The Ruhr region for the last 200 years has been the industrial heartland of Germany. Coal mines, steel mills, factories…that’s how the region has always been associated. Doesn’t sound very tempting from the touristic point of view, does it?
Well – it’s high time to rebuff that myth and to discover that this region is worth a a destination itself and should not be treated as an traffic jam obstacle while travelling through Germany.
Our tour will start and end in Brussels
Meeting point will be the the Esso petrol station on the E314 highway right after Leuven. Meeting time will be 4 pm Friday 29 June 2018.
The Ruhr Region is home to many crafts and industries, not only directly connected to mining and milling. Discovering them and showing them to kids will be great fun. As it is typical for Germany, most places will be not only children friendly, but will also have special activities for children.
We’ll meet at 4 p.m. on the Esso petrol station outside Leuven. We drive 175 km (1h 45 min) towards Dusseldorf, the capital of the land of Nordrhein-Westfallen and one of the main cities of the Ruhr. On the way we stop at a DM shop in Meerbusch (Duesseldorferstrasse 77) to do all the necessary shopping. We should arrive to our Novotel hotel in Duesseldorf around 7 PM. Afterwards we will head for a nice dinner.
After breakfast we will drive to Wuppertal (35 km, 30 min) to have a ride with the famous Schwebebahn – the oldest suspension railway in the world. It is an icon of Wuppertal and one of the safest means of transport in the world. In order to convince the passangers of its safety, in the 1930ties the managers of the railway took an elephant for a ride with the train.
Next stop on our trip is Solingen (7km 10 min) which has been known for centuries for its quality of steel. Here we will visit the German Blade Museum to discover the history of evolutions of blades, knives, swords and other white weapons. The museum has a special mini-museum where kids in a safe mode can touch and feel everything. The ticket price includes entries to both museums.
After lunch we will drive to Hagen (45 km, 45 min) to see the Westphalian Open Air Museum for Craft and Technics. Sixty workshops operate here daily presenting crafts and industries, many of which have now been forgotten. We will see how to make nails, roll cigars, beat ropes and may other things. We will spend the whole afternoon here (the museum is open till 5:30 PM).
In the late afternoon we return to Duesseldorf (70 km, 1h) where we can do a short stroll through the city center of the German capital of fashion (the CPD – Collections Premiere Duesseldorf is the largest fashion trade show in the world with 2000 exhibitors from over 40 countries). Afterwards we will go for dinner.
After breakfast we will drive (25 min, 20 km) to the nearby small village of Neandertal. It was here that in a cave the first skeleton of our closest human relative has been found. We will visit the museum dedicated to human evolution and we will learn more about ourselves.
Next stop on our trip in Essen (30 km, 30 min), where we will visit the famous Villa Huegen, which belonged to the industrial tycoon familly Krupp. The house built in the year 1870-73 consists of 269 rooms and has been extremely modern for the times of creation – it had double-paned windows, water heating and early form of air conditioning.
The last stop in the vicinity (20 min, 12 km) is the German Steamtrain Museum in Bochum. This is the biggest rail museum in Germany. We are lucky, because on Sunday 1 July many of the locomotives will be in operation. We will spend the whole afternoon here (the museum closes at 5 PM).
Afterwards we will be heading back to Brussels (240 km, 2h 30min).