Monthly Archives: July 2020

Spaghetti ice cream with Amarena cherries

Wet start but great finish in Deidesheim

“Will the hike take place tomorrow?” a Whatsapp message asked me on Saturday morning. I quickly replied “Yes, the weather forecast looks good, what does your app say?” and attached screenshots of two weather apps for Deidesheim. Both predicted no rain and temperatures above 25°C. Less than a minute later I received a screenshot, too. 27°C, mostly sunny, and definitely no rain.

So, off our group went as planned to Deidesheim yesterday. We walked through the town with its well-tended houses and the pretty city hall, hiked through vineyards and reached the forest. All the time we chatted along because some of us had not seen each other for several months. Soon however Mother Nature showed us that weather forecast and reality are two different things. A heavy rain shower came down and we unpacked umbrellas, rain jackets, and rain covers for our backpacks.

Luckily, we were just a minute away from the Deidesheimer Hütte. The hut, where you can usually buy food and drinks, is currently closed for renovations. I had been aware of that situation and chose the area on purpose, hoping we would run into fewer people on the trails. We searched for some shelter and waited for the rain to stop, started eating some of our food for lunch, waited some more, and waited…

After maybe 20 minutes the sky finally cleared up and we continued our hike on narrow paths up to a shelter “Am Weißenstich” where we had our official lunch break. The temperature was much cooler and we soon resumed our hike before we got too cold. A few hundred meters we got into another rain shower, but only a short one.

Soon we reached the Eckkopf view tower, climbed the steps and enjoyed the 360° view from the top. In some areas we could still see dark patches of rain.

Then we started our descent. The temperature started to rise and we had a nice break at a small lake called “Basaltsee”. Finally, we reached the edge of the forest and took another short break at the “Michaelskapelle”, a small chapel with a panoramic view. Then we hiked the remaining kilometers through vineyards and back to Deidesheim. None of us was in a hurry to go home and when one of us discovered an ice cream parlor, we quickly decided to stay and take a later train. I bought a yummy spaghetti ice cream with Amarena cherries. We sat down at the famous Geißbockbrunnen (translates as billy goat fountain) and enjoyed the finish of our hike.

Coming up: hiking along the Odenwald Limes

One of our members suggested to go hiking near the border between Hesse and Bavaria. There are remains of the Roman frontier such as watchtowers, a reconstructed palisade, and walls. This is not the UNESCO world heritage site, which lies 30 km further east (e.g. Miltenberg and Walldürn), but a lesser-known area. More information about the “other” Limes in Bavaria can be found here.

Now and again when I consult my hiking guidebooks to get new ideas, I have been noticing a similar hike in that specific area. However, I never inspected the details of that hike. Looking at the map I always imagined it was hard to get there with public transport. Right now, I don’t encourage carpooling because sitting in a closed small place for an hour or more seems risky. However, as the suggestion came from a fellow hiker, I had to have at least take a look and give some feedback.

And then I was extremely surprised: the area is reachable within an hour by S-Bahn from Heidelberg and changing trains once in Eberbach. Driving time by car is one hour as well, so we won’t even be at a disadvantage for using public transport.

So here we go! A hike at the border of Hesse and Bavaria and the old Roman frontier coming up in August.

A hidden gem on the Neckarsteig

When the COVID-19 restrictions did not allow any group hikes, I decided to hike the Neckarsteig on my own. In the past, I had hiked several stages, but some parts had seemed too long, too far away, or too difficult to organize transportation from/to for me. Now however I had a lot of time on my hands and life mostly happened at home. It was good for my mental health to have a long-term project that would give me something to do for several weekends.

Usually the Neckarsteig has very wide multi-purpose trails. During my hike on the Neckarsteig I discovered a part that the signs posted there call “alpine”. Although I would not call the trail alpine, it is a very narrow, winding path through the forest. One short part close to a spring is a bit trickier because the rocks can be slippery.

Once I had discovered that part, I decided that I wanted to hike it again with our group. The Neckarsteig in that area goes from Neckargerach to Eberbach via Neunkirchen. Neunkirchen is hard to reach with public transport (S-Bahn and 2 busses), and the Neckarsteig stage from Neckargerach to Eberbach would have been too long for us. What is good is that there are only few people on that trail because it is not that easy too reach.

Therefore I planned a hike over 17 km and around 450 m total ascent/descent. That hike also covered the Dschungelpfad (jungle path) in the same area.
We were 4 hikers yesterday and it seems that not only I find that part of the Neckarsteig extremely pretty.

Alas, we did not have our regular cake in Eberbach. At the end, all of us were glad that we had reached the destination and were rather keen on heading home.