Margarethenhöhe - Kleiner Markt
Alongside the main market square in Margarethenhöhe is the Kleiner Markt - here in the pic you can see an example ogf the pergola houses. Most have greenery clinging oto the thier walls adding to the charm of this place. Its no surprise that this housing development is considered a prime example of a German garden suburb and has been under monument protection since 1987.
The Villa Hügel was the home of the famous industrial tycoon, Alfred Krupp and his family, which has lived here over three generations.
The villa is surrounded by a lovely park with mayn greens. The building itself looks a bit too big somehow and I didn´t liked the interior really. Mainly german oak wood is used inside...for the walls, the floors and the ceilings...... So it´s quite dark inside and not very charming.... What I found the most interesting has been the library with many old books about iron and steel......
Zollverein: Walk the Grounds
Walking the grounds of the former mine can be done for free and on your own. The area covers a total of 100 hectares and includes shaft XII with its Bauhaus, shaft 1/2/8 further north, and the coking plants. All industrial activities have ceased. On rare occasions a tourist train runs along the outer track. Other former railway tracks have been turned into footpaths. A network of paths and trails takes you almost everywhere. Take your time, walking the entire area can occupy you for hours.
Get hold of a leaflet with a plan of the grounds at one of the info points.
Grab your camera and catch the impressive views of the giant industrial buildings. I was lucky even to catch a zeppelin passing over them.
Also have a look at what is growing here. The soil in former mining areas is rich in nitrate. After the end of mining a secondary ecosystem has developped with a special vegetation.
When I first visited in 2005 some trails were still rough and strolling around on my own felt almost scary, especially in the coking plant area. In the meantime, due to the upcoming year 2010 as cultural capital of Europe, it has almost become too polished, too cleaned up and tidy.
Essen, Cultural Capital 2010
A long weekend in Essen? Huh?? Yes I did, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to go back. The Ruhr District is, to me, the most underrated region in Germany. Since the end of coal mining in the 1980s the region underwent a profound change. The old image of a dirty industrial zone simply isn't true any more.
Essen is not exactly what I'd call a beautiful city, at least the city centre isn't. However, Essen is what I call an interesting, fascinating city with a rich cultural heritage and a long history back to the foundation of the convent in 852. It is a surprisingly green city.
Zollverein mine is the flagship since it was promoted to the status of UNESCO World Heritage. But there is more, much more to see. Museums, worker settlements from the early industrialization, church treasures from the early middle ages, museums, art collections and theatre, the landscapes along the Ruhr river and the lakes - and 52 other cities in close vicinity, connected by a dense public transportation network.
VT Meeting 23 November 2003 (3)
At the christmas market Anna got caught in a reindeer trap. A Finnish woman selling reindeer fur wanted to convince her that she really needs one. Vegetarian Anna went for a candle instead...
What if all reindeers take revenge some day?
Some people had a Glühwein then. I didn't. I don't like hot drinks with alcohol (apart from hot Caipirinhas of course!) and I definitely don't like them when it's +15C!
People were sitting outside on café terraces.... next to the christmas market!!! Is global warming really that bad ;-)
On the way we saw a few more light installations... I guess this one shows a midsummer scene....
Do people think Finland looks like this?
...and finally one for Tampere, Essen's Finnish twin town.
We were ready for dinner. Dutch chips sounded so tempting so we "quickly" agreed on how to get the the Dutch pub with all cars (not complicated at all ;-)
If we lose the other cars we will be lost completely. Maybe then we will find Ronny on the way?
So, we made it to the Dutch pub we wanted to go to, nobody got lost and we even found four parking spaces! He Diana and José confused the waiters with ordering in Dutch. The place has a Dutch menu only, they have a Dutch name ("De Prins") and the decoration of the place is full of Dutch things - but don't try to order in Dutch - nobody will understand you!
Scary thought of the waiter:
Why didn't anybody tell me when I got this job that there might be Dutch people coming here eventually?
We had so many laughs in this place, it's unbelieveable. I was so busy enjoying myself that I even forgot to take lots of pictures eg. the obligatory food pic.
Imagine you have to wear "Smelly" the T-Shirt!
That's why you only find very few pics here, I'm sorry. Sandra has great ones on her Essen page if you are interested.
Is José ever serious?
José and Diana entertained us with amazing stories and after they were finished nobody dared to say anything anymore because it couldn't get better than that. So we went home.
Sandra, thanks for organising a wonderful day!! I had so much fun and can't wait to see all of you again somewhere!
It won't be before next year probably.