This Monday was the Feast of Assumption and we used our time to challenge assumptions about Luxembourg…
The Bugle Style Guide expressly forbids earnest and cheesy opening statements like that one. Let’s start over. To the right, a preview of the most exciting part of last weekend. But first…
A three-day-weekend means three mornings of sleeping in. We planned our time accordingly, although we passed up the opportunity to visit the Cat Club.
Friday evening: The Grand Duke’s Palace. We don’t have pictures from this guided tour, because photos aren’t allowed. (Will is still smarting from getting caught by security while taking sneaky-shots in the Ville’s Museum.) We’ll leave the guile up to other photographers. Remember the finish for the Prologue of the Tour of Luxembourg? That’s the palace in the center. The Grand Ducal family will stand out on the balcony for special events.
It was a good tour and a lovely palace. Lots of German ancestors on the walls, and several charming contemporary portraits of the Grand Duke Henri’s family. Old furniture, fine tapestries, you get the idea. Our tour guide was informative and good humored. Plus, the proceeds go to charity!
Nota bene: The window for visiting the Palace is open for about six weeks each year, and you have until August 30th if you’d like to see it this year.
Saturday: Crappy weather, went to the Farmer’s Market, watched Wonder Boys. Briefly considered going to Picadilly, but we resisted the temptation to sample what is, effectively, a European wine cooler. (Teresa says, “It’s classy because it’s European!”)
Sunday: Crappy weather, watched The Princess Bride, ordered Chinese for dinner. Mission accomplished!
Monday: Lovely weather! Anita hustled us out to a hike around the Müllerthal (Little Switzerland) that we’d been planning for weeks. It was a short drive that led us to the little town with the address Müllerthal, Müllerthal, Luxembourg (Région Müllerthal).
The Müllerthal Trail is probably the most popular hiking destination in Luxembourg. It is certainly the most widely recommended by tourism guides in English!
Our crack staff of Bugle Guides know the core sights of the area pretty well, because we take just about every visitor to see the beautiful Luxembourgish woods. The geology makes for stunning rock formations and delightfully rough trails.
We followed the official Müllerthal Trail Two, for the most part. Sometimes, the trail runs along the top of some ridges, and sometimes through the valley. It’s a great way to see the sights from diverse points of view.
In the midst of all the standard-issue beauty, we saw the biggest slug EVAR.
For the first half of the hike, we made our way to the Schiessentümpel, the most popular waterfall in Luxembourg. We walked the ridge above the waterfall and then dropped down to the valley of the Black Ernz.
Most of the visitors drive to a parking lot less than a kilometer away, and walk along the road. We approached the bridge along the rock-faced cliffs on the other side of the river.
It is an irresistible subject for photography.
Most of the photos in this post were taken by our visitor, Teresa. She experimented with Will’s “big” camera, and she’s quite talented. Her best shots aren’t of the descriptive, “postcard” variety that we feature here. So we may need to do an online exhibition of her work later this year.
There were more people hiking and walking and driving around the Schiessentümpel than we’ve ever seen before. That’s no surprise, given that it was August and a three-day weekend in most parts of the region. Will said “Moien” to just about everyone, and very few responded in Luxembourgish. Again, no surprise.
The second part of the hike took us away from the crowds and onto a path that was new for everyone. We were delighted to discover that the well-tended trail weaved through the rock formations, with natural courtyards and delicate tunnels among the trees. Some of the formations have names (like “Eulenburg” below) and are associated with centuries-old legends and ghost stories.
We turned around before we reached Consdorf, bushwhacking and looking for another trail, before we settled for a logging road.
It didn’t take long before we were back at the Heringer Millen, a tourist center with a café and lots of useful information. In many tourist areas, there’s a compass-orientation installation — usually pointing the directions to well-known cities. Here, a novel version points to nearby sites of interest. (The project’s website seems broken. Here’s a link to a German-language, Flash-heavy webpage, if you’re desperate.) This cool, er… “thing” would be a good place to start a hike! (N 49.789553, E 6.305889)
Look at that sky! We hadn’t seen a day like this for weeks…
Naturally, Anita and Teresa absorbed the rest of the sun from our apartment’s balcony. Will went to see Captain America 3D, courtesy MyMosaik.lu — but that’s another story.