Most of the hikes presented on this site are somewhere between 12 km and 16 km. Today’s one was 20 km. I must say I was not even sure if I can even offer it publicly. On the other hand, Altena has a very famous castle, and there’s basically no viable way to make an easier but still meaningful trail. So it essentially had to be done this weekend, on the Easter weekend.
In this particularly warm weather today (indeed we needed suncream), the first 20 min or so was already complicated enough; we were going up an endless hill. This is Sauerland. We should probably not hike with the same spirit as in the Ruhr region.
Fortunately, it was only here during the entire trail that it went consistently uphill. I wouldn’t say we were on a plateau, but the altitude changed only gradually. At the same time, we could also see small villages on other hills from this hiking trail.
There was a random tower on the trail, among other random structures, really like in the middle of nowhere. Often this kind of tower doesn’t look solid enough, but this one didn’t even wobble with 20+ people on it.
I had announced we’d have break at the restaurant Elfenfohren. It was only when we arrived there that I realised it was closed in the afternoon. Fortunately, there was this small town, Tüttebelle, where people could buy some stuff. We stayed on a field nearby, looking for shadow to avoid the strong sunlight.
Some time after the break, we arrived at an airfield for amateur gliders (so it looked more like a well maintained large grass field than an airfield). They told me a glider can fly for hours if the conditions are right, like today with this high temperature.
I’m not really sure if everyone made it till the end. I must say for the distance and all the warnings I gave to everyone, today’s hike was not as complicated as I had expected. And I didn’t hear anyone complaining about the distance, although some people looked a bit exhausted by the time we were finishing.
We arrived at Altena castle 15 min before it was meant to be closed. Usually, you enter the castle for a fee. Since it was right before its closure, we got inside for free. Brilliant! It sounded like it’s not so strict anyway though. Anyway it’s a beautiful castle, worth a visit at any rate.
And even if the ice cream we had at the end was not as sophisticated as a real Italian ice cream parlour, Altena was a lovely place. To the very least it’s a welcoming place after a hike of 20 km, so you can look forward to something if you happen to go the same trail.