Published: September 1st 2010September 1st 2010
Yesterday Serge had a surprise planned for us in the afternoon. In the morning, we left for a tour of a local winery--St. Martin. It is located near the Mosel river that divides Germany and Luxembourg. We had an hour long tour through the caves with a Dutch woman giving the tour....she reminded me a bit of Julia Child with a Dutch accent. We learned the process of how wine, especially sparkling wine, is made. Bet no one knows how they get the proper cork in the "champagne" bottle when it's time without losing all the bubbles....:) Of course we had to buy a couple bottles so we now will be checking a bag on the way back as well. (We had brought a couple bottles of WA state wine to share with Serge.)
After the tour, we wandered the village of Remich till our surprise arrived. It came in the form of a ship named the Princesse Marie-Astrid. The ship is named after one of the Grand Duke's sisters. We would travel along the Mosel river and lunch aboard! This is no small little ski boat-she is at least 100' long! Chandeliers were everywhere and we were seated for lunch
on the second level. Very beautiful. We passed through locks and came to Schengen where one of the treaty was signed agreeing to the European Union. The village is at the point where Luxembourg, Germany and France all come together. There is, of course!, a monument to that fact.
After the ship had turned around, Serge told us stories of life in the Luxembourgese Army. He retired 4th from the head of the army, so he had stories of meeting the Grand Duke for the first time, etc. Ted must've taken 250 photos yesterday, including some of the Duke's castle. It looks like Cinderella's! When he is home, the flag flies from the top most tower--and while there was no wind to show off the flag well, it was up and the Duke was home.....
Today is our last day here and we will be going to Luxembourg City again to see the palace which is home to the Duke's office. Who knows? Maybe we'll have lunch with ol' Henry himself!!
Last night, Chantal got out the family tree book that we all have. I had forgotten to look up towns before I left so I took pictures with Ted's
iphone that we can refer to when we are down south. Mammola is the most important village. While we were looking at the book, Chantal and Serge disappeared for a little bit and Serge came back wearing the cowboy hat we'd given him 33 years before when he first came to Spokane to visit! When he put it on, Chantal laughed and mentioned something in Luxembourgese that had the word "Mafia" very clearly in it! Even without the translation, we all got it....see enclosed picture!!
It's been great to see the cousins after 21 years and to see what a wonderful family he has. We are both hoping the next generation will keep in touch as well. Since Serge's kids are travellers, I'm sure we will be seeing them in the States soon. Gregory had questions of Seattle and Gray's Anatomy....:) I will be telling Tony and Ellen to do a facebook search so they can find their first cousins twice removed and who knows what will happen?
There are more photos below