Let’s start with an important step that I always wanted to make for this group: I created a chatbot in Telegram yesterday. The idea of creating one has been around for some time, because I get essentially always the same questions. So even though the bot is really rudimentary, I’m sure that people can get the answer to their problem a lot more quickly. This leads me to the next question: Will I keep using WhatsApp in the future? There are actually a few advantages of Telegram (1, phone numbers are not public in groups; 2, virtually no limit of subscribers in channels; 3, open source -> chatbot and I can probably offer other cool features; 4, there are people who are not allowed to install WhatsApp on their phone), while there’s not even a single advantage of WhatsApp over Telegram. I posted the question in FB and depending on what the others say, I’ll move to Telegram entirely in the near future.
February is still very much winter here in Germany. And with this in mind, I organised yet another winter hike today. Initially, I was asked to organise one in Leverkusen, but I quickly realised that it was actually super difficult to make one there, so I took this one train line that connects Köln Mülheim and Bergisch Gladbach, which we have used only for the hikes around Bergisch Gladbach so far. In this regard, it was a bit of a new experience for me, as well.
And this morning, I arrived at Köln Hbf fairly early in the morning. Since there were some people telling they were in front of the train station, which is the official meeting point according to the event description, I decided to go there myself as well, because I usually never do it myself. Well, I couldn’t find anyone. One day no one in Cologne will trust me anymore.
Köln Dellbrück was really like just around a corner from Hbf. With around 40 people joining today, it took forever to check their vaccination status. The first ones started moving in the meantime.
We first had to cross a relatively long residential area. Looking at the map, I see that there would have been possibilities of going to the nature more quickly, but somehow when I created the trail it didn’t really occur to me. It was fortunate that there were not so many locals outside, because there was really an overwhelming number of people marching through this small neighbourhood…
The forest that we entered was just like the one that you’d expect in the Bergisch Gladbach area: neatly aligned with no wild spot, but also no scar from the drought of a few years ago either. It’s really like an exemplary “forest” you’d imagine here in Germany.
As I already wrote above, today still was a winter hike. In this amazing weather, I could have almost organized a normal hike today. Anyway, spring is almost there.
Even though I was really totally overwhelmed by the number of people, and especially by the number of new people, the hike went super smoothly. This group is becoming more and more autonomous. Well, this being said, since it was a super nicely organized area today, there was really no complication at all.
Actually it was almost like it looked almost the same everywhere. If you put me just somewhere on the way, I probably wouldn’t know which part of the hike it was.
I was planning to have a break near a restaurant (there was just one on the way), but while I was sticking to the tail of the group, the front group decided to have a break in the middle of nowhere. Of course, I’m super glad whenever people decide to do things themselves, so I just simply followed them and had a break there as well. Today, for the first time this year, I took my cooking stuff and started preparing some rudimentary lunch. Pity that I didn’t take a photo.
There was a zoo on the way. Actually I didn’t even know that it was there when I created a map. It was a small highlight of the day … wasn’t it?? 🙂
Well, actually there was another small highlight a bit later: a lake. Frankly, it doesn’t happen very often that a lake is a highlight (except when we can actually swim), but somehow people started taking photos and going to a small island there (as you can see on the photo).
There was no ice cream at the end (because we went to the city center of Cologne and had a Persian ice cream there). Winter is almost over, then we’ll have real hikes. At the same time, corona seems to start converging. We’re almost there!