25 June 2014

Germany Getaway: Dusseldorf & Hugo

On our 6th day, Hubby and I went with Michaela to Dusseldorf for a bit of sight-seeing, and Leverkusen for an errand.

While trying to find a place to park in Dusseldorf, we saw many Japanese people and restaurants.  According to Michaela, there really are a lot of Japanese there because of the business and offices. 

After parking her car at one of the malls, we headed towards K√∂nigsallee where we saw all these high-end and luxury shops, and this lady dressed as a witch
Honestly, I was shocked to see her.  Halloween was several months away and even Michaela didn't know why she was standing there.  Kinda spooky if you ask me.
As we walked around the city, we found a shop where we bought magnets, shot glasses, a snow globe, a deck of cards, and other souvenirs for our friends and family in Dubai.  The man there was so happy with our purchase, he gave us a boot-shaped souvenir glass and some decors to add to our pasalubong. 
Leaving the shop, we came across the Rathaus, which is the city hall.

There was also this Radschläger (cartwheel) sculpture which I found pretty unique and interesting.
Apparently, cartwheeling is a tradition there, and they even have a competition for it too!

As it was almost 2 o’clock, Michaela took us to a kind of resto-bar for lunch. She initially offered to take us to any of the Japanese and Italian restaurants nearby as well; but we were in Germany, and Dubai doesn’t have that many (affordable) German restaurants. We wanted to eat an authentic German meal, so her choice was good enough for us.
While Michaela had a salad, I had this:
German Sausages with Mashed Potatoes and something that resembled coleslaw
 and Hubby had this:
Pork with Grilled Potatoes
Sorry, I can’t remember the names of what we had, but we enjoyed them; my side dish that looked like coleslaw was a bit sour, though, but I liked it. And Hubby and I managed to finish everything on our plates, so yes, they were delicious.

After lunch, we passed by a confectionary shop to purchase some sweets

Chocolate pasta! Cool!
Countless candies!
Soon after, we headed to Leverkusen to pick up some things that the bride-to-be had printed from one of their suppliers for the wedding.  It was a pretty long drive, and although the traffic had begun to get heavy on our way back to Essen, we didn't get stuck...thanks to Michaela's car that had an app which notified us which roads to avoid, AND the fact that she could calmly drive at 180kph despite the rain!  No worries, though.  She's a really smart, alert and safe driver.

That night after dinner, we all had alcohol to drink. While the men had their usual beer, Dad gave us ladies a special drink that he had prepared. It’s called Hugo, which is a cocktail that’s made of champagne, ginger, lemongrass, and mint. I was hesitant to even taste it because I really don’t like any alcoholic drink, but when Irene told me it wasn’t bitter, I gave in and raised the glass to my lips. And it was delicious! Now it’s my favourite German drink =)
We all practiced dancing again that night. Mom and Dad had taken dance lessons years ago so they knew different steps, and they managed to convince all of us to follow them as well. They were really good! Mom in particular was very light on her feet.
However, since we couldn’t stop laughing at ourselves and of the countless jokes and funny things we would dare to do at the wedding, it was difficult for us to actually remember what they were teaching us.
We all went to our rooms very late that evening, still giggling as we bid each other good night as we thought of what could happen at the party on Saturday. 

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