I'm a university student who just recently arrived in Essen, Germany and I'm going to be living here in for the next 7 months. I'm in the heart of the industrial part of Germany and I thought I may as well use my time here and explore the region.
Thing is...I've always wanted a high-end German knife and I'd heard that the Wusthof factory is about one hour away in Solingen. Might sound like a stupid question but would the Wusthof factory happen to be "a tourist attraction"? Is it possible to buy Wusthof knives cheaper direct from the factory than if I buy them from a local German retailer? Is it worth making the trip to Solingen at all in the search for kitchenware? Anyone been to Solingen or the factory? It only costs me 2-3 euros to get there...
I'm thinking of getting an entire block set because the one my family is currently using in Australia is 12+ years old. It was rubbish when we bought it, and it's rubbish now. And we're looking to replace it. At the moment, once my 7 months is up, my plan is to ship them off back home by seamail to Australia right before I leave. Australian Customs will be another issue...
Basically my fantasy of going to Solingen has only 2 causes:
1) My (unfounded) belief that the cheapest way to buy Wusthofs is to go directly to the factory itself, if it can actually be done that is. I have noticed that it may even be cheaper to just wait until I go back to Australia in 7 months and buy it from there. Though it is a sensible option, I need a decent knife while I'm here in Essen because the apartment I'm staying at has no kitchenware and what it does have is rubbish. Besides, I intend any future Wusthof purchase to be a permanent investment both for myself and my family.
2) I've already come this far (20 hour flight). Why not try? I know that prices for Henckel/Wusthofs can be quite hideous, but if I wanted budget, I'd have just held off my purchase for Kmart in Australia. Besides, it only seems appropriate that I buy German while I'm in Germany.
I should add that I'm working Monday - Friday 9-6 so I'd probably have to make the trip on the weekend. What do you guys think? Have I lost it completely?