Enschede Travel Guide

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International Market

International Market

Jan Olveh 2006

"Het is het eindpunt van de trein, bijna geen mens hoeft er te zijn, bijna geen hond gaat zover mee, Enschede..."

("It is at the end of the railway line, hardly anybody needs to be there, no one goes all that way, Enschede...")

According to many people from the western part of the Netherlands these lines Willem Wilmink wrote a few decades ago accurately sum up the city. If anything they can say it has become more true, since Enschede is now the terminus of two railway lines (one from the west, one from the east).

But to put down Enschede as a place not worth visiting would be a mistake. Because the city inspires both love and hate at the same time, and it is the contrast that will keeps one going back there time and time again.

Enschede has always had its ups and downs. For starters, it burns to the ground every 150 years or so (the last time this happened was may 13th, 2000), and needs to reinvent itself everytime. You won't find many old buildings in the city. You will find that the people are very much in touch with their traditional roots, culminating in klootschiet contests, midwinterhorn blowing, and delicious krentenwegge.

It is an large industrial city gone bankrupt, but it is by no means a gloomy place. Stand on a tall building and you'll see so many trees you wonder wether there's a city at all. The industrial barons erected many parks and estates in and around the city, making cycling around a joy.

It may be the last stop of the train, but every saturday traffic jams deep into Germany, because Enschede is the place to be for shopping.

The city center is very small, but due to Enschede's huge student population very exciting. The Oude Markt is the electrifying epicenter of eastern Netherlands nightlife,
This square is packed with terraces during summer-time and dozens of 'bruin caf├ęs' dot the surrounding streets. It helps ofcourse that the famous Grolsch beer is made in Enschede.

Love and hate go hand in hand in Enschede. Even for Willem Wilmink, who moved to Amsterdam because he couldn't stand Enschede anymore. But the only place he felt at home was the Jordaan neighbourhood: because it looked like Enschede.

Contributors

February 28, 2006 change by jst (1 point)

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