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I am changing the location for this week’s blog article from the south of Spain to the northern part of Germany known as the Ruhrgebiet. This is often described as the industrial heartland of Germany and is well-known for its many factories and the associated infrastructure which allows them to get raw materials from, and to transport end products to, other parts of Europe and the World. However within this industrial area I was still able to get close to nature in the centre of the City of Bochum by staying in a hotel (Marriott’s Courtyard Bochum Stadtpark) which is next to the city’s park.
However, before I share my Bochum experiences with you it would be remiss of me not to mention the UEFA European Football Championship and in particular my respect for the thoroughness with which our German friends ensure their national flags are properly cleaned. I visited Bavaria at the weekend to see my son Pascal and as I popped down to the bakers to get the morning rolls I was met by the vision which I captured in the photograph below.
Needless to say in the bakers I was quick to congratulate my Pretzel Fräulein ‘Flitsy Ann’ regarding the thoroughness of the Bad Feilnbach football supporters. Not only had they washed this huge flag but they had also found a way to hang it up to dry which avoided it getting any creases in it. German ingenuity at its best! I did point out however that it was perhaps a titsy bit expensive to hire a crane and install it in the middle of the village simply in order to save having to iron the flag she didn’t seem to get my point.
So moving back up north to beautiful Bochum (where they just hang the flags out of the car windows to dry – a reflection of the more down to earth industrial types). The photos below are taken from inside, or around, the Stadtpark. If you need to visit Bochum this is a great place to enjoy some greenery (especially if you are wearing a pedometer), and it is full of wildlife (especially rabbits). There is even has a zoo next door where, on sunny days, you can sit in the beer garden and sip your beer while watching the pink flamingoes do their stuff. The Stadtpark has some interesting metal sculptures and I particularly like the old houses around the edge which were built by the city’s wealthy merchants around the beginning of the last century. The Lutherkirche (Lutheran Church) and the Bismarckturm (Bismark’s tower) date from the same time (ca. 1910). I have included a photo of the latter in RISKKO’s Dog Blog which can be found here.
One word of warning. If you don’t like rabbits the Stadtpark is not for you – there are hundreds!