This is truly the question on all European lips – how to put the pride back into German precision?
written by Wayne Brown
First to the purpose of my trip…
Back in the central west region of Germany, in the town of Dortmund. This time for the final leg of a six-month-long, 3 x 3-day coaching program. The program is one step on a journey to obtain my International Coaching Federation certification.
The two previous sessions in a small township further west called Kamp-Lintfort. I spent time with a very enjoyable group attending a great program run by a skillful and professional coaches/facilitators group.
The good news is that I have managed pass the theory and practical examinations and am now focused on achieving the 100 hours needed before being eligible to submit my application to the ICF. Fingers crossed as this is an essential cog in the overall journey.
A second cog being the area of instructional design and facilitation, a space where I’ve been engaged full time for the past 10 years. Hence this cog aligns nicely with my area of business in Learning and Development now and in the future.
A short intro to the Ruhr Valley and portion of the Rhine River…
A little further southwest of Dortmund, approximately 60 km, is one of the main cities of this region Dusseldorf. Encircling the area are several other significant post-industrial towns – Essen, Duisburg, Cologne, and Bonn.
As seen on the map, these cities cling to the Rhine river, or a tributary called the Ruhr river.
Ruhr is a major region in North-Rhine–Westphalia Land. The Ruhr River is an important tributary of the lower Rhine. Rising on the north side of Winterberg, it flows 146 miles (235 km) west past Witten, Essen, and Mülheim to enter the Rhine between Ruhrort and Duisburg.
The heart of German pride and precision…
The Ruhr Valley represented German might, as it was the basis for Germany’s coal and wood industries. The valley served as a symbol of German military capability. Furthermore, the materials and wealth found in that region could help rebuild damaged parts of France.
Hence the valley is famous for its industrial history, originally based on mining and steel production. It now benefits from its industrial mix of energy production, environmental technologies, and modern service industries. Since the 18th century, mining has been the main economic pillar in the Ruhr area.
Additionally, this area is important to Germany’s economy for its quality farmland. While Germany is no longer an agricultural economy, this region produces much loved meats and beer.
And only a short 45km drive west of Dusseldorf Dusseldorf, takes you to the border of the Netherlands, with Belgium a little south. A very compact group of cities in an area renowned for its rich industrial history.
And for the elevator-escalator diehards…
There is really only one city in Germany which is home to skyscrapers and that is Frankfurt. Frankfurt city area has a population of approximately 750,000 which make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne.
Frankfurt is the financial hub of Germany with all major banks and exchanges based here. Therefore it’s the logical place to look for high-rise. In fact its really the only place in Germany to look for real skyscrapers.
The five of the ten tallest buildings in Germany are all located here in Frankfurt (top five shown below)
- Commerzbank Tower, 259 m 56 floors
- Messeturm, 256.5 m 55 floors
- Westendstrabe 1, 208 m 53 floors
- Main Tower, 200 m 55 floors
- Tower 185, 200 m 55 floors
Christmas and the markets…
It’s very easy to forget as you travel around the cities and countryside of Germany that it’s home to some 83 million inhabitants. Except that is during the very cold festive months of winter, when everyone emerges (albeit rugged up) to enjoy their bratwurst sausage and sip gluhwein.
The Christmas market – is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent.
Whilst these markets originated in Germany, they are now found in many other countries world wide – even here in China!
If you enjoy browsing tightly designed and assembled street market stalls looking at the hand crafts, or selecting from traditional food and beverages then this is a great location for you. Relax with friends around a warm fire, sipping wine and consuming
And so to my wrap up and take-aways…
My next blog comes to you from Seoul, South Korea as we spend a great week exploring the city and everything it has to offer including it’s tallest structure, the 555m Lotte World Tower.
Until next time, stay safe and happy travels.