This is turning into a grind. It’s not that interesting. I’m spending way too much time on asphalt. And this hunting for lodging and waiting around to check-in is starting to get really old. Arrrrrrrrgh!
The fundamental problem is that the GR 5, outside of the GTA (Grande Traversee des Alpes), is not a true pass thru hike. It is a series of day hikes strung together by long stretches of pavement and/or asphalt walking. Even some of the day hikes are on asphalt. Sure they are on country roads with limited traffic that wind thru farmland, vineyards and forests. But asphalt nonetheless.
Also, most of the day hikes aren’t that interesting. Out of the 25 days of hiking, I can recall only a couple of days as memorable. The reason that there are hardly any long distance hikers on this trail is not because they don’t know about it. It’s because it’s not worth it. If you can take a 14 or 30 day stretch off for hiking, you’re going to go to the Alps or the Camino Santiago or Nepal before doing the GR 5.
Too many subdivisions. Subdivisions are ok for an after supper walk. But for long distance hiking it is extremely boring. And there are no facilities that long distance hikers look for. For example, near the end of Luxembourg the trail meanders thru Burange and Budersberg but skirts Dudelange. The first two are the suburbs of the third. Center Ville is in Dudelange. There is not much of anything in Burange and Budersberg except houses.
Everything is geared for people arriving in cars, parking, doing whatever they want to for a few hours and then driving off. If you’re in your car, taking a certain route, going 10 km off your route to a hotel isn’t that big a deal. It is, if you’re walking.
So, if I had to do it over, I’d just do the GTA, i.e. Lac Leman to Nice and skip the rest.