This month, I am taking part in a September blogging special organized and put together by Indiebizchicks, which will include daily blogging tips and prompts. I am doing it mainly to help her get back on her feet behind the wheel after a car accident last month, but also because it’ll be fun and… why not?! :) My participation was decided on a whim and I am already a day late (and I can’t even promise that I’ll be able to do all the prompts), but I’ll try to make this happen!
Today’s blogging prompt is ““What do you like best about your hometown?”
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As you may – or may not – know, I grew up in Grevenbroich [pronounced [ɡʁeːvənˈbʁoːx]), a small city in the (very!) Western part of Germany. As you can see on the map, it’s very close – about 55 km/35 miles – to the Dutch and Belgian border.
The city has its own “coat of arms”, like all or most cities in Germany.
What I liked most about growing up in my hometown was that it is relatively small and urban (population 65,000), but was only 30 minutes outside of two big cities, Köln (Cologne) and Düsseldorf.
I liked growing up having that small-town feel, and yet being able to hop on a train and go to a big city in no time.
My schools, both elementary school and Gymnasium (middle and high school), were within walking distance of my parents’ house and the city center was a 10 minute bike ride away. Most of my friends lived practically ‘around the corner’.
As kids, my sister and I were able to do everything by bike. There was no need for a car (or even public transportation) until much, much later. I loved being independent like that at a very early age.
Grevenbroich was small enough to make you feel like everything was really close, and at the same time it was big enough to provide everything for your daily needs: supermarkets, bakeries, shops, department stores, schools, etc.
I didn’t even have to go far away for college, because I attended university in Düsseldorf, which was 30 minutes away (by train that ran twice an hour).
I think Grevenbroich is a very typical small German city, tucked away between endless corn, potato and sugar beet fields and close to a giant strip mine and a power plant, which made Grevenbroich known as the “capital of energy”. The big bucket-wheel excavators are a especially impressive – and kind of pretty – at night!
Here are some more impressions from my town:
This used to be a manor house, but it’s a museum these days.
This building belongs to a castle that was situated right in middle of town.
We have a beautiful monastery that runs a beer garden in the summer.
There is art in all kinds of places.
We have many open fields where I grew up (and wind farms, can you see it?)…
… and there are beautiful sunsets behind these fields.
In the fall, there are harvest festivals with little parades.
These days, I live about 6000 miles away from home, from my family and the people and places that I love. I am happy where I am, but I always get very excited to go back home!