Noone I knew had been to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the tiny landlocked nation that is snuggled between Belgium, Germany and France. This was the first destination that I was going to where I was completely blind where someone didn’t know someone that had been.
Having already been to the Vatican City and Bahrain, I was excited at the prospect of ticking off my third microstate as part of my 30 before 30. Sadly this is not the case! Even though the entire country has a population smaller than Edinburgh’s, it is still geographically bigger than Singapore, Andorra, Malta, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, and the Vatican City combined. So alas, the quest to tick one another microstate continues.
With flights at just £26 per person return (thanks Ryanair!) it was silly not to say no! The hotels were on the pricier side but not as bad as Copenhagen. Thankfully I had a free night to use from my rewards card which proved to be handy which meant I got a suite in a 4* hotel that was just a 10 minute bus ride from the city centre at a reasonable price. The hotel staff were friendly and efficient, my room on the 17th floor had a beautiful view. Oh! And I get a huge warm chocolate chip cookie upon arrival!
Now I had dropped our bags off. It was time to start exploring. Of the 3 and a half days I had in the Grand Duchy, I planned to hop over the border to Metz for one day. I booked my train tickets for the Saturday and opted to buy a 2 day Luxembourg Card, for just €20 for the Sunday & Monday. Oh! And buses throughout Luxembourg are free on Saturdays!
My bus took me to Ville Haute, which is where I spent most of my time whilst in Luxembourg as well as Grund. I did explore other areas whilst I was in Luxembourg such as Clausen, Dommeldange, Gare Luxembourg and took the bus to Bettembourg to catch my train to Metz but at the time I visited, there was a lot of construction, roadworks and railworks happening which made it difficult to navigate.
I decided that the first place I was visit was the Pfaffenthal Lift. This free lift that takes you from the bottom of the Grund up to Ville Haute has some spectacular views from its view point beside the lift and was a great way to pinpoint potential locations to visit over the next few days and take in the Alzette river.
I made my way to the Place d’Armes, beside the Cercle Municipal to have a spot of dinner and a glass of wine. Luxmbourg’s Tourism office launched ‘Plëss in concert’ from April 2019 to showcase bands and ensembles from the country. Whilst we were tucking into a hearty meal, we enjoyed the ‘Kolléischmusek’ which I believe was a concert band from Athénée de Luxembourg. They medleys of classics from the 70s and 80s were enjoyable as I tried to see how many I could guess correctly and watch the crowd slowly gather towards the bandstand where the group was performing.
With my stomach full, it was time of burn off some of the calories to walk along the Parc municipal de Luxembourg and then eventually decided to stop in at the local supermarket to pick up some Luxembourgish raspberry Eau de vie, snacks and head back to the hotel.