Despite an early night its a slow start to the morning (we are on our holidays after all). Unfortunately after another night of heavy rain we find more damp, this time inside our cab bed. We’ve emailed the place we bought it from and he’s agreed to take a look when we get back so we’re trying not to let it bother us for now. The good news though is that the hot water and shower work well, possibly the quickest shower as I was paranoid we’d run out of hot water but enough to freshen up. After breakfast it was time to see what was at the top of that hill.

Oof it definitely got the heart pumping but I’m impressed the kids didn’t moan one bit. On the way up we passed an exercise class just about to start, it must have been a workout just getting all their kettlebells and other equipment up here.

Once at the top it certainly blew any remaining cobwebs away and in the distance we can even see sunshine so I hope that’s where we’re heading.

Back in the van we set off, we’re heading to just south of Essen where we will visit the Zollverein complex. This is the area’s most celebrated industrial facility and another UNESCO World Heritage Site for us to visit. Al chose this location after visiting the ironworks in summer but this time its a coal mine and coking plant that was in operation from 1847 to 1993. The complex now hosts tourist attractions such as the Ruhr Museum and the Red Dot Design Museum.

I’m particularly looking forward to the latter, I’d not previously heard of The Red Dot Design Award which is an international industrial design prize receiving tens of thousands of worldwide entrants every year.

The prize covers several product design fields like home appliances, tools, portable electronics, vehicles and furniture. Jimmy Choo has even been a recent participant.

The winners are displayed in the old Boiler House and previous entries include items from Porsche, Siemens, Apple, BMW, Bosch and Lenovo.

First however we have to get there, we’ve not had much luck so far in this trip with traffic and we’re stuck in yet another jam. This whole area is very industrial from what we can see on the motorway we’ve passed several large plants that are still in operation. We also pass over the Rhine but this time more north than in the summer.

One thing we’ve learnt since becoming motorhome owners versus campervan owners is that there’s the acknowledgement between fellow ‘mohoers’ and as you drive past each other you wave. Reading on the forums it seems its a 5050 spilt between those that carry on this friendly practice and those who can’t stand it. I think it’s fair to say we’re strongly in the waving camp and on our UK practice trips most people waved with about half the time us initiating. I was therefore intrigued to know if this is a global thing or just something the British do. I don’t have enough data to confirm but we did get a wave from a German moho prior to coming on the motorway so I feel justified in being the initiator now without coming across as a total weirdo for the rest of the trip 😂

We eventually make it to the Zollverein complex by which point it’s time for lunch, afterwards we head straight to the red dot design museum. The first thing were we told is that nearly everything can be touched, like a red rag to a bull the kids took this to heart and starting prodding, lifting and opening everything they could and they had a surprisingly good time.

As you may expect there was a whole area dedicated to Apple designed products. The items are judged in four categories, use, function, responsibility, seduction. They had everything from electronics, pans, bikes, suitcases, bathtubs, cups and even sex toys! With 5 floors to explore there was so much to see.

Robert’s favourite area was the special japanese exhibition.

He’s started watching a Netflix show called forged in fire and there were some videos showing old techniques used in the forging process to make axe heads. The mix of the harshness of the building with the beauty of the items worked together so well.

Afterwards we went to explore some of the other buildings and even managed to get a moho sticker (although we’ve decided to leave them off until we’ve got the damp issues sorted). Robert also bought a mosasaur tooth, on our last adventure we went to Maastricht which was where they were discovered so it felt appropriate to get one.

Liliya chose to have a hot chocolate in the cafe, finding an alternative way to get a messy face since there’s no ice cream.

We could have chosen to explore more but decided we’d try get to our next stop earlier in the day and cook once we arrive.

It’s not long before Liliya checks out and goes to sleep, just hoping she’ll also sleep again tonight at bed time.

We had a choice of two locations one thirty minutes closer than the other. Tomorrow we’re planning on staying late in Bremen to experience a fair so decided we didn’t need to be there super early and the closer stop was also near to shops so we could stock up on supplies remembering that shops here often don’t open on Sundays.

Whilst Al cooked Robert and I went to explore said shop. It’s an outing in its own right a foreign supermarket always with something funny or interesting to find 😉.

First up we see these futuristic trollies, they are similar to the handheld scan as you go versions back home but apparently can help direct you to where you need to go if you’re looking for something.

A trip to a German supermarket wouldn’t be complete without stocking up on ritter sport either with their huge collection of flavours.

Essentials found we arrive just in time for tea, quick bedtime shower for the kids and washing up duty for me whilst Al gets his turn at supermarket browsing.

P. S here’s the beer coasters I mentioned in yesterday’s blog.