What could possibly persuade you to go on an adventure in this little known country where nothing ever happens?
Well, let me tell you our journey...
Once upon a time... Oh the hell with it!!
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, despite its name, is one of the tiniest countries in the European Union. More commonly referred to as "Luxembourg", it is normal if you never heard of it, never been there, or can't even find it on a map. For what it's worth, there is nothing blatantly attracting the adventurous traveler coming from overseas, or from the neighboring countries...
It is also one of the richest countries in the world and the cost of living here is really high. A lot of people working in the capital are actually living in the neighboring countries and do the commute every day. Therefore at night during the week, or during the weekend, or during the holidays, well actually all year long, the city can be dead calm.
BUT, as a Belgian, I had to visit this country AT LEAST once before I go... And as a REAL Belgian I knew there was something worthy of visiting. Something that all the other neighboring Muggles couldn't see... I just never wanted to spend time and effort (and money!) in traveling to this small country next door when I can get in a few hours in Israël for 20€ round-trip (thanks Ryanair!).
And yet, everything happens...
Many think that the capital is only about banks and EU offices, but the Old Town has a lot of charm.
The most picturesque sight is definitely the "Chemin de la Corniche", a pedestrian promenade which has been dubbed "Europe's most beautiful balcony". I don't know if that's true (that's a lot of balconies to have had visited!) but as far as I know the views are, indeed, truly beautiful.
Another interesting and entertaining sight is the Bock Casemates, an impressive network of 17km of tunnels and rock galleries on different levels and stairways carved up to 40m inside the rock.
You might consider also visiting the Royal Palace if you are a royalty fan, otherwise I will advice you to save your money (and at 12€ entrance fee you might want to!) and keep it for something else.
The beautiful region of Müllerthal is the first reason why you should come to Luxembourg. The region is called "Luxembourg's Little Switzerland" due to its hilly landscape resembling the latter, obviously not because of the missing peaks...
For those keen on trekking, don't miss the Müllerthal Trail, a 112km path going through forests and meadows while paying a visit to all the natural wonders of the region.
From the capital, buses will drive you everywhere in the country, although you might often need to catch a transfer.
A good economic option is to buy a 2-day ticket (8€) or a 3-day one (12€). This give you the freedom to travel with bus unlimited.
Also note that the buses are free on Saturday! (yay savings!)
Luxembourg's most photographed bridge
Since I didn't have the time to do the full trail, my companion of adventure and I walked some portions of it, which is also an option.
One unmistakable thing to see is the Schiessentümpel (bless you!), a quant little waterfall which flows through three different streams above a rock. And, to top it all off, a rustic little stone bridge overlooks them all. Simply beautiful!
To reach the waterfall, which is located near the village of Müllerthal, the trail starts in the town of Consdorf and is going through an enchanted forest (if the light is good!) and beautiful meadows, but also through some narrow passages between the rocks.
The Lord of the Rings & the Druid's Order
Yes, you read it right! To answer your question : "No, I didn't use any illicit substances!".
You're going to understand what I'm talking about...
Another beautiful portion of the Mullerthal Trail is the one connecting the city of Echternach to Beaufort through Berdorf.
Here, the narrow and dark passages between the rocks, as well as the weird rock formations or caves, succeed one another. The most impressive one is the "Gorge du Loup" (Wolf's Gorge), a narrow ravine that you will have to climb.
"You should not pass!!" said Gandalf.
Ahem... I got carried away...
I have to admit that I thought all these gorges and passages were worthy of being featured in the movie "The Lord of the Rings"! It's pretty fun and cool to walk here!
Don't go away! There is more cool stuff coming!
As you're going deeper and deeper in the forest, the vegetation becomes increasingly dense. Some trees are down and the roots of the remaining ones look like the bowels of the earth, no less!
You're reaching now the Hollhay Caves (Hollow Caves). You might be forgiven for thinking that this place was once home to an order of druids or some other ancient sect thanks to strange marking covering the cave walls. But really it’s just mining scars...
What a mood killer!
If you should emerged unscathed of those caves, the city of Berdorf lies not far away.
Rest to replenish your life and mana...
And in my defense, I am a former geek...!
Passing Berdorf, look for the trail which picks up next to the cemetery. Immediately, you will reach several caves with LOOOOOVELY names such as "Le Repaire des Brigands" (Brigand's Keep), "La Morgue" (The Mortuary), and "L'Enfer" (The Hell).
Really, I am not making this up! I'll spare you the pictures to not spoil you the surprise...
En route to Beaufort
After going through all those diabolical and vicious places coming straight out from hell and crossing a river called "Ernz Noire" (Black Ernz), even the peaceful rivers have diabolic names, it is quite a relief to be in an open space again...
... The trails continues, passing by several belvederes overlooking the valley and some villages...
... Before to be back in the woods where we even found a minion of the antichrist who seemed to be lost. He followed us all the way to Beaufort!
Finally, we reached the Castle of Beaufort which is open to visit for a few golden coins... Sorry, euros (4€).
The end of all things
Our quest in Luxembourg's Little Switzerland is now over, and this is with deep regrets that I am going back to my normal life.
If you have more time to spend in Luxembourg, do not miss, like we did, the Castle of Vianden which stands 50km away from the capital, one of the country's most photogenic scene.
I have to come back here, if only for Vianden!
This country is too little known but calls out for adventure and for the braves who dare trample this land, behold! You'll have fun!