In between sessions here at EntwicklerCamp, I am squeezing in a bit of local sightseeing.  Yesterday, at the suggestion of vowe's friend Haiko, I drove west to Duisburg to visit Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord.  This is a former iron ore blast furnace and mill, converted into a public park.  It's not the best time of year for a visit -- the trees are bare, the grass is brown -- but it also made for a quiet sojourn.

The highlight of the visit was the climb to the top of the blast furnace.  I almost missed the staircase -- in the US, the entrance would have been guarded by signs with legal disclaimers, kluged-in "safety" precautions, and queues.  Here, it was just a small narrow staircase, that just kept going up and up and up. (Note: this picture is from the one I was climbing across to the other one...same general idea)

Image:Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord

It was definitely awe-inspiring to climb in and among the old blast furnace, walk along the abandoned rail tracks, and envision the mill operating at full steam.  The view from the top was cool, too -- and a little scary, climing a staircase welded to the side of a steel skeleton.

There is some discussion in Chicago now of taking the old Acme Steel mill and doing something similar with it -- preserving the industrial age for those who never lived it.  Having spent a few hours walking through the past, I am strongly behind the preservation thought -- it will be as enriching for our children as visiting log cabins and archeological digs was for us.

I shot a whole roll of black-and-white film while there, in addition to some color and digital -- I'll be posting a full album in the next few days.

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