Hiking report

Hiking from Mettmann to Gerresheim!

I was not planning to organize today’s hike, because I thought I’d be in vacation and anyway everyone had left Düsseldorf temporarily or permanently. So, I deciddd to take a rather random trail, for which there was no garantee. I don’t really remember where I had it from, but I guess it was from outdooractive.com, because I still decided to check the trail previous day and I found out that part of the trail actually did not exist. Good that I decided to go there once.

And this decision turned out to be quite important, because it was not paticularly true that there was no one in Düsseldorf. With 35 people showing up this time, it was probably the largest group in the last few weeks. Apparently the low number of participants in the last weeks was not really related to the season, but it was much more because of the location, as we always went quite far away from Düsseldorf. Maybe also the weather played an important role, because all the major weather forecasts were predicting particularly good weather for today, after a couple of rainy days.

We do have a wide spectrum of personalities in this group. And it’s something I really like about these hikes. But every now and then, there are particularly special people (I should create a list of funny incidents in the future). This time, there was one Italian girl, who was saying yesterday evening the weather would be bad today. Interesting. Then she started saying she would not want to have a break outside because it’s cold in Germany. Well, just before she said it, we said twice that people can choose between eating in a restaurant or outside, because we were planning to have a break next to a restaurant. Well I don’t know exactly whether she did not read what we were saying or eating in a restaurant is not an option for her. Anyway I had difficulty understandng her logics. And this morning, she missed a train going from Cologne to Düsseldorf, so that she could not be at the meeting point in time. Well, the train she seemed to have been planning to take was actually already quite late. And the one after that was definitely too late. To be true, I thought about waiting for her for a moment, but with more than 30 people appearing and without knowing how many people had to go back home early, I could not make everyone wait for her. I got a call from her. And was insulted and blamed in the next few minutes for not being tolerant and she explained me how horrible Germany is whereas in Italy everyone would be tolerant. After the call, I wrote her a long message expaining my situation, in Italian. Even though she started complaining in the WhatsApp group, at least she did not start comparing Germany and Italy again. And to be true, I also preferred that she starts complaining in the WhatsApp group, because with all my sincerity, I did what I could do in that moment. In such a situation, it’s better not to continue the personal quarrel and let the community judge. And as I expected, it apparently did not spoil their motivation.

After a couple of sessions quite far away from Düsseldorf, it was nice again to have to go only for 20 min to Mettmann, which was the starting point. Those who know Germany but not so much the region, however, seemed to be a little bit puzzled, because the train station, Mettmann, is certainly not famous for its surrounding nature. After all, that’s what I always thought before coming here.

Mettmann was actually larger than I presumed. After we arrived at the train station, it took quite some time to get out of the city. Some of the newcomers started wondering what I called “hiking”. I was myself a little bit surprised, too.

Since I know that not everyone arrives in time at the meeting point, I always put the meeting time much earlier than the train departure (which is something I must have talked about before). This being said, I am the one who does not show up at the meeting point in time. Before, there were usually no Asians in this group, but now apparently many newcomers think Kairi is the organiser. Maybe this is going to happen in the near future

If you take a look at the region with Google earth, you will certainly notice that there are pretty much only fields between Mettmann and Gerresheim, which was our destination. The hiking route was quite well planned so that in total there was a good mixture of forest and fields. That’s probably also because it was part of Neanderlandsteig.

Just as it was predicted by weather forecast, it was the perfect weather today. Sunny, but there were sparse clouds, so that we did not have to have the feeling that we were being burnt. Also great temperature for both hiking part and the break.

The place where we had a break, Stindermühle, also had a restaurant and a garden (which was probably part of the restaurant). Also a great place for a break. Hopefully it was okay for the staff at the restaurant.

I also had another deep discussion with Ivan (I hope this was his name…) about the concept of hiking. He says that he has never seen a group where the organiser doesn’t write anything like “the organiser is not responsible for whatsoever”. You can find this discussion in my old articles so I’m not going to repeat it, but I find it quite interesting how much philosophy this simple fact has involved so far, because it is not just a question of who takes the responsibility if something happens, but it’s also much more about what this act of writing things like this would mean to everyone. I will certainly continue like this, until I see a specific problem it may entail.

Just as I was expecting, we arrived quite early at Gerresheim. By the way, we arrived from the south side of the station, where we made a meaning less turn towards the north side, which was in the end the reason why many people missed the train for Düsseldorf (although there was another one 15 min later so I don’t think it was a big problem). Essentially Sheldon and I decided to make this turn, but I just wonder how many people really wondered why we were making this turn. Or rather, I wonder how many meaningless turns we can make until people notice it’s nonsense.

The trail can be downloaded from this link (kml-format) or this link (gpx-format)

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