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June 9th 2004
Published: June 9th 2004
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Magnificent View of LuxemburgMagnificent View of LuxemburgMagnificent View of Luxemburg

Magnificent View of Luxemburg
Ask anyone what they know about Luxemburg and chances are all you will receive in response is a slack jaw and blank stare. After all, on most European maps the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is not even big enough to contain the letters of its own name.

Tiny Luxembourg may be small but its natural and cultural beauty more then make up for its lack of size. Thinking back on the time I spent there, it was like living in a fairytale land.

Hundreds of medieval castles in a sylvan setting alongside picturesque rural hamlets make Luxembourg a modern nation located in a fairy tale landscape. Despite having some of the most spectacular views in all of Europe, many tourists tend to skip this little country nestled between Germany, France and Belgium.

For those who are familiar with it, Luxembourg is well known as a leader in the financial and banking industries. It's quite an achievement for a country that is no more than 359 km wide and has a population of about 462,000 citizens. That's less then half the size of Calgary population wise!

Luxembourg City is the capital of the Grand Duchy Luxembourg. The older side of town is perched on top of a cliff over looking the P┬»┬ętrusse and Alzette valleys. I stayed at a hostel on the bottom of that cliff which meant I had to walk up a very long and steep roadway if I wanted to overlook the scenic vista and enjoy the view!

Although the youth hostel I stayed at was undergoing some heavy renovation and construction, it seemed to me the new section would be great once it's completed. This hostel was one of the best places I'd ever stayed at in Europe. The only disadvantage was its 11 pm closing time.

The city of Luxembourg is any cameraman's dream. I burned through about 20 rolls of film in the small city of Luxembourg alone! Nature meets the old and the new Europe all within walking distance of the centre of the city. The centre of the city is truly a sight to be seen. It is carved out of the cliffs of the valley and surrounded on most sides by a ravine where you can find a small river alongside amazing parks and pathways.

Culture plays a vital role in Luxembourg life. This became obvious to me on a calm day, when I heard opera being sung in the valley while walking around. Some guy was getting ready for his next show by warming up in the valley. He could even be heard from the town centre it was absolutely amazing!

Luxembourg offers some more mundane pleasures as well. On a hot day a nice cold beer at the hostel patio with some good company (I was talking to a guy from Portugal) is just amazing. We talked for hours about the mysteries of life while enjoying the fantastic Luxembourg scenery and watching the sunset.

Despite having an amazing city to explore, one day I found myself a little homesick. So, to solve my problem, I asked someone where I could find a theatre that plays English language movies. Looking back on that day, it's incredible to think that something as simple as going to the theatre to watch a movie would lead to a series of minor misadventures! To make a long story short, make sure you have a good map, sunscreen and a willingness to walk for long distances when travelling in a European city! Most importantly understand that not everyone speaks English!

Well it's time to move on, there is too much to see and do in Luxemburg and too little time to experience it all. One day I hope to bring my girlfriend her and show her how wonderful this place is.

Next stop Paris!


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