And so came the very last hike of the year. Another successful year with a lot of great memories. At the beginning of the year, I seriously thought there wouldn’t be enough trails to offer until the end of the year. But here I am, 12 months later, with still quite a few trails to do and finishing the year. Who knows, maybe we’ll see indeed an infinite number of hiking events without ever doing one trail twice.
I planned this hike some time in November, to make sure that we’d do this one, because I absolutely wanted to visit the Christmas market of Essen. At that time, I thought it would be for a horrible weather – I was wrong. It saw an impressive turn from rainy to sunny within a few days and here you are, we were indeed walking under the clear blue sky. Who would have thought something like this was possible in the Ruhr area in December?
From today, there was a new train schedules in this area. They called it a renewal of the decade, which essentially allowed them to have another excuse to have delays everywhere. But the thing is, literally we all got a delay, so that we arrived at the beginning station, Essen Kupferdreh, more or less at the same time.
Even though the weather was extremely good today, it was cold enough to scare off all the holiday cyclists to wobble around all over the way. It certainly would have been a catastrophe in summer, but today most of the cyclists knew how to cycle. I’m also really glad that we took mostly pedestrian zones, or at least zones in which pedestrians had priority.
It’s so nice to walk along the Ruhr in winter. I’m pretty sure that it’s just as nice in the summer, but it’s entirely overshadowed by all the cyclists along the way.
It gets even better when we go into a forbidden zone. You can even make it better by entering the zone with 30 foreigners in front of German people, who love order and rules. I didn’t really understand why it was not okay to enter that area. But we’re here in Germany, rules are rules.
This area along the Ruhr has somehow quite a few hiking paths. At some points it was hard to believe that we were hiking in the Essen area. But anyway, not surprisingly, some people got lost regularly. Even I was thinking I was taking the right path and it quickly turned out that I wasn’t. Well, there are still quite a few placed to explore in this area apparently.
We decided to have a break in this place called “Zur Kluse”, only to find out that they accepted only guests who had made a reservation. Since I already had some stuff to eat, I didn’t mind sitting outside (using their installation) to have lunch, but some people went further to have a break in Essen Stadtwald, which is essentially a part of Essen and in the middle of the civilisation.
The reason I wanted to have a break at “Zur Kluse” was because it allowed us to have some nature after the break. After Essen Stadtwald, namely, we were essentially having a city hike. I was enjoying conversing with some people but I’m not perfectly sure if everyone liked that part. Well, on the other hand it must have been clear that we were heading for the Christmas market, so maybe they simply accepted it as such.
And this Christmas market in Essen, was a chaos. We all went to different placed and once someone was lost, they were essentially entirely lost. I guess it was a nice experience to see what it is like there, but maybe we didn’t have to be there with 30 people.
This being said, it’s always nice to finish a hike with a Christmas market. I truly enjoyed my very last Glühwine of the year with the people I loved to spend time with. I really hope that the hikes next year are going to be just as successful as this year.
I would like to thank all of you for having hiked with me this year. This year was just as memorable as I could have ever imagined. I promise that next year is going to be even better, so please look forward to it!