After a hectic night of cleaning up our apartment and packing, we left our apartment at 9 in the morning to make our noon train to Essen. On the 4 hour train ride I reminisced about my time in Berlin and wondered what my experiences would be Essen and how the two cities would compare. Coming from the capitol in the east, the western half of Germany around Essen is formerly a huge coal mining area. Around the time of the industrial revolution coal deposits were found all over western Germany which attracted industry and plenty of people looking for work.
Having spent a few days in Essen I’m starting to appreciate the charms I found in Berlin. Essen reminds me of the cities we have back at home and of New Brunswick itself. There’s significantly less green space, more cars and traffic, less bike traffic, and a lot more noise in Essen than in Berlin. Although the apartment in Essen is beautiful with plenty of room, showers, and even a sauna I can’t help miss the “neighborhood” vibe I experienced in Berlin. Where Berlin had pervious cobblestone making up every sidewalk, quiet and peaceful streets, and a park on every corner, Essen is missing almost all of that really giving an impression of a big city.