By the end of June, I was tired of being at home. Tired of corona. So I decided on a whim to go on a small adventure. Get away from the everyday life of doing nothing. So without much of a plan, I just bought some noodles, grabbed my backpack and took a train to Luxembourg next morning to see what this Mullerthal Trail is all about.
After the typical first day of busses and trains, I arrive in Echternach around 19h. My plan is to pitch on a real campground here and start the trail in the morning. The few campsites I see while walking along the river are crowded with mobilehomes though and don't look all that inviting to me. So right after arriving, I toss my plan in the recycling bin, find the trail and start hiking. Let's hope I find a nice quiet spot somewhere in the next 5 to 10 km.
Most of the time, the trail goes up and down right next to a rockface, so when I see a sidetrail going down into the forest, I decide to take it and pitch my tent. Not the best spot, but it's been a long day already and the sun is setting.
The night itself was rather restless with an inquisitive boar(?) poking around in the vicinity of my campspot. At least, I think it was a boar. In any case something with short legs trodding around restless through the leaves.
Early morning as always when hiking, continuing the first loop of the Mullerthal Trail. Scenery is nice. Lot's of trees. Just before re-entering Echternach, I leave the first loop and cut to the second one. No real point to leave nature behind only to walk to and back from the city centre.
I finish the day late afternoon at the La Pinede campsite in Condorf. Perfect for what I needed. Shade, a good shower and plenty of time to rest.
First thing in the morning I pass the famous Schiessentümpel waterfall. I'm the only one around so I take a little break and plenty of pictures exploring the surroundings of the bridge and waterfall.
While looking at the map the evening before, I noticed I'm somewhat close to Bastogne. And as a big fan of the Band of Brothers miniseries - I rewatch the series every year around D-day - I decide to cut some parts of the Mullerthal Trail to spend a day in Bastogne. The nice thing about hiking and carrying everything you need on your back. If you want to change your plans, you simply do.
I finish the bottom half of the second loop, cutting to the third one. Scenery is a nice mix of forest and fields. A bit past Larochette I start improvising my way towards Ettelbruck where I hop on a bus to Bastogne. I pitch my tent at a campsite at the far end of town and enjoy a nice dinner at the side of a soccer field as the sun sets.
I wake up early morning and hike from the campsite to Jack's Wood - Bois Jacques - where the 506th regiment of the 101st airborne, better known as Easy Company, held the lines during the Battle of the Bulges. A strange feeling walking through the forest, looking at the foxholes, where so much of European history was decided. Afterwards, I walk to the Bastogne war museum.
Due to corona and it being Thursday morning, I'm close to alone in the entire museum. I take my time wandering back and forth listening to the audioguide. After finishing my tour, it's time to head back to the campsite. Pack up my tent and head home. Glad I decided to visit Bastogne after a few days of hiking.