A Hike in the Moselle Valley

When I was about nineteen and living in Cologne, after repeated ferocious tonsillitis my tonsils were finally removed. A hike in the Moselle Valley had been planned by some male friends of mine and they insisted I come along, post-operative or not.

It was late autumn, frosty and cold. The ancient hotel we were staying in had opened just for us; one of the lads knew the owner. The heating wasn’t working, the bedclothes were freezing, and my breath hung in the air, probably even after I’d fallen asleep.

But the scenery was worth it. We scrumped apples in seemingly forgotten orchards, crossed streams via steppingstones, got lost in a misty forest, ate crusty rolls (baked by the hotelier) with local cheese, and drank Moselle wine. I was the only girl and struggled to keep up with the rest of the group, but they politely waited for me to catch up, pointing out everything they thought might interest me, and constantly asking if my throat was sore. I hadn’t noticed.

hiking through the past
frozen in a forest stream
a tossed apple core

Kim M. Russell, 31st September 2020

10,345 Mosel Valley Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday: Take a Hike!

This Monday, Frank invites us to take a hike. He says that he and his family are avid hikers. He has also found poems to give us hiking inspiration. Whether we enjoy hiking or not, or if the word reminds us of tax hikes or hikes in some kind of rate or cost, we are writing haibun in which we use the word ‘hike’, alluding to whatever context we find most meaningful.

50 thoughts on “A Hike in the Moselle Valley

  1. Aww, this sounds so lovely. It indeed sounds like a wonderful memory, and you describe it with beautiful prose in visceral imagery. Astounding work. I enjoyed reading your take on the prompt!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Three grand hikes in a row out here on the trail; yours is a lovely companion; deliciously descriptive. You scored a lot of points with the boys, I’m sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Ali. It’s one I had kept at the back of my mind. The recent death of a very old friend in Germany reminded me of it and the prompt helped coax it out. I have so many memories of my eight years in Cologne.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for taking us along on your magical hiking adventure. I love how you describe how your breath hung in the air, probably even after you’d fallen asleep. When you talked about struggling to keep up with the men, I thought you meant with the wine drinking at first (I’ve been there!) But I’m pleased they were so gentlemanly, waiting for you and asking after your health!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for joining me, Ingrid. I only knew one of them well but they were all very attentive. It was so cold there, with such beautiful scenery, an d the food was amazing, although after a day’s hike everything tasted delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am right there with you Kim….except for the sore throat! How special of these male friends to take you on a hike. I liked the description of the hotel….I can imagine it being so chilly. The best part of the description you’ve given, for me, is the crusty bread and cheese and wine — sharing this meal with these friends who went out of their way to provide you with a hike and day that is obviously seared in your memory. I enjoyed this very much! If you still know these young men, you should share this with them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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