Hiking with friends is great: you don’t have to take your backpack off every time you need something from your bag, you can blame taking a wrong turn on having become distracted by a good story instead of your sometimes poor map-reading skills and (maybe best of all) you can trade food.
I organized for an afternoon hike with Alex and Violaine – mostly because getting to Lutzelbourg (in Lorraine) is impossible on a Sunday before 2 p.m. Starting a rather long hike (20km) this late is pretty uncommon for me, but since it was one of the longest days all year it was not a problem (June 22nd).
You don’t have to walk very far before you get to the château de Lutzelbourg. It’s a hard 20 minute hike mostly up. The castle ruins overlook the town and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin winding along the valley. We walked on for several hours up and up and across to a small Roman ruins. It wasn’t really evident what the site was since there was no informative sign. It looked like some sort of dwelling to us. We eventually got to a steep descent that took us to the halfway point. It was a water sanitation area with fresh, cool water. For about a half an hour we rested our legs and had a bite to eat. The trail took us back up the other side of the valley where we had splendid views of Lutzelbourg castle from across the valley. Then we hiked along the ridge for quite a while. That was where I spotted the tick neck-deep in my shin. No worries. I had my trusty tick-remover and first-aid kit. What excitement! The final three castle ruins were grouped closely together about 4km from Saverne. We first saw Petit-Geroldseck, then Grand-Geroldseck and finally Haut-Barr. At Grand-Geroldseck, we met a nice Alsatian couple who offered to drive us to the train station and save us the last 3km walking through the residential area of Saverne. Of course we accepted. It was a great day that ended with a cold drink on the terrace of The Atlantico on the quai in Strasbourg.