marco came around to pick me up for a drink in the Inner Harbour. Some of the harbour has undergone redevelopment and the inner harbour is now a place of restaurants, cafes and night life. We walked around and stopped to take a look at the spider bridge which had literally hundreds of spiders living on it. We finally figured out that after dark, the bridge is illuminated and attracts all the insects for the spiders to feast upon.

It was really good to sit down, drink a cocktail and grab a bite to eat. It was the perfect way to end the day even if we got a little lost driving on the way home!
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