W/C Stadium Maps
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Match 1, US vs Czech Republic, June 12, Gelsenkirchen
Match 2, US vs Italy, June 17, Kaiserslautern
Match 3, US vs Ghana, June 22, Nuremberg
Gelsenkirchen City Website:
Gelsenkirchen is a small town outside of the Dortmund/Duesseldorf metro area. A
German I asked had not so many kind things to recommend about it.
I have been to Gelsenkirchen and it’s environs four times in the last six years. It
is in the heart of the Ruhrgabeit; the most heavily industrialized and densely
populated part of Germany.
You will be within 3-4 hours drive of Amsterdam and about an hours drive from the
cities of Cologne (Koln) and Dusseldorf. You will also be very close to the venue at
Dortmund and the city of Bochum, where I believe, one Eric Wynalda once played.
The Arena AufSchalke is arguably the most modern football stadium in Europe; it has a
retractable roof and concessions are usually paid for with smartcards.
Fortunately, I was there visiting a friend who knew his way around. Gelsenkirchen
isn’t located in a tourist type area. There are museums to the industries of the
area, such as coal mining and many of the area’s attractions are based on the areas
industrial and agricultural achievements. Suprisingly, the area is quite scenic; you
may be suprised by how green everything is, even though your view may be interrupted
by smokestacks and towers occasionally. The Arena is probably the biggest attraction
in the area.
The transportation infrastructure is pretty good; you can take the local trains to
nearby municipalities and the proximity of major cities such as Dusseldorf and
Cologne via train can satisify the biergarten experiences you are looking for;
otherwise, there are plenty of local gausthaus type places in the local towns.
If you want a surreal American experience near Gelsenkirchen, visit the Warner
Brothers World theme park in Bottrop; you can see an American style theme park with a
weird twist; most of the rides and attractions are based on movies and tv shows from
the 80’s and 90’s, giving you a time warp sensation that doesn’t quite feel right; my
favorite: they combine Gremlins & Alf ride - it defies any logical explanation, you
just have to ride it!!!!
Best of luck, I wish I was going myself!!!
Oh, and one more thing, if you feel like you’re missing home, they even have a
WalMart nearby!!! woo hoo!!!
We had the chance to visit Gelsenkirchen for the 2004 Champions League final. Simply
put, there is very little in Gelsenkirchen. The streets are empty during the
evenings. We went to Bochum for dinner one night. Ditto.
I would stay in another town and take the train to Gelsenkirchen for the game. Train
service is apparently quite convenient.
The stadium, as stated above, is fantastic. The roof is retractable, as is the grass
field, which is rolled outside to grow in the sunlight. It’s about a 5-10 minute taxi
ride from downtown to the stadium. With the USA playing at 6pm, you can get out of
town on the last train.
More to come
Kaiserslautern is a town south and east of Cologne and has a large US military
presence. It’s nicknamed K-town by American military personnel.
Nuremberg City Website
Nuremberg is most famous for it’s long, white sausages. Very tasty. Not a huge
city. The factory outlet for Playmobil is in a small town nearby, so if you bring
It’s a nice, small city. The center is surrounded by a midevil wall and there’s a lot
of old architecture (castles, churches). There is a famous fountain that depicts the
Seven Sins and is pretty cool. The center has a large pedestrian zone with lots of
shops, and there are plenty of bars to keep you entertained.
The surrounding area is very ’old world’. The region is called Franken and has lots
of old castles. Würzberg is not far away and is home to a large palace and is the
center of the Franken winemaking region (I think the wine is garbage, but that’s just
If you go from Würzberg along the Main towards Frankfurt you go though a lot of
quaint old towns, many with walled centers and decaying midevil castles.
If you turn south where the Main and Tauber meet, you end up in Rothenberg am Tauber.
The Allies made a point of not bombing the town, and it is probably the most intact
midevil town in Germany. Either you will love it or hate it. Personally I hate it
because it is overrun with tourists and feels like Disneyland without the rides. Most
of my relatives loved it because it is exactly what you picture when you think of
’Old World Germany’, complete with Glockenspiel and cookie cutter houses.
It’s a lovely region. Have fun.
- More on Nuremburg:
We visited Nuremburg last year. I found it very interesting. The old town is well
preserved, with a number of old cathedrals and the famous plaza area. They also have
a first rate fortress (at least by Michigan/California standards that we thought
was great. We did not go out to the Nazi rally grounds, but I have heard that many
people find the museum there and the old stadium the highlight of their trip.
We had the pleasure of going into St. Lorenz Church during organ practice. It’s a
stereo setup, with pipes in both front and back. The player was one of the best
organists I have ever heard. They have a lot of great artwork, with an interesting
story of how they saved so much during the war. We have a St. Lorenz here in
Frankenmuth, but it’s not quite the same thing.
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I’m a big fan of Google Earth (see http://earth.google.com for details), and I’ve
created a "KMZ" file for it that can be downloaded from
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A2 Costa Rica
B3 Trinidad & Tobago
C2 Ivory Coast
C3 Serbia Montenegro
E4 Czech Republic
G3 South Korea
H4 Saudi Arabia