Hiking report

Weekend trip to Bad Berleburg!

It’s around 3 years ago now that we started organizing weekend trips in apartments. At that time, I looked for options on booking.com for some time, and one of them was this one in Bad Berleburg. In this regard, the trip to Bad Berleburg could have been one of the first ones. I had indeed booked it before, but for some reasons I cannot remember it never came about. Anyway this time I finally managed to book it.

This one was the first full weekend trip this year, the last one being Wissembourg in December, it’s been some time. I was very much looking forward to this one for this reason, but also because the house looked really nice and it was in the middle of the Sauerland!

Following our last experience at Wissembourg, I decided to buy everything beforehand, because we were anyway going there by car. So around 2 weeks in advance I tarted asking around what people wanted. Then Giampaolo, who is sometimes extremely passionate about cooking, made suggestions for the meals, and a full list of items to buy. It looked like a lot more work than I had imagined, but I also really liked the idea, so I simply took the items that he mentioned. Except for Kartik and Arjuwan no one really requested or added anything, so the shopping went quite well.

A few days before we were going to Bad Berleburg, German Railway announced a strike just a day before our arrival. Some people fervently started looking for an alternative in the meantime. Fortunately Amalia and Giampaolo had enough space for almost everyone (except for Kartik, who would have anyway not made it before our departure time). So we could drive to Bad Berleburg in the fully packed cars.

And so we, group Amalia, started our journey from Düsseldorf around 5pm. We had to look for a gas station, so it was fairly late when we arrived at Bad Berleburg. Team Giampaolo, on the other hand, had already arrived and started cooking. The problem was, Giampaolo had about half the stuff and we had the other half, but I didn’t separate them according to a clear rule, so that for everything there was something missing. I don’t know if it would be possible, but next time if we share the transport of food, it would probably make more sense for one car to have everything for one meal, so that if one group arrives earlier, they can simply start preparing the meal with the stuff they have. In this regard, I could have given Giampaolo everything for Risotto and we could have kept everything for Lasagne, and if we had arrived earlier, we could have simply prepared Lasagne.

Anyway it was sometime after 9pm we arrived at the apartment. Risotto was more or less ready. So we just chose our rooms and had a dinner. Amalia and I got our own room. So nice.

Despite all the missing ingredients Giampaolo did a great job to prepare risotto. Besides he had brought a cake for the International Women’s Day. It made a lot of sense in this trip, because there were 7 women and only 4 men. Anyway the dinner was pretty good in the end.

Cleaning was also super smooth. So I had enough time to go to the sauna, which was almost the highlight of this trip (at least for me). Inna, Amalia and I spent quite some time there. We struggled to make it warm first, but then it got really really hot inside. We made a few rounds there, and afterwards I slept so deeply I hadn’t done for weeks. Sauna is just so great.

Day II (March 9, Saturday)

I had said we need to leave some time between 9 and 10am. From the previous experiences, I knew that we would be ready around 9am. There were problems with the pan, so we struggled to make pancakes, but otherwise everything went smoothly, and we were ready indeed around 9am. It’s so weird because it sounds like it’s very early, but it somehow still works every time. We also made wraps for everyone. This also went according to the plan, but I hadn’t realized how small the wraps were. It was clear that it wasn’t enough for lunch.

The hike was from the apartment towards the Rothaarsteig, which is a famous hiking trail from Brilon to I don’t know where. There was a place in the middle where it looked to me like there’s something to eat, but I was not so sure about it.

Manisha also join the hike, because she lives in Siegen and Bad Berleburg is not so far (although “not so far” is relative here). So we were 12 people in total. At the same time, we were 12 mostly not prepared people, as not many hiked in the winter a lot. I was not so sure if we were able to walk the 24 km that I had prepared.

There were some wild sections towards the beginning, but then it was a relatively regular path through the Sauerland, which means we were mostly in the forest, with occasional appearance of fields, but then there were a lot of dead areas. That’s again the areas which suffered from the drought a few years ago. This being said, compared to many other areas in the Sauerland I could see the forest a lot better which existed in other places in the Sauerland before the drought.

I could see that this was a famous hiking area, as we could see a lot of monuments and other attractions along the way. We took a group photo in one of them. Well, while it is definitely very famous, there were not so many people out there. There were some cyclists along the way and some hikers, but it was not comparable with other hiking trails like Rheinsteig.

I was super stressed about the break, because I knew that the wraps we prepared were not enough, and there were already a lot of complaints about this. So I knew that things wouldn’t be peaceful if there was nothing during the break. In the end, I was really lucky: There was a nice hut selling simple stuff and a nice area to eat. So we could order French fries or sausage (what do you expect in Germany) and had our healthy wraps. It was actually the best combination.

Some people apparently went to the restaurant next to it. This place, Schanz, was so great that I thought it should be advertised better in the open street maps more.

Then we went back the way and followed the Rothaarsteig. This part was quite massively forestal, just as it should be for such a famous trail.

There were benches on the way with a great view over the valley. It was somehow quite sunny and somewhat warm. Half of the group went farther and we stayed there to have a nap. It’s finally spring, and so much so that I couldn’t properly sleep with the strong sunlight.

When we reached the city, we went to the nearby ice cream parlour. It was an Italian place, but they accepted card payments! Anyway the ice cream was also great, and I was also in a good mood, because the hike was not quite as difficult as I had imagined.

On the way back home, we went to REWE and bought some more stuff for the evening and the breakfast.

At home, we immediately started preparing the dinner. This time Giampaolo wanted to make Lasagne, and I wanted to make salad. The salad plan went pretty well, and when it was ready I went to the sauna, because I knew that we were going to drink, meaning I wouldn’t be able to go there afterwards. Lasagne, in the meantime, got a problem with the oven: it was not going to get hot. We had to wait and wait, but it was still cold inside. At some point I tried to contact the owner, and she kept saying it should work. Well, actually she was right – it was working, but just extremely slowly.

We then first started having salad. It still took some time for lasagne to be ready, but eventually it was a really good one. Giampaolo did a really great job again.

There were multiple bottles of wine. We opened some of them, but the evening went to an end very early. Some people apparently stayed in the living room until midnight, but then I guess everyone went to bed. Since Amalia wanted to go to bed around 11pm, I followed her right after that as well.

Day III (March 10, Sunday)

As there was practically nothing planned for the day, I just simply slept until 8am. I was also quite tired after a relatively long hike. Some people were awake towards 7am and had started preparing breakfast.

We had bought some baguettes at REWE. But again, the oven took like forever to be warm. By the time the baguettes were ready, people were more or less full with the toast. Amalia also prepared a lot of scrambled egg. We got rid of all eggs. There was not enough butter, but that’s mainly because we didn’t know how much we would need for lasagne.

Right after breakfast, Kartik, Aseel and Madhuri left. They took an early train and went back to Cologne/Bonn. As Giampaolo’s car had a flat tyre, we could not leave the apartment until 11am. Well, since we didn’t have any programme, it was nice to have an easy going morning.

When we left the place, I sent an SMS to the owner. In the end I didn’t see her in person at all. We then went to the city center and walked around there. There was also an Italian restaurant. We had lunch there for around 20€ per person. That’s a normal price, but considering the fact that we had paid around 25€ for food for the whole weekend, it appears really a lot.

We then went back home by car. We were at home early enough to enjoy the rest of the Sunday.

So was the first weekend trip of this year, and the very first one, where we basically prepared everything. The shopping part went a lot better than I had imagined. That’s mostly thanks to Giampaolo, who took over the whole planning of the meals. I would say the amount was just right. There was some stuff missing, and some stuff remained, although some items that remained, such as jam or oil, were never meant to be totally used up. I think it’s important to consider that Giampaolo and I did not get any comment from anyone, except for Kartik and Arjuwan talking about their food intolerance.

However, when it comes to the actual conducting, I would say the picture was very different: I had the feeling that I was under constant criticisms, and in this regard, this trip was far from relaxing, in strong contrast to the recent trips like Wissembourg or Gotha. It was a lot closer to Porto, where the best moment of the trip was when it was over. Maybe the biggest problem was also the fact that I didn’t really learn a lot of things from these criticisms, because they were mostly about personal preferences (e.g. half-backed bread instead of toast), which can only be taken into consideration if people actively join the planning, or if they just act independently. Nevertheless, I was not so surprised to see the reactions based on the participants this time, and I don’t think there was a fundamental problem in the planning, so next time I will look at the list of people next time and decide what to do.

For the rest of the organization, everyone did a little bit of something, so that the whole apartment stayed clean all the time. I got the feeling there was hardly anything I had to do.

Well, in the end I would say we are going in the right direction. I just need to figure out a bit of details next time and let’s see what happens.

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