The beer is frothy and refreshing... the Gin Basil Smash fresh and earthy... the pizza spicy and almost as big as the table... the football fans passionate and boisterous... and when I over hear somebody order a Mezzo Mix, I know everything is just as I remember it!
It's been 5 years since I last visited Essen... before the days of Covid and video calls put a stop to regular work travel.
And while it may not be the first city you think of when traveling to Germany, this former coal mining and current energy capital business centre holds a special place in my heart!
The first foreign destination I travelled to alone, I think it was here that I really found my love of travel.
I've always enjoyed going away... holidays with friends and family have given me some of my most cherished memories.
But going to a city I'd never heard of before with no real tourist sights to see ignited the explorer in me.
And a brief period of living here for a couple of months meant that I really had to search for the hidden gem places to visit and to 'do as the locals do'... a trait that definitely still influences my travel habits to this day!
And so back to Mezzo Mix, the drink that shouldn't work but somehow does. If you've never heard of it I don't blame you, neither had I until I was introduced to it by some colleagues on one of my visits.
Half Coca-Cola and half Orange Fanta mixed together sounds like a weird combo but it's surprisingly nice, and is a nice metaphor for Essen as a city actually... mixing business and pleasure, it somehow works! (And Mezzo Mix is definitely not as weird as Colabier... I'll let you guess what that is!)
This blog has turned a bit deeper and more personal than I intended, I was simply going to post a few photos from my latest trip! But I guess visiting some places I used to frequent quite a lot has made me reminisce more than I thought it would!
Having travelling quite a lot around North Rhine Westphalia during my time here I guess I should really write a blog about it all... but for now I'll just add the photos I intended for the Plog as a greatest hits type post of my time in Essen...
- Essen Dom / Cathedral
- Great German pilsner beer at DER LÖWE Becker Gastro in the city centre
- Great (and huge!) pizza at L'Osteria on Rüttenscheider Strasse, the best place to find restaurants and bars in the city
- Gin Basil Smash at Gin and Jagger, great bar with good food and drinks. My favourite bar in Essen
- 11 Freunde, the best place to watch football and once the location of a live televised football show
- A traditional Bavarian style meal at Rüttenscheider Hausbrauerei... a micro-brewery with great beer