Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hiking in Little Switzerland: Mullerthal to Consdorf

Donneschdeg, 24 September.

If you've seen my Fulbright Bucket List, you'll know that hiking along the Mullerthal Trail was one of the things I was most excited to do in Luxembourg. (Rather inexplicably, I should note, as there's no love lost between me and outdoor exercise. Yuck.) Well, I wasted no time -- on my second full day in Luxembourg, I got the opportunity to cross the first item off my list! I spent the day hiking with four other international students from my residence.

We started our hike in the village of Mullerthal (after which the Mullerthal Region and Trail are named). The twelve kilometer hike took us along a portion of the Mullerthal Trail and to the town of Consdorf.

This gorgeous waterfall on the Black Ernz River is called -- wait for it -- the Schiessentümpel. (How fun is Luxembourgish?!) The waterfall is one of the most popular spots for hikers in Luxembourg and was even voted one of the world's most beautiful bridges earlier this year. (Or was it? The article is in German.)

Of course, one of the best parts of the day (besides finally sitting down in the car for the drive home) was getting to know my housemates! I'd met two of them the previous day during an impromptu trip to the local mall, but had a great time getting to know everyone better. The five of us who went on the hike are from four different countries and grew up speaking four different languages, but we got along just great.

Nationalities represented: French, German, Mexican, American.

It started to rain about halfway through our hike, but the trees kept us almost entirely dry. If anything, the rain made the forest even more magical -- everything was quieter and the light filtered through the trees differently.

One of my friends took this gorgeous photo during a break in the rain!

The region is called la Petite Suisse because the trails, forests, and mountains look just like Switzerland. Or so they say ... anyone want to chime in and vouch for the accuracy of that statement?

Interested in checking out Luxembourg's Little Switzerland?

You can read more about the trail from Mullerthal to Consdorf on the official trail website. Although we deviated from the trail once or twice and although I was almost certain we were just wandering aimlessly through the woods, that seems to be pretty much the route we followed!

There are also tons of bloggers -- most of them with a whole lot more knowledge of hiking and/or Luxembourg than myself -- who've written about the hike. You can also see more photos of the trail in this (aptly titled) article from Stars and Stripes: "Luxembourg: Mullerthal Trail offers scenery worthy of Hobbits." This particularly thorough analysis of the trail is part of a series of blog posts about hiking trails in the Grand Duchy; check them all out here. I enjoyed this blog post, "One of the Best Hikes in Luxembourg," with photos taken in March of a partially slow-covered trail!

As the website (and any of those articles) will tell you, the hike is relatively long and strenuous. Apart from the distance itself, there are numerous inclines, some steep staircases, and a few particularly narrow rock passages. That being said, I'm not the most sporty of people and I found it to be doable. As long as you have comfortable shoes, a light backpack with water and snacks, and a can-do attitude, you should be good to go!

(PS. If you come visit me, there's a 95% chance that we'll do this exact same hike.)