Tour de la Warche part 2
The weekend was predicted to be unstable with showers. But last Saturday it was cool yet sunny ...perfect to make a well dressed walk in the Ardennes.
The southend side of the lake has been clearcut of the trees: very strange to see it so bare! (Drun, I guess you'd see the stroller thieves now...but the trail has become less interesting to walk :( )
We intended to make a tour via the nearby Ravel. While we were on the former railroad trail on our way to the next village, we noticed a Warche tour sign where the Ravel crossed on top of the Warche river. We often walk a part of the Warche tour just around our village , which makes an gorgeous short walk. But we had never done the next part connecting to the next town. Guessing that the recent dry weather would make the path well accessible (you never know with a river trail how muddy it'll get), we gave it a go.
At the Ravel crossing across the Warche we learned how this river valley crossing played an important during the war: in the 2nd half of the 19th century a big arched railroad bridge had been built and at the outbreak of the 1rst world war it was protected by a Belgian army unit and it was stacked with dynamite to explode it if needed. A German unit was specifically trained to master this bridge...when they attacked the Belgians withdrew / escaped ...but they could still launch the dynamite from distance and that was an unknown fact to the Germans. So they arrived here, communicated back to Germany that the bridge had been mastered after which many train loads left Germany with troops & material to enter Belgium and launch the war. Yet the bridge exploded and the German trains needed to be unloaded here...and the war started here.
The rest of the trail was just gorgeous, so I think we'll make this extension to our favourite walk more often.