Oct 20, 2010


Verdun area has seen fierce fighting during the Great War (not so great for the soldiers). There are many American monuments there related to that war. Verdun is not far away from Luxembourg and features many scenic roads and viewpoints, as well as numerous unpaved roads :)

Going east from Longuyon:

Now a mountain is visible that I will reach soon:

On the way I went through Louppy-sur-Loison. The river going thru the town has bridges but also old fordings next to them.

In the town of 122 people there is a castle, one of the most amazing examples of the Renaissance style in the region. It was built in the first half of the seventeenth century. Louis XIV lived there during the siege of Montmedy in the summer of 1657. During the first World War it was pillaged by the German army. During World War II, it was occupied and served as a prison camp. The castle has an English garden that grows along a meander of Loison and consists of rare species. But I missed that part. [1]

Surely there is a church:

Finally I have arrived near the mountain seen from the distance. I have tried some dirt roads, but they ended at a Foret Domainale - so no-go. But when going thru Lion-devant-Dun I have found an open trial (car accessible) going up the mountain.

Le Mont Saint-Germain - formerly ARIMONT is completely isolated from the massive Côtes de Meuse. The summit of the northern tip is a wonderful viewpoint where you see the whole forest of Woëvre (foret domainale), Stenay, Montmedy, St. Walfroy, and the cemetery in Marville.

The elevated position of Mont Saint-Germain, near a river, overlooking a vast plain and with steep slopes makes it very difficult to access the plateau that crowns the hill. Romans choose this mountain to establish a permanent camp, and some ground modifications remain to be seen today. On this site various antiques, medals, weapons, tombs, bones and remains of buildings were discovered. There are archeoligical findings related to Romans, dating as far as AD 588. For many years hill sides were used for wine growing but that ended with a wine disease destroying the wineyards in 1860. The coral rock, which is forming the top of the Saint-Germain, contains an abundance of polyps, and even a rare fossilized snake was found there once. [1]

The hill has at least two spots with paragliding runways oriented in opposite directions:

There is also a monument but the description is hardly readable:

Continuing on dirt roads I reached a secluded village of 41 people called Fontaines-Saint-Clair. From there I tried a very promising dirt road but after a couple of km it became a muddy road. Too muddy, and on the map it was not too promising. So back to the village and another road became a very nice dirt road leading all the way to the river Meuse, near Vilosnes-Haraumont.

From there I went on scenic roads going up, cut across dirt and gravel roads and finally arrived at a monument:

There are "villages that died for France" - never rebuild since they were destroyed during the battle of Verdun in 1916.

This monument, erected at the initiative of Captain GLOCK of Pittsburg in memory of officers and soldiers of the American regiment of 316 ° 79 ° who died in the area of Verdun. One side of the monument tells the story of the regiment since its’ organization at Camp Meade, Maryland, United States, August 29, 1917, until the discharge, June 9, 1919. The 316 ° has lost 78 officers and 3128 soldiers.

Montfacon has seen battles with Vikings raiding the area in the 9th century. But the monument there commemorates the American victory during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during the period September 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918, when the American First Army forced the enemy to conduct a general retreat on this front.

Further I have rode past Butte de Vauqois, where the French and the Germans were mining under each other and blowing up each other.

Then I headed home...

[1] Source: Wikipedia

Aug 30, 2010

France and Belgium - near Lamorteau

August 2010

On the border of Belgium and France there is a forest. There is an old road leading to Pont Camus. First it's a hard gravel road with ruts made by water. Then it changes to a dirt road partially overgrown with grass. It was rainy for the last week so I had to negotiate muddy road where sun has no access. I have reached dry dirt road and arrived on tarmac by a cross put up in memory of the people killed during French Revolution.

Arriving at Lamorteau:

Then turned sharp left and went on the other side of the valley with a view towards Virton:

This way I have came from:

The cross was made in the 16th century and has been even sold at some point!

From there once again I took a road that was closed after some 500m. So I took another one and ended up in a field. The map was showing a road. Confused I went on a muddy road leading into the woods. It was real muddy. Checking the GPS I have realized that it will lead me nowhere. So I turned to reach the field I have seen before. Once there I just followed tracks on the harvested field and finally reached bumpy dirt road.

Luxembourg old town and Grund

August 2010

Through the streets of the old town, down in the Grund and around.

Luxembourg castle ruins - Lucilinburhuc ("small castle"), on the Bock Fiels ("rock").
Mousel brewery.
Old brewery, partially abandoned.
Alzette river.
Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge (Red Bridge).
Remains of the city fortifications.
Neumünster Abbey.
Nightlife area.

Aug 25, 2010

Aumetz, France

August 2010

Disused iron ore mines and many bunkers mark the countryside around Aumetz and Errouville in France.

The bunkers are too often used as dumps

Some are partially destroyed

In the forest you can come by old military buildings like this abandoned barracks:

Left from the times of iron ore mining are now overgrown train lines:

Logging in the forests:

Evening sun

Deer going in the right direction:

August is the time of harvest.

There is plenty of beautiful dirt roads

And not only dirt ;)

Time to hit the tarmac...

It was a great ride

Aug 15, 2010


Mullerthal is the heart of the Luxembourgish Switzerland. Rocky cliffs, winding roads, waterfalls - it's a great destination. I will go there again, in the meantime my older photos from that place.