Reliving your entire childhood on one walk

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I grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, but today live in the United States. On a recent trip back, while I was speaking at three events in Europe, I took a 2 1/2 hour walk around town-basically most of my childhood.

It was kind of interesting I walked by my old schools, where I practiced Judo and other places of importance. It was quite an interesting feeling. Every place had some kind of feeling attached to it. Most seemed much smaller than I remembered them. 

Here’s where  I wrote my bike down  hills. I spent hours upon hours there and it was scary at first. Looking at this place today, it also seemed smaller and not nearly as steep as I remembered it. 

Today, they even have a sign that says all need to use bicycles that can handle the ramps. Ha. That was debatable if my bike was officially capable of handling those ramps.

I spent many hours and days at this youth center when I was growing up as well. We played pool and other games and a couple times I got beat up. We also skateboarded outside.

My elementary school looks just like it looked 30-some years ago:

The ferry across the river still looks just like the one I remember from my childhood:

And this place is where I would go to get snacks,  Cokes and they would give me posters from movies that they were renting out. I would then put them on my wall at home. I thought that was so cool.

My walk took place on a Sunday and as you might imagine many stores are closed in Germany on Sundays. So window shopping in Germany on Sundays has a whole different meaning. People look but you can’t actually buy:

And while some things have changed in the last decades in the part of town where I grew up a lot of things have also stayed the same. Very interesting. On my Sunday walk I did stop by one of the Weihnachtsmarkts and enjoyed some Glühwein with Rum. They didn’t have one in that location years ago so that was a nice addition. 

I also noticed that some of the shortcuts from way back when are still around. This is one I took to get to my school from fifth through seventh grade:

It hasn’t changed at all.

So if you don’t live in your home town and have the chance to go back and just go on a walk to enjoy the scenery and remember the past I would highly recommend it. That doesn’t mean all the good all days were so much better but it’s quite all right to remember them for what they were.

Here are some more photos from my walk:

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