During the last week of March I was on a bicycle trip through the Eifel and High Fens, travelling up the Rur to it's source and then down the Ahr to the Rhine. I stayed in pensions, hostels and hotels.
This time I used practically everything that I took, minus emergency things, thank goodness, and I didn't miss anything as well, with the exception of two maps that I forgot at home. Therefore I'll share the packing list for reference.
Climate and geography
The tour goes up to 700 m on the weather side (southwest) of the Eifel and then down the Ahr to a viticultural area with mild climate. That means everything is possible during this time of the year: Frost, snow, storm, heavy rain, heat, intense sunlight — possibly in one day ;-). Therefore I got very light as well as very warm clothes and of course full rain protection. I overestimated my hunger and generally didn't eat much during the day and had dinner in restaurants instead, so I brought back a lot of food.
|5x underpants||5x socks||2x wool socks|
|long underpants||long undershirt||3x t-shirt|
|shorts||thin pants||warm pants|
|light long-sleeve shirt||short-sleeve shirt||warm pullover|
|warm gloves||outdoor jacket||rain pants|
|2l orange juice||2.5 l water||black bread|
|butter sealed in portions||dry salami||Parmesan cheese|
|nuts||dehydrated fruits||cereal bars|
|2 boiled eggs||chocolate||marzipan|
|warning vest||insulating pad to sit||camera + charger|
|cell phone + charger||pocket knife||compass|
|flashlight||maps||pencil + paper|
|bicycle lock||pump||handlebar bag|
|toothbrush + toothpaste||shampoo||deodorant|
|first-aid kit||phone numbers||emergency blanket|
|bike repair kit||painkillers|
Documents, paperwork etc.
|youth hostel ID||ID||driver's license|
|credit card||cash||health insurance documents|
|student ID||some stuff to read||booking confirmations|
|addresses||detailed maps for locations|
Lentil or pea soup
With dry legumes, Mettwurst sausages, roots and leek as main ingredients this is a typical winter dish. I always cook a big pot because this soup is perfect for freezing or eating again on the next day.
Ingredients (6-8 servings):
- 500 g dry peas or lentils (looks better with light-colored varieties)
- 800 g potatoes, in cubes
- 300 g carrots, in big pieces
- 2 medium parsnips, in small cubes
- 1 medium leek, in slices
- Small piece of a knob of celery or parsley root, in small cubes (dominant, not too much)
- 1 big onion, in cubes
- 100 g cubes of strongly cured ham
- 5 strongly cured and smoked Mettwurst sausages, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 dry chili (not too much, should not taste spicy at the end)
- A few grains of black pepper, crushed in a mortar
- Nutmeg, ground
- 1 tablespoon of fresh or frozen parsley, finely chopped (taste fades quickly)
- 1 small piece of fresh or frozen lovage leaf, finely chopped (very dominant, not too much)
- Salt, to taste
- Light-colored vinegar or lemon juice, to taste
- Düsseldorf-style mustard or sour cream
Follow cooking instructions for your legumes: Soak if necessary, then boil in water with bayleaf, pepper and chili. Lightly fry the onions together with the ham cubes until they just start to brown. Add the ingredients to the legumes at the times given below while stirring from time to time, keeping the soup lightly boiling and completing with more boiling water as necessary.
- 15 min before done: Add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery or parsley root, ham and onions (should cook)
- 6 min before done: Add leek, nutmeg and Mettwurst slices
- 3 min before done: Season with salt and vinegar
- After taking off the stove: Add parsley and lovage.
Let the pot rest and cool down for about 15 min before serving.
Serve with Düsseldorf-style mustard or sour cream.