Allner, Geistingen, Warth, Uckerath, Bröl, Hanf, Kuckenbach… there are over 122 cities incorporated together under the flag of “Hennef” – each with its own flair, pride and potentially up to 3 carnival clubs. That’s a lot. Most importantly though, is not to confuse Hennef with Bad Honnef in your car’s navigation system or else you’ll be really up the river. Literally, up the river – on the Rhine River instead of the Sieg River.
A like Allner
The town where every corner that can be built on is, but lacking all the luxury of a town center. The bridge connecting Allner to “downtown” is now cut off, perhaps forever for the sake of a few geckos.
B as in Blankenberg
a.k.a “Stadt-Blankenberg”. High a top of a hill with panoramic views all the way to Cologne, the mother of all Rhineland cities. The cafes and restaurants offer a lovely respite after a hike through the trails. They even have their own vinyards growing there and produce wine. How awesome is that?
D like Daubenschlade
A name any American would love to use as a running gag. Daubenschlade seems to really be on the edge – the edge of NRW. My favorite street name: Im Knick. Arent we all a little “Im Knick”?
D as in “downtown”
My feelings toward the downtown area are really mixed. Yeah, you can get shit done there, but it’s really just the basics. The Siegprominade can really be put more into focus since walking there just past Gilgens is almost like a ghost town. And the traffic, the traffic! Wouldn’t it be splendid to have a really cool high street which you can just sit and relax in a café without the hustle and bustle of cars and buses?
G like Geistingen
Geist? Ghosts? Well, perhaps there is a sort of haunting with the number of nursing homes. It is home of Nahkauf, Kraus and the gallows from days of yore is prominently displayed and even celebrated. Geistingen is home of the 1. Geistinger Garde and has a really cool headquarters in the catacombs underneath Primos. My favorite street name: Am Kuckuk. It’s all a bit coo coo in Geistingen at times.
H as in Boss “Hossenberg”
Today’s boomtown and curiously enough advertises the Elvismuseum just in front of Gerhard’s moving company on the A560. According to the website, we are 7,495 km away from Memphis, TN. The “Tag der offene Tür” is June 25th and I wil be first in line for a ticket. My favorite street: Hundskehr.
W like “Warth”
Love got to do with it? Don’t we all pilger to Rewe XXL on Saturdays and Breuer on Sundays? Since Aldi is there, this has become one of the biggest traffic jams. Once, I was stuck in the REWE parking lot for 30 minutes on a Friday. My favorite street: Auf dem Futterstück.
As a US-American living now in Hennef since 2012, I’ve come to learn that this city like any other has many facets – positive and not so positive. I arrived in Germany in 1994 and have seen more of the country and most Germans. Stuttgart, Ulm, Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Hannover and Cologne are just some of the cities I have had the luxury and pain to live in. Overall, I am so happy to live and be successful here, something that in the United States may not be possible. Nonetheless, Hennef is the little “nest” we’ve built up and where I now call my home. In the following days and weeks, I would like to share just a few things that have raised my brow or tickled me pink.
Foto: kamasigns | Fotolia.com