Thursday, April 25, 2013


Perfectly blue skies, temperature around 70 F., and a trip beside, among, around and through yet more imposing cliffs and massive boulders, as well as time in enchanting little ravines, beside babbling streams, that even Disney couldn't have improved upon.

First, a good start from the riverfront of charming Echternacht. No getting lost like the past two days.

And then a full day through two different sections of the rocks, where I watched climbers doing their thing and chatted with two who were taking a break. Because of the great weather (and a wet weekend forecast), these Belges took off from work and drove down here to take advantage of the great conditions. These cliffs are the best climbing in the country, and some of those on the sheer rock face were students at a local climbing school.

During one section of the hike, the trail literally went through or under a couple of massive boulders, which had huge open spaces because of stone being removed in the past. I found out later that stone had been cut out to make mill stones.

My mid-day break and search for water ended up at a campground nearby.  Even though I had to
go a kilometer out of my way to get there, I hoped that I'd find both water and an interesting encounter. Success on both counts. I ended up having a very nice chat with the Dutch owners of this cheerful camping van.  This was a retirement gift for the husband, and they use it for shorter jaunts. Back home, they have a regular sized "caravan" (camper, in American English) for longer trips. The Dutch are known around Europe for their love of caravan camping.

Oddly enough, I hadn't seen many hikers until today. I guess it has been mid-week and early in the season for long-distance hikers. But today, in the magnificient gorges and ravines, I did meet up with these two south-bound Dutch fellows who started their long-distance trek from the North Sea in Holland and are continuing on the GR5 to the French border. This will all take probably about 4-5 weeks. It's always fun to compare notes with others.

At one point in the day, I came to this large sign along the trail.  Ready to speak only in rapid English if stopped, I continued on the trail. It did turn out to be quite a mess, with the path torn up and muddy because of the equipment used by a tree-removal team. I had to wait a few minutes while one massive tree section was hauled away, but no workers said a word to me, even when I walked 2 feet away from two on their morning break.

In the afternoon, I was getting a bit tired, after 5 days of 6-8 hour days of walking up and down hills. Perfect pick-me-up:  a refreshing foot bath in the cold stream that ran beside the path the final hour. I did this "in the footsteps" of my sister, Barb, who takes every opportunity to dip her feet into Colorado rivers. It definitely helped me push on to my destination.

My hotel is in the town of Beaufort, Luxembourg, famous for its 11-12th century castle. I know I should try to tour it, but my energy is gone for the day. I think the Luxembourgian  quiche, made with local sausages and cheese, a local white wine , followed by the house's apple tart is a better choice.  See Mary S., I don't always resist dessert. In fact, seldom!

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