The golden forests of Outrelouxhe

Deciding what to discover next in Belgium is often a hit-and-miss affair. There are so many places to explore. How does one make a choice?

Pulling out my maps of Wallonia, I settled on the one entitled Marchin/Modave, and upon opening it my eyes were caught by the name Outrelouxhe. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting place to write about! Unheard of. Unpronounceable. Unexplored. At least by me.

And slightly exotic. The kind of mysterious place Daenerys Targaryen would drop into on her journey from Vaes Dothrak to Lhazerene. (Apologies to non-fans of Game of Thrones).

Of course, that wasn’t my sole prerequisite for a good hike. I also wanted a walk in the forests, to take advantage of the autumnal colours, alongside a river, and through some pretty Ardennes villages. Looking at the map, Outrelouxhe seemed to offer everything.

I started from … yes, you’ve guessed, a church. This one was in the tiny hamlet of Rausa, just outside Outrelouxhe.churchFrom there I set off along the footpath to the right of the church, heading north-west, and the first sight I came across was this:

man3man2I’m not sure what he was looking for, and I didn’t have the heart to disturb him, but I quietly wished him well in his quest and went on my way. I then came across something much more recognizable. Any guesses?

mistletoe3A close-up might help:

MistletoeYes it’s mistletoe, just ready to be harvested and sold in shops over Christmas. Mistletoe is a parasite, inserting its roots into its host tree:

misteltoe5Some trees can be so heavily infected that they eventually die, which isn’t good for the tree or the mistletoe. They spread from tree to tree when birds eat the berries and wipe their beaks clean on a branch. The seeds get pushed into the bark and start growing.

Speaking of trees, I was now into the depths of Bois de St. Lambert, and amidst some of the most glorious autumn colours I have ever had the joy to experience.

With the sun shielded by a hillside, I came across this treetop that looked as if it were on fire.treetop1 treetop2 treetop3I mentioned a river, which in this case is the Rau:

River RauNot a large one, but very picturesque amidst the autumn trees:

River Rau 2I also came across a huge rock outcrop where prehistoric tools dating back to 5000 BC have been found, and which was surprisingly difficult to photograph.

La RochetteLa Rochette

I also ran into a strange sight in the middle of the forest. Miles from anywhere, on a footpath on which I had not seen a soul, in a small clearing was this:

balloonsAny ideas?

And what about the village of Outrelouxhe itself? Well, despite the glamour that I had given it, it was really quite nondescript and soul-less. Certainly not a suitable stopping-off place for Queen Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Yes, there were some lovely traditional Ardennes cottages: 

But nothing that I could find that suggested life and vitality: no café, corner shop, social centre, although I did find a baker’s. And a friendly inhabitant!

dogThe route I took was 11 km in length. It’s vaguely signposted, but I made a combination of two paths, so if you want to follow my route you are best following the map here on RouteYou.


Categories: Hiking, Liège

Tagged as:

25 replies »

  1. Those autumnal colours are absolutely glorious Denzil. I’m impressed with your walks – 11 km is quite a hike. Daenerys is my favourite character on GoT and it sounds like she is your favourite too. And lastly, just how do you say the name of that place??

  2. Glad someone knows what I am talking about Carol! But I have no idea how to pronounce the place. Hopefully a French-speaker is reading this and can tell us!

  3. For Dutch speakers it would be pronounced: oe·trə·loeks; in international phonetics: /utrəluks/; can’t find the alt-code for a schwa-symbol 😉 if ə doesn’t work.

  4. What a beautiful autumn colours in your pictures!
    Guido is right with the pronounciation; but we’re in Belgium and this place is in Wallonië.
    So if you want to ask directions you should say: ‘Houtlouxhe’; that’s how they call it in their local language.
    So it’s almost Valyrian…

  5. And people think we have strange names here in Australia. Anyway to save any problems we would probably just shorten it like we do to everything else (Goondiwindi – pronounced Gun-di-windy is just called Gundy) and call it Out-rel-ou sounding like Out rello. So that’s what mistletoe looks like. BTW see any dragon evidence?

  6. Thanks for another priceless post, beautiful autumn colors and for introducing yet another less known place in Belgium.

Add a comment; ask a question:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.