Düsseldorf and more

I was in Germany for several weeks in June ’04 and found a wonderful small hotel, Hotel Berlin Plaza, one-half block from the Ku’Damm in Berlin. I would recommend it. I think it’s too small to have “groups,” but the building did have two elevators. Almost all of the other people there were Germans. I had a single room with private bath for €86 (near $110) a day including a good big buffet breakfast. It was a special rate because I stayed 10 days.

I also was in Düsseldorf. I stayed at

Hotel Eden

(pronounced “Ayden”), which was very central. I think it cost about €86 a day, no breakfast included. The breakfast buffet cost €14 ($18), so I found a nice bakery about two blocks away where I could get coffee and a sweet roll. I usually take a small knife, wrapped in tin foil (in my checked luggage), to use when peeling fruit or cheese, etc., in my room.

There is a chain of marvelous chocolate shops in Düsseldorf by the name of Heinemann. Two of the shops also have café-restaurants. The chocolate shop I ate at was at Königsalle 30 (Kö-Center at Blumenstrasse), about two blocks from my hotel. I had only one meal there: curried chicken with rice (a big plateful), a ginger ale and a chocolate sundae for dessert. It cost about $15.

Chocolate shops differ in what they offer. They usually have various kinds of chocolate (white chocolate or milk chocolate, with nuts or without nuts). However, only DARK chocolate helps you LIVE LONGER! I have read several articles about this lately. It lowers your LDL and produces “happy” endorphins in your brain. I guess that’s why chocolate is so popular!

While in Düsseldorf I met good Swiss friends and we went to the wonderful train station there and took the train north to Bochum. They took me to a wonderful restaurant in a garden to celebrate my “special” birthday! It was called Gastronomie.

The bill was only €207 ($265) for seven people and we had all kinds of courses, lots of different wines and six or seven kinds of desserts as they had sold out of birthday cakes that day and everyone seemed to want a different kind of dessert! I thought it was a truly wonderful place to celebrate my birthday. I have seen bills for five people for more than that right here in Phoenix!

I will never forget how nice that railroad station in Düsseldorf is. I truly wish we had more of a “train” mentality in this country.

Scottsdale, AZ