Wednesday, 4 June 2014


Exciting architecture across a small lake, opposite the Park Hotel
Düsseldorf, nestled up to a great bend on the Rhine. Rain each day grey rain on grand buildings. Exciting architecture across a small lake, opposite the Park Hotel where I am billeted amongst 1900s furniture, dark wood and ornate gilt decoration.

Every member of staff at the Park hotel wears a long apron or has lashings of gilt braid on his or her jacket. Very Emperor Maximilian (or maybe Karl Lagerfeld.

Each evening a short walk to the out that, across the street; I have steak and salad and an impossibly large baked potato, which is only reluctantly separated from its silver foil outer skin with a struggle.
And an impossibly large baked potato

The ceiling in my room is impossibly high and the walls festooned with prints of nymphs, maids, cattle and swooning farm boys. Into room 109 drifts curious aroma of breakfast each morning, awakening the senses. More maids in aprons and tightfitting waistcoats populate the breakfast room.

Just before I leave to for the airport my colleague Matthias takes me to a shop (sausage tourism) called InHoven, 4 km away from the city, where I purchase €20-worth of great wurst.

Now aboard the plane the co-pilot of BA 945 has announced that we are all "zipped up" and ready to push off. Being "all zipped up” is not afraid I have heard before in this context and one is curious as what a pre-flight check includes on today is Airbus 320?
All zipped up?