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Mittwoch, 19. Oktober 2016

Essen - Germany

Essen - A city not supposed to be that nice

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Starting of in Vienna Main Station the Euronight Express is taking me to Dusseldorf, and then a local train to Essen, where my lovely friend Sonja is awaiting me.
The cathedral of Cologne  - from the train
I shared my compartment with five other people, including a young family with a boy of the age around seven (but I am really bad guessing ages, so whatever).
In the morning, shortly before arriving in Cologne the boy was asked, if he was happy to be back home soon. He answered - looking outside the window - , "No, there are just old, broken buildings out there!" And he was so right. In that moment I was thinking to myself, "Where the hell am I travelling to?". Outside the window, there were just old, broken buildings, really bad graffiti and ugly factories.
But, and here is the big but, when we passed by Cologne, I got a quick look at the famous cathedral and from there on the buildings started to look nicer and not just "old and broken".

Bringing sunny weather with me... aaaaaaand: it's gone!

Enjoying the nice weather
as long as it lasted...
A water stream makes every park better.
High trees, yellow leaves, blue sky -
that's "the golden autumn"
As you know from above, I have a good friend living in Essen - actually that's the only reason I started that journey to begin with. She brought me to her place before - unfortunately - she had to get back to her classes at university. Since the weather was still sunny and the forecast was pretty sure those were the very last nice hours, not to say minutes before an seemingly never ending rain would start - I packed my bag and went for a walk through the oldest park of Essen - the Borbecker Castle Park (Borbecker Schlosspark). I was positively surprised: It was a really, really beautiful place! Well, the castle was not that amazing, but just all the autumn trees, the still pretty warm sun, it made it a perfect walk and I brought my pen, paper notebook as well as a chocolate bar. So would could possible be better?
Finding a perfect spot to write :)
Well, if the weather would have stayed that nice for starters... The rain started a few hours later though and didn't stop until the end of my trip.

Sweater weather, the beauty of earth and a thousand people

When we woke up the next day, the rain was still going on and on and on... Wet and cold and urgh .. So, since my tourist guide book only recommended parks, nice streets and house facades, I didn't really know what to do. Great to have an insider by my side. Sonjas mum recommended to go to a photo exhibit,  called "The wonders of nature" in the "Gasometer Oberhausen" - a close-by city.
Optimizing the photos of the exhibition a little bit....
This one was taken by Sonja :)
We call it: "The attack!"
The earth of the exhibition :)
And I was impressed. The pictures where really stunning, full of life and color, but the very best thing: A giant earth kind of floating around. Watching day and night pass by like astronauts! And than also the clouds (nice cyclogenises above Italy - textbook-like-perfect, meteorologists anyone?) and the Greenland ice shield melting in summer, freezing in winter - almost connecting with Iceland... Beautifully done! If it wasn't for the cold and the really uncomfortable stairs, we might have stayed longer..

So - perfect day? Nope, unfortunately we weren't the only ones wanting to do stuff inside on such a rainy day - so it felt like the whole population of Essen joined us.. I am not made for big cities.. I like the quite exhibitions, where you are the only visitor having the pictures all to yourself :D

We didn't do anything special in the afternoon for the bad weather and because Sonja had to got back to university. But we got amazing pancakes for lunch from her mum, so that made my day :)

Essens town center, still raining and the good-bye

Paternoster ride!
Photo taken by Sonja.
For my last day in Essen, I wanted to do traditional sight-seeing, so we went to Essens town center but before all the church-pedestrian lane-tourist attraction-tour could start, we had to take the elevator. Elevator, you ask? Yes, but not just any elevator but an old paternoster! An elevator without doors, like just going up and down and you have to kind of jump in. Well, pictures say more than a thousand words, so just google it, if you don't know what I am talking about.
The Essen Deiter-Chime
And, oh boy, I loved it! I could have taken the elevator up and down the whole day, but we wanted to see the "Deiter-Chime" ("Deiter-Glockenspiel") at midday so we could hear its sound.
Unfortunately it was broken. No bells, no sound, not even the correct time was shown by the clock on top. Nice to look at though. It's probably the most tourist-attraction-like-thing I saw in Essen.
Old synagogue in the back
old catholic peace church in the front
After that we went to the Essen Cathedral, the old synagogue, an old catholic peace church and in between those a big water fountain without water. I guess they winterized it. And because all the time the rain was following us, we decided it was time to go home.

My last afternoon in Essen was quite lazy, quite fun and a little sad because I had to leave. The night train took me back to Vienna.
Making the best out of the rain at the "century fountain"
between the synagogue and the church
Photo taken by Sonja

I hope you enjoyed reading about my little journey to Essen and forgive me for all my spelling, grammar and vocabulary mistakes!

My literature website will be available in English soon, until then - if you speak German - feel free to check out: viola.semper.at!

Have fun reading!

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