Yesterday was what was called “Japan Day”, which turned out to be pretty much the same thing as carnival (of this region of course), i.e. people dressed up and drink, although it’s more about anime characters that I don’t really understand. I must say, I would have been disappointed if they had just tried to reproduced the Japanese culture or just made a commercial event out of it (which is pretty much the case in Lyon). The Japan day of Düsseldorf is its own festival, which has nothing to do with anything you would see in Japan. And I found it great. Well, maybe except for one problem: if you think of Germany, you may think of a high technology country, which is extremely wrong if it is about the Internet. If you are in an industrialized country, you can think of what it was like 10 years ago. That’s more or less the situation in Germany. What happened to me was that because of the event and the large number of people, the mobile phone network was virtually down. In the end I had to spend the evening all alone at my flat, from where I could see the fireworks so well, which other people must have been obliged to see in a mass.
The region around Düsseldorf, especially the Ruhr region in the north, is known to be quite flat. The hikes so far near Düsseldorf have therefore never really been “hikes” in this sense (maybe except for Werden to Steele). This time we took a train towards east, which has a slightly different landscape in this sense. Actually we already planned a hike in the Wuppertal region a couple of weeks ago, which had to be cancelled, because the German railway apparently found it funny to paralyze the entire region for a month. This time, finally we managed to organize a hike there. And it was crucially important for me because they are going to shut it down again in a month.
In the morning, I made a passionate request to take a look at the map that I prepared on Google Maps, explaining the fact that we had to wait for other people for more than one hour last time, only because they were not really aware of the existence of the map or because they thought other people would care about that. The self-consistent hike group that I pledged a couple of weeks ago has not been realized in the form that I wished so far. Well, my personal experiment will go on.
I might have written this before, but whenever an event is organized on CS and X number of people sign up, you can expect may be half of them to turn up. This is indeed the case in my hikes as well, but it is also important to note that in my sessions there are also people coming without signing up and in the end we are about the same number of people as those who signed up for the event. This time, we were about 40 (+ one dog this time!). Anyway as I expected, the number of people is getting stable. Well, as long as they don’t get lost, I don’t mind to see more people.
Optimization is a big thing. As I was not a skilled hiker, I had followed the hiking paths proposed in this page. But as I discover more and more tools for the planning and more locals are joining, I am getting more aware of the fact that the path proposed there is merely one suggestion. Today’s path was largely modified, as it was obvious that it was not going through the best possible path. Also because there was this new guy Florian who was from Remscheidt to guide us.
The total distance of this hike was said to be 15 km on the map above, but usually it is up 30 % longer in reality, probably because it draws straight lines, which doesn’t really correspond to the reality. I (probably also everyone else who was there last week) was sort of prepared to have another strenuous one. However, the distance was correct. And clearly, there was still energy remaining.
This was probably the reason, why we not only managed to go to a beer garden afterwards, but also we went to a restaurant back in Düsseldorf together. Moreover, we decided to go to the riverbank (which is rather beautiful in the European cities, Düsseldorf included) to stay and drink there until maybe midnight. Great that I’m going to Manchester tomorrow to catch the plane at 6:50 am…