Thursday and Friday, May 14-15, 2009.
In the evening I arrive in the Müllerthal valley and walk a bit around along the Black Ernz including a visit to the Schiessentümpel waterfall. Tomorrow I will make an early start to hike trail number 2 of the Müllerthal trail, a famous marked hiking trail in the east of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This region bears the name Little Switzerland and is characterized by countless rock formations and picturesque wooded valleys with romantic creeks, even though the comparison with Switzerland is a bit strange to me.
At six out of my bed and at seven on the trail. Along the Black Ernz river I walk to Schiessentümpel, the famous waterfall which show off proudly on post cards in leaflets everywhere around in Little Switzerland. The place still looks picturesque after 18 years, the last time I have visited the Müllerthal valley as a kid. Has it been that long? Then I had only eye for building dams in the river.
The trail runs straight up into the woods. It will become boring for a while I’m immediately thinking by myself, but nothing less seems to be true. The trail winds itself around and sometimes literally through corridors of calcareous sandstone rock formations, wearing fairylike names like Eulenburg, Goldfralay and Goldkaul. Near the mill of Consdorf someone is emptying buckets. The trail crosses a traffic road, lined with dense low fence along both sides. Every twenty meters a bucket has been put in the ground before the fence. I peer in each one I pass along but they are all empty. Workers along the road ask to our natural friend in the Luxembourg German dialect: “Und was gefangen?” Unfortunately no frogs have jumped into the traps today.
Along the Haerbaach creek I’m walking uphill again towards the rock formations of Deiwepoetz (also known as Dewenpëtz). The trail immediately runs into a narrow corridor in the rocks. I’m getting stuck with my backpack. I need to take it off and wring through the corridor while pushing my backpack ahead of me. After this first small corridor a second much longer and deeper one follows. At the end of the tunnel it gets so dark that I’m first thinking I must have missed the trail as the corridor seems to end in a dead point. While returning it still seems to be the right route. I get back into the corridor, now with my head lamp shining ahead. The corridor keeps going. It looks more lake caving what I’m doing. This is perhaps the finest passage of the Müllerthal trail. Passed the long corridor I leave the trail for a while to explore the underground circuit of the Kuelscheier cave. Yes, it’s not only corridors to explore here, there are small real caves too!
Through relicts of the Neolithic stone quarry of Haerdbierg I arrive on the plateau south of the village of Consdorf with wide meadow views. It doesn’t take long before the trail dives into the woods again where smaller rock formations line the valley. Shortly after noon I pass the village of Scheidgen and continue through the woods and the Deisterbaach valley towards the medieval town of Echternach.
Beyond Echternach more rock formation follow with astonishing names like the Wolf chasm and the Devil’s breach. When I walk into the Aesbach valley I encounter fellow hikers for the second time on the trail. Beyond the Labyrinth and the Pear head rock (yes the toponymy goes on) the canyon like valley shows its most beautiful side. The little creek ripples through a deep gorge while the trail keeps following the creek through the bottom of the ravine. Deep in the ravine, the trail suddenly climbs away from the creek where I reach the Houllay caverns. Suddenly thunder is roaring in the distance and when it soon begins to rain I decide to search for a spot to make camp. Under a high cliff above the ravine I pitch my Akto. The overhanging rock face keeps everything dry in the thunderstorm. A strong downpour is falling through the foliage when I prepare and eat dinner. In the evening I descend into the valley under my umbrellas to watch the swollen creek, now filled with brown water from the rain. The rain continues the whole evening, so I decide to go to sleep early.
I slept on roses, so I don’t know when it stopped raining yesterday evening. The trail soon leaves the forest and visits the village of Beaufort. It starts to rain again while passing the town. Passed the town, the path disappears into the woods again, descending down into another ravine. Here I take the time to leave the trail and explore the rock formations of Raiberhiel and Adlerhorst and their caves.
At the Binzeltschloeff rock formation the rain becomes a downpour again and I search for a protruding rock to have a dry rest stop for a meal. A second downpour follows at the Predigstull rock and I stop again to hide for the rain. The rest of the afternoon I stroll through the rain in the direction of the Müllerthal valley while becoming soaking wet. The rain does no less to the trip however. Along the Ernz Noir I reach the Schiessentümpel waterfall again, and the trail has been rounded.
The Müllerthal trail is definitely one of the most and perhaps even the most beautiful trail in the whole of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Strong hikers can hike the 35km long trail number 2 in a dayhike but I recommend to do it as an overnighter as there are so many interesting spots to explore along the trail. A recommended visit!