After passing through many picturesque villages and more castles than is strictly necessary, I arrived at Vianden at about 4.30 in the afternoon. This little village has one of the more dramatic locations I've seen, hugging the bank of the Our river and overlooked by an 11th century castle
. They really love their castles here! Intending to get up to a lookout point above the castle, after pitching my tent (I've been camping on most of this little detour) I headed for the chairlift. I arrived at 5, the moment they shut. My timing, as ever, was impeccable. Not wanting to have come all this way only to not be able to appreciate the best views of the town, after 11 hours of walking with a 15kg bag on my back I had to climb a mountain. Well, a hill, but it felt like a mountain. Thankfully, the views from the top were all that had been promised, and I felt justified in walking all day to reach it.
The weather chose to turn overnight. After another scorching day, I had to sleep through a thunderstorm. Miraculously, my 9 UKP tent (a Czech Tesco bargain!) was waterproof! Who would have thought!
Setting off at the obscenely early hour of 6.30, my hiking maps came in ever so useful as I walked to Vianden, some 40km (ish) distant. An extremely nice walk, first through the Mullerthal area and then out into the rolling fields of the Luxembourg Ardennes. Hard to believe some of the things that happened in such a peaceful area during WW2. Many information posts and monuments along the way testified to the thousands that died here, mostly no older than 17 or 18. It kind of brought my appreciation for the serenity of my situation into focus. And it was hot enough that I was forced to change into shorts, a rare sight indeed!