Monday, May 10, 2010

Via Elections to Düsseldorf Medien Hafen (Media Harbour)

After having missed out on voting in the UK general elections due to the simple fact that we have not had our postal voting documents yet, we ran into other election preparations in Düsseldorf on Saturday. (I could use a never-ending string of foul language to describe how I and my better half feel about the missing documents, but I will abstain since the odd under-age reader might take offence.) As some of my readers know, we live in a British NATO community in Germany, and we are dependant on the military postal services. Efficient they ain't!

We had gone to the lively, pulsating and cosmopolitan Düsseldorf just down the motorway. As always we had strolled along the main shopping street into the old town and had our regular meal in Fischhaus, a very popular fish restaurant. To stretch our legs afterwards this time we continued walking along the river further than we usually do.

We had seen some political banners etcetera and quite some police presence, but we did not think much of it. But when we had just passed under a bridge across the Rhine the place was swarming with media people and we realised what was going on. We were in fact standing next to the North Rhine Westphalia parliament building (Landestag), the seat of power for Germany's most populous state, and on Sunday 9 May elections would be held. Angela Merkel's coalition was under threat from the red-green alliance. (Exit polls indicate her coalition parties have lost it.) So in the end we experienced some, almost, first-hand election excitement.

But it got better! We continued along the river walk towards some buildings we had seen from afar and knew might be interesting. And boy, they were! We had to walk past the Rheinturm, which I wrote about in a post in 2007, to get there. We had at last made our way to the old harbour, now transformed into a modern place to work and live. In Wikipedia you can find some more information.

There were some weird and wonderful buildings. Guided tours were everywhere, there were people with maps and brochures and cameras kept clicking. I had held back so far, but now I had to give in to my instincts and I pulled the camera out, delaying our walk by quite a few minutes. Many features from the old working harbour were kept to give some sort of balance to all the ultra-modern buildings. I know I need to go back there earlier in the day because the light was dying as I took these pictures, and it was also overcast. But it was a truly exciting place. This was the first, but not the last time. I'll be back!


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oreneta said...

What amazing buildings! I'd go, let alone go back.

Limningedge said...

WOW! Love those buildings; can't decide which one I like best; uummm maybe the stairs ...

swenglishexpat said...

Oreneta and Limningedge - Contemporary, futuristic or ancient, I don't know which word to use, perhaps all three!

Zuzana said...

Very interesting pictures.
The houses remind me of the "Dancing House" in Prague, I wonder if they share the same architect.;)

swenglishexpat said...

Zuzana - Oh yes, it's Frank Gehry alright.