I got this idea of expert hike a few weeks ago, when I realised that I had quite a few isolated hiking trails, which generally lie outside of VRR and the fact that I had generally no particular plan for public holidays. So instead of offering normal hikes twice, I decided to do one rather complicated hike and one normal one. The first one took place near Winterberg, which saw a mixture of huge success (at least in my opinion) and extreme exhaustion. And today we came to the Eifel, which we’ve visited only on weekend hikes so far.
And here came an assortment of points that must have taken people away: firstly, this All Saint’s day is always Nov. 1, which means exactly a day after Halloween. Who would join an expert hike after a huge party. Secondly, generally on a long weekend people tend to be away. Thirdly, the Eifel is outside of VRR area, so that most of us had to buy a ticket (not the students, though). And lastly, we got the same problem as every weekend: rain. Somehow the weather got perfectly fine after last weekend, from Monday to Thursday. Then today, on Friday, it went down the hill. And apparently it’s gonna keep going like this over the entire weekend. How’s that possible.
Anyway, today’s trail was in a kind of area that I would visit even all alone. So I didn’t much mind the fact that there were not so many people joining. Well, still I was shocked when I saw that we were only 5 people leaving Düsseldorf, although we were joined by 4 more people from Aachen.
From Düren, we took a diesel train, which looked almost like a bus. And we started hiking from Üdingen, which almost sounds like a Turkish city.
It was not raining when we were on the train, but as soon as we started moving, it also started raining. I had an umbrella today and fortunately the rain itself was not very strong, so having an umbrella was mostly sufficient to avoid being completely wet, although it became windy every now and then, especially because there were a few cliffs that offered no cover from wind.
But the view over the valley was amazing, as we could see it every now and then. It was essentially the valley that connected Düren and Heimbach, where we were last time when we went to Rurberg over a weekend.
It was particularly interesting to see that the landscape was entirely different from what we see in the Ruhr area and also from what we saw in the nearby area, like in Blankenheim. We could see protruding wild rocks which didn’t really looked like they belonged there. It was not only one location, but we could see them all over the area today.
Also there were some isolated buildings we could find on the way, like this chapel. Apparently there are people who take care of this kind of stuff.
The first half was fairly challenging every now and then. But I guess the amount of up and down was quite okay and the views were really rewarding, much more than what I had expected. Again, it would have been truly amazing only if the weather had been slightly better…
We had this nice city called Nideggen on the way, where we had a break. We were extremely fearful of not finding anything there, as the weather was just horrible and it was quite cold. Fortunately, it was indeed a town (however small it was) and had a few cafés. I quickly had lunch at the city hall, which offered a small shelter, and went to a nearby café. The German cuisine is usually not so much of finesse, but this cake culture is just fantastic. In the end everyone joined and had a warm cup of coffee/tea and a piece of cake.
I thought I had correctly measured the time to reach the train station comfortably. Somehow the distance of the second part, which was way shorter than the first part, was much longer than I had expected, so that we had to hurry quite a deal. In addition, there was another long and quite steep slope that I had entirely missed, accompanied by sudden rain. Nice surprises arrive always towards the end 🙂
But still we managed to reach the train station a few minutes before the train came. Today’s hike was indeed an expert hike, but quite obviously people still liked it a lot, just as much as I did. This idea of expert hikes are something that I’m gonna look forward to in the future, even if the next one will be almost half a year later.