The heavily-industrialised Ruhrgebiet had a bad reputation in the early 1980s, so I didn’t visit North Rhine-Westphalia while I lived in Germany. Except for a week’s course in Cologne, when I saw the cathedral. (You can’t miss it really, can you?)

I have since discovered the joys of travelling around Germany by train and the stretch up from Frankfurt am Main to Bonn is rather lovely, as the track runs along the banks of the Rhine. Just don’t ask me where the pictures above were taken. (Hopefully north of Koblenz and, therefore, in North Rhine-Westphalia.)

It was spring 2017 and my itinerary included:

a) Bonn, where after strolling down the banks of the Rhine, visiting Beethoven, admiring the Expressionists, one relaxes with the local brew and a most famous novel.

b) Wuppertal and a trip on Germany’s only suspension railway

c) Düsseldorf, where I had a rather pleasant surprise, given the bad reputation mentioned earlier. It was really quite, quite delightful … as for those houses on the banks of the Rhine. 😍😍😍

The Rhine wasn’t my primary objective in Düsseldorf. I was seeking out the Heinrich Heine museum and the Schumann House (currently being renovated.) Both fascinating places and highly recommended. This is a city I’d like to explore further.

Favourite reads from North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia has produced some of my favourite authors, and I continue to work my way through the catalogues of all three authors mentioned below, So I’ll just highlight my (current) favourite from each.

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum – Heinrich Böll (born in Cologne)

Dark Matter – Juli Zeh (born in Bonn)

The Hidden Life of Trees – Peter Wohlleben (born in Bonn)