The other side of the Rhine from Düsseldorf, toward the Netherlands, is like vacuum for me. There are a few places that we visited, but compared to the densely covered Wuppertal or Hagen area, I can hardly say I know where’s what. The simply reason is because it’s flat and vast, so that we go there only in winter, only to cover a small fraction of land. So, now as the winter has come, it’s finally time to explore that area again. And this time, I organised one to Xanten (which we’ve actually already visited twice), because according to some pages in the internet it has one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in NRW.
In order to arrive at the Christmas market after the sunset, we started hiking around noon today. After crossing the city of Xanten, we entered a small forest, which extends only to the end of Xanten, but still large enough for our hike today.
I thought it was yet another artificial forest in the Ruhr area. Well, it’s true that it’s probably not perfectly natural, but it is certainly much closer to what it used to look like before the industrialisation. And also despite my expectation, it was actually not completely flat inside the forest. This being said, maybe I shouldn’t overstate “not entirely flat”, because it also signifies what it literally means.
As I said above, we were near the Dutch border today, meaning we had a lot of fields with horses, cows etc. I’m pretty sure that I saw more horses than humans today during the hike. For some reason, these guys were extremely active. Were you happy to see us? 😀
We had a break in front of a restaurant, which turned out to be closed. We had a break there last time back in 2017 as well. As always, I started cooking stuff. As the temperature nearing 0, the breaks are now relatively short, which forces me to cook stuff really quickly.
There was hardly nature after the break today. We had to walk a long distance inside the city of Xanten, although I was still happy to see such a traditional German city in the Main Street. As today was a Verkaufsoffener Sonntag, meaning a Sunday that the shops are allowed to open, there were quite some people out there.
And there was this small Christmas market on the market place. This time, there was no corona control at the entrance. I had an ice cream beforehand and we stayed there until it started getting dark. My plan of arriving there after sunset didn’t quite work out, but still it was a nice small Christmas market 🙂