Yesterday we went on a hike. With the sun out and temperatures in the seventies, we wanted to take advantage of what may well have been the last weekend of summer this year. Karl picked a route in the Ahr valley. About 45 minutes by train from Bonn, the valley is Germany’s most famous red wine region. The night before I prepared a picnic bread which is to say I cut off the top of a round white bread, gutted it, spread it with cream cheese and pesto, added arugola, salami, tomatoes and eggs, put the cover back on, wrapped it in tin foil and left it in the refridgerator over night, squashed down by a two litres of milk.
The bread came in handy for, as the name suggests, every couple of kilometres a wine stand would pop up where the local winery owners offered their goods. To top things off, it is federweisser season – fermenting new wine that has a sweet taste and only a hint of alcohol in it. It’s super popular in all German wine regions and goes hand in hand with the wine fest season. Traditionally it is paired with onion pie – I’m planning on making one this week; if I get to it, it will probably find its way up here. We paired it with our picnic bread.
Due to the weather, the weekend and the wine season the route was pretty busy – definitely the most populated hike I’ve ever been on. We started around ten, still saying hi to everyone we saw in the vinyards, but stopped when the exercise became pointless. It was an easy but fun hike – gorgeous views, red wine to go and now and then the possibility to steal off the beaten path and discover a little chapel or a railway tunnel that served as a bomb shelter during World War II. The Silberbergtunnel held up to 2500 people towards the end of the war – families built small sheds in it; there even was a working mail system as well as a doctor’s office.
We ended our hike after five hours in the town of Ahrweiler with its pretty old town and old people. Alas, we found it too crowded, so we circled the historic city wall and headed on home in order to enjoy some ice cream. Lemon and Strawberry for me, Mint and Chocolate Chip for Karl.