There was a friend of mine who has been with us for a few years now. She recently requested a hike with a place for swimming for this weekend a few weeks ago. This appeared impossible to me, as the summer is very short in Germany and it was so unlikely that it would be still warm enough at the end of August to swim. As I understood at some point that it was impossible to reject her request, I reluctantly took today’s trail, which was something I made some time ago but was not particularly beautiful and therefore I didn’t mind giving away at a random day.
And not surprisingly, it was quite cold today – the temperature reached merely 20 degrees with some rain and a lot of clouds. This is traditionally what it looks like in Germany after the summer. We just have to get used to it.
Yet, it was clear that we didn’t quite understand what was going on, as many people were still carrying short trousers + shirts. We all suffered in various places today.
Maybe because yesterday’s hike in Aachen was so attractive, there weren’t many people today in the first place. And for the first time in weeks I had to buy a ticket myself.
Just like every time, we quickly left the train station and started hiking. Today, since there was Zaman, there was no need for me to in the first group, but as I was also carrying proper shoes and not sandals (which is something I did often when we went swimming at the same time), I could also walk quite fast. I have to say, during the corona time I got so much faster, which is an opposite trend to many people as they often moved less during this period of time.
As I had feared, there was less nature than usual in the first part. It was not entirely flat, but we could have nearly called it a winter hike. Indeed, this would have been an area that we’d rather visit in winter. In this regard, it might be a nice idea to come back here in winter, since we could also get a lot of sunlight along the way.
But the amount of asphalt was really disturbing today. It’s just an unavoidable thing in this area, since there’s only one train station in Hattingen in this area and it’s simply not quite easy to leave Hattingen on foot.
We had a break at the river in a former castle. If we had combined it with swimming, we’d have had a break at the river, but because of the weather it didn’t make much sense to go there in the first place. Also it started to drizzle in that moment, which was fortunate since we could have some roof and others could enter the restaurant.
We have actually already been to this area two years ago. At that time, I took a trail along the Ruhr, which ended up disastrous as there were a lot of cyclists along the way. However, I saw a hill right next to where we were, where I thought could be a nice hiking place.
Well, it was closed off. At first we thought we shouldn’t enter that area, but just 10 m away, Kartik started entering the area and we all followed. At the same time, there was a jogger coming from the opposite direction, meaning that it would be possible to come out from the other side. This is very German – they very often close off a certain area, maybe because they are planning to restructure a path or because there was heavy rain what so ever. But mostly you can easily enter the area and nothing happens. It appears very much like the boy who cried wolf.
This was a brilliant choice – despite the disappointment in the first half, we were really hiking in this part. And just like many places along the Ruhr, we were walking right next to the river, but at a much higher location. So on the one side there must have been civilisation that we couldn’t see, and on the other side we were seeing the river. Perfect!
When we were about to finish, it started raining. Actually it got really hard when we were at the tram stop. It’s great to see that it continued while we were safely under a roof later today. So perfectly organised 😀