Today was the best example for a great autumn hike, with something like 20 degrees and sunny, but not quite the same type of sun as in the summer. And the hike was in Essen, the perfect place for everyone. Whoever didn’t join today missed an amazing day. Seriously.
For me rather surprisingly, there were indeed not so many participants today. We had a hard time finding enough tickets at Düsseldorf Hbf (we did have enough tickets though). Well, another surprising thing, which was indeed not that surprising in fact, was that the German railway cancelled our train this morning. Luckily, there was one trail every 30 min from Düsseldorf to Kettwig, and also Josefine noticed it fairly early in the morning, so we didn’t have repercussions from this problem anyway. We’re becoming more and more immune to DB problems.
Essen of course has different parts, but they are so extremely different that you probably won’t consider them as the same city. The northern part is extremely industrial, and you’d see the huge hangover from the industrial revolution that lasted for quite some time until it gradually died out maybe in the last 50 years. In contrast to the deplorable north, the southern part of Essen, which goes towards the Ruhr river, is a paradise for nature lovers. The great thing is that there’s this one line, S6, that goes through this area, so that we can reach every corner by train. And that’s how we could start hiking from Kettwig, which almost directly offered a beautiful hiking path from the very beginning. The trade-off is of course the slope is not quite negligible, but the reward could be seen very quickly, when we reached the top of the hill, from where we could have a great view over the Ruhr.
Even though we never completely left the civilisation, we were also mostly in the nature, like surrounded by trees or fields. Today, we could also see a lot of blackberry trees (?) on the way. Now being the middle of the season, we could eat blackberries everywhere. Germany is not quite the country which produces a lot of vegetables or fruits (for quite obvious reasons), but sometimes you can find small surprises on the way.
I wouldn’t be surprised if today was the last day of the year with so much sunshine. I had to make a lot of beautiful photos to use as banner photos later for Couchsurfing events.
I was thinking about having a break at the restaurant called Seeblick. When I first planned the hike, we were meant to be there during the opening hour, but due to the delay we got from the German railway, the restaurant was having an afternoon break when we arrived there. Actually I was well behind the group when we arrived there and I don’t know how they decided to continue, but anyway they decided to continue and to have a break somewhere on the way, without me telling anything about where to have a break. GREAT!!! It was probably the very first time that they decided to have a break in an undefined place collectively. Hey things are getting better, aren’t they?
Well, this place was certainly not the most beautiful one to have a break, but I was also too tired to think about going elsewhere, and I arrived anyway quite late, so I happily sat down, had lunch and had a short nap. There was unexpectedly a lot of up and down today on the way.
But the remaining trail was fairly short. It was almost like there for us to wind down. Essen-Stadtwald is, as the name suggests, pretty much in the middle of a forest on the one side. The other side had a very small city center. We sat at a café and finished the hike today. It was a lovely hike today.