There are not so many places we visit several times on weekend trips, the only one being Koblenz so far. I still wanted to organize this Winterberg trip, because the last one was in the winter and was therefore a totally different experience. In addition, it turned out to be a bit disastrous, even though Miriam, who organized the event, had done a great job. That’s by the way also the reason why there is no blog post here.
This time, I found a really nice apartment at the beginning of the year. So I booked it and just kept it there for a while. It took some time to fill all the spots, which was actually a healthy reaction, since the trip was still months away and I don’t necessarily want people who have no other social life than going to the weekend trips XD.
Compared to the Harz trip, the train journey was significantly easier. We simply took a train to Dortmund and changed to the one to Winterberg. The only one problem was that the one going to Dortmund was having a delay. Just in order to be sure that I can arrive in Dortmund in time, I decided to take an ICE. The local train arrived in time, but it was fairly tight.
So the apartment was actually really right in the heart of the city, and it was also an extremely large one. It was only there that I realized that we could have accommodated even more people. Really a pity that we didn’t do so, because as far as I understood there were indeed more people who would have loved to join.
In the first evening, for some reason Amir was super motivated to prepare curry. We then went to a nearby REWE and bought all the stuff. As the apartment was right in the city center, obviously there were so many different possibilities for the grocery shopping.
The apartment was gorgeous, but the kitchen equipment was not quite the best. We had to struggle to do different tasks with what was available, and in the end we somehow managed to make curry (with the REWE curry BBQ sauce XD) and salad.
With the last train at 8:24 everyone arrived and we had dinner together. 1 kg of rice was pretty much the right amount for 14 people, but apparently just like every time we had too much salad.
After the dinner, we played Werewolf just like last time in the Harz until past midnight. I was the moderator again. This time, since I didn’t have my computer, we couldn’t use the SMS program to send the werewolf characters to everyone. Instead we simply used some random cards that were available in the apartment. God these people love Werewolf.
I’m learning from my mistakes: I was not so drunk this time. And so, I was perfectly fit when I woke up in the morning. Now I finally feel that I overcame those stupid youthful days where I was drunk on every weekend trip.
Cláudia, Kartik and Delia stayed in a different apartment. There was virtually no agreement on how we start the breakfast, and so just like always it started as people arrived. At some point Amir prepared his traditional eggs, but as the kitchen equipment was unsatisfactory, he apparently struggled a lot. Then the people from Cláudia’s apartment arrived, and there was no egg left. I saw the difficulty of organising this stuff across several apartments.
Just like last time in the Harz, we shared the stuff for breakfast. The shopping list was somewhat incomplete, but it still worked out somehow.
Some time past 9am, Siham, who stays in a different hotel, joined and we started hiking.
Winterberg is in the heart of the Sauerland, which is connected to the area that we visited on our last weekend trip to the Harz. In strong contrast to the Eifel, which lies towards Belgium, Sauerland was badly affected by the drought of a few years ago, so you can often see barren landscape. I was partly expecting something like this, but apparently because Winterberg was so densely surrounded by nature, it was spared of the problem.
Right at the beginning, we found the source of the Ruhr, which is the river that goes through the Ruhr area. I actually didn’t even know that it was starting from here.
Well there was no barren area today, but it doesn’t mean that it was all covered with trees. At the beginning we were often walking in fields. Today the sun was shining quite strongly, even though it was not quite as bad as a few days ago, when the temperature was skyrocketing.
And at this point, we lost some people, Shrijal and a few girls. They were walking so fast that we actually didn’t see them anymore until the end of the hike.
There was really absolutely nothing complicated about today’s hike. We were really easily going from the beginning to the break point at Silbach. This was actually the place where we had an apartment last time. Last time, there were a lot of skiers, but this time there was hardly anyone there. Some of us had a break in a restaurant, and the others outside. I had this super expensive salad with porcini mushrooms (amazing).
In the meantime, the ones had already started hiking. As I already stated, some of the people were even farther ahead of us. We were really like the last lost ones.
This part from Silbach to Winterberg was virtually the same as in the winter trip that we had at the beginning of this year. We were walking through dense forest. It was nice to be there, when the sun was shining above us.
The first ones were already at Winterberg when we were walking there. How’s possible that they were going so fast?
We had a break at this corner kalter Asten, where we also had a break last time. I remember that we were freezing there last time, as we were walking through the snow and it was fairly windy. Today we were having a relaxed break with a drink in the hand.
After this break, we were essentially only going down the mountain and walking through part of Winterberg. While doing so, we started talking about what to do for dinner. Before the trip we were talking about going to a restaurant, but for some reason Manuel started talking about preparing carbonara, and I thought it might be a good idea to prepare some pasta sauce as well. Then Cláudia volunteered to make Tiramisu and Greek salad (well, I actually suggested Greek salad and she agreed to make it). And so, we had a plan for the dinner.
So, as soon as we reached the apartment, we sent some people to the bathrooms to take a shower and we went to the supermarket again to buy the ingredients.
Here comes the good old problem: Quantity. I still had the bitter memory of St. Aldegund, where we had way too much pasta, which we could not even finish. At that time, we calculated the amount of stuff we’d need, and it didn’t quite work out. This time, we calculated it as 200g pasta per person, and times 14 makes it around 3 kg. I knew this calculation was not going to work out either, but my opinion was overturned by the majority.
Well, preparing 3 kg of pasta is anyway quite a task and frankly we totally botched it, but mainly because the equipment was simply not good enough. Frankly I was not really convinced of my sauce either, but it was received well in the end. And not so surprisingly for me, the pasta was WAY too much. We could have bought probably about half the amount and it would still have been enough. Another lesson for next time.
After the dinner we played Werewolf again. This time, I didn’t have to do the narration. And honestly, I love to be a wolf, because you can tell so much nonsense. And as a wolf I won the last game, which somehow turned out to be probably the most memorable one in this trip (at least we talked about it over and over again in the days to come).
It was again past midnight when the game was over. Apparently other people still wanted to keep playing. I’m creating a Telegram bot right now to make that happen, so please wait for it for a while!
Day III (July 31, Sunday)
Again, I didn’t drink too much (YES!). Even though we were all badly sleep-deprived, we managed to wake up early in the morning. Cláudia, Kartik and Delia didn’t join us today. Well, apparently it was too complicated yesterday.
After the breakfast, we cleaned the apartment and left a bit after 10am. This time, just like every time in the last couple of weekend trips, everyone helped a little bit, and therefore the cleaning went really well, except for the fact that there was still an incredible amount of food remaining. We had to carry all the stuff back to Düsseldorf, although we still did not throw out anything, so that’s something to praise anyway. Oh maybe I should mention that half of the people were eating remaining pasta.
Before the trip, we had the idea of doing waterskiing, but it was democratically rejected. In the end we decided to go to Meschede, to the nearby lake, Hennesee, to chill there, because I guess most of the people were already out of energy (I really totally was). Actually half of the people directly went back home in the morning. We, the remaining ones, were the best ones 😎.
From the train station, there was a perfect connection to the lake, and there was hardly anyone around the lake, even though it was officially allowed to swim there. Amazing!
Some of us, including me, simply left the stuff there and swam. It was about as clear as in the Rur, meaning it was really good water quality. Usually I don’t want to put my hair in the water, but since it was so clean, I left my glasses and really swam. It was not super hot today, but such a great place to swim!
There was a small festival (?) at the lake, so it usually probably doesn’t look like on the photo above, but I presume that there’s the minimum infrastructure there, so we can go there on a normal hike and have a break there.
We stayed there a bit less than 2 hours and walked back to the train station, because we also needed some movement. Then we took a train back to Düsseldorf. Thanks to the fact that the train from Dortmund to Düsseldorf got cancelled, we could take an ICE, so in the end it was actually more comfortable than otherwise.
It’s been now a long time since the weekend trips became real trips for me rather than stress. This one was yet another good example for such a case. From the planning to the actual distribution of tasks (cleaning, cooking etc.), things went really well. This time, our typical hard workers (Jana, Cláudia) were not in the apartment, although obviously Cláudia helped us a lot as well, but things went really well. I’m sure that the tradition will go ahead, regardless of who is going to participate.
There’s just one classical mistake that we made: too much food. We really need a bit of buffer food, like chips or bread, that can be consumed everywhere, to make sure that stuff like pasta doesn’t remain afterwards. It fortunately didn’t, but we really had to suffer a lot to finish it. Other than that, just like in the Harz, sharing breakfast was a very successful idea. There are still people who want their own breakfast, but regardless of details we should continue doing this in the future as well.