Maybe I should first apologise for having said that the weather was horrible on weekend. It’s been straight three weekends that we weren’t walking in the rain. And today, since we’re going a bit far, we were blessed see a cloudy weather. Viva Germania.
Fortunately, we didn’t have a huge problem with the tickets this time. Well, even though the problem was fixed quickly, I guess the entire discussion annoyed those who didn’t have this problem in the first place on WhatsApp. Even though I was continuing the discussion, I couldn’t stop feeling sorry about it.
There was one technical problem today: we were starting the hike at noon. And the sunset was around 4:30. Of course we didn’t want to hike in the darkness, but we want it to be dark when we arrive at the Christmas market. I mean, who wants to drink Glühwein under the brilliant blue sky? So, essentially, we had to take exactly 4 hours and 30 min to do the hike. This was a rather difficult mission regarding the distance of exactly 12 km and the fact that it was nearly impossible to stay outside for a long time for the break. I talked about this with Zaman, who’s now nearly a co-organiser (or maybe more like an organiser than me). So, our mission today was to make the hike somehow longer, without really making it uselessly long.
With this in mind, our first strategy was to visit the ruins of Godesberg. This place, Godesberg, was by the way called “posh area of Bonn” during the Cold War period. Bonn being the capital until 1998, there were also important political functions in Godeberg, and therefore it was apparently also important to keep some monuments like these ruins, which looked rather lame, but there was at least something to see.
Actually I didn’t really realise until this moment, but the group was huge today. There were more than 50 people (in fact not everyone is on the group photo above). Was this the Christmas market effect? Well, at least there was a significant chunk from Aachen. It was like a good compromise between Aachen and Düsseldorf. Rather surprisingly, there was no one from Bonn (or at least as far as I could see), even though I had put a separate event for Bonn. And there weren’t many people from Cologne either. Is it again the rivalry between Düsseldorf and Cologne?
In contrast to what Nikola had expected, we left the civilisation rather quickly after that. We were essentially walking in the forest all the day after that. Unfortunately, there was no nice view over the Rhine, contrary to what I had announced (but fortunately I didn’t announce it officially), but it was a neat area. I’m pretty sure that people were rather positively surprised, if ever they were surprised in the first place.
You might have heard me speaking of “winter hike” from the beginning of November. In this series, we don’t really do anything complicated. And today’s trail definitely belonged to this category. This being said, it was pleasantly hilly, or rather, it was not entirely flat. Who wants more in winter?
But then something rather unexpected happened: I was walking behind, taking a few pictures. Then I lost everyone in the group. I first thought I was simply far behind. But regardless of how fast I walked, I couldn’t find anyone. At some point, I sent a message to the WhatsApp group. As it turned out everyone else was lost. Great.
I simply went farther and started the break alone at the university campus on the way. There was a nice cafeteria there, but I wasn’t directly aware of it and had lunch outside. Fortunately, people first entered the cafeteria, so that they could directly have lunch inside. This was actually a perfect place, since we could sit inside in a warm place (and have a cup of coffee at the same time), so that it didn’t bother us to have a longer break, which allowed us to make the hike longer in total.
Along the way going to Bonn, we could see the city among the trees. This was the only one moment that we could somehow see the area towards the Rhine. You can maybe imagine how thickly the trees were there.
After my speech, we arrived at the Christmas market. And quite surprisingly, we arrived exactly in the right moment. The sky was already fairly dark. We just had to wait a few minutes for it to be entirely dark. I still don’t like Glühwein a lot, but well, who doesn’t like to be at the Christmas market in winter and have a cup of hot Glühwein?