Wednesday, March 12, 2014

#Travel // Introducing Europe, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord

I know, I'm still in the never-ending process of posting about my other two road trips taken in 2013 (Tasmania and around the Great Lakes), but I just had to start posting about the trip I took this time last year! It was the first time Torsten and I had been reunited after he left Sydney 8 months earlier. 

After seeing flight deal I couldn't resist, I decided to book a two-and-a-half week trip to be with my favorite German. I arrived in Dusseldorf on March 1st, and from there Torsten chauffeured me around Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. In all honesty, I always mention how I went to Germany last year, but I really saw much more of the other two countries than Deutschland!

I'm still searching for any photos I have of Dusseldorf, which is how we spent the day, but towards the evening we headed to Duisburg, where a true hidden gem of Germany is located! 

Landschaftspark in Duisburg is an old, abandoned steel and coal production plant that has since become a public park in efforts to understand it's industrial past rather than rejecting it. At least that's what Wikipedia told me. When I went there I just knew it was a giant industrial ground that is know for being lit up at night. Sounded cool enough and I was totally in!

The rusted steel and old brick alone was pretty cool, but being a legit attraction is has it's own gift shop, information center and restaurant. We didn't really bother with any of those, especially since we arrived

My absolute favorite part was climbing the old structures and admiring the view from above! It was sooo freakin' cool I really don't have words to express how amazing it was climbing up the old, rusty staircases and weaving through old structures to view the park and the neighboring villages. You'll have to do with these photos! 

Being the beginning of March, it was cooold. As cool as climbing all of this was, I shiver whenever i see these photos as I remember how my hand was going numb on the rails and how insufficiently I had packed. Aside from being home for a week, this was the first bite of cold weather I was experiencing in years. I had just left summer in Australia where I also ventured around New Zeland and Hawaii before taking this trip. I really wasn't prepared in many ways for hours of wandering outside in late, European winter. Fortunately there was enough to distract me! 

Again, these views! I'm getting to the night scenes that the park is known best for, but I really can't stop starring at the image directly above this text. I just find it fascinating in so many ways. Fortunately I'm with an engineer who wouldn't object to having a giant print of this hanging in our apartment one day!

This post wouldn't be complete without these photos. We held out until was saw the park lit up, even with chilly winds! Being the off-season, the park was only partially lit, but it was still gorgeous! The anticipation of darkness spreading over the park and waiting for the first light was excruciating! There was probably a solid ten minutes I thought nothing was going to happen. Eventually they started to flicker on!

The park is still pretty dark with only some of the structures getting lit up, we stumbled around, covering some ground we hadn't seen before heading back to a warm car. The park is pretty large, becoming a maze at times. At one point we found a playground with a slide, this was when it was nearly pitch black, and went down a slide that ended up being way faster and more thrilling that either of us were anticipating!

Both Torsten and I loved this park and would definitely take any opportunity to see it again, especially in warmer weather! While I don't want to give away too much, with nothing be definite, there is a good chance we'll both be brought back to this park at the end of summer! *Fingers Tightly Crossed*
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