“Nice” doesn’t even come close – Hohes Venn/ High Fens

How is it possible that I ignored this area for more than 4 decades???

Probably it was meant to be… to get there on the right moment… yesterday :).

My walking-travel friend and I have just launched a new tradition of one good hike per week as long as I am still working part-time building up strength and health. She leaves it in my hands – again 🙂 – to find a good spot within a drive-able distance for both of us. We are entering the rainy, miserable months leading up to Christmas and yesterday would be one of the last nice days. Looking at the map and wanting to go South-East direction Ardennes, I see the High Fens near the German border is actually very close. The same moment I feel stupid… what has held me back all of these years from exploring this part of the country? Probably I was still exploring my own province Limburg building up the length of the hikes.

OMG… even the last part of the road to get there is magical, where have we ended up? Are we somewhere abroad? Did I miss out on the last 1000 km or so?

It gets even better when we start our first hike of the day through the moors and fens. Wooden walkboards are strategically built to keep everyone off the fragile lands and their feet dry. It is so moist and wet here, you hear water streams finding their way through the grass and the plants are clinging on to every drop. The typical pink plants look like vain women covered in diamonds.  We have this natural reserve to ourselves… how wonderful is that.

We head back to the Nature Center to have a GemüseSuppe in a tavern with a ski-resort feel. This really feels like being on vacation… weird.

Our afternoon hike – only a few kms from the first one – cannot be more different… woods, mountain streams, even more moss, and only a bit of light shining through the large trees. We are so impressed. This is a surreal day.

We have to hurry up to get back to the car before dark and head to the old center of Eupen. We are hungry. As if the day was not great already, we find a lively tavern with friendly people and delicious food. My friend gets her Schnitzel – something that fits the mountain vacation feel. I take the game, it is the season and we are in the right spot in this area. By the time we finish, there is only one thing on my mind… “sofa”. Need a coffee to stay awake for our drive home.

I want to go back and explore some more… what a magical day.