A couple of weeks ago, probably some time in March, we had a very sunny day with 19 °C. I felt the arrival of summer. Well, that was a couple of weeks ago. Today, we had 28 °C. THIS is summer. Of course it was sunny. And I really want to have it sunny today, because in addition to the hike, there were two important spots. The one was called Burg Castle and the other one is Müngsten bridge. They are not far away from each other.
There were, however, essentially two problems. Firstly, there is no train that directly goes to Burg castle (but there are for Müngsten bridge). And secondly, there was no decent hiking path that was proposed in the Internet.
A couple of weeks ago, therefore, I decided to cycle through the region to see if there was a good hiking trail. Actually over the couple of sessions, I learned how to look for a trail myself. This is truly an ability that I acquired with the hikes I organised.
However, it turned out that the one that I planned first (and that I also did by bicycle) was horribly bad, because firstly we would have had to cross a large street for cars and there was a quite steep slope. This region, Wuppertal, offers sometimes quite steep hills. Sometimes it’s not just a question of whether the route is good or not. Maybe there’s isn’t a way.
Unfortunately I could not see much more on my bicycle that day. When I went back home and checked that region again, there was another possibility nearby. So I decided to take this one. After all, this was the only one possibility.
Well, anyway this allowed me to create a trail that would look like a real hiking trail.
10:30 in front of the main entrance of Düsseldorf Hbf. I saw maybe 10 people when I arrived there. Actually they do not have to come so early, since I give the meeting time always about 30 min earlier than the departure of the train. To be honest I feel a bit sorry about that, because the reason that I put the meeting time 30 min ahead of the train is just because I know that there are always people who arrive with delay. It’s a dilemma that I would probably not be able to get rid of.
A couple of minutes later, there was a huge group in front of the station. In the end, it was a group of 45 people. So it surpassed the record of Duisburg where there were 44 people. I mean, it’s impressive…
There was another surprise concerning today’s session: a few days before the hike, there was someone who was asking if it would be possible to take his small daughter with him. Actually I have got a couple of questions like this. But no one has ever come with their children. As the distance was fairly short, I thought I would be okay for children, too. I didn’t expect them to show up, but they did. And this was the first time that there was someone who was significantly younger than students. I don’t know what the future sessions will look like, but it would funny to see more children on our hikes. Well, maybe some of them are little bit too long, so maybe once a month or so, I could organise a shorter hike with maybe side activities that can be enjoyed by children, too (although I cannot really promise that it would happen).
So the replacement for the horrible part that I had to change when I cycled through turned out to be quite flat, which you can see on the map above (which is the first part of the trail). As you can see there, it’s a strongly winding road that I was really not expecting to be flat. A surprise, probably a good one, as most of the people were not used to hiking. Another good thing was that there was no other possibility than the way we took. So even though we were walking everywhere, there was no one who got lost (although it happened after the lunch).
Part of my mission for today was to convince people that there’s nothing complicated in the organization of the hikes. Since there were quite a lot of local people today, especially Germans, I tried hard to get a co-organizer. Unfortunately I don’t think I was so successful. Maybe I just skip one session sometime in future and see what happens with the people who gather at the station. I’m pretty sure that they’ll figure out what to do.
Just as last week, there was pretty much no field this time. Only forests. Well, I guess we were actually lucky that there was no field, because in the shadow, the heat was bearable.
The Schloss Burg, which is quite a tourist attraction of this region, is on top of a hill. It was a perfect place for this group because it offered quite different possibilities: bar, stand, restaurant, park etc. The only one problem was that there was very little shadow. As always, I had my picnic blanket, so I had a long nap under a tree.
Right after we left Schloss Burg, we found out that we lost two Chinese girls, although it appeared to me like a wonder that we hadn’t lost anyone until that moment. The way to Schaberg was actually quite nice. We simply went along the Wupper, which was the other side of what we did last week. And it was fairly short.
There is a large café under the Müngsten bridge, but it was full. So we simply bought beer (or ice cream) and sat on the grass. By that time Indira (the 6 year old girl) found out that I was not just a directorial organiser, but someone she could talk to. So she decided to ask me a question every 5 seconds.
Indira: “How can we go up to the train station?” Sam: “I don’t know (of course I knew though). Maybe we have to climb up the bridge?” Indira: “I can’t do that!?” Sam: “I can’t either! Can you please carry me up to the station?”
What I should have done in that moment, by the way, was to check when the train was arriving. The thing is, when I checked it, there was actually only 20 minutes remaining. And there was still about 1 km remaining up to the station, mainly uphills.
We didn’t have to run, but it was still quite a distance. Well, I decided to run. And when we arrived there, there were still 10 min remaining. Not bad!
I’ll organize two sessions next week, because we have a long weekend there. Probably there’ll be less people than usual. Let’s see! Let’s see!