After our small miscalculation in Oberhausen, out came the smart phones. Reminded of a suggestion from his dad, my partner brought up the idea of visiting nearby Essen. With nothing tying us down, we went to see a man about a house. A really big house.
Thanks to modern technology and the power of 4G access, it wasn’t at all difficult to find. Another thing we forgot, though, was how very few places in Germany allow electronic payments – again surprising given how supposedly developed the country is. Even as we were in front of the villa gates, we had to turn back and drive to the center of town about 5 kms away just to get cash. In this day and age, who still uses cash! Flush with Euros after visiting the first ATM we could get to, we made our way back, paid our dues to the gatekeeper, and wandered around the house that Krupp built.
It still boggles my mind how much wealth, time, and effort go into such high-maintenance living though the life of the insanely rich, to say the least, does have its interesting side. The huge family portrait in the lower hall, for one, was particularly impressive. The interiors weren’t as stuffy as most other villas, with lots of wood to give it some warmth and homeyness. For a house with over 200 rooms, it was as much homeyness as was humanly possible. I’ve visited my fair share of wealthy-people houses, castles and palaces, and this one could stand toe to toe with any of them. I only hope the former residents were at least slightly happier than how their portrait seemed to have painted them.