Food: Can’t make it up! I visited the craziest place on the A40

June 30, 2021 at 9:56 pm

In Essen, unusual scenes are currently taking place over the A40.

In Essen, unusual scenes are currently taking place over the A40.

Photo: Julia Scholz / THE WEST

Essen. Inhale, exhale, highway. Ooooomm in the middle of the A40 Essen!

An artist collective has opposite the main train station in Essen On the bridge over the A40, right next to the bus station for long-distance travel, a small oasis was created to “take a deep breath”. >>> more here

For about a month, commuters and other interested parties can relax there on sun loungers with a view of the traffic or take part in free spa and cultural offers. Because of the corona situation, there is no precise schedule. I will let myself be surprised.

Essen: Unbelievable what is currently happening on the A40

This transfigured idea of ​​a quiet place to relax right on the autobahn in downtown Essen can really only have come up with someone from the Ruhr area, I think. And I am immediately on fire to test the self-proclaimed “health resort on the A40”.

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“A40 – only if you have time” – almost everyone in the Ruhr area takes this saying to heart. But this time I take the time consciously. It’s Thursday, 6 p.m., during the best rush hour. With an ironic smile on my face, I strut through the white gate marked “To beautiful freedom”.

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Unfortunately, the artists are nowhere to be seen on this late afternoon. You can recognize them by their white bathrobes – they have a sense of humor. I would have been looking forward to a yoga session high above the Autobahn, to concerts or readings.

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“The lounge area invites you to let your gaze wander over the flowing motorway,” said a statement by the organizers. And indeed: a man walks cautiously – visibly skeptical – past the six loungers, and finally sits down on the utmost.

A child scurries over the heaped wood shavings around the round table, which is available for discussions. His mom has trouble catching him. She wants to go on, but the little one doesn’t even think about it.


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Commuters flock past the art project – many of them don’t even look at the unusual place. But a woman heads for a white lounger with a snack and eats there with relish.

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Time for your own zen-like relaxation. Ready to surrender to the rough charm of the pot of coal, I close my eyes while lying down and freely think of Frank Goosen: “It sucks elsewhere too”.

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Before I look straight ahead at the blue sign announcing the “Essen-Ost” exit, my eyes wander up to the right to the Evonik high-rise, to the left to the hustle and bustle in front of the main train station and the flowing traffic on the street “Zur Freiheit”. Who needs a panorama of the Alps ?! Or fresh air ?! So take a deep breath!

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Unusually for the time, there is no congestion on the Ruhr Expressway. I hear a monotonous, familiar rustling, trucks roar past below me, cars honk their horns or their engines roar. Möööp, Mööp, washed, bruuoom, washed – whether you can dive into deeper spheres of complete relaxation? Questionable.

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After my short break, I slowly open my eyes and leave the place. The program says that auto-bingo is also played together here – always in accordance with the Corona rules. First column white VW Polo, blue Ford Fiesta, red Opel Corsa and a truck. Bingo! I imagine that to be funny. Maybe I’ll pay a second visit soon.

“To beautiful freedom”: All information about the art campaign

You can see the art performance until Sunday, July 11th, directly opposite the main train station in Essen at the “Zur Freiheit”. More information at


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