A small hike near Essen

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On a Sunday, we went for the second attempt of a walk that we had tried several weeks before. This time we started from the correct spot, and were very attentive to the map and instructions, well at least the one who could speak German was.

With the peculiar light of the setting sun, only seen in late autumn, we walked into the forest. We quickly joined the path we were on last time and walked with little confidence in the same direction. For a couple of hours we enjoyed the serene countryside, the bubbling stream below and the glistening forest. The path is very enjoyable, completely wrapped in the forest, walking on a bed of autumn leaves. moments away from the productive industrial heartland of Germany.

It was only when I had settled in my mind that we would never find the right route, that my companion persuaded me to go past a stern looking sign apparently trying to discourage us, and through a peculiarly dark patch in the forest with no signs.

we turned and found that we were on the right path, but, just as we were rejoicing quietly that we weren’t lost, the sky changed from fiery red to jet black in a matter of seconds. In a completely surreal turn of events everything went dark. We hurried forward, until we reached a car park, where we saw groups of people hastily departing. Discouraged by people leaving in their cars and that the path we were meant to follow was beating a route away from our car, we decided to follow the road. At that point the rain started, then we got lost.

We took shelter under a bus stop and waited for the rain to calm. While waiting we discovered, by we I mean the German speaker, the right bus was due in an hour. We waited until boredom took hold, and decided maybe we should start walking to the next bus stop. So just at the moment  we had come to terms with the idea of walking dangerously along a road in pitch black with no lights, just so we wouldn’t feel bored, a car reversed to where we were standing, and the wife of the driver asked if they could drive us anywhere.

The driver grumbled in german apparently, as we clambered in to the immaculate back seats with our muddy boots. Yet the wife insisted. I sat silently while my partner gave them a million thank-you’s and in what seamed like in an instant we arrived at the start of the walk. From there we quickly drove home revelling in our luck.


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