Around the World in 32 Days: Country Number Nine
Listen, I’m going to go ahead and acknowledge what you’re about to feel: this blog post sucks. You know it. I know it. There’s nothing to be done about it. The most exciting photograph you will see is one I snapped of a small segment of the most boring castle wall that ever was. What can I say? It was a blustery, freezing day; the wind battered our umbrellas and our spirits. My socks were wet. My still-peeling sunburned skin got wet and started to slough off like the skim of burnt milk (which was a plus really, I suppose). There are things to do and see in Luxembourg but as Thierry, our wine tasting guide in Paris said, “ you are going to Luxembourg … why?” Because it’s on the list, whether I want it to be or not.
Sad Little Castle Wall
It’s not like it’s a terrible place to visit. It’s rich, like Monaco, and very safe and tourist-friendly. Nice public transportation is readily available and there’s plenty of shopping within an easy stroll of the train stop. It’s just that it’s also…boring, especially after spending time in Paris. It’s like going skydiving, then stopping on the way home to race go-carts. Yes, I know the Battle of the Bulge happened in the surrounding countryside, and General Patton is buried in a cemetery a few kilometers outside of town. I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm or energy to get to it. Blame my wet feet, or my travel fatigue, or whatever. It just wasn’t going to happen. What did we do? Well, we walked along the Grund, with was picturesque, and enjoyed seeing the old town and remnants of the castle fortifications. We had lunch at a place that filled up with the elderly as we ate out jagerschnitzel and horse steak (just kidding, it was beef, but horse was on the menu). Frozen, but full, we did a little shopping on the main shopping thoroughfare and made it quick-like back to the train station… only to realize that somewhere along the way we had lost the claim ticket for our stored bags. This led to some bureaucratic maneuvering, passports copying, and paperwork filling, but in the end we paid our 9 Euros, got out bag and were on our way.
We are on the way to Bruges now. My toes are still thawing out and I can’t help but think that Luxembourg is the Connecticut of Western Europe. It’s not a bad place, but there’s little reason to ever go there, or at least go out of your way to visit. It’s a pass-through, a stopover, layover, or a check in the box. Sometimes that’s okay, and being one of the world’s richest countries, I would say it works for them too. Luxembourg A.K.A. Snoozemburg.
How we got there: Train from Paris to Luxembourg $75USD each.
What we did:
Chemin de la Corniche – a mildly pleasantly walk that leads to the Bock Castlemates, a series of tunnels cut into and out of the hills and walls of the old castle defenses. Sounds more interesting than it is.
Old Town/ The Grund
Lunch with the elderly
Shopping along the Grand Rue
Sedately observed the Pont Grande-Duchess Charlotte Bridge