"Where I Did Have To Change Trains" Hengelo by johngayton
Hengelo Travel Guide: 158 reviews and 460 photos
Having intended to go to Hamburg by train and ferry from the UK, via Hoek van Holland, Hengelo seemed as good a place as any to break my journey - it is about as far you go eastwards with the Stena Line "Rail/Sail" package. On my way out I couldn't get a hotel in the town and so ended up stopping off for a couple of very enjoyable nights at Oldenzaal instead.
On my outward journey I had to change trains here and all I saw of Hengelo was the Akropolis - Ha! With all the Dutch and Belgian beers I'd drunk so far I was hardly off it (to misquote somebody funny). The onwards train connection coming in from Apeldoorn to Oldenzaal is pretty much synchronised but I hate synchronicity and so instead of catching the connecting train stopped off for another beer - HIC!
But more about the Akropolis and other Hengelo tales as this page progresses.
I never did get to Hamburg - I got waylaid by the idea of mountain climbing in the Netherlands and so ended up heading south to Maastricht instead, to have a day out from there to Vaalsberg and doing my mountain climbing bit (crampons and pitons NOT required LOL). Then I sortof drifted into Germany by bus to Aachen, onwards to Cologne and ended up in Berlin instead.
On my way back from Berlin I was still in my "value for money for my Rail/Sail ticket" mode and got a reasonable price for the town's plushest hotel. Ach, the economics of travelling - I probably saved 20 Euros by not buying a direct ticket from Berlin to the Hoek and instead spent 60 Euros on the hotel but I did want to get the best value from my Dutch ticket as possible ;)))
I was still in no rush to return to the grind and there were a couple of bars, which whilst they perhaps didn't have my name on yet, did deserve a visit, one being the Cafe t'Pleintje which is in the ABT guide to the Netherlands best beer houses.
So a Sunday evening and Monday morning were duly enjoyed - with only a slight hangover - before continuing back towards Harwich.
Hengelo is definitely more on the industrial map of the Netherlands than the tourist one but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Hengelo was just a village until the railway arrived pursuant to which it rapidly developed as a major industrial centre and by the turn of the 19th/20th centuries was home to major manufacturers such as the Stork BV company. Because of its importance as a railway junction and its industrial base it was subject to frequent Allied air raids during World War 2 and the town centre was pretty much obliterated.
The subsequent redevelopment is an odd mix of architectural styles as the town was rebuilt, yet keeping its village street pattern with everything sort of centred around its modernist market square.
The result isn't unattractive - OK it's definitely not touristy, but is interesting and the people are friendly, there's a definite fun element to the social life and it certainly exceeds my "bars per capita" threshold ;)
- Pros:Lively Nightlife Even On A Sunday!
- Cons:Can't Think Of Any
- In a nutshell:Off the tourist trail but none the worse for it.
Although Hengelo isn't on the tourist map as such it does have a VVV tourist information centre at Nieuwstraat 59 where... more travel advice
Hengelo's industrial emergence was mainly due to the development of the railways. The town is on the main line linking... more travel advice
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