On Tuesday we hiked from Mandersheid to Rainer’s parents’ house, about 25km in total. These two evocative ruins come to life in the summer with a medieval fair, but on this day they were quiet. Two castles? Yes, there were two brothers who didn’t get along.
The first half of the hike is full of ups and downs, and moss-covered outcroppings. As a prairie girl, I find this part of the hike most thrilling. After a while it levels out, and the trail follows the side of the hills rather than crossing them.
We ate lunch at the top of a nice steep section, happy for a rest. Rainer’s knee still isn’t happy after the surgery to fix one of his problems, so he kept us going so that his muscles wouldn’t start to seize up. It made the hike more strenuous for sure!
It felt a lot like fall – with brown, dry leaves scattered everywhere and open views. The buds were beginning to open, but hadn’t yet burst forth in their growth.
Sandra had her camera out for most of the trip. It was a Christmas gift, and she’s working hard to master her first non-point-and-shoot. Next year my father (a photographer of real talent) is going to take her through a mentorship. We’re going to call it a Fine Arts credit for her transcript.
The trails are well-marked here, often with multiple trails overlapping and then breaking away. We followed the black arrow as our guide.
The landscape varies over the hike – deciduous then evergreen, mossy then leafy, steep then meadows, small fields and then little streams cutting new valleys into the sides of hills.
At this point on the trip I put my foot down and insisted on a bit more of a rest. Rainer, Sandra, and I had done a 1 hour 45 minute run on Saturday, and a 60 minute tempo run with hill repeats on Sunday. My body was happy, but fading. We ate some nuts and raisins – called Studentenfutter (Student Feed, lol) here. Putting my feet up always makes me happy.
Our reward at the end? A Doener. (Donair in English?) Absolutely one of my favourite foods. We only eat them in Germany. They’re everywhere here, but nowhere to be found where we live. Sitting on a bench in a setting of cobblestones and German voices while eating one of these is a highlight of every trip for me. I remember eating my first one, Christmas 1993. The first time I came to Germany with Rainer. I was 17 and in my first year of university.