Xmas 2014 - Luxembourg: Day 5


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December 21st 2014
Published: December 22nd 2014
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I woke fairly early, packed my bags and headed to the train station. I say "early" but it was really like 8 am. It was super dark, cold and lonely walking the streets to the metro station. Very strange feeling. But I made it and waited for my train platform to be announced. I have to say - I was quite sad to leave Paris. There was still so much more that I wanted to do (Eiffel Tower, Catacombs, Louvre, etc) and I truly loved the people. I had a fantastic time and this is one time I actually mean to come back and in the not so distant future. I LOVED every minute of it!

I had booked a first class ticket because, you know… It was a nice, pleasant ride. I napped a little on the two and a half hour journey before arriving at Luxembourg. My friends were a bit late, but I spent the time purchasing my ticket to Aachen for the next day. Then we checked my backpack into baggage before exploring the city.

My friends actually live in a town called "Esch" well outside the capital, so they'd only been to Luxembourg City once or twice in the six weeks since they'd moved here. It is beautiful! The architecture is just fantastic and it felt almost fake - a little too perfect, you know? We found a lovely christmas market near the cliffs - because kids love cliffs, right? So much better already than Paris. I did look for some Lux specialty gifts, but was unsuccessful. Nice things, but nothing that said "Luxembourg" on them. So we mosied into town and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Chi-chis. Ha!!! Then we explored the central Christmas market and had a cup of hot wine before exploring more of the city. It was nice and pleasant with no rush to do anything. The town was just gorgeous and peaceful. There were a lot of people out enjoying the holiday festivities and I guess it was partially because it was a Sunday, too. There were lots of kids playing and a few impromptu carolers or music sessions, putting everyone in the holiday mood. It was fantastic!

We went through the Christmas market again and got "Chockey and Bailey's" which is basically hot chocolate with a shot of Bailey's - Yum! You also get to keep the mugs, which are these little boots that have pictures and commemorate the Christmas market each season. I keep them because they make good gifts, especially for co-workers. Ugh - I seriously have a lot of Christmas shopping to catch up on! There were a lot of cute things, but nothing that particularly struck my fancy. Or at least, nothing that was packable! I have limited space, especially until I get to my final destination. I guess I still have some markets left to check out in Aachen and Munich - the true markets!

One thing I noticed were the number of streets named after Americans: JFK, FDR and apparently they even have Patton's crypt or something. I guess these guys love Americans!

After we were done touring the city, we caught a local train back to Esch. This is the second largest town in Luxembourg and located to the south near the French border. Apparently, it used to be a huge steel town, and still is actually, as they are the largest steel maker in the world and most specialized. I guess they are extremely proud of their steel as you can see it everywhere, and I mean everywhere, around town: flower beds, bridges, lamp posts, entrance to Christmas market, decoration beams on the main street, etc. It's pretty funny.

We relaxed around the house for a while before heading back out to see Esch's Christmas market before we crashed. We got some more hot red wine - each time it has gotten better, and I don't think it is me getting used to it; the hot wine in Lux had more of a berry taste to it, like it was supposed to be hot, unlike Paris, which seemed to be just wine heated up. We also got some long white sausages as our dinner. I'm not usually a sausage person, but when in Lux…. It was good, but I am ok with my sausage experience now - this was something i kicked myself for in Vienna, and now I'm trying to take more advantage of the whole experience.

We walked around the market for a few minutes, but still saw nothing that screamed at me and then Chisco took us towards his new office. It is a good 10 minute walk from his apartment - I'm so jealous. He and I worked together on
Esch Esch Esch

Luna the Christmas market princess!
a large project in Doha, different companies with the same difficult client, but our companies worked pretty well together. I keep telling him if another geotech job opens in Lux to let me know!

Their apartment is located above the main commercial street in a great location. I love their place - two bedrooms, one bath and pretty spacious. They did warn me about the town drunk though - they said he yells almost every night. Well, on our walk back, we passed by him with a dog on the leash. I guess after we passed the dog took off chasing another dog and pulled the guy down. So the guy was yelling at the dog - I guess "SIT!" in Luxembourgish but it was constant! And so loud! We all just fell out laughing.

Luxembourg is another place I will have to see again - it is beautiful and peaceful and much easier to access than I thought!

Steps walked: 18,744 (7.74 miles) - note to self: buy new boots!


Additional photos below
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Main street in EschMain street in Esch
Main street in Esch

blurry photo, but note the steel beams decor
LuxembourgLuxembourg
Luxembourg

not sure exactly what this is….
EschEsch
Esch

Christmas Market and Town Hall
Esch-sur-AlzetteEsch-sur-Alzette
Esch-sur-Alzette

Entrance to Christmas market


23rd December 2014

Holiday Festivals
Fantastic. I'm glad you are having a great time. Looks like you are planning to return in the future.

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