I boarded a train in Paris on Sunday 12th June. A few hours later I arrived in Luxembourg City. First time ever that I've gone to another country by land. He he.
Monday morning I got up early and checked out. I took my bag to the train station and after some hunting I found a place I could lock my bag away for the day. Armed with the map I'd grabbed yesterday and the plan I'd formed I headed off on foot. The more I walked the wierder it seemed. It was now 10am and I headed for the city centre as it was spitting lightly so I thought I'd do some shopping earlier and hope the weather fined up later but apart from some wandering tourist it was awefully quiet. I was just seeing if I could figure out how to hire a bike (I really wanted to ride along the valley later but I couldn't make sense of how you used the hire machine) a guy asked if I spoke english and then if I lived in Luxembourg. He was hoping I could tell him why today was a public holiday. YOU'RE KIDDING!! I have one day in Luxembourg and it's a public holiday? I was pretty bummed about that. I wandered the city streets for quite a while searching for anything other than food places that might be open. There goes my shopping plans. A couple of small touristy places were open so I managed to buy some postcards and souveniers. Actually there were a lot of postcards that had just certain people on it. Family photos. I guess they were some kind of rulers or royalty or something. Found out later they would be the Grand Duke and his family, head of Luxembourg. Luxembourg is the world's only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy according to Wikipedia. That explains the postcards. Funny thing is I could kind of see how the kids grew up just by looking at different postcards. So there's today's lesson for you. Useful for if it ever comes up at a trivia night. :)
I wandered back to Place de la Constitution which has a statue or two and with a bit of looking around I found the entrance to the Casemates de la Petrusse. Luxembourg is built across a valley which makes for some fascinating scenery. In the 1600s the spanish dug tunnels into the rockface under the now city centre for defensive purposes making Luxembourg once one of the most envied fortresses of Europe. I went wandering through the sprawling tunnels and up and down a bunch more stairs.
At some points the tunnels were quite thin and low. The structure above is toilet and translated the note on the side says "Don't forget the sand". No flush button here. There was also a canon down there and it was fun just to poke about and wander through. When I'd seen it all I made my way out and round to the edge of the cliff area.
When I finished poking around there I went back up to the edge of the city centre where there is a left that goes down through the cliff so you don't have to walk down the winding street to get to the valley below. I crossed a river and wandered past the Grund and down to a castle wall. I crossed over along the top of the wall and down into the Vallee de la Petrusse.
While the guard stood and then marched back and forth I sat and ate some blackforest cake and had a drink. See the plastic bag next to my cup. It's a spoon with a hunk of chocolate on the bottom and you select your flavour and they bring you a mug of hot milk. Yum. I chose Chili Orange. Was goooood. After a moment to enjoy such deliciousness I moved myself along so I could gather my bag and make my next train. I really enjoyed my day in Luxembourg City despite the public holiday and the drizzle that carried on most of the day. It's quite a fascinating view with the valley, the rockfaces, the buildings and the greenery.
This stained glass window is at the train station. It is a great basic picture of the city and I think it just looks cool. So I farewelled Luxembourg and boarded a train for Germany.