Hiking from Kippkausen to Bergisch Gladbach and Christmas market!
December 12, 2021
As you are probably very well aware, we are still in the middle of the corona wave. Things are getting slightly better, but only slightly – not enough to overturn political decisions, let alone within a few days that could have mattered. With this background, it was indeed extremely difficult to find a place for the Christmas market for this weekend, because in most of the small cities, where the Christmas markets are indeed the most interesting, they cancelled all events. In the end, I decided to take this compromise: Bergisch Gladbach. We’ve been there a few weeks ago, but there are still a lot of interesting hiking trails there, so fortunately I could still organise a hike that ends in a Christmas market.
Even though Bergisch Gladbach is inside VRS, I gave a train schedule starting from Düsseldorf. On the way from Düsseldorf to Bergisch Gladbach, I was first travelling with Sarah, who had a VRR ticket and therefore could take me up to Benrath on her ticket, and then I had to buy another ticket. So, there’s this new system called Eezy which was introduced due to all the problems that the complex ticket system had entailed. With this new system, instead of buying a ticket, you can simply check in whenever you take a train and check out wherever you leave the train. Here comes the problem: Since Sarah was taking me on her ticket from Düsseldorf, I was not supposed to check in in Düsseldorf. At the same time, I vaguely remembered to have seen somewhere in the internet that I was supposed to check in only when I start needing a ticket. However, since I couldn’t remember where I saw it (which I found here, just like the excerpt above) therefore wasn’t sure how to use it correctly, I decided to ask the ticket inspector, who, totally ignoring my question, started screaming that I was illegally taking the train without a ticket. Well, everyone, some ticket inspectors are really weird. It’s rare that they are quite as wrong as this guy was, but nevertheless, beware of them and don’t get shocked with this kind of reaction…
Anyway, just like always we missed the connecting train, because the stop at Köln Messe Deutz was cancelled for no obvious reason. We then took the one after that and started hiking around 20 min later than foreseen.
I do very much complain about the German railway, but looking at cities like Bergisch Gladbach, we should perhaps be glad that there are trains in the first place. It is indeed a peaceful area with a lot of trees. Just like in many places in NRW, the nature is very artificial, but for a winter hike like the one today it may have been the perfect place.
So far, we mostly got good weather in the hikes this winter. Today, it showered sporadically, although compared to other years there’s really nothing to complain about. I had an umbrella with me, but since it was never really a lot of rain, I didn’t use it.
We had a break in a restaurant on the way. Some people had some stuff to eat, some people decided to enter the restaurant. Because of the rain today (and because I got up too late), I didn’t take the cooking equipment today. Just like always, it took a lot less time for the people staying outside than the ones in the restaurant so those who stayed outside simply start walking. After all, there are now so many people with the map so there’s really no reason for the group to be one group all the time.
With the weather getting slightly worse, it was a bit of an adventure in the second half, as the ground was less solid. Anyway we somehow meddled through to Bergisch Gladbach, where we crashed the local Christmas market. Among the ones we visited this year, this one was probably the biggest one. We had a Glühwein and some other traditional stuff for outrageous prices. So nice to have Christmas here.