Germany
Duisburg

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  • Day9

    Sep 28 - Zollverein Coal Mine Complex

    September 28, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Today began when we docked in Emmerich, Germany - the third country of this trip. The climb up the steep gangplank should have been a clue as to river conditions - the penny didn’t drop until later. Read on.

    Three big buses headed off to see the town of Xanten and to visit the Roman Ruins. We boarded a small bus with 15 others and headed to the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, a large former industrial site in the city of Essen, Germany. It has been inscribed into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since December 14, 2001, and is one of the anchor points of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. It is representative of the development of traditional heavy industries in Europe. The area is now a major arts and culture centre - a festival was being set up as we toured the area. Our guide for the trip was Thorsten whose name means “Son of Thor, the God of Thunder” in Norse Mythology.

    The first coal mine on the premises was founded in 1847, and mining activities took place from 1851 until December 23, 1986. For decades, starting in the late 1950s, the two parts of the site, Zollverein Coal Mine and Zollverein Coking Plant (erected 1957−1961, closed on June 30, 1993), ranked among the largest of their kinds in Europe. Shaft 12, built in the New Objectivity style, was opened in 1932 and is considered an architectural and technical masterpiece, earning it a reputation as the "most beautiful coal mine in the world”.

    Coal, after it is refined into coke, provides the carbon that transforms iron into steel which is used for so many applications - cars, appliances, food cans, roofing, siding, pools - the list is almost endless. As a steel worker for over 36 years, seeing a coal facility was a natural choice for me for today’s activity, and Doug loves all things mechanical so the choice was unanimous. We actually saw an ArcelorMittal site on the bus ride. Will try to figure out which one it was.

    Jütte was our guide at the complex. We traced the route that a lump of coal would take - from being extracted underground (we went only a few steps below ground), to being carted via horse-drawn coal bins to the dumping house, to being sorted by size and finally being sent to the coking plant. The huge machines and iron tracks and conveyor belts made the place look as if the workers were simply on a lunch break. It’s impossible to imagine the conditions that the workers endured - the noise, the noxious fumes, the stone dust that they breathed in, the heat and the oppressive humidity. Getting the “black gold” out of the earth took an enormous toll on many lives and on the environment.

    The plan was to drive to Duisburg and rendezvous with the ship. However, the steep gangplank we climbed in the morning was indicative of low water levels. As a result, the captain had to take extra time to carefully navigate the route to Duisburg and was going to be late in arriving. One of the other buses was needed for a tour on another cruise line, so in a bit of creativity, we got dropped in the Duisburg city centre with some free time to shop and explore and then to go to the ship - with 4 extra passengers who had been on the bus that was needed elsewhere. We got back to the ship about 2:45 p.m. and set sail for Koblenz at 3:00 p.m.

    While in Duisburg, we did what the locals did - eat on the street. Since it was past lunch time, we started with roasted nuts, moved on to French Fries, then had chocolate croissants and pretzels. We could have washed it all down with a cold beer or a glass of wine, but we showed remarkable self-restraint. Not going to need much for dinner tonight! And to Doug’s delight, there were cars - lots of cars - on display by almost every car manufacturer imaginable. Still haven’t found my next car - but we have 5-7 years to do so. There were people dressed up as Avengers (not Emma Peel and John Steed) and people dancing to old time music. The whole town seemed to be enjoying the sunny fall weather.

    I spent the afternoon trying to load pictures. Very little luck. At 6:00 p.m., Andreea gave us an overview of the next week and we made our daily activity choices. Tomorrow, we will be docked in Koblenz and have opted to do a 1.5 hour walking tour of the city. The wine tour bus (not our choice) filled up almost instantly. There are going to be a lot of very happy (and perhaps) sleepy people tomorrow afternoon!

    Will try to upload pics when we are in port in Koblenz.
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  • Day3

    Landschaftspark Nord Duisburg

    June 13 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Erster Stop nachdem wir heute Orgen den Rhein per Fähre überquert habenwsr heute der Landschaftsprk Nord in Duisburg.
    Ich hatte Lust auf den Ruhrpott mit ihren grossen Industrieanlagen.
    Da wir zum Glück die MTBs dabei haben konnten wir wntspannt durchdüsen. Beeindruckende Kulissen.
    Zum Middag gabs dann auch eine Currywurst:)
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  • Day32

    Duisburg

    July 5, 2015 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    It's the unanimous opinion of everyone who's been there: 'don't go to Duisburg' they say. Well, while I'm in Germany, I want to see everything, the good the bad and the ugly. So off I went to Duisburg.

    Duisburg is one of several cities that makes up the Ruhrgebiet (Dortmund, Essen, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen are some of the others), with the Ruhrgebiet being the area most famous in Germany for 150 years of heavy industry. Steel, coal, the whole lot. My trip today to Duisburg was my first venture into the Ruhrgebiet.

    I have to admit, when I got on the train I was in two minds about getting off at Duisburg. It was an Intercity train to Amsterdam and everyone on there had either a rucksack or a suitcase. They were all off to Amsterdam, I was off to Duisburg. Anyway, when we pulled in to Duisburg I had enough strength if will to step off the train and not carry on to Amsterdam.

    I made my way out of the station, on to the Portsmouth Platz, and tried to get an intuitive sense of where the city centre proper lay. As there was a cluster of tall office blocks to my left, I decided to head that way. And off I went for a few hours wandering the streets of Duisburg.

    Duisburg, the city centre, is not particularly nice but also not completely hopeless or without charms. It's not decaying and it certainly isn't dangerous. For whatever reason the Rathaus (the town hall) is some what out of the centre, and I headed there. Well, this part of the city was really quite nice as was the Hafen a few kilometres further north . So, all in all, Duisburg is pleasant enough and I'm willing to be a lone, defiant voice and say, 'Duisburg, do go there.'
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  • Day32

    Duisburg Innenhafen

    July 5, 2015 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Duisburg Innenhafen, a vast network of water channels just off the Rhein in Duisburg. Used, in the past, for loading cargo and shipping it up the Rhein. Today It has been gentrified and is now a combination of offices and apartments. It's an interesting landscape and by far the best area in DuisburgRead more

  • Day33

    Der Tag in Duisburg

    July 2, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Heute waren wir gut unterwegs. Im Industriepark, der ein altes stillgelegtes Stahlwerk, welches man besichtigen und beklettern kann, enthält. Dann gings ins Museum für deutsche Binnenschifffahrt und auf einem altem Kohledampfer. Danach zum Tiger & Turtle, einer Skulptur die einer Achterbahn nachempfunden ist. Morgen geht es weiter nach Düsseldorf.Read more

  • Day33

    Duisburger Innenhafen

    July 2, 2017 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Ein militärisches U-Boot in einem zivilen Hafen? Real oder Fiktion? Manchmal glauben wir nur was wir mit eigenen Augen sehen. Ihr Jonathan Frakes....... Ups falscher Kanal. Nette kleine Attrappe und ein Blick auf den Hafen.Read more

  • Day16

    Rheinorange

    March 26, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Liebe Follower, das heißt lieber August, liebe Mutti, besonders die Mutti, die mit ihrem kaputten Knie zu Hause auf dem Sofa liegen muss. Ich werde dir jetzt einmal erzählen, was du in der großen weiten Welt so vermissen musst.

    Da wäre zum einen das wundervolle Wetter. Und natürlich den Ort, an dem die Ruhr in den Rhein fließt. Das ist in Duisburg. Und dort steht auch die Landmarke “Rheinorange“, eine Stahlbramme von dem Kölner Künstler Lutz Fritsch, bei Rheinkilometer 780. An diesem Punkt hat die Ruhr 220 km von Winterberg aus zurückgelegt.

    Hier gibt es viel Gegend, Wasser und eine Menge Schiffe, die den Rhein auf und ab fahren. Man kann stundenlang am Ufer sitzen und einfach nur schauen.
    Wenn man nicht Pipi muss...
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Duisburg

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