It’s been now a few weeks since the Deutschlandticket got introduced, and ever since we can travel everywhere in Germany for free. That in principle means we should have a lot more possibilities, but at the same time I don’t want to travel for a very long time. Therefore, I decided to *almost* redo previous hikes. Today is a really good example, because we did almost the same one in 2020. The visit to the lake and swimming was just so perfect that I decided to do it again, with very small changes.
Also today was such a brilliant weather – it was just so ultra hot. No clear blue sky, but as long as it’s hot who cares.
There’s this line that connects Düren and Heimbach (where Abenden is on the way), which is right next to the lake. There are two possibilities to take that one – either by RE9 or RE1. RE1 goes over Düsseldorf (and Cologne), but has an unnecessarily long waiting time at Düren. RE9, on the other hand, goes only over Cologne and not Düsseldorf, so in order to catch it, you’d need to get another train. This one has a nice connection at Düren, which I think always works. Usually we take the RE1 and wait for a very long time at Düren, but this time I decided to take the RE5 to go to Cologne and catch the RE9, because the changing time of 25 min appeared enough to me. And of course, it wasn’t. We quite dramatically missed the RE9 at Cologne, for no obvious reasons. Good job German Railway.
Since the group from Cologne (who didn’t miss the train) was quite large, they started hiking without us. In the meantime, we were at Düren in the DB store enjoying the breakfast. Actually it might have been also a good idea to make it a semi-official part of event, i.e. we could all have breakfast there. Then maybe we don’t mind it being very early in the morning.
It’s been weeks now since it rained last time in this area. I’m maybe a bit biased, but it looks also dry in this area. The Eifel area was largely spared of the drought of a few years ago, but if it keeps going like this, it might be affected this year.
Still the forests in this area area really beautiful. I’ve already said it a few times, but if there’s the Eifel, I don’t necessarily go to remote places like Alps. Today we were walking through forests and fields, which might be slightly less impressive than in the Alps, but for some places I might not know whether we are in the Alps or the Eifel if someone teleports me to a random place.
In the first half of the hike, I was talking with Shohreh all the time in Persian. Well, this being said, my Persian was just as miserable as you could possibly imagine, but it was not only really much fun, but also super encouraging. One of those moments that make me think it was really great that I started organising these hikes.
There’s this huge highlight just before the lake. There’s this platform from which you can see the entire lake. It really feels like you came to a totally different place. Obviously people were taking a lot of photos, and we took our group photo. There’s actually a catch here: In our group photo, there were only people from Düsseldorf, because the first group came there earlier and took their own group photo. There was, however, one guy from the group that managed to superpose the two photos with some tool. So I could have this group photo with almost everyone on it, but you can also see that some people are a lot smaller than the others :D.
There was this small part along the lake that was added to the trail this time, which we did not do in 2020. I added it because I saw there was a restaurant and a beach there. The first group saw that the beach was not free of access (4€ pp), so we decided to move farther and have a break there, where we usually had a break at the lake. And since we (the second group) simply skipped that part, we could join together at this point.
The place where we had a break did not quite look like when we went there the last time, so we went to another beach (?) nearby. Today I had a volleyball with me, and this turned out to be a really nice idea. We were horrible at it, but we could play in the water.
In the meantime the other group also arrived and we continued our way. It was a fairly long break today.
There’s this massive uphill right next to the place where we had a break. It’s probably so steep that Komoot doesn’t consider it as a hiking path. We did it nevertheless, also because for the ones going to Slovenia it would be a good exercise.
So, in the first part of the hike, I was speaking Persian all the time. And for some reasons, there was a Ukrainian lady that joined for the first time, who decided to speak Russian with me all the time. My Russian is somehow a bit better than Persian for listening, but when it comes to speaking, I really have difficulties, because first of all the Russian language itself is fairly difficult, and I have never properly spoken it. So in the end, she was speaking Russian to me, and I was replying in English, but every now and then I could also throw in some phrases Russian, and I have to say, just like for Persian, I really enjoyed the conversation. I hope it’s gonna happen again :).
There was an ice cream store at Abenden, where our hike ended. They were, however, way too slow to serve all of us, so I ended up not having an ice cream. At least we had a nice dinner in Düsseldorf afterwards, so I cannot complain :).