24-hour hike around Bernkastel-Kues

For the third time in a row, a small but friendly Märchenhotel team took part in the 24-hour hike in and around Bernkastel-Kues on the Moselle. As men are naturally cheeky, we had already walked the day’s loop before in bad weather conditions. As expected, we put in the one or other extra kilometre (15), as not all the signs were fixed at that time. So at least during the day we knew what to expect. Stefan Mass had already done the night loop on his own, he is simply unstoppable, our friend with the strong calves from the Eifel Highlands.

There are always heated discussions about equipment for such long hikes, but on that day only three things were really important: suitable shoes, socks and foot cream. Everything else was taken care of by the organising team, from food and first aid to sunscreen. Chapeau! As every year, top organisation.

The weather was fantastic, lots of sun and best temperatures. Accordingly, cross-training shoes paired with top hiking socks and deer talc for the feet were probably the best choice to avoid annoying blisters. Our team consisted of Katja Krebs, Stefan Krebs, Stefan Maas and Stefan Stieling. The latter won the participation in the Advent game of the Märchenhotel, with the kind support of the Ferienland Bernkastel-Kues.

Then we started into the day’s loop, at the beginning at quite a brisk pace, although we had no reason to slow down during the whole hike. Starting from Bernkastel-Kues, we made our way via Mülheim, Veldenz, Burgen to Niederemmel. In Piesport we had our first longer rest before the steep ascent to Alt-Piesport. One or the other journeyman hiker provided entertainment, and there was also time for a chat or two at the refreshment stations. The Manni group turned out to be a likeable companion and pursuer; one would wish for such good-humoured comrades-in-arms. After the ascent in Piesport, we enjoyed the Moselsteig high above the Moselle towards Lieser in the best weather.

By 7 p.m. we had covered 1132 metres in altitude and 47.6 km and were all still in good spirits. We have special memories of the Hirzlei, where many doors were still open, just like in our childhood. The welcome and hospitality at the Bürgerhalle was particularly warm and heartfelt.

Starting again in Bernkastel-Kues, we went to Lieser, in the direction of Siebenborn, and immediately to a fairytale stop, the Melsheimer winery. After a quick espresso, we set off in the direction of Platten, via Ürzig to Machern Monastery.

On the night route, there is usually not so much chatter, here kilometres are scrubbed from one station to the next. The last climb up to the Kues plateau followed. With the finish in sight, the descent to the Bernkastel-Kues primary school was easy. During the night, Stefan Stieling celebrated his birthday and was greeted with a small cake at the Machern Monastery station

Now we had completed the 31.8 km and 425 metres of altitude. Of the 250 people registered, 133 should reach the finish line. Our group reached the finish after 16 hours, so we must have finished in the top 15 without any running. That made us a little proud, especially as Katja was in the TOP 4 in the women’s race.

We will probably not find better conditions again and one should stop when it is most beautiful. That’s why we are making room for others who are feverishly waiting for a starting place. Thanks to the organising team around Patrick Schäfer for the wonderful experiences of three years of the 24-hour hike Bernkastel-Kues.