Mini getaways From the Ruhr to Venlo - five ideas for day trips in June

Series. The Ruhr region celebrates the Night of Industrial Culture, the Arcen Castle Gardens hosts its annual Rose Festival, and in the Siebengebirge Mountains you can look into the depths of an old volcano. A mountain bike trail ride in Eastern Belgium is a great challenge for nature lovers and cycling enthusiasts.

     The “Extra Shift” festival in the Ruhr industrial area with the German Mining Museum in the background.

The “Extra Shift” festival in the Ruhr industrial area with the German Mining Museum in the background.

Foto: Udo Geisler

Cultural festival in the industrial Ruhr region

This is a special festival celebrating the essence of the Ruhr region: the cultural festival called “Extra Shift - The Night of Industrial Culture" not only highlights structural change in the Ruhr, it celebrates it with exuberance. And it has been doing so for two decades. The 20th “Extraschicht” (which alludes to an extra shift on the job) will take place on June 25 in 23 different towns in the region. At 43 venues, around 2,000 artists will present a wide-ranging program from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.. The venues are former and current manufacturing sites, including many well-known industrial monuments. Around 200,000 visitors are expected.

"We can embrace both - past and future," says Frank Dudda from the co-organizer Regionalverband Ruhr, referring to this year's thematic focus on "digital art." In Hattingen and Dortmund, the focus is on "3D holo performances" and "virtual and augmented reality." But also included: music performed live, sack races and singing together. One will also see aerial acrobatics: The German Mining Museum in Bochum is dedicated to the four elements, and at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. acrobats will be flying through the air.

A festival ticket costs 17 euros in advance (14 euros reduced). Tickets are not available at the venues, and on June 25, tickets are only available online for 20 euros. The festival tickets are valid for all venues, the use of the shuttle buses is included.

Information: Tel. 02571 01806 181 650;

Arcen Castle Gardens celebrate the Rose Festival in Venlo

For 25 years, the Arcen Castle Gardens on the German-Dutch border near Venlo has been hosting an annual Rose Festival. It’s a big highlight every year. The 25th anniversary will be celebrated from June 9 to 13 this season (10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day). Park manager Rob Rambags and his team will see to it that several thousand roses bloom. Floral works of art will be created at the castle and in the park, and rose experts from Germany and other European countries will also participate. "Our region has great potential on both sides of the national border," says Rambags. Numerous lectures focus on growing and caring for roses. Children go on a "rose trail hunt" in the park.

Information: Tel. 0031-77 47 360 10;

42nd European Ceramics Market in Westerwald

On June 11 and 12, the European Ceramics Market will take place in Höhr-Grenzhausen for the 42nd time. In a market area around 500 meters long, a huge array of ceramics will be on display. Over 140 exhibitors from all over Europe will present both functional and decorative ceramics, salt-glazed stoneware, ceramic jewelry and much more. In addition, there is the 2nd "Open German Pottery Championship" to see, the museum festival in the Ceramic Museum Westerwald, live music at the “Naspa Open Air” and craft demonstrations.

Information: Tel. 02624 19 433;

176-kilometer “Stoneman” mountain bike trail in East Belgium

Eastern Belgium is a dream area for mountain bike enthusiasts. The “Stoneman Arduenna” mountain bike trail has an overall length of 176 kilometers with 3900 meters of elevation gain through the hilly landscape. The High Fens also lie along the route. "At the Stoneman, the focus is not on riding time, but on consciously perceiving nature," says former MTB pro Roland Stauder, who once founded the first Stoneman course in his native South Tyrol. At the Stoneman, riders don't let themselves be pressured. Still, there is a little perk for finishers: Those who complete the course in one day receive a gold medal. Silver is awarded for two days, bronze for three. Well-established partner companies offer accommodation and services (luggage transport, bike wash, tools).

On June 11, a Stoneman festival with will take place in Bütgenbach, featuring celebrities from the biking world along with activities and information for visitors.

Information: Tel. 0032-80 227664;,

A Glimpse into the Volcano: The Weilberg in the Siebengebirge Mountains

The average person may appreciate the mountains, but a geologist goes into raptures at the sight of the Weilberg in the Siebengebirge. More than 100 years ago, basalt was mined at the volcano, and today the former quarry offers a deep glimpse inside. Scientists detect an exciting drama that once took place between the tuff and basalt rock. A display board with graphics located at the lookout point explains the geological process, more can be found on the website. A moderate circular trail to the Weilberg starts at the Heisterbach monastery. It is six kilometers, 190 meters in altitude, and takes about two hours in walking time.

Information: Tel. 02241 13 23 36;

Orig. text: ga

Translation: ck

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