Last week, I decided to change the group name on MeetUp, from VRR hiking group to VRR VRS hiking group, to express my intention of organising hikes in VRS regularly in a more public way. And so, today we hiked from Kall to Nettersheim, on the edge of this area called Eifel, which is a national park.
So I also officially changed the meeting point from Düsseldorf to Cologne for the hikes inside the VRS area and was standing in front of the train station in the morning – at least until I realised that people simply ignored the meeting point. Well, that’s actually quite understandable, considering the fact that I was the very person who almost never respected the meeting point.
We got an awful number of people today. I guess as the corona measures are lifted, everyone is getting the feeling that everything is allowed. Of course, I stick to the same principle and follow the rule, but also try to make everyone believe that it’s still not over.
Maybe I should mention that we are having a long weekend right now starting from today. And as always, we had one expert hike, namely today’s one. I don’t know how many people realised that it was in the Eifel, but I was kind of looking forward to it.
Throughout the first half till the break, I stayed in the tail group. Even though most of the people joined for the first or the second time, I didn’t have to lead the group today at all. It was nice to have a couple of people from VRR as well. I hope those from VRS will see soon that things actually don’t evolve around me.
It was not the first time to be in the Eifel (just like we’ve been to nearly every place in this area), but while it was often difficult to confirm the beauty of this area, especially when we went to Blankenheim, the trail we had today was magnificent. For some reason, we had endless fields every now and then, not used for anything, but looked as if they were maintained perfectly for some reason.
But maybe today’s weather helped a bit as well. Apparently it’s going to be hot from tomorrow again, but today was somewhat cloudy and relatively cool, which was probably quite important regarding the lack of shades in many places.
And we got this perfect place, Steinfeld, where we had a break. There was a monastery, a park/grass field right in the middle of the city, where we could picnic. As I switched to just a bottle of smoothie for lunch, now it takes me only 5 min or so. Frankly, it was a brilliant idea to buy a mixer.
While I was having coffee with Bogdan at the nearby café, apparently everyone left. So Bogdan, Maria and I started walking together, although the supersonic hiker Bogdan disappeared fairly quickly anyway. Well, the problem was there were apparently more people behind us. In the end they didn’t make it for the group photo. So you might have had an impression that there were already quite a lot of people, but actually there were more.
It was probably not quite a good idea to make the second half longer. We had to stop every now and then to have short breaks. I didn’t sit anywhere, mainly because it wouldn’t have been possible to maintain a social distance. I was exhausted at the end. Well, it was an expert hike after all. But most of us made it to the end. I don’t know what happened to the ones who were left behind.
When we arrived at Nettersheim, a police car stopped in front of us, obviously looking at us, wondering whether we were violating the rules, and left without saying a word. Probably we were, but I had a rather good argument, since I insisted on social distancing and hiking is a sport activity (if it’s a sport activity, it is allowed to be a group of more than 10 people as long as the social distancing rule is respected).
They came back when we were having ice cream on the market place, but this time it was clear that the group had branched off and social distancing was not quite a question anymore. Good job.