Hiking to Königswinter and Drachenfels!
In contrast to the fact that we’re having a lot of weekend hikes this year, there haven’t been many hikes that I could call “highlights”. Well, that’s not quite surprising since I already chose most of the greatest places when I started organizing hikes. Still, some places offer more than just one good trail. A good example is Königswinter, lying on the edge of Bergisches Land and surrounded by rich nature.
This being said, so far I have never really been impressed by this area. We’ve been there at least 2 times, and every time I got the feeling that we were walking in the same place all the time. While Drachenfels castle is impressive, the rest is a massive forest, offering very little variation in landscape. Well, still it was only a few experiences for me, which still could be updated, and Drachenfels is as I already stated a nice place. Why not visiting it at least once a year.
With this in mind, I put the event something like 2 weeks ago. Within a few days, I could see the number of participants skyrocketing. Since this was the first weekend I offer only one hike instead of two, I couldn’t offer an alternative either. But then the situation got better when the weather forecast started to show what it would be like: rain. So the number of participants stayed rather constant in the last 7 days, although this morning there were still 70 people in the list, dwarfing all the other events on Meetup.
And actually among the 70 people who were still there today, apparently most of them really came. So when we arrived at Bonn-Oberkassel, there was a huge crowd compared to the minuscule train station at the platform. Just as always, I had to leave the station quickly in order to disperse the crowd a bit better. It was really a pity, since I wanted to talk to the new people today.
Anyway, we went a few hundred meters and we were in the forest. Just like other times, we were going up a rather steep hill, but mostly we could not really see the Rhine. Every now and then, we could see it partially, but there was no spot with a perfect view. This is exactly the problem with this area that I was talking about above. Well, maybe it was slightly better today than last times.
Just like every time now, I had to walk ahead of the group. Because of the number of people, Zaman didn’t join. I was effectively the only one leading the group. I would have loved to talk to the people, but until the break it virtually didn’t happen.
On the map, it looked like that break point was exactly in the middle. As it turned out, it was much earlier, and we were all slightly surprised to have a break so early. Anyway, I chose a very nice former monastery, so I still decided to have a break there.
Since the group was already torn apart, those who came after us had to figure out that this was the place for break. Some of them apparently simply missed it. It’s really a pity for them, since it was itself a historical site and also a nice place to sit, even though the temperature dropped down so much that it was difficult to stay in one place all the time.
There was a short section after the break where I traced a path which in fact didn’t exist. We had to follow a large street for some time, but compared to the amount of wilderness that we had today, I guess it was still acceptable.
Actually from the beginning to the break, there was almost no slope (except for the very beginning). It was slightly unexpected for this region. This being said, it started to be a bit hillier before Drachenfels, going up and down steeply every now and then (even though it was anyway quite limited, as you can see on the height profile above).
I was walking with maybe 7 or 8 people after the break, and this group essentially never changed. I guess for everyone it was similar – we all formed small groups during today’s hike, which was actually exactly what I aimed at in response to the pandemic.
There were some interesting spots on the way, but for the same reason I didn’t stop. This huge rock for example. The entire area was somehow super rocky, in the middle of deep forest. What happened there.
Even though there weren’t that many people during the hike, Drachenfels was almost overcrowded. Almost as soon as we arrived there, we left the place, just taking a few photos over the Rhine, which I anyway already have.
We were planning to go to Königswinter, but by mistake (of mine), we ended up at Bonn Rhöndorf. There was a huge vineyard on the way. A great view to enjoy in autumn. In addition, we could have an ice cream there :).