Luxembourg, c'est tout?
Trip Start Jan 17, 2010
42Trip End May 18, 2010
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Luxembourg is a tiny country (one of the smallest in the world) located North-East of France. Our train ride was about 2 hours 30 minutes and about 20 of those minutes were spent in Luxembourg. And we didn't go to a town on the border of Luxembourg and France, we went to Luxembourg City (which is centrally located within the country).
When we arrived, we had no clue how to get to the hostel, so we walked in the right direction only to find it in Pfaffenthal (quartier), which is in the Ville Basse of the city. Surrounding the city and intertwined throughout it, are these giant fortress walls from the 17th century. Our hostel was at the bottom of one of these walls
We picked up a free map at our hostel which did us no good; it made everything look much bigger than it really was, didn't tell us what a majority of the major sites were and was just plain confusing. haha Luckily, the weather was nice, we could smell Spring in the air! Parfait! So in our first 3 hour tour, we walked the top of the fortress walls looking over into Grund Ville Basse, which is a gorgeous part of town with an Abbey and little river. Then we walked down into a scenic route, along the Alzette, which is their reservoir system, ending at the Petrusse fortress walls and Place de la Constitution. Then we viewed inside their Notre Dame (we've come to realize that every city in France has a Notre Dame, big or small). After that, we toured Vielle Ville Haute (Old Town, High), stumbling upon Place des Armes (which according to the Luxembourg Tourist Office, is where all the restaurants are located...approx. total restaurants 8), and then we found Place de Guillaume II (one of the previous royal dukes of Luxembourg). Then, for about the next 20 minutes, we walked around old town, several times in complete confusion as to the location of the Palais Royale. Only to find out later that we had walked past it and stared directly at it from Place de Guillaume II! hahaha It's so small and matched the surrounding buildings: we didn't realize that was it
Luxembourg has their own language, Luxembourgeois, which Jaime and I have decided is a combo of French and German; very interesting. Next to us at dinner, we met an Irish woman (kinda drunk) with her Luxembourgeois friend (she takes many work trips to the capitol from the UK). They switched between English, French and German the whole time! He was hard of hearing and she was extremely chatty, so both together was very amusing! They recommended some bars for us to go to after dinner, only to find out she was drawing a map to another side of town and he was pointing out the "same" location in a completely different direction! haha
This morning, after heading back to the hostel early the night before because of sheer exhaustion (yes, we were exhausted after walking around the city, though small, there is a ton of hills and pathways along the old fortress walls). We decided to visit the one area of town we didn't go yesterday. We climbed more fortress walls, only to find at the top, a huge fortress, Fort Thungen, with its remaining structures
Cute city, next time, I'll just stop in for an hour or two and then head out, on my way again! hahaha
-There is a constitutional monarchy (grande duche).
-Luxembourg has been occupied by 5 countries in its history (Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and England) therefore it has a lot of outside cultural influences. Including its language.
-Luxembourg City is located in the district of Luxembourg (there's 5 districts), which is located in the country of Luxembourg. So its name is: Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
-Walking around on Friday, most streets and paths were completely empty! The only place we found many citizens, was on the Grand Rue (or their major shopping street in old town!) And the same goes for today, no one, any where! We still cannot explain why. The city has only 90,000 inhabitants, so it's not very populated, but still! So bizarre! (The country population= 495,000)
-The city is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.