Roaming Around the Luxembourgish Ardennes

Last weekend, Hayley and I went to Luxembourg for a weekend mountain retreat. Apart from visiting Vianden castle and finding mythical creatures, we also spent one full day hiking to explore what the Ardennes has to offer. 

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Little ducklings were walking outside our tent first thing in the morning. How cute. We tried to feed them some leaves and they decided to nip our fingers instead.

 

Chair Lift? Aren’t you cheaters?

After playing with the ducklings in the morning, we hiked to the Vianden village and took the chair lift up to the hills. OK, to many hiking purists this may be a cardinal sin, but the view from above was awesome. Also, that was my first time to be on a chair lift so it felt execrating.

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The forest along the chair lift route is gorgeous
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View on top was beautiful and you can take a look at the castle and the town below from the side of the hills.

From the chair lift station on the top, we trekked through some forest and some steep hills to reach the top of a mountain ridge. The view there was amazing and we loved the grasslands and woodlands on the top. Surprisingly, there were many brambles up there. Of course, it would be rude not to try out the blackberries, and they were delicious. In fact, it took us a very long time to walk that 1 km stretch as we were foraging for all those yummy berries!

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The beautiful field near the top of the ridge.  The view there was amazing and we loved how sunny it was!

Not soon after, we followed the mountain bike trail and headed towards River l’Our. This river is an actual border between Luxembourg and Germany. It was amazing to be looking at the landscape from the top and it was something that we haven’t done for a while.

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The hill next to the mountain bike trail looks interesting. Maybe we can bushwhack across it next time.
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River l’Our viewed from the top. There is an oxbow bend in the river. This stretch of the river is the border between Luxembourg and Germany, and we were standing on the hill in Luxembourg overlooking Germany.
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We arrived at the village of Bivels, which is located on the edge of the River l’Our.

 

Wandering Around the Borderland with Germany

After we approached the village of Bivels, we bushwhacked up the hill on the head land. Just before we took the turn off down to the river, we took another path to the summit of the hill. As we approached the hill, we saw an abandoned brick house with broken windows and overgrown vegetation around the house. We quickly explore the outside of the house and then I decided to wade through the shrubs to the summit. At the summit, there was a watch tower with a glass window facing Germany. We wonder whether it was those observation tower left behind after the world wars, especially when we also saw some hillside structure that is highly resembled as bomb shelter entrance. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to explore them since they were all locked up. It would be great if someone can enlighten us.

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Phil was very single-minded and bushwhacked across the shrubs
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Phil checked out the observation towers
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This looked suspiciously like a bomb shelter entrance and it appeared to have dug into the hillside. Many of the similar structures were dotted around the landscape.

Soon after we make a quick descend to the quiet river path along the River l’Our. We made our way around the headland until we saw a bridge where we crossed over to the other side of the river to the German side.

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The coat of arms on the sign of the bridge marked the border. Luxembourg has the lion coast of an arm while Germany is indicated by the German eagle.
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Picture of the River l’Our taken on the bridge

 

Lost and Found

After walking along the river path on the German for a while, then we decided to take a turn on to the hill. We climbed up this steep hill and towards the ridge, we scrambled over some rocks with some amazing view below. At this point, we were getting a bit tired and a bit lost. Guess what we were also looking at the wrong part of the map and thinking we were on our way back to Vianden. Then as we walked further on we released we took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up somewhere completely different. Luckily our map reading and compass skills were reasonably good and we quickly identified where we were and slowly headed back to Vianden on an alternative route.

While we had got a bit lost, we have to admit scrambling over rocks were the most fun bit of the hike. If we weren’t lost we wouldn’t have such awesome experience!

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Getting lost in the forest!
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Hayley and I scrambled over some rocks and reached one of the highest points on the route. We finally arrived back at the Luxembourgish territories and not too far to Vianden!

Trip Details:

  • There are many local scenic hiking and mountain biking trails around Vianden. Local hiking maps published by Topografische Dienst Luxemburg can be purchased online and in this case Map R3 Luxembourg. Hiking map at the scale of 1:20000 is recommended.
  • You can also get inspirations on some hiking or mountain biking routes around Vianden on https://www.wikiloc.com/
  • We pitched up at Camping de L’Our. But there are also other campsites available within walking or short driving distances of Vianden. Many of them wouldn’t require prior reservations. Just turn up and ask for a spot. That said, it is worth phoning up in advance especially if you are taking your camper van.
  • See our other blog post on other trip information.

Note: we have made deviation on our planned route, but this is a good approximate. 

Where is your favourite hike and what was your experience? Comment below and we would love to hear your experience! Maybe we’ll be inspired to do it ourselves too!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks like a beautiful hike! Totally agree that getting lost often leads to some of the best adventures! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yhpchung says:

      So true – always all the greatest adventure are unplanned or when you are getting lost. Have fun in your adventurers. 🙂

      Like

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