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Published: October 17th 2010
What a view
And the green space is nice too. The river valley.
Well, off to Luxemburg we were. That tiny little country that has to share a Eurail Pass with the Netherlands and Belgium. What is there to do in Luxemburg you ask?? We were wondering the same thing.
Rolling into the City (there is only one according to the locals) was one of the most amazing first impressions of a city Dan has ever had. The train crossed the river valley before it would reach the station, the green space below you with the steep sides just seemed so amazing; you couldn't tell you were in a city at all. After the train, first things first... what to do in Luxemburg??
We went straight to information where we learned about the Luxemburg attraction card, which would get us into sights all over the country!!! We didn't dare make any hasty decisions so we found the hostel (at the bottom of the aforementioned river valley) and started to look through the literature on the country we now found ourselves in. We got so absorbed in our task and there was no one around directing us, that we forgot to eat!!!! Can you imagine Dan or Ashley forgetting to eat?? Really, what
Learnen to Brew
The only quantity of ingredient we didn't get to learn was the love.
is the world coming to?? Anyways, instead of finding a quick easy bite, we decided to walk across town to the Schueberfouer; the big festival started by John the Blind in 1340 (come on, my country wasn't part of the "known world" for another 157 years)!!!!!!!!!! We wandered around a little while and Ashley got a cheeseburger and coke, while Dan got a Raclette Baguette and a Bofferdings (more on that later). We picked up some candied almonds for a snack and Dan found a puzzle selling booth, where he proceeded to break a puzzle he could not put back together. Then we went and sat in a park observing ferrets and their owner and thinking they seemed pretty alright as pets. Walking back to the hostel we stopped in at the Place D'Armes where there was some live music, had dessert, and sauntered back to the hostel.
The next morning we met a Quebecois at breakfast who gave us some pointers, but most of his suggestions were already on our list. We lazily jumped on a bus to the Museum of the city of Luxemburg and wandered around in there for a while. Having learned from our eating
Quick no ones looking
Plus they all speak french so if we just look worried about someones health they'll have to let us take it. Right??
debacle of the previous day, we left the museum long enough to head to the farmers market for a bite. Then it was back to the museum. It was a lot more about the nation's history; mind you according to local report, there's not much more than The City. We decided to head out of town for the afternoon to the small town of Bacharage to visit the Bofferding Brewery. Bofferding is pretty well the national beer of Luxemburg, with a market share of 55% of beer sold in Luxemburg, and 89% of their product being sold there (a combined 5% is sold in France and Germany, the rest is sold in... you guessed it... China). They can't sell it all over the place seeing as it's not pasteurized and only lasts for 4 months (the taste starts to go after 2). It's a brewery that only employs 26 people and it has it's own ground water well that it used for the beer. Ashley and I sat out front eating watermelon until the tour guidette showed up. We almost had a private tour but some people showed up 5 minutes late and then more 15 minutes late. Dan translated
Oh the end of the tour was drinkful. She served us an initial 5 half pints, and then asked us which ones we wanted more of.
as much as he could for Ashley, stretching his frenchle muscles. At the tasting we met Oleni and Sophie (a Luxemburger and a French girl who met while studying in Canada!!). We sat and enjoyed the beers (Ashley's a big fan of the Battin Fruttée and we'd both like to head back to try the Christmas beer) at the end of the tour and Oleni invited us to go to the corn maze that was close (good thing Dan had practice at the one in Lacombe). It took us just under 45 minutes to get through and then we were dropped at the nearest train station to head back to the City.
The next morning we headed to Vianden to check out the castle there. We took the train and bus combo to get there and decided (yay Luxemburg card) to take the chair lift up to a view point above the castle. From there there was a path down to the castle and we nearly got lost due to the trees and poor signage but we made it. The castle was quite nice. Seeing as it was rebuilt in 1977 it also had lights and everything installed. Dan
It's too talls!!
No wonder hundreds die annually lost in corn fields. Plus I just made up that stat.
appreciates that this castle seems to have a current use while still having the historical displays about it. From what we could gather Viaden Castle was similar to the Banff Centre, in that artists could go live and work there and there seemed to be some type of presentation hall. The modernization of the castle seemed to make it more inviting. We sat outside the front gate for a watermelon snack and then went down for toasted sandwiches. Just as we were rounding the corner the bus was leaving. We were ready to wait for another but at the corner the driver opened the door for another tourist so we jumped on too.
After hopping onto the city bus after the train reached the city we headed to the Casemates. Turns out the Casemates were the tunnels dug into the cliffs under the fortress. They housed the garrison and even had holes in the cliff face were canons could shoot out. I'm sure they were used as shelters in the wars too. The Casemates were sealed in accordance with a treaty signed that also saw the demolition of the fortress. The only reason that the Casemates were sealed versus
The Mais Maze
Ah, nothing like planning on getting lost and achieving it. Nice warm day too.
destroyed was that so much of the city would have been collateral damage. They even had an emergency tunnel that went under the bridge just in case the latter was destroyed. There was another set of Casemates that we had wanted to see but ran out of time.
That was Luxemburg, somewhere we enjoyed and would like to visit again. Off to Belgium next.
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