Hiking report

Hiking from Kettwig to Ratingen!

I was boasting my luck about the weather in the last several articles. Today, the weather forecast essentially never changed the prediction: rain. That was probably the reason why there were not many people at the meeting point in Düsseldorf. On the other hand, my flatmates, Alfredo and Karina, came together with Mami, who was a friend of mine from Göttingen. And since we did not have enough people, we had to pay for the first time after so many sessions (except for the hike of last week, which did not depend on the number of people participating).

By the way, Clara, who is a Ph.D student in math but doesn’t know how to diagonalize a matrix (which, of course, I do), is consistently here when it rains, in particular at Neandertal, Neuss and Xanten. I don’t know how she manages to do it every time.

On the way to Kettwig, our starting point, we could see a blue sky and rain at the same time. That’s something quite German, an indecisive weather. And fairly enough, it was raining when we arrived there, although it stopped very quickly and it became sunny. There were already some people waiting for us and from their point of view, it must have been like they were waiting for us in the rain, and we brought the sun. Actually, maybe we did.

When we hiked from Werden to Kettwig in April (cf. this page), we took a similar path as the one that we took today at the beginning, although last time we went to a castle there (which was rather boring because we could not get inside), and we went through the main gate of the castle. Just in order to make it slightly different, I chose a path that was right next to the main gate, which probably everyone would have missed if I didn’t explicitly say that was the path. Yesterday, it was raining almost all day long. And as I already said, today was also somewhat rainy. In the middle of a forest, it was VERY challenging. I think we all made it (even though I didn’t count the number of people so I don’t know whether it’s true or not), but I must say I was quite amazed by the fact that no one complained.

The sun disappearing incessantly until noon, until we started picnic. Then it started raining. I thought it would be a perfect place with a huge field, also because I brought a volleyball (or made Alfredo bring a volleyball). In the end, we stayed there just for lunch, maybe for 30 minutes. Actually when we were about to leave, the rain had already stopped, but it would have been weird to put all the picnic blankets again. We rather decided to go ahead.

Just with Google maps, you might think that Ratingen is just as interesting as Kettwig for hiking, or maybe at first glance Ratingen looks even better than Kettwig. That’s unfortunately not really the case. The region from Ratingen to Duisburg is indeed green, but in contrast to the zones around the Ruhr or the Wupper, this region lacks of wilderness. I don’t know how many hiking trails I had to scrap that I had planned for here. Anyway, after the break it was rather insipid, although for a leisure walk, it was maybe not that bad.

At least the rain that came for a couple of minutes during the break did not come back for the rest of the day. That allowed us to stay outside when we arrived in Ratingen. Actually when I created the event around 10 days ago, I wanted to go from Ratingen to Kettwig, but then I changed my mind, because Ratingen has a nice market place with a lot of different bars, which is almost the case in Kettwig too but it’s not as large as in Ratingen. And we were still something like 20 people who wanted to stay, I happened to have made a good decision.

Next week, we’ll go to Schwerte, which is almost the limit of the VRR region on the eastern edge. Then we’ll travel to Traben-Trarbach over a weekend.