The Grand Duchy Of Luxembourg

This was another of those countries that one would not likely visit unless they were intentional about it.  It is larger than some of the others I visited earlier in my adventure, but there still isn’t oodles to do here.  The Battle of the Bulge took place somewhere within this country, but I was going to skip the history lesson in favor of a day in the capitol.  This really was a full day trip, as it was three hours away from my Brussels hostel.  I woke early enough to make my way over there, explore, and return at a reasonable hour.  Belgian trains are always late, adding a little bit of time to my journey.  I thought that they had a nice little station.

The town isn’t particularly large, so after I arrived I just set a course for the old town and walked over.  On the way there I stopped into their Notre Dame Cathedral, the seat of their bishop and also the place where all members of the royal family are buried. 

When I hit the narrow streets, little shops and pedestrian traffic, I knew I had made it.  I had some particular souvenir needs so I went to the shopping information office, but I managed to strike out at all of their suggestions.  Walking about did at least bring me past the duke’s palace.

I also stopped by a tourist agency to collect a map and some advice on where I should go.  I also went to the city museum.  This museum was really modern and yet built upon foundations that stretched back several centuries.  Inside they had a very comprehensive exhibit detailing the whole history of the city and formation of the country as an independent state.  It all started as a fortress on a piece of rock with a defensive advantage that grew over time.

The uppermost floor had a temporary exhibit on the development of consumerism in Luxembourg at the start of the 20st century.  It was really well put together and managed to teach me quite a few things I wasn’t planning on learning.

The next stop here was to the bock, the central rock feature where in the early 14th century this town started.  I had to pay a couple bucks to get down in there, but throughout the rock were a number of tunnels and rooms to explore.  It overlooked a river meander and really had a defensive advantage against attackers.  This picture doesn’t really show the tunnels well, but you can see the remaining walls.
As the sun was starting to go down, I started walking back towards the station.  There was a really great view out over the lower town, that I paused at to take it in. This town was unique in both its setting and also the architecture, and spending a day in it was very worthwhile.

I met a guy though that was living here for an internship and was counting down the days before it finished.  He explained that there was just nothing at all to do here, not an ounce of nightlife.  It was just the sort of place I was looking for though, and a stop obscure enough to be worthy of my 50th country.

I had another three hour train back to Brussels where I caught up with a few familiar faces at the and got ready to finally move on.  I’ve never spent so much time in such a frustrating hostel and was very much ready to move on to the next stop.


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