“Germany precision, Christmas markets and bleak winters”

written by Wayne Brown

First to the purpose of my trip…

Back in the central west region of Germany, this time in the town of Dortmund, for the final leg of a 6 month long, 3 x 3 day coaching program. The program is step one of a journey to obtain my International Coaching Federation certification.

The two previous session in the same region but a small township further west called Kamp-Lintfort. Spending time with a very enjoyable group and attending a great program run by a group of skilful and professional coaches / facilitators.

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 south west of Dortmund approximately 60 kms is one of the main cities of this region Dusseldorf. Encircling the area are a number of other significant post-industrial towns – Essen, Duisburg, Cologne and Bonn.

As is seen opposite on the map. these cities cling to the Rhine rive or a tributary called the Ruhr river.

The Ruhr valley is famous for its industrial history, being based on coal mining and steel production, but now benefiting from its industrial mix of energy production, environmental technologies and modern service industries.

This region is famous for the quality of its farmland and produces a number of food and drinks that are famous, such as beer and meats.

And only a short 45km drive west of Dusseldorf, takes you to the border of Netherlands, with Belgium a little south. A very compact group of cities in an area renowned for its heavy 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.

  1. Commerzbank Tower, Frankfurt, 259 m 56 floors
  2. Messeturm, Frankfurt 256.5m 55 floors
  3. Westendstrabe 1, Frankfurt, 208m 53 floors
  4. Main Tower, Frankfurt, 200m 55 floors
  5. Tower 185, Frankfurt 200m, 55 floors

Above list illustrates the 5 tallest buildings in Frankfurt, but it’s noted that it is also home to the next 5 tallest buildings in Germany as well.

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.