Weekend getaway to East Belgium/ Echternach
back with a travel blog!
Last weekend I went to the most eastern part of Belgium, where Eupen and St Vith are located. Most Belgian people don't know the region too well, because it's not very touristic. Most Belgians travel to our sea or to the Belgian Ardennes (our "mountains").
The east cantons of Belgium is the region where they spreak German. Did you know that we have three official languages here in Belgium?
Dutch (Flemish)/ French and German. Not many Belgians know how to speak German though.
Our b&b was located in the Belgian Eifel region. It's pretty rural there. A lot of woods and meadows with cows make the scenery there. We didn't have much cellphone reception because it's so far away from everything. For me this was quite calming. When we go hiking in the mountains in Switzerland or France, we don't have cellphone reception either. Most of you might think that I need my phone 24/7, because parts of my job are online, but in fact, some time off can do good too.
The name of our b&b was "De Eifelhoeve", an old farm, renovated into a b&b, run by two Dutch men. They're super helpfull and friendly. The rooms were clean and cosy. I had a room all for myself, single life is the best sometimes! The town of Amel is about 2h and 15 minutes away from Antwerp.
On the first day we took a way to big hike through nature around the town of Amel, where the b&b is located. The second day we did another hike in Luxembourg, which was also a long hike...
Day 1: A 30k plus steps hike through the meadows and forests of the region of Amel (close to St Vith). There's something so magical about the autumn sun. The light isn't strong anymore, as it is in the summer, but to me this makes it more dreamy. Mystical, like "Phoebe Buffay" would say. The autumn leaves, the mushrooms on the ground, the fog and the green moss are so lovely. In the region, there's also a lot of wildlife to spot. We even saw some roe deer on our hike!
If you want to know which exact hike we did, well sorry I have no idea. We started in the town of Amel with the orange colored trail, then got lost and took the green trail, to end with another trail... the signs o the trails are not well maintained so it's easy to get lost, whoops! The hike was pretty long, we hiked for about 6 hours without long breaks (due to covid our restaurants and bars are closed...). We only sat down a couple of times to drink for about 10 minutes...
We were so lucky that the weather was sunny that day. I really needed a break from work so this little vacay was great. Also a sidenote: in Belgium, we normally have 1 week of school vacation now. We always travel to the Cote d' Azur this week, but due to corona, we were not allowed. Not much regions in Europe are "orange" colored so it'd be a big risk to travel further away from home... So we took this improptu trip instead.
And yes, it is totally safe to travel in Corona times. Especially when you travel to places in nature.
Day 2: Echternach, just in Luxembourg, but on the borders of Belgium and Germany. Echternach is also known as "Small Switzerland" because it kinda looks like Switzerland I guess, not that I see any similarities but yeah...
The second day of our weekend the weather was not as nice as on the first day. It was foggy and rainy in the morning. In the afternoon, the rain stopped but the sky was still grey.
Now more info about the hike.
If you're not into hiking, you can skip the entire hike and just go wander through the gorges only!
We did a hike called the Mullertal trail- starting at the parking of the trainstation, all the way uphills to this lovely view.
Then we went to Hohllay cave, through the "labyrinth" to the "gorges du loup", back to the town. I think our hike was about 15km long.
The cave was quite impressing but not as gorgeous as the gorges there.
The cave was actually made by men. Apparantly the Romans took their rocks there and so they made this cave.
This "gorge" or canyon was created when sandstone from Luxembourg plates got separated by the plateau. The clay underneath it ,leads the water downwards, into the valley. It's really gorgeous! It reminded me of a land where fairies would've lived.
After another tiring hike, we had dinner and drove back home. Next week, I'm off to Luxembourg so stay tuned for my next travelblog!