Today my ride was going to be a bit different – in that it would involve a train!
Last night I located the Hauptbahnhof and bought my tickets so that everything was ready. It took me ages to work out which ticket I needed but eventually plumped for a 4,50€ ticket for me and a 1,80€ extra ticket for the bike.
I woke up really early and decided in the end to get the train an hour earlier than I had originally planned as I thought time might be tight today. So I was on the brand new Eurobahn train at 8:10am, having cycled 2.5 slow miles to the main station through the rush hour of Düsseldorf, which was made worse by all the bits of tree lying around.
I got off the train at Wuppertal-Vohwinkel which is the westernmost point of the Schwebebahn, which was a 2 minute ride round from the railway station. I locked my bike up, bought my ticket for the return trip on the Schwebebahn (my train ticket from Düsseldorf was valid to the Hauptbahnhof on the Schwebebahn too!) and off I went.
Here are some pics of the Schwebebahn which was just fab!
(Warning that the train rocks when you get off – which it does. It could make some people queasy, I think)
It’s attached rather like a cablecar.
It’s a brilliant idea to span the river so that the space is used.
The view inside – the seats are on the inside side of the Bahn, if that makes sense, not the outer edge.
The turning mechanism at the end.
I stopped off at the Hauptbahnhof and had a doughnut, then got straight back on to go back to Vohwinkel.
It was a really good fun experience. It’s not particularly fast but is very convenient and the platforms are easy to build – they just have lifts and steps up above street level. The traffic is underneath you a lot of the time (when the River Wupper isn’t underneath).
The Schwebebahn is closed from Friday for two months to lay some new track (suspend some new track?) around an awkward corner, so I’m glad I got a chance to use it.
So… now for the ride back. Off I set, with a fairly uphill bit to start and then a significant downhill. I am SOOOOO glad that I didn’t cycle this the other way as it would have killed me! As it was, it was rather hard work at times as it was a bit off-road through the Neander Valley (yes, I went through the Neandertal).
Saw this interesting vehicle.
And this interesting parking place for horses:
The quiet Neandertal
A memorial to the chap who found Neanderthal Man and to the Neandertals themselves.
Although it was only 16 miles back it took me two hours due to the off-roadness. But it was a good fun ride overall, I’m just relieved I didn’t do it the other way round…