As I am going to Paris next week, I organized a hike on Saturday for the first time after quite some time. The problem of going hiking on Saturday is that many people actually cannot join. This time, especially because a lot of people have already left for vacations, there were really not many people coming. It’s summer. And simply there’s no one remaining in Düsseldorf in summer.
Today was the beer festival in Dülken, which is on the train line to Venlo. So I was thinking we could take the Eurobahn which we always took to go to Venlo. The great thing is, exactly this weekend, this very weekend in which the beer festival is taking place, the German railway decided to shut down the zone between Düsseldorf and Mönchengladbach, so that we had to take an enormous detour to go to Dülken. This involved two transfers, which I just hoped would somehow workout. They did. And I must say I was very happy this morning.
Well to be more precise, we started from Boiheim, which is on the same train line. And this hiking trail was originally just one part of a very long hiking trail which was going from Viersen to Venlo. Since the most interesting part was the last part that leads to Venlo, which we already did last year, this first part was in technical limbo. So in this sense as well, I was very happy that we had a reason like beer festival to go there today.
Denis had brought his ukulele today. Apparently he bought it after the hike where I played the ukulele a few weeks ago. The wave of ukulele came some time in the past in Lyon, when Adrián introduced it there. It might be coming here in Düsseldorf as well. Anyway today it was mainly me who was playing his ukulele (just as last time).
We were like burning on the way up to the break. There were some trees, but there were more fields on the way. Really a pity that there was no water today.
Still we managed to have a break in a forest in front of the German war monument (which was actually not planned to be visited).
At the end of the hike, there were some signs indicating the direction to the train station, which we were completely ignoring. Some people pointed this out, but of course the main idea was to go to the beer festival, which was clearly not part of the hike, but anyway I decided to take everyone there first and end the hike (because otherwise not many people remain…).
Dülken is a very small city. And maybe it was this mentality of small city, that there were people bathing in the well, which was in the market and right in the middle of the beer festival. The water was clear and extremely cold. Such a great moment after a day of burning sun. We stayed there for almost an hour and went to the train station.
There were two platforms at the train station, which were separated by the railways. According to my intuitive understanding, the correct side for Düsseldorf was the platform on the city side. But on the timetable it was indicated that the train was to arrive on the other side. We went through the underpass to go to the other side. A few minutes later, the train arrived, but at the other platform. We ran to the other side. We missed the train. Yes, in Germany, this can happen. They don’t care how inefficient it is for the society that the trains follow no rule, although this kind of basic problems started when the German railway was privatized, which follows roughly the same pattern as the German post (so if you don’t know the situation in Germany, don’t trust the German post, because since the privatization a few years ago it’s just a chunk of chaos).
Anyway, the next train was to arrive one hour later. We desperately tried to catch a bus, only to find out that the bus stop was moved and the bus we were waiting for actually never came. At least there was one train every hour, and we managed to come back to Düsseldorf accordingly.