I could see that the railway station was much busier today for travelling on Saturday. This may have been the reason why there were only few people joining us from Düsseldorf, where there are not many students. It was the first time after quite some sessions that there were not enough tickets to take a train for free (for those who don’t know the system: students and those who have a monthly ticket can take another person to a train for free on weekends in this region). We usually bought tickets in this case, but since it was only one ticket, we simply asked people in the train. After all, it is already quite rare that there’s a control (and indeed there wasn’t).
As we expected, most of the people joined us directly at Kettwig, which is close to virtually every city in the Ruhr region. This made Kettwig an extremely important city for the hikes and we will see it at least 4 more times.
I must have talked about it somewhere in the previous articles, but there are hikes that come from certain websites (such as Wanderwege NRW), those that have been suggested by other people and those I make myself. This one was a hike that I made myself by looking at the map and Google earth, and I also checked it beforehand by bicycle. As it was probably quite some time ago, I didn’t really remember what the trail would look like, but I was extremely disappointed, when we had to walk through the city and along the main streets at the beginning. Surely I could have organized this part better.
The situation changed rather abruptly, once we turned left from the main street. It was still an asphalted path, but there was virtually no car and on both sides there were endless fields. This was actually the turning point of the day, as the rest of the hike went through fields, forests and over rivers.
We have been quite lucky in the last couple of sessions whenever we had a break. In particular, we could always have a nice grass field close to a café/restaurant etc. so that people could also go to toilet or get a cup of coffee/piece of cake. This was unfortunately not really the case today, as there was indeed a café on the way, but the owner (?) of the café refused that we picnic there. So we went a little bit farther to the nearest field, from where the café was still reachable. Well, this kind of stuff may always happen. And it was still a lovely place. Not that I would complain we had a great view over a vast field.
As we often so along the Ruhr river, there were also some hills near Mülheim. I don’t understand why this is not the case for the Rhine near Düsseldorf. The river side of Mülheim is just as well designed as in Düsseldorf. A little bit unexpected, but my picture of the Ruhr region is also a bit biased. Maybe it’s not that ugly after all 🙂
The very reason that we went from Kettwig to Mülheim was because there was something called Bierbörse in Mülheim today, which is essentially a place to drink beer, although the term itself translates to bier market and doesn’t mean that people drink. I had a Czech beer and beer from Flensburg. Not that I did appreciate 3€50 for a small bottle though. Well, in the end, that was a great place to stay after a hike, also regarding the fact that it strongly reflects the German culture, too. Actually I never really thought about that but maybe in the future, I can look up the events nearby and organize a hike accordingly, as for example the Bierbörse takes place at a different place each time (though it doesn’t take place in winter and this one was the last one for this year). It makes another reason to stay there.