There are a few places in VRR that I’d love to visit more often, but there are simply not many possibilities regarding the public transport. The area around Witten and Wetter is a very good example for this. Still, this time I somehow managed to stitch various paths together to get something acceptable, even if we have already done many of the parts there.
It is an area that lies inside the Ruhr area, slightly outside of the Sauerland. This actually has a huge implication: There’s hardly any dead area for the trees. It’s more or less the same in Essen. I’m relatively sure that the people cared a bit more here than in the Sauerland, but at the same time the trees look also quite different in this area. In short: this area is simply very nice.
And the weather was also simply perfect: completely sunny with up to 28 degrees. Ok, it’s maybe a bit hot, but what else could you expect in Germany?
For these reasons I was slightly perplexed when I saw that there was hardly anyone joining from Düsseldorf today. It’s true that I arrived fairly late, but I saw only a handful of people, and even all the way to Herdecke, we were maybe around 20 people. I still don’t know why, but I have to say those who didn’t join indeed missed a really nice hike today.
Dortmund is a killer station. I have the feeling that every second time we had to miss the connecting train. Today, however, for some reason we were punctual and we could start the hike according to my plan. From the train station, we went up all the way up to the forest first. Then today, throughout the day, we hardly saw the sun. That’s usually not a very good sign, but in today’s scorching weather, we could feel how much of a relief it was.
The forest was really massive today. There were some bright spots on the road, but otherwise it was hardly possible to say what kind of weather it was from there.
To be honest, I’m not even really sure how I created today’s track. I’m sure, however, that I took some improvised paths every now and then, and I had frankly no idea how it could be there. As it turned out, there was hardly any difficulty in the end. That came partially through the fact that many of the sections were actually for mountain bikes. So in fact we had to pay attention to the bikes on the way every now and then. Fortunately, they were relatively advanced bikers, so that they could react quickly whenever we had an encounter. In the near future, when the e-bikes become powerful, the situation might change. We should probably mentally be prepared for this situation.
You can see a weird turn to the Ruhr river on the way. That’s where there was one restaurant and we also had a break there. I had personally hoped there’d be a path to the Ruhr crossing the railway, which unfortunately didn’t exist. So we simply followed the path a bit more and had a break in a field. Not even sure if someone actually went to the restaurant. I’m wondering whether it’s actually a growing trend that people don’t need a restaurant during the hikes?
Towards the end, there was one place where they were selling local honey. I stopped there because I badly needed water. Some others stopped as well, buying honey or other local products. The owner was very nice and started distributing chocolates to us (of course for free). In the same place, they were also collecting money for the refugees from Ukraine. A few minutes later, I saw someone arriving at the shop, and they started speaking Russian. I still don’t know whether they were Russian or Ukrainian (or possibly something else), but it must be really hard to live in a world like this for them in this moment.
Look at the colors of the trees. There’s this beautiful red color (whatever it actually should be) and the bright green color, that you can see only at the beginning of the summer, coexisting. It’s the best seasons of the year to be outside.
When we reached the outskirts of the city of Witten, we stopped at a random monument in front of the Ruhr. Yet another nice instagram point which might have been the highlight of the day.
In Witten, people took the train back home almost right away. We stayed there a few minutes more and got some ice creams. As it turned out, the city of Witten was the place where I had the best ice cream so far in VRR. Next time I should definitely announce it beforehand.