Whatever your origins, pretend you come from Naples, Bari or any other city of the Mediterranean so that you can make this very apt observation in the right tone: ” they are not simply precise but too precise“. Well, you’ve just correctly expressed what a visitor feels when he looses himself in the Boot of Düsseldorf and therefore enters the Europe’s largest boat show.
The area where the Boot Düsseldorf takes place is a huge exhibition complex whose various entrances are efficiently connected to each other by a shuttle service. You can choose the most convenient entrance for you and, after leaving your coat and trolley in the cloakroom, you can finally start your visit and explore all the booths free from any encumbrances. The different pavilions are all connected to each other, so, even if it rains or is particularly cold, you can always stay indoors. Sorry, I forgot: if you’ve taken the subway and you’ve already bought a ticket online, please remember that your route is totally free and you can run around the city throughout the duration of your stay in Düsseldorf. You are indeed considered as a honored guest of the City and therefore allowed to travel anywhere with no extra costs.
Now that you are inside the pavilions, it doesn’t matter if you love motorboats or sailboats because, once your dreams have come true and your researches have been carried out, you should totally explore the most typical corners of this international exhibition where maritime tradition, sophisticated craftsmanship, history and interesting facts merge together.
In particular, there’s a character I love very much, who never fails to take part to Düsseldorf Boat Show. Every year, I don’t fail to visit him: I like going and greeting him, waiting and finally taking a photo while, with his hat on, he patiently engraves his wooden figureheads. His booth hosts wooden woman’s faces and busts that once decorated the bows of some ancient sailing ships and now, offered in different sizes and colours, are probably destined to furnish the saloon of certain yacht clubs or the office of a romantic sailing enthusiast.
A little further on, there’s the booth of a technical school where the future craftsmen of the boating industry are trained and start building their first wooden vessels. I saw one of them (maybe a teacher) arranging a crossbeam on the keelson of a 12-feet dinghy. Quite apart from the difficulty of the work itself, I thought that it can’t be easy to build a boat while thousands of people look at you and some even take a photo.
The thousands of smartphones, which are increasingly more similar to cameras than simple cell phones, are compounded by the shots of the professional cameras used by reporters who never miss a chance to capture a craftsman who has chosen the international boat show to restore a dragon boat, by destroying and rebuilding the streamlined bow of the fascinating boat under everyone’s eyes.
I also lost myself in the most nostalgic and maritime corner of the nautical exhibition where you can bump into a light-hearted pirate crew or an odd sailor who, from his high stilts, draws the attention of both children and adults.
The little guests of nautical exhibitions are often the unsuspecting victims of their own parents dragging them all around; they are often even obliged to attend long, boring and obscure dialogues developing around some tables where only adults can seat while a dude smiles at their father, offering a glass of fresh water or some candies every time the child shows a moment of impatience.
But in Düsseldorf and, as far as I know, only in Düsseldorf, children have the possibility to enjoy an adventurous path, suspended 10 meters above the ground where they can jump from a wobbly trapeze to another, conveniently equipped with safety helmet and harness.
Traditionally less apprehensive than their Mediterranean counterparts, Teutonic parents silently attend their children’s high-altitude performances; no one shouts ” be careful!” or “watch where you’re going!” or other similar recommendations that an Italian mother could never repress.
A canoe ride, in a river surrounded by painted mountains, is certainly a quieter distraction as well as a ride on an optimist yacht in a wide pool where the crosswind is always guaranteed by high-powered fans.
Visiting the exhibition, playing, chasing the partner’s dreams or being dragged by parents are all really exhausting activities and it may happen that those who had been invited to test the mattresses gently offered by the German Coast Guard end up falling into Morpheus’ arms.