Category Archives: Palatinate

No cake today… (for me)

Everything went well and still… at the end I did not feel like having ice cream or cake.

After the rainy hike in the forest last week I thought a hike in the sun would be nice. Therefore, I had prepared a hike for September 5 through the vineyards, then into the Palatinate Forest, and back to Bad Dürkheim again through the vineyards. Too bad that this day it was almost a bit too hot for hiking in the vineyards.

When I noticed the temperature in the morning, I decided to switch the direction of the hike. That meant a longer part in the vineyards in the beginning and less open country at the end. It was such a contrast to the week before. For the hike to the Ottilienberg I had gladly worn worn my long-sleeved merino wool top during our breaks.
During the whole hike I felt barely hungry, just the need to stay hydrated. The ascent up to the Michaelskapelle, then further to the Heidenlöcher, combined with the high temperature took its toll.

Luckily, by switching the direction of the hike we had a nice stop towards the end at Wachtenburg castle, and the 10 of us enjoyed a cold drink before heading back to Bad Dürkheim. Because we were a little late for our tram back, half of the group got some ice-cream and the other half bought cake to go. I just was exhausted.

Little Red Riding Hood Cake

Rosenthal monastery ruins and ponds in the forest

The intention of this hike was to be in the forest on a hot August day. However, (not only) today was quite a cool day when six of us explored the Rosenthal monastery ruins and then hiked through the forest.

During our lunch break there were two rainshowers. Still, we made it back to our cars and the coffee and cake stop. Luckily our timing had been good, so we paid when the sky got darker.

Driving home was a different story, though. Heavy rain, hailstones on the roads and then also from above, thunderstorms. Well, at least we had not been outdoors at that time anymore.

Apple crumble cake

Castle ruins and weird hunting lodges in Bad Dürkheim

Close to Bad Dürkheim there are three hunting logdes with unusual names: Murrmirnichtviel (translates as “Don’t grumble much at me”), Kehrdichannichts (“Turn back for nothing”), and Schaudichnichtum (“Don’t look around”). We skipped the last one, as the hike would have been to long and there is not much to see.
At the ruins of castle Hardenburg we stopped for coffee, cake, and ice cream (no more test needed outdoors due to the low incidence rate) and sat on beer benches under old trees. Today’s cake: apple crumble.

Nut triangles

Our group hikes are reopening!

It feels very much like a déjà vu as we had experienced a similar situation last year in June…

Today we could finally hike again as a group because Rhineland-Palatinate allows group sports at a distance for up to 10 people. Five courageous hikers ventured along the Druslach-Bacherlebnisweg. The trail starts in Lingenfeld and follows the old Rhine river for a while and then goes along the Druslach creek.

We enjoyed the soft, narrow forest paths, some historic sights and viewpoints along the way. At the Lustadt fishing lake we had our lunch break. I had brought two halves of nut triangles that I had saved for today. After our break we turned back to Lingenfeld via Westheim(Pfalz). We could have bought some ice cream to go in Lingenfeld, but noone felt any cravings.

It was wonderful to meet new people and see familiar faces and to listen to new stories while enjoying nature and the perfect weather!

Banana Bread

Hidden trails around Weidenthal and Esthal

Weidenthal is almost unknown for hiking. In the many hiking guide books I have read, the area was never mentioned. Therefore I thought it might be a good location for a Sunday in the Palatinate. Shortly after posting the hike I added 2 km to the hike. Thus we would be able to visit some of the wells along the Esthaler Brunnenwanderweg. I had hiked that trail a few years back and part of the trail was extremely scenic.

When we got off the S-Bahn, only one other small group of hikers got off with us. Just one stop ahead in Lambrecht, big groups had vacated the S-Bahn and headed towards the forest.

Where we hiked we had the forest almost to ourselves. Once in a while at intersections we met other hikers or bikers, but most of the time we only heard the sounds of the forest and our own voices.

Part of our trails belonged to the “Pfälzer Hüttensteig”. There are lots of catered huts in the Palatinate Forest but I had already know that there would not be any hut on our planned trail. Luckily I had brought a few slices of homemade banana bread as a treat. But once again I ate the cake before taking a photo and therefore re-enacted the situation back home.

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.

Apple cake

Hiking in the time of Corona

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.