We live in Gelsenkirchen, in a large metropolitan area called the „Ruhrgebiet“ or the „Ruhrpott“. It is not so far from the boarder to Netherlands and Belgium, and about 40 km from Düsseldorf, the capital of the area and the largest and nearest airport around. It used to be a coal mining area for centuries, and besides that steel industry also was a big employer in the area (you know perhaps Krupp and Thyssen…). Both industries have been doing very bad during the last decades, and so all the coal mines have closed by now, and steel is not a big number either by now. This has changed the life and the landscape. We do have a very high unemployment rate here in town, but the area is working hard changing towads new technologies (solar energy) and industries (Opel in Bochum). The landscape has changed as well – the coal mines have been transformed into locations for cultural events, places for living, industrial heritage, museums – or just been given back to nature.
You might not expect it, but we do have a lot of beautifull nature here. The Kemnader Lake, the Baldeney Lake, the forrests in every town, the large forrests in Sauerland. Even a bit of mountains in Sauerland. Large parks in every city.
One of our favourite places is not exactly in Ruhrgebiet, but in Rheinland – the capital, Düsseldorf. We fell in love with it since our first visit there in 1998. We love to go shopping there, to eat in one of the great Asian restaurants there, or just stroll along the Rhine river. If you come to visit us, chances are good that we will take you there!
We also love to go to Amsterdam – just 2 hours drive from here. But another world… we just love the city.
We could not imagine to live anywhere else in Germany by now. We do like the area, we do like the people – open minded, with a strong personality, sometimes a bit rough, but always with a big heart.