There are totally different types of hikes depending on the seasons. Right now in the winter, we do hikes in flat areas, mostly in the west and north of Düsseldorf. This allows me to see places we’d otherwise never see normally. This place, Wegberg, was one of those cities that I’d otherwise never see, as it lies in a vast flat area with pretty much no feature. However, when I zoomed in, I realised that it didn’t look quite as boring as the neighbouring areas. So while there was still the possibility that it turns out to be totally boring, I still gave it a go.
From last week, we have a new decree in place, which forces me as an organiser to control the vaccine pass of every participant. That’s perfectly fine. What I’m not fine with is the fact that I have to control everyone’s ID as well, which is something in principle I’m not allowed to do, but at the same time I have to do. I really don’t understand how such a fundamental right can be so easily overwritten every now and then here in Germany, but anyway I really didn’t want anyone to think that it’s normal to show their ID to a random person like me, I didn’t require anyone to do so. In my opinion, there should be two versions of vaccine pass – one is the one that’s in place right now, the other one is a QR code that’s updated every 10 min or so. That makes it already extremely difficult to falsify and there wouldn’t be any need for a personal ID.
A horrible thing about Wegberg is that it is outside of VRR, but only by one station. As I mentioned in a post some time ago, there’s this thing called Eezy that was recently introduced, where you don’t buy a ticket beforehand, but instead you simply check in at the train station when you take a train, and check out when the journey is done. So the thing is, apparently you have to check in during the ride, if you have a partial ticket, which was naturally the case if you had a VRR ticket today. In particular, we were apparently supposed to check in when the train was more or less crossing the border. The problem is, there was only 3 min between the stop before Wegberg and Wegberg, meaning I had to buy a ticket for the last 1 or 2 min of the journey. Regardless of how absurd it looked, I still checked in, and checked out a minute later. On the app, it was shown that the ride was for 6 meters, and I paid around 2€ for this. Can’t they do something that makes a bit more sense?
Despite today being Jan. 2, there were a lot of people who turned up. It’s a wonder that there are so many people who have nothing else to do.
To be honest, it looked really extremely boring at the beginning. We were walking along nice paths but still in the middle of a residential area. But then things started to become much more interesting as we entered a small forest. I mean, it was not particularly dense forest, but still we were far away from civilisation, and for a winter hike it was really good enough.
And there was a bit of water everywhere as well. I should have known that it’s close to the Netherlands, and there are swamps everywhere.
One important reason why I chose this place today was because there are a lot of restaurants along the way. I hoped that people would have breaks whenever they wanted (because according to the current decree we are not allowed to be a group of 10 people when we are not doing sports). This unfortunately (but also not so surprisingly) didn’t not happen. We all had a break in front of a church on the outskirts of Wegberg. Well, anyway we kept our distances so I guess it was fine in the end.
Since we had already reached Wegberg, I thought the hike was almost over. Well, it was not quite true. The last part was actually a lovely path.
There were a few ice cream parlours close to the train station. They were all closed. So we simply went to a nearby café and waited for the next train. These ice cream people who don’t work in winter. Very bad.