I posted a few weeks ago about our trips to the Netherlands, and a few months ago about my once-frequent stays in Paris. I figure I’m on a roll, so…Luxembourg.
But now the kicker. I wrote something originally as a single post, but it just grew longer and longer. I don’t know about you, but I lose interest in too-long posts, I suppose because reading is such an effort for me. So this is merely Part One, centered around my first visit. I shall continue with my other visits in the future. This first post will be short, because it was a short trip.
Luxembourg is another of those places that we ended up having enjoyable family times, but my first encounter was as a singleton.
It was entirely at random. I’d been working very hard, and we had a bank holiday coming up, so I hit the local travel agent (remember them?) and said, Find me somewhere to go for the weekend. They gave me a few options, and Luxembourg sounded like it might be an adventure. Also, it was 1995 (I really do have the tee-shirt) and Luxembourg was currently the European Capital of Culture, so special events were planned. I was earning well, so opted for the best hotel on offer – the Intercontinental.
I flew from Heathrow – all nice and smooth – Luxembourg is a small airport and I used to find that smaller generally meant smoother in the world of air travel. The hotel was a little way out of the city centre, but no matter – it was the best.
Luxembourg Ville (ville, to differentiate the city from the country) – where to start? Well, it is built of two levels, for a start, so views like this defined the city:
The city itself spanned a couple of escarpments, linked to each other by bridges and looking down on a lower level, for some reason called Grund. Grund was largely green. gardened, as you can see, making for a very green city overall.
The city centre was pretty compact, with many designer shops – Luxembourg is not necessarily a cheap place! Luxembourg, after all, had the highest per-capita income in Europe. But – a mix. A few streets from those designer shops, one could quite easily get a pizza or a burger. But after a full-on Friday evening and Saturday, I’d seen enough for this time.
Wanting to see as much as possible, though, and not having transport of my own, on Sunday I got the train into France, destination Strasbourg. A train is also a good way to see the countryside, which outside the cities was very rural.
Strasbourg is a hybrid – right on the border between France and Germany. So it doesn’t feel quite French. Add to that that it is one of the places where the European Parliament meets, and it had a very international flavour. But, some beautiful architecture:
Strasbourg was about 2 hours from my hotel back in Luxembourg, so another long day. But when you have a limited time to explore, you tend to pull the stops out. After that busy weekend, I flew home on the Monday, ready for work again on Tuesday. A successful trip, no? And cetainly whetted my appetite for times to come!