Haan was the very first place that I visited for a hike nearly three years ago when I arrived in Düsseldorf, and it was how I fell in love with the idea of hiking on weekend in the first place. Even though today, I certainly wouldn’t feel the same if I had the same trail again, I still find this area handy, comfortable and whatever adjective to describe the fact that his is a nice area for a winter walk.
What I’m saying is partly attributed to the distance from Düsseldorf: it takes 19 min by train to get there. It was like we started talking and arrived before we finished talking about what we started talking about.
The price to pay for this distance is of course the landscape: it was entirely flat. But who cares? It’s winter, and we should be glad that we can have a walk in the first place. I found it more important to have a rainproof trail, which, as it turned out, was not particularly important today, as it stayed sunny the entire day. There was a small amount of cloud, but it was just the right amount to make it look in fact rather lovely.
We got off at this station called “Solingen-Vogelpark”, which literally means “bird park”. There were a lot of people wondering why they called it this way even though there was no bird in sight. That’s because there is a real park called Vogelpark (which we of course did not visit) and it’s simply not about this area. Well, in this regard we can also start wondering where are the angels in Los Angeles or where is the castle of Hamburg (with “Burg” meaning castle in German).
The beginning was not as much covered with asphalt as I had feared, so that we could walk also rather comfortably even before we entered the first forest. As you can see in the map above, we stayed in the forest almost all the time today.
A sunny day like this is really rare in November in Germany. I really had to take a lot of photos today along the way, in order to gather some of them for the future sessions (i.e. for the banner photos of the upcoming events). Despite the temperature having been low for a few weeks now, the leaves were not entirely gone yet, so that we could see a perfect contrast between the color of the leaves and the color of the sky.
Today, we were walking along the “Neanderlandsteig”, which is a long hiking trail around this area. We used to take this trail when we started hiking around 2 years ago. Since most of the sections were so good, I devoured most of it very quickly. Now it’s really rare to see the tag (s. above), but we were essentially following it all the time today.
We could have had a break almost anywhere. We had one anyway in the forest, close to a city part of Haan. Since it was not too cold, most of us stayed simply outside and picnicked. I’m really glad that I decided to take my picnic blanket in the last moment. We stayed there for 50 min, but I guess we can make it a bit shorter next time. In winter usually we don’t need that much time for the break.
I said it was entirely flat, but there was one hill towards the end. I call it a hill, but you might simply call it a protrusion. Well the area surrounding it was still nice.
The area around Haan having nothing to offer, we simply took a train to go to the city center of Solingen. By the way I’m sorry that we left some people behind, who couldn’t catch the train. There we had an ice cream and ended the day.