We didn’t have a full day in Luxembourg, so we are leaving late so we can try to see everything possible before catching a late train to Strasbourg today. From what we have seen so far of Luxembourg it seems quite nice, but really all we have seen is the main street we’re on and that’s about it. So today is full of exploring, crossing the bridge over the valley into the main area of Luxembourg and exploring.
The hotel we are staying in is quite nice, it is very modern, nice room, comfy bed, friendly staff, so breakfast seems hopeful here. We did our research last night on what we want to do and see, not a lot to do but there are a handful of things: the cathedral, the main square, the royal palace, the underground and a view point of the town from a bridge. We woke up early headed down to breakfast which had fresh orange juice so Amanda was happy, fresh as it could be, it was one of these machines where you push the lever down to pour juice in the glass, oranges are crushed inside and the juice will flow right into your glass. Scrumptious.
Once ready for the day we had to check out and leave our bags in storage at the hotel reception and start the sightseeing. We left our hotel, walked down the main street and over the bridge like planned into town. While walking it was a ghost town, no one around, very quiet, it was a refreshing change from all the places we’ve visited. Crossing the bridge offered views of this great big valley with a beautiful park below, as well as the old town. The park looked really beautiful, it was quite a big drop down as well; so far Luxembourg has not disappointed us.
We walked to the monument of Remembrance which commemorated the thousands who volunteered for duty in world war one, at the monument there were also great views of the valley and park below, as well as the town on the other side. We found a little souvenir shop there, had a look around and found a sticker to buy for our time there. After a couple of snaps, we walked into the heart of town to try and see the main cathedral “Notre-Dame Cathedral”, this time Amanda was directing us through the confusing streets, but we still couldn’t find the entrance, it was only by pure coincidence that we walked past a church entrance.
The church was like all the other churches although still beautiful and amazing in its own right, but I have written about so many churches I think when you get up to the fifteen millionth one you see or write about it you just can’t think of what to say that you haven’t already said. After the visit to the cathedral we walked further into town making our way through the quiet little pedestrian streets of Luxembourg to the Royal Palace. The Royal Palace was a massive beautiful building in a little square, with a guard out the front, marching every five minutes or so, with a machine gun in his hand.
There was a little café out the front of the Palace; it had a really nice outside area, where we sat down for some coffee. While walking into the café we noticed that one table had a group of three people filming a girl sitting at a table talking to the camera, as we walked in I think we walked right into there shot, as well as opening the door… it just squeaked so loudly we would have had to ruin that shot. So we ordered our coffee and sat outside in the quiet square to look at the palace, be in the sun as it wasn’t that cold today at all and be in the quiet tiny square, it was really peaceful. The table we chose to sit in was, by accident, in the shot of the people filming, Amanda overheard them switching between German and English every now and then, saying that they have been preparing for this for three months, and we just came and sat in there shot.
After relaxing in the peaceful quiet we got up and strolled through the city some more, it was just a really nice sunny day, while walking around I came across a street vendor selling some bracelets, I bought two, Amanda was a little annoyed about it cause she reckons I paid too much for them, as I didn’t haggle as much. We walked through the main square in the town; it was massive with a big monument, and one or two beautiful buildings surrounding it.
We walked back towards the monument as the entrance to the underground city was there; we didn’t see the entrance last time so we looked around, but when we did find it, the sign on the black gate door stated it was closed. Not much else to do, we headed down the valley to the park to walk through it then make our way back up and back to the hotel for some lunch then to our train.
As I said before, the park is in the valley which is well below the city level, which did not make the entrance into the park all that easy to find, not easy at all. We had to walk a bit until we found some stairs that led us down. Once getting down there, it was a really beautiful park, was very clean, and a little stream of water running through it, the valley walls provided you shade from the sun, not that you needed it that much during the winter, but in summer I could imagine it would be very nice.
We just strolled through the park, talked about how it would be really nice to have our doggies here and let them run around. Towards the end of the park there was these little train tracks in a section of the park, and crossing the small train tracks was this little house carved into the rock face of the valleys wall. It was a very scary little house, you couldn’t go inside, but you could peep through the window. Peeping through the window revealed a scary… what seemed like cathedral, we named it the witches’ house, as it is a perfect scary setting for a witch’s house in a movie.
We tried to leave the park now; as we had walked the length of the park, from where we were standing there were two options to go out. The options were to walk up a steep road that we could see eventually lead us into town or we could walk up an extremely steep path that went left to right and so on. We couldn’t be sure of where the winding ramp would lead us but seeing as both options ran up the side of the valley walls and into the town, we were confident that the ramp would be a quicker way to get up to the town. It was a hard walk as it was so steep and once you rounded the corner it went on and on. Once getting to the top, the view it had to offer was just spectacular. After admiring the view our stomachs sunk as we turned around and saw that the exit into the town was blocked! Due to construction going on, a massive fence was put up and you couldn’t exit! I tried to see if you could slip past the fence and just walk through the construction back into town instead of walking down the valley again and back up, but if you do so, it seemed as though you had to cross train tracks, so that was not an option.
We regained our breath up there for a bit and stared at the view. After the park finishes, the valley almost bends and there is a little town down there, Amanda and I both were hungry for lunch and Amanda was desperate to use a toilet. We headed back down and walked through the little town in the valley, everything was closed, like most of Luxembourg no shops were open today. This made it hard to find somewhere to eat or even just use a toilet. We found a door that had café written on it, it didn’t seem great or anything but thought we might as well give it a go so Amanda can use the toilet. It didn’t look open either but I pushed the door and it opened, so we walked in. Much to our surprise there was a family, mother, father and a son watching Chuck Norris in French, while eating their lunch, we asked if Amanda could use their toilet and gave them fifty euro cents to do so. When Amanda went to the toilet I was stuck there while they ate their food which smelt and looked delicious by the way, I just stood there awkwardly while they watched and ate there lunch.
We couldn’t find anywhere for lunch in the little section in the valley so we made our way up, this time we found a lift that takes you right to the top, much more easier to get out of the valley with. We walked back to our hotel and grabbed some subway on the way and ate it at the hotel bar, while eating we surfed the web on the iPad looking at what there is to do in Strasbourg, our next destination. We had around an hour to spare after eating until we needed to get to the station and catch our train, there was a big electronics shop next to our hotel so we had a look around that for a while, playing on the equipment. When entering the shop, they had lockers where you could store your stuff, but you needed a euro coin as a deposit to use the locker, but I didn’t have one, so I asked the cashier if I could have a euro coin, but they didn’t understand me and pointed me to someone else, it was really frustrating, one of the towns where we felt the language barrier.
After looking around we headed back to our hotel, grabbed our bags and headed to the station to catch our train to Strasbourg. We still had a little while to wait, so once we found the platform we sat on one of the chairs and played on the iPad, I was really bored so I put music on and sang on the platform looking like a down right weirdo. Finally the train came, we caught the train, the train ride wasn’t too long, and went by quickly. We got into Strasbourg late at night; our hotel was near so we tried to walk to it. We both were happy that another train ride was over and that we don’t have to lug this broken suitcase around much longer. We eventually found the hotel, both tired from the long day, we had takeaway for dinner and just crashed for the night. We have a full day in Strasbourg tomorrow to see all the sights we booked marked on the iPad maps application and then the day after we will leave for Paris where we will be spending our last remaining days in Europe before moving onto Bali.
Waiting at the train station