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The trip back with a visit to Luxembourg

Home -> Europe -> Germany -> Travelogue Germany -> 09 February 2003

Sunday 09 February, the trip back with a visit to Luxembourg

Again, the sky is covered with clouds like the last few days. We had hoped for some sunshine today, but we will not be lucky with the weather, not this time. The world does look much brighter with some sunshine and especially the pictures could use some sun.
Roman bridge at Trier View on TrierFrom our balcony we have a beautiful view on the Mosel, the Roman bridge and the cathedral in the distance, but it all looks so grey without the sun.
But we still have a whole day before us and we are not here for the weather. We ask if we have to pay for the drinks we took on the first night, but we don't have to pay for them: if we had only know then that we had all our drinks for free that night...
We leave Trier and first stay on the German side of the Mosel, driving southwards, and cross the border to Luxembourg at Remich.
Roman bridge at TrierFrom Remich we take several small roads back to the north, in the direction of Echternach. This part of Luxembourg is densely forested, and we are looking for 'Little Switzerland'. We remember having been here in an area where there are lots of huge rocks, beautiful places to climb and gorges with small steps. After a short break in a bar in Echternach and looking at our maps, we continue.
This area must be somewhere near Echternach and soon we drive through some woods with rocks that look like the place we remember, but it is not exactly how we remember it: the area is too small.
View on Trier Walking through Little Switzerland, LuxembourgFinally, we find the right spot. On both sides of the road there are huge rock formations, split from each other so there are deep gorges between them.
Walking through Little Switzerland, LuxembourgIn this gorge, steep stairs have been cut out, so we can climb through the small gap to the top of the rocks. This area is a perfect hiking area and one of the longest walking paths of Europe is passing this place, the GR 5 (Hoek of Holland - Nice).
Walking through Little Switzerland, Luxembourg Walking through Little Switzerland, LuxembourgThis area is part of a region which is called Little Switzerland, because of the high rocks. It lies just a little west of Echternach, but where we are now is not the place we remember; it looks like it, but it is too small.
Little Switzerland, LuxembourgNevertheless, it is a beautiful place and we enjoy our walk. And we notice that we don't use our climbing muscles every day.

When we drive on in the direction of Berdorf, we come across another area of steep rocks and gorges. This is the place that we remember and of course we have to climb all these rocks again, as if we are kids again.
A staircase leads us through the limestone rocks to the top and there we discover the area with rocks is much bigger than the first place where we stopped. This is the real Little Switzerland as we remember it. That is not totally true, since it comprises a much bigger region (the whole Mllervalley). But on this spot are the rocks the highest and the gorges the deepest.
Little Switzerland, Luxembourg Little Switzerland, LuxembourgIt is like walking through a surrealistic landscape, roaming between these pretty shaped rocks. It is an ideal place to play for kids (like us), to climb and play hide and seek. It can also be dangerous, though.
Little Switzerland, LuxembourgThick stalactites of ice hang from the rocks and now and then one breaks off and hits the ground with a lot of noise. Fortunately, we are not hit, but it is not really safe in some places. We are having a lot of fun in this place, but because of all the excitement we miss Beaufort and its beautiful castle. Well, we will see more castles on the way.
Castle of Vianden, Luxembourg Castle of Vianden, LuxembourgAfter driving through the centre of Diekirch we continue towards Vianden where an enormous castle towers above the town.
The oldest parts of the castle are from the 11th century, but there have even been found traces found of an earlier roman fortress. In 1417, the castle was acquired by the family of Nassau through inheritance, and in 1530 they collected the principality of Orange as well. Since then they call themselves the house of Orange-Nassau and later they would provide Holland with kings and queens. In 1820, under the reign of King William I of Holland, the castle was sold piece by piece, and as a result, it became a ruin.
Castle of Vianden, Luxembourg Castle of Vianden, LuxembourgIn 1977 the family of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg transferred it to State ownership and since then the castle has been renovated.
To the left the chapel which stems from the end of the 12th century and to the right a scale model of the castle in the 17th century.
Castle of Vianden, Luxembourg Castle of Vianden, LuxembourgFor more than an hour we roam through the castle and this beautiful painting shows that more people were inspired by this impressive castle.

This is the last touristic excursion of this short holiday. In Clervaux we stop for a drink and then we must be on our way again, back to Holland.
Snow in Luxembourg Snow in LuxembourgA gloomy sky hangs upon the snowy landscape and sometimes the snow lies higher than half a metre. When we descend from the Ardennes in the direction of Liege, the snow rapidly disappears. It is dark when we enter Holland; only a few hundreds kilometers to drive before we are back home.
This trip has been very short, only three days, but we have had a great time.


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