German culture, art, and football

Gelsenkirchen and Hamm (Germany) were the last cities chosen for Cultour is Capital Blogger Experience. The blogger from Pott Spott, Sebastian Becker, together with the videographer Joshua Maciejok traveled to live a first-hand itinerary based on transformative tourism experiences, carefully planned by the work of TraCEs TLabs.  The objective of this journey is to do a pilot test so that Bloggers live the transformative experience and have a first-hand narration of the adventure in our new and coming soon platform: Game of TraCEs.

Photo by Melvin Böcher

German culture

The experience started with the warm welcome of tourism manager, Dirk Slawetzki, from the tourist board of the city of Gelsenkirchen. Afterward, they visited the first waypoint, Halde Rheinelbe in Gelsenkirchen Süd, a prominent place typical of the Ruhr area, which arose from mining. To go deeper into the mining past of the Ruhr area, the group had the opportunity to visit the former Consolidation colliery, now a park and place of culture where industrial buildings have been transformed into a new life.

Then the experience moved into football history and German culture through the Mythos tour by its creator, guide, and ‘heart’ of the tour, Olivier Krusichinski, as well as a group of Schalke fans who came from Southern Germany and accompany the bloggers all day long. The tour started by visiting the Glückauf Kampfbahn, a football stadium that was built in 1927 on the site of the former consolidation colliery. Until the construction of the park stadium in 1973, the arena served as the home ground for the local team, FC Schalke 04. The stadium has old pictures of the Glückauf Kampfbahn. ‘Glückauf’ is the old miner salute, this greeting connects the wish for a safe exit from the mine after the shift as it was a dangerous job.

The group also visited St. Joseph in Schalke Church where there is the world-famous football stained glass of a saint with football shoes in the colors of Schalke (blue and white). As well saint Barbara, saint patron of the miners. In the last stained glass, you can see the connection with the region with the two mineworkers, the mines shaft, the coal wagon, and the river Emscher. This experience recovers the mining past and the community spirit that has breathed in sport, actually under the credo “find your inner Schalke”, the four-hour tour is willing to recontour this sense of community, the basis not only for the cohesion of the miners but an indispensable part of a football team and its fans.

Hamm and their artistic flair

The city of Hamm is known for its creative heart, art is everywhere. Its itinerary started walking around with Gabi Oelker, an experienced architect and nowadays a freelance artist based in Hamm. She is a participant and starter of the development of the creative quarter in Hamm and the creative house “Atelier der Disziplinen”. She is as well the chairwoman of the creative association Neonweisz e. V. From this creative perspective, she opened a sensory side to the bloggers by taking them to a tour recording particular sounds from the streets of Hamm. In the end, they created a unique composition made from the city sounds, making an individual memory that everyone could take back home.

The journey continued and the bloggers did a break-in “Das Vintage Wohnhaus“. This is a space where artist, Tanja Prill, runs a charming bistro with a romantic garden on the ground floor and an art studio on the first floor. To end the day, they went to Bebuna Kaffeemanufaktur und Cafè, a barista and roastery, where there you can find top-quality coffee from all over the world. The experience consisted of tasting the coffee and enjoying the barista making latte art, adding an aromatic, innovative and delicious full stop to this transformative journey around Europe.