Only a week ago, three of us went hiking around Lambrecht in the Palatinate. The S-Bahn had been quite empty, we kept our distance and ran only into few other hikers. We expected a similar situation at one of the PWV huts or that the hut might be even closed. Instead we encountered quite the contrary situation and were shocked at the mindlessness of people there. People sitting in clusters, children playing together. Inside the hut was a huge line-up for food and drinks. People were queueing along the counter and continuing in a U-shape inside the whole room. Aghast, we looked at each other and fled outside. In the next hut, the guy taking our orders and handling food and drinks clearly had a cold.
The whole experience left us at unease. While I was still thinking about whether to post a new hike with limited participants, stricter rules were published.
While I miss being outdoors and enjoying the spring weather, I am glad that rules are more severely enforced now. Last Sunday in the Palatinate it seemed people behaved irresponsibly, completely ignoring the risk of infection.
Until we continue our hikes, please stay safe, stay healthy, and please consider everyone around you. Not only old people are at a higher risk when catching COVID-19.
To be exact, we had not stopped hiking at all. Throughout the very mild past winter there was a hike every few weeks and a handful of us ventured outdoors. When the weather promised to get warmer, I thought it would be a good idea to plan a hike that could be shortened and thus tailored to everyone’s fitness level. It turned out to be a mediocre start into spring, however.
I picked a hike of one of my first hiking guide books. The hike was described as going along the Burgensteig, starting in Weinheim and ending in Schriesheim. When planning the hike in detail, I had already seen on my map that the suggested trail and the Burgensteig did not always match. Still, I thought it would be a good start. I manually shortened the hike because the suggested itinerary was too long for us. In addition I had an ulterior motive: going to a café in Leutershausen that we had discovered last fall.
Eventually only three of us signed up for Sunday. Knowing the other participants, it was clear that all of us would hike the full length.
The start in Weinheim was pretty, walking through the area of the Hermannshof, where spring was already in full bloom. Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, the first tulips, and so on. Once we headed into the Exotenwald, the trail became disappointing. Lots of asphalt, wide multi-purpose trails, and for quite a while the Burgensteig was identical to the Blütenweg. This meant walking through residential areas and passing backyards. Once the Burgensteig got interesting and narrow, but just a few meters further all trees on the slope had been cut down, and we walked through a kind of wasteland. Some of the views from the vineyards over the Rhine valley were nice, though.
The real highlight for me was the cake at the café – a Spanish marzipan rum cake. Simply divine! Next time I just need to remember to take a photo first and then start eating…
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