The Railtrack Hiking Trail

Easy Hikes in Germany The Erzbahn – A Railtrack Hiking Trail Some hiking trails have always been hiking trails, and there is nothing wrong with that. Others, however, have a history behind them: itinerant tradesmen may have been using them for centuries to carry their wares from village to village, or the trail gives you the chance of walking in the footsteps of customs officers who were once patrolling a neighbouring “bandit country”.

The Railtrack Hiking Trail

A Nightingale in a Coal Mine

"An old coal mine along the Muttental hiking trail in Germany"

Day Hiking in Germany A Coal Mine Called Nightingale Nightingale or Nachtigall Colliery (“Zeche Nachtigall“) at the foot of the Muttental trail prides itself on being the “cradle of coal mining” in West Germany.

Coal was actually dug out of the surrounding hillsides as long as 300 years ago, and in 1839, at the very dawn of the Industrial Age, one of Germany’s first deep mining shafts was sunk here.

A Nightingale in a Coal Mine

The City of the Future

"Relics of Germany's industrial heartland"

What to See in Germany While I don’t think it is slanderous to call most, perhaps all, of its cities ugly, Germany’s old industrial heartland of the Ruhrgebiet is still a great place to visit. Mainly for two reasons:

– One, the Ruhrgebiet landscapes are nearly always interesting and can, occasionally, be downright idyllic – something that people who only know the Ruhrgebiet from its bad reputation find impossible to believe.

The City of the Future

The Lake District of the Ruhr

"Lake Böllert along the Duisburger Seenplatte"

Easy hiking in Germany Meet the Lake District of the Ruhr A few weeks ago, we travelled all the way to the Mecklenburger Seenplatte in Germany’s “Far East” to experience a near-Scandinavian blend of beauty and bleakness. This week, we discovered that we could have had all of that much closer to “home”.

Well, nearly all of that. The Duisburger Seenplatte (Duisburg Lakeland) on the western edge of the Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial

The Lake District of the Ruhr

The Coalminers Trail

"Witten Muttental Mining Museum in Germany"

Hiking in Germany The Coalminers Trail There are two things you should know about the Muttental Mining Trail, east of the Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial heartland:

Firstly, for nearly all of the trail’s 9 km, you would never think that you are in the middle of what is essentially a city of 7 or 8 million people, the fifth largest urban agglomeration in Europe. Even on the few occasions where you leave the

The Coalminers Trail

The Dragon Bridge over Recklinghausen

"The Dragon Bridge in the Ruhrgebiet in Germany"

What to See in Germany The Dragon watching over Recklinghausen

We crossed this Dragon Bridge when we got to the end of our day hike on the man made mountain of Recklinghausen in the Ruhrgebiet. The bridge, as a matter of fact, was an amusing distraction to the grey industrial landscape that met us on the other side. This is also our featured

The Dragon Bridge over Recklinghausen

Hiking A Man Made Mountain

"One of the balconies of the Balcony Promenade in Hoheward Park in the Ruhrgebiet in Germany "

Hiking in Germany A Man Made Mountain In Europe, at least, no landscape has been left untouched by man. Think about it: what chance does a forest, a meadow or any other biotope stand in close vicinity to a tribe of busy apes like us – and what defense mechanisms does it have? They can’t very well run away and start afresh somewhere else – and besides, where would that be: on Mars?

Trees

Hiking A Man Made Mountain

Beer And Art In Dortmund Westfalenpark

"The Tower in Westfalenpark in the Ruhrgebiet in Germany"

Dortmund is the largest city in the Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial heartland. It’s an old city, old enough to have served as an imperial residence for Friedrich Barbarossa in the 12th century, but save a few old churches practically no old buildings are left standing. Dortmund Westfalenpark

For which WWII is to blame, of course, but it also does not help that for most of its life Dortmund was no

Beer And Art In Dortmund Westfalenpark

Guns And Nazis On A Day Hiking Trail

"Friedrich Albert Krupp statue by das Kleine Haus in Essen Germany"

On a Day Hiking Trail

The Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial heartland, may not be rich with cultural sights, but Villa Hügel – the former residence of the Krupp family – on the shores of Lake Baldeney (popular day hiking trail and site for local day trippers) is a must see for anybody with even a faint interest in 20th century history.

It is obvious from

Guns And Nazis On A Day Hiking Trail

Guns and Forests in a Ruhrgebiet Hiking Trail

"Statue of Alfred Krupp by the side entrance of the family home Villa Huegel"

Day hiking in Germany Guns and Forest on a Hiking Trail? Over the next few months, I am going to tell you – in a loose series of posts – a little bit about day hikes in the Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial heartland.

The Ruhrgebiet may not be an area that many foreigners will want to visit for its natural beauty. It is, after all, not the Rhineland or the Black Forest. Even

Guns and Forests in a Ruhrgebiet Hiking Trail