Hiking report

Weekend trip to Bacharach

It was some time in January that I was absent-mindedly looking at various hostels and I realised that there were free spots in the one in Bacharach. It’s one of the most famous hostels in this area, because it’s a castle and offers a great view over the medieval city of Bacharach. And so, it’s also known for being one of the most difficult places to book. Almost immediately I booked rooms for 10 people in total.

This time, we mostly had people who didn’t join the trip to Kaub, which totally makes sense because we briefly went to Bacharach at that time. Quite critically, Zaman didn’t join this time, because there was no spot left anymore for him when he wanted to sign up. This was actually quite a mental burden for me, since that implied that I had to organise everything. And not so surprisingly, I couldn’t come up with a nice idea for Sunday, so this time it was basically a classical intensive hiking weekend.

A few days before the event there was one incident. It’s related to the fact that Bacharach was outside of the railway network of VRM, meaning a VRM group ticket was not valid and therefore either an extra ticket or a Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket had to be bought. The thing is, some people suggested to get a VRM ticket and then take an illegal ride for the last stop. There was a clear split between those who were totally okay about it and totally against it. Well, even though I had a separate ticket anyway, I decided to ask them to position themselves from the ethical point of view. There was no answer coming. Actually they were just making fun of those who opposed travelling illegal. Here’s one super important thing: Those who know me probably know that I don’t intervene in other people’s moral standards. Honestly what other people consider right or wrong is not my concern. However, it’s different if you are doing something illegal. There, I’d ask you to explain why it is fine in your opinion. I’m ready to accept any arguments that make sense, but not something like “it’s ok because it’s unlikely that we get caught” or “because it’s cheaper”, let alone making fun of other people. In short: if you do something illegal in front of me, make sure you have a good reason to do so.

Anyway, I went ballistic and made them apologise. In this end, they agreed to buy a ticket (although one of them simply didn’t join in the end).

So Friday evening, I took an ICE for Koblenz, which easily had a delay of more than 1h. In total, I arrived in Bacharach almost 2h later than initially planned. Bogdan, Amir and Amar were already there and we went to the Spanish restaurant that Christine had recommended. This place was run by people from the Dominican Republic. Good atmosphere and nice food. The others arrived also with a nearly 2h delay from the originally planned schedule. It didn’t affect us much because we were having great tapas.

On the way to the hostel, there was a shop, in front of which they were selling local products, such as juice etc. We thought about buying wine and took two bottles. We were then sitting in the viewing platform of the hostel. It was in front of this great view that we realised that what we bought was not wine but grape juice. Well, we loved the place anyway. We stayed there maybe for 30 min and went to bed.

I’ve already talked about it a few times, but I’m not a very complicated person when it comes to sleeping – I don’t snore and I can sleep even if there are people snoring. Apparently there were people snoring quite hard though, and some people had a really hard time in the night. Especially this time we got 2 very small rooms with 6 beds each, and we separated the people by gender, the boys’ room was fully stuffed.

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After the breakfast, we took a train from Bacharach at 9:50 to reach Sankt Goar at 10:00 and started hiking.

This weekend, from the beginning to the end, was almost like summer. I didn’t take my hat and I was carrying my normal sweater, but I really had to realize that it was way too hot for that. It’s almost like a wonder that whenever I organise a weekend trip in the beginning of the year, when usually the weather is not good, we get a really good weather, like the one in Cochem.

The train station was directly at a hill, so that we were at a very high point within a few minutes. As the view over the Rhine was really amazing, we stopped there for a moment, until we realised that there’d anyway be a lot of spots like this over the course of the day. This is the real difference between Düsseldorf and this area…

The featured image of this page (top of this page) was taken right at the beginning of this trail. As I already said it could have been anywhere, but it’s good that we did it at the beginning, because otherwise we might have wondered at each spot whether to take a group photo or not.

In this super strong sun, I really should have taken at least a hat, also because there were a lot of fields like this one throughout the day. This one was relatively early in the morning, but it was really like … summer.

Before we made our lunch break in Oberwesel, there was a short break, after which we kind of split up, because some people started walking earlier without realising that they took the official path, which was slightly different from what I had planned. The one I planned turned out to be fairly challenging, but also more interesting, with spots which looked more for rock climbing. There were Cláudia and Kartik, who joined us after a long break. Good job.

So we had a break in Oberwesel, in a small German restaurant. Flammkuchen, as always. A good one. I mean, just like everywhere :).

After the lunch, about half of the group went to nearby REWE (and we didn’t see them anymore until the end of the day). We kept going the original path. This place, Oberwesel had a weird structure, with a small hill covered with green separating the city into two. So if you are on top of the hill, you see the city on both sides, even though if you don’t look very far, you’re essentially in the nature.

There are a lot of vineyards in this area and all sorts of well maintained fields. I’m sure that in the summer it’s going to be gorgeous. Today, I was totally bathed in sweat, but the area is not quite so far yet. Pity.

We were back in Bacharach around 6pm. Sunset was nearing. To be honest, this hike was more challenging than I had imagined, probably because we weren’t quite as prepared as in the summer last year, after so many easy hikes in the winter. Anyway, it was a good one, with various views over the Rhine, fields and forests. And the timing was also perfect.

There was a small organizational problem when we were back. As I stated above, some people hiked separately after the lunch break. And they didn’t plan to go back to the hostel before dinner. One of them had the key for the girls’ room. Cláudia, not knowing that they were not back, were locked out of the room. She tried to get a spare key at the reception, but we got this unfriendliest guy ever (who also talked with hardly making the point, looking like he was complaining just for the sake of complaining). Luckily, we managed to make Shrijal bring the key.

We had dinner in an Italian restaurant, then we went over to a café/restaurant run by an Armenian family. And here, there was a swift turn in this weekend, which made a nightmare for me (afterwards): maybe first I should say that I had a glass of red wine and a shot of grappa in the Italian restaurant. Then in this café, we were so warmly welcomed, that we essentially kept drinking. I had at least a shot of Obstwasser, several shots of grappa, a glass of rosé and I can’t remember the rest. We definitely had a great time there, but we DEFINITELY drank too much.

But the story actually didn’t end here. We went back to the hostel, and brought out a few bottles of local wine that we had bought before the dinner. We all agreed that the wine, which cost 15€ per bottle, was the worst ever in our lives. We still kept drinking. Frankly, after a challenging hike, there could hardly anything that could possibly go worse than this. From this point on, my memory was only partially conserved, and towards the end, when we were drinking inside the hostel, not only because I was sleeping on a nearby couch, I had so little recollection of what happened, that except for the fact that I must have spent a significant amount of time in the bathroom, which now I would call “restoration room”, I don’t even remember how I made it into my bed.

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When I woke up, I didn’t even think I’d ever be able to leave the bed. The horrible thing was, the summer time had started, meaning I had to get out 1h earlier. I made it in the last minute for the breakfast, trying to figure out what happened in the night. There’s nothing I was so relieved about more than the fact that I didn’t mess up anything. I mean, there’s really nothing I should be proud of, regarding the fact that the situation was honestly out of my control, but there’s still a large gap between messing up and not messing up, along with the fact this time we didn’t make the same mistake as in Offenburg.

Anyway, I was having the worst hangover throughout the day, together with muscle pain everywhere. Still, I managed to recover somewhat and we decided to do the hike I had planned, which was essentially a walk away from the Rhine.

To tell the truth, I was somewhat glad that I was able to walk after such a night. I can hardly say I enjoyed it, especially when we had to climb a hill every now and then. But there were some buildings that looked so traditional and authentic at the same time together with a nameless but still impressive large cave that it made it worth the effort. And again the weather was just amazing.

In the city, we had a late lunch, for which I ordered a monstrous amount because practically I didn’t have a dinner and breakfast. Then we took a train back home. Just as you can easily imagine, there was a problem with the German railway, like always. Firstly it didn’t accept my credit card when I wanted to buy a ticket, then I had a 1h delay. I tried to write this report on the train, but most of the time I was asleep. I understood how exhausted I was when I woke up the next day after a mind boggling 11h sleep.

Based on the fact, that some people called it the best weekend trip ever, I’m sure that this one was a quite successful one. However, I have to admit that the success was to a large extent attributed to the great weather – I’m sure that we’d have had a totally different impression if it had been snowing and cold, for example. Nevertheless, we should be still thankful that there’s such a nice area within a local train journey range from Düsseldorf, which allows us to have a feeling of vacations and beyond. Given the distance from Düsseldorf, there was hardly anything for me to organise for the logistic aspect. So except for the ticket issue that I stated towards the beginning of this report, there was no other problem (as far as I know). We left our luggage in Amar’s car on the last day instead of the hostel, so in this regard we kind of made use of a car, but we wouldn’t have had a problem without, either.

The fact that Zaman didn’t join didn’t make a major problem either, as the meals could still be somehow organized spontaneously. So we might have had a different programme if he had been there on Sunday, but given my conditions, I wouldn’t have particularly enjoyed anything anyway, so maybe it was okay in the end.

Lastly, this one was definitely the trip in which I drank the most. I’m anyway not a kind of person who drinks a lot, but I’m sure that I’m not going to touch alcohol in the weeks to come, if not months. Even a week later, as I’m writing this report, I cannot understand how humans could ever enjoy such a disgusting thing.

Here’s the result of the final bookkeeping: 24,10€ per night in the hostel and 0,50€ for the tax. Then I had a group ticket for Saturday from Bacharach to Sankt Goar, which cost 2,35€ per person.

There are a few weekend trips waiting for us this year. The next one is Marseille. We’ve got a great wave now – let’s ride through it 🙂

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