It’s been more than a week since summer ended. When I created today’s hike, from Blumenkamp to Xanten, I was still expecting a great day with 30 °C. Today, it went maybe up to 20 °C. What a deception. At least it didn’t rain. What more do you expect here.
I might have mentioned when we went to Xanten last year (cf. this article), but Xanten is a famous Roman city next to Trier in this region. Besides, there was a Roman festival today, which also motivated this hike.
Today, we were supposed to change trains at Wesel, but the train we took at Düsseldorf had already more delay than the time we had at Wesel. Somehow this time, the train managed to catch up and we could still get the connection. This happens fairly often these days with the German Railway. Maybe because there’s a competition from a different company, flexitrain, that’s been in operation for some time now.
Blumenkamp, where we started, was a typical town near the Dutch border: the population is small, but because of the endless flat landscape, it stretched in every direction. But in contrast to last week’s hike, we were very often going on dykes, which offer very good views over the Rhein.
We had a break on the dyke. It was the perfect place with a café nearby and had a great view over the Rhein, with this Dutch breeze that makes you feel that the reality is after all not as speedy as we might have thought. I had my lunch very quickly, and headed for the café, which was a typical one for cyclists. Some of the people joined me at the café and had cake and coffee. There was this one girl, Wafaa, who was amazed to discover the area nearby. I can still understand the feeling, after wasting so much time without knowing what the closest region looks like. It’s really a pity that so much goes by and we don’t even know how much fun could be there.
Our break took some time more (because of the cake). Some people obviously wanted to go earlier. Here’s comes the good thing about being the organizer. No one disappears before I arrive.
At some point, we had to take a ferry to cross the Rhein for 1€40. For the experience it wasn’t that bad. We could have had a break there as well.
At the end, we arrived in Xanten, where we were planning to join the Roman festival. However it was already 5pm and there was only one hour more to go for the festival. Anyway we entered the site quickly. All the performances were already over, but still we could see costumes and other stuff from that time. One hour might have been the right amount of time.
So, here’s one thing that was actually positive in an accidental way: the entrance fee would have been 13€ per person, but since it was already over when we arrived there, they apparently did not say anything. Indeed, I have the feeling that whenever we try to combine different main events, it doesn’t work very well. What works well is to offer the hike and something rather small, like going to the Roman festival for one hour.
There was one train per hour to go back to Düsseldorf. We had something like 45 min to wait for the train. We went to the local kebab shop and swallowed the kebab after we had to wait quite some time there.