The long distance hiking trail GR 573 crosses the bleak upland region known as the Hautes Fagnes where nothing much can survive apart from tough heather and a few isolated pine trees.
No one lives in this cold, marshy region of Europe. You sometimes have to walk along raised wooden bridges to avoid the eerie marshes, and at one point pass a cross where two lovers died.
The only building is an ancient inn where travellers have been sheltering from the wind and rain for centuries. Even in summer, the mist can come down suddenly, wrapping everything in a sinister silence.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.