Another unexpected deviation
As you could read in my previous blogpost, the German government decided to expand the Covid19 restrictions for visitors from The Netherlands which (in combination with the earlier floods in the Eiffel area) shook up The Wandelgek’s plans for the stay in Vaals.
Although The Wandelgek had not deviated from his plan to walk through Germany (because the trail walk was on small trails, only a bit over the border and there were not many German people walking these trails (much more dutch hikers)), he thought it too risky to go on with his plans to visit Aachen and Monschau. Getting caught without a document proving full vaccination, meant either a 2 week quarantaine or a 90 Euro fine (strange that a fine would replace that quarantaine. Almost sounds like a bribe to me)).
So instead a deviation from plans was needed. Yesterday The Wandelgek visited the Three country point on the summit of the Vaalserberg, but walked on immediately, to finish the long walk and get rid of the heavy backpack. Why not make a trail walk to the Three country point and explore it a bit more? Sounds like a good opportunity for a deviation!
From Castle Vaalsbroek, The Wandelgek ascended slowly on a road towards Wolfhaag through the grassy fields and ochards full of apple trees on the flanks of the hills…
then past some fields with horses …
… towards the edge of the forest…
…but before entering the forest, The Wandelgek raised his head towards the sky and the large tower on top of the Vaalserberg:
The Wandelgek reached the Dutch-Belgian border…
Along the Dutch/Belgian border
…and then to the actual border between The Netherlands and Belgium. The climb is quite steep, but without the large backpack (The Wandelgek now only wore a waste gurdle) It was quite easy to climb towards the summit. From the border the ascend was more like that of a false flat.
From there a forest trail followed that border towards the Drielandenpunt (Three Country point),
There were several border markers directly on the trail, showing that the trail was sometimes in Belgium and sometimes in The Netherlands…
Three or four Country Point
On the Belgian side, the tripoint borders the region of Wallonia, including both the regular French-speaking area and the smaller German-speaking area. Between 1830 and 1919, the summit was a quadripoint, also bordering Neutral Moresnet, which is now part of Belgium’s German-speaking area.
The current Belgian-German-border is not the same as the former eastern border of Moresnet with Prussia but is a little more to the east. Therefore, five different borders came together at this point but never more than four at one time, except possibly between 1917 and 1920, when the border situation was unclear and disputed.
It is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle?
The landscape is diverse, enriched with trees, bushes and hedgerows.
Then The Wandelgek returned to Castle Vaalsbroek and went to the garden terrace which wss at the verge of a large pool. It looked very peaceful now, with swans, geese and duckes swimming around, but one of the waiters was talking about the flooding of this pool after the heavy rainfall that happened two weeks earlier. But now The Wandelgek drank some glasses of cold fresh orange juice and weizen beer, sitting in the sun.
Later that evening The Wandelgek had dinner at the bar and of course he drank some trappist beer too.
Then it was time for a bath and after watching some television. The Olympic Games in Tokio were still not finished and the Dutch olympic team was performing great.
After packing his large backpack he was ready to sleep and had recovered to start on the next stage of the Dutch Mountain Trail.