Monday morning broke bright and sunny in Mulheim an der Ruhr. We had to finish our bipedal tour of the old town to see more quaint sites and re-visit the bakery. The town’s folks, especially the men, were most delighted to see non-german speaking women tourists. One delightful old gent asked us where we were from and gallantly took Nancy’s hand and kissed it thanking her for visiting Mulheim an der Ruhr. Alas, I was to slow on the camera and totally missed the photo op.

The little library in front of the church was a happening place. We passed it several times in our explorations and each time there were people taking books or refilling the empty space with more books. I am wondering what makes this one so popular.

Again the church was locked and we could not get in. With the sun out and we could only guess that the stained glass windows were beautiful. A small peek confirmed our speculation.
Slate was the popular medium for roofs and exterior siding. Beautiful. The weight and labor going into it must be huge, but oh so charming.

A bit of paint goes a long way in creating space and interest. I’m thinking that Clinton is ready to try something like this.
A view of the museum from Sunday’s visit on the way to the Mulheim an der Ruhr gift shop and the bakery.
And of course, in Germany, mail and flowers are delivered from a bicycles:
Our shoes protesting and feet tired, it was time to head back to Amsterdam. Remember we are in a place where almost no one speaks English and we speak no German. We had purchased train tickets to and from Amsterdam to Mulheim an der Ruhr. The travel itinerary included a local train from Mulheim an der Ruhr to Oberhausen, and then an international inter-city high speed train from Oberhausen to Amsterdam. Our travel agent in Amsterdam who set up the trip for us told us we could take any train back to Amsterdam. They run about every 2 hours, so we could come “home” earlier than the scheduled train at 18:30 hours.
To indulge our protesting shoes and tired feet, we decided to take a taxi to the train station. Prepositions are the bane of linguists and learning a new language. Something got lost in translation with the taxi driver. We wanted to go to the train station to take the train to Oberhausen to continue on our way to Amsterdam. To many transitive verbs. To make matters more confusing, we showed him our ticket, printed in Amsterdam, and in Dutch, to confirm we were going to the proper station in Mulheim an der Ruhr. With a positive shake of his head, he headed off to the train station. 15 minutes later we were still driving. This was to long. We pulled out our trusty google maps to discover were were half way to Oberhausen. 15 minutes later and a 30 euro cab fee, we were at the train station in Oberhausen. What are two english speaking girls to do but pay the bill and say thank you. Our learning opportunity was that no one in Mulheim an der Ruhr speaks Dutch either.
Off to the ticketing office we went full of hope that we could catch the 13:30 train to Amsterdam, leaving us an hour for a bit of lunch and a quick photo op in Oberhausen.
To be continued…
The kind lady in the ticketing office at the Oberhausen train station took one look at our ticket and promptly asked her co-worker if he could read Dutch. Neither of them could read Dutch. The kind lady looked up our ticket in the computer and had an instant printout our our travel arrangements in German. Incomprehensible to us, but totally useful to her. No we could not take an earlier train, we were confirmed on Seats 085 and 087 on the ICE train at 18:30 hours to Amsterdam – Have a Nice Day.
So what to do with 7 hours in Oberhausen. Remember getting drinking water requires purchasing bottled water or refilling your personal water bottle in a restroom. There are also no public restrooms in Europe – you must ask at restaurants, McDonalds gives a bathroom codes on the bottom of a receipt, and there are no CVS/Walgreens or gas stations handy.
TripAdvisor.com to the rescue. The list of Top10 things to do in Oberhausen included Sea Life – ah – an indoor space out of the sun – yes we had a bit of sunburn in Mulheim an der Ruhr, lots of bathrooms, and a cafeteria!!! yippee and fun things to look at. A cab ride away and we have an interesting afternoon awaiting us at the aquarium.
It was interesting. The first exhibit was all about the fish in the Ruhr river. The rest of the place is the classic wonderful aquarium with wonderful fish awaiting photographers and tourists. Keep in mind that this is Monday and like Clinton, most everything else is closed!! Alsowe walked almost 20,000 steps on Sunday in Mulheim an der Ruhr.
We had a comfortable and beautiful tour of the aquarium. Only 15:00 – heading off to Centro – the biggest shopping mall in Europe. Time to stimulate the economy!!!
We did see our first car parking structure on this trip. It is very interesting because it is empty!! 
After shopping, we headed off on a walk back to the train station to see a bit of Oberhausen. Folks in Europe have a different take on smoking. We found this sign advertising cigarettes. I think the small print says: Smoking is deadly.
Time to check the schedule for the train to Amsterdam:
Stairs at the train station:
Yes on time!!!!
Happy camper waiting at the tracks.
Not our train, but an equivalent high speed electric train – about 200 kilometers per hour on the open track.
Home at last – at lest our Amsterdam canal house is starting to feel like home.