Published: August 30th 2010August 30th 2010
The train ride was 9 hours long, but we got to see more of Italy, France and Switzerland. We changed trains in Basel, Switzerland and we were on our last leg. Our train arrived right on time and we spotted Serge and Chantal almost immediately. It was so great to see them again. I think I got 5 hugs from Serge before we left the platform! The train station is located in Luxembourg City and we got the nickle tour on the way to Serge's house in Stegen, about 20 minutes outside of the city. We spent the evening catching up on everyone and hearing about the plans Serge and Chantal had made for our visit. Then a light dinner and off to bed--about 11pm.
Bright and early today we left for Brussels, Belgium to see Serge's girls. A 2 hour ride that took us through Bergogne (sp?) in Brussels. They have a monument and tours available regarding the Battle of the Bulge--and a Sherman tank on the corner! We didn't stop for the tour--this trip. Serge and Chantal's oldest of the girls is Jennifer who is a senior in college majoring in Tourism. She was our guide through Brussels and
what a good job she did! A whirlwind tour that hit all the "must-sees" in the capitol of Belgium. Their youngest, Catherine, recently turned 19 and is studying nursing, so the girls share a small apartment. While Jennifer looks just like my cousin Ann, Catherine more closely resembles her mom's side of the family.
We started our tour by taking the subway to the Grand Place--an amazing square that is home to the mayor--similar to our city hall. Last week, the square was covered with a floral carpet that is an annual event. Google it and you will see how amazing it is.
Next, we went to a pub that served typical Belgium food. I had stoemp (potato and vegetable mash) with sausages. And beer of course!
Now that our tummies were full, we wandered down the cobble stone streets to see the infamous "Mannechen Pis" a small statue of a small boy peeing. The story goes that invaders had thrown a bomb and Mannechen had come by needing to pee, and relieved himself on the bomb, thereby defusing it and saving Brussels.
While wandering the streets we saw many many chocolate shops. But we couldn't get any that
would keep in the hot Italian weather, so you'll just have to imagine how good they are!
Our next stop was another pub that sells 2004 different beers! We had a beer that was cherry flavored and it was really good!
That prepared us for the trip across town to see the Expo '58 grounds which features a giant atom with 9 electrons to represent the 9 regiions of Belgium coming together for the Expo. It is called the Atomium and we rode to the top in what was then the fastest elevator in the world. From there you could see all of Brussels--even through the rain!
After the 2 hour ride back home and a late dinner of leftovers and just as we were heading up to bed, home comes Gregory. He is the oldest of the three kids (age 25). He just returned from vacation in Spain and will be starting his official "grown-up" job in finance at a local bank in Luxembourg City. Serge is more excited than Gregory I think!
Now it is almost midnight again and I'm so tired, I'm wobbling in the chair---see you guys tomorrow. The plan is to visit a local winery.
And I need to tell you about Serge's garden....Dad would've loved it--complete with homemade birdhouses!!
There are more photos below