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I arrived home yesterday. My last night in Luxembourg was fun, as i went to several locations participating in La Nuit des Musees, where all of the galleries and museums were open until 1am and had special events going on (jazz bands, performance art, cocktails, etc). It was great.  d

Vianden

On Friday morning, after a hearty breakfast i took two buses to get to Vianden, which is Luxembourg's most popular tourist destination. Why is it popular?
That's why. Because there is a big 12thC castle on a hill surrounded by a little medieval village. It is perfect. The air smells of leaves and woodsmoke and grilling meats. There were virtually no tourists, so i felt like i had the town to myself. I visited the castle and took a chair lift up to the top of a mountain for coffee. I visited the house where Victor Hugo lived while in exile. (Apparently he wrote Les Miserables there.) and i just generally wandered around, because that's all there is to do. My hotel (the Hotel Heintz) was absolutely delightful, so i relaxed there before going out for dinner. After dinner i hopped between three different bar\cafes, enjoying wine, coffee and cigars. (Cuban cigars are about half the price that they are in Canada, but there are not alot of shops that sell them.)
The town was all ab…

Echternach

When we last met our heroine, she was off to Echternach, deep in the heart of "little Switzerland" and then....nothing. As it turns out that i have been in areas so quaint, that they are internet free! (i apologize if i am making even more typos than usual, but this keyboard is entirely random and difficult to navigate.) On Thur4sday i took the bus from Luxembourg city to Echternach, which took just under an hour. It was raining when i arrived, but that did not dissolve my spirits, as the town is so charming. It is kind of like Tallinn, in that it is very small and very medieval feeling. There is a square and a pedestrian street, a church and a school and that's about it. I checked into my Hotel, Le Pavillion, which was very cozy; i then proceeded to explore the town.To my delight there were hardly any tourists and almost no one spoke English. There were however lots and lots of kids. There is an enormous boarding school in Echternach and after school and into the evening…

I've Got a Lovely Bicycle

I awoke this morning feeling a million times better (still a bit sniffly, but much better). After breakfast, I took a stroll through the weekly farmers market at the Place de Guillaume II, where they had a lovely array of fruits and flowers. Sadly, I was stuffed from breakfast, so I didn't try anything.

I then did something shocking....I rented a bicycle! They have those bike that lock up automatically and you rent them for like €1/hour and you can return it to any station in the city. I rode it cautiously at first, only on the sidewalks, but then I was riding in traffic without a care - and also without a helmet. It was liberating to be so reckless. I must say though that people here (and likewise in Paris and Amsterdam) ride bicycles differently than they do in Vancouver. First of all they are better dressed - men in suits and women in dresses. People in Vancouver slap on the reflective spandex just to commute to work. Second, people in Europe don't ride their bike like maniac…

L'Eau de Vie

Last night after blogging, I enjoyed the most relaxing evening in the lounge at my hotel. I had a cigar and read the New York Times and worked on the crossword puzzle. I also samples one variety of the Luxembourg beverage, L'eau de Vie. Basically it is like grappa, but in stead of being made from grapes, it is made from fruit. There is apple, pear, strawberry, plum, raspberry, and others. I had the raspberry. It was quite nice. I chatted with the waiter, who is from Germany. He told me that he recently went to Canada; and where do think he went? To Invermere, Cranbrook and Banff. How random is that? Invermere? He thought it was beautiful. He told me that he had always heard that Canada had very good ''weed'' and very bad chocolate. When I ordered my beverage he said ''Wunderbar'', of course it sounded like "Voonderbar". Delightful; I didn't know that German people actually said that. I also talked to a Swiss man who has never left Europe…

The Stuff of Nightmares

Day two in Luxembourg has had two things working against it: my cold and the rain, which was severe this afternoon. Aside from those two negative aspects, the day has been lovely. I went on a brisk walk in the park this morning before browsing through the shops on the Grand Rue. There is a fine selection of chocolate shops here, although I have yet to sample any. I did however buy a coat. It's weird, I know, but it is chilly here and the coat is nice; it is black and sort of marching-band-esque. It proved to be a wise purchase in light of the rain and cool temperatures.
I then went to the Casino. No, not the gambling kind, some of you will be disappointed to learn (and you know who you are), it is a contemporary art museum called "Casino" (it was a gaming establishment in the 1800s). They had an exhibit called SK-Interfaces and it was great, although I may very well have nightmares. It was probably the creepiest exhibit I have ever seen - and let's not forget, I have …

Moien

Moien. (That is hello in Luxembourgish.) After blogging last night, I had a cigar in the hotel bar which doing a crossword and enjoying a glass of wine. It was a perfect way to end the day. What is not perfect is that I woke up sick! Sore throat and sniffles. That's what I get for going 48 hours without sleep and spending 14 hours on airplanes. This morning I sampled the many delights at the hotel's breakfast. The only thing missing from the array of treats was dessert. I am off to explore. Addi. (that's goodbye)

Luxembourg

I have arrived in Luxembourg!
The flights (Vancouver to Toronto, Toronto to Zurich, and Zurich to Luxembourg City) were all very pleasant.  There were no hassles, no irritations, just many hours of relaxation. I arrived in Luxembourg City at 9 or 10 this morning. (Note: Luxembourg is 9 hours ahead of Vancouver Time). The only problem was...my bag decided to take a later flight. No problem though, as the airline delivered it to my hotel about 10 hours later. A few comments about Luxembourg generally. Most people have been perplexed or even irritated by my decision to come here on vacation, as they wondered why i wouldn't go somewhere else. All i can say is that I knew shamefully little about this diminutive country, but some preliminary investigation intrigued me.
For your own edification, here are some useful facts: Yes, it is a country.Yes, there really is a language called "Luxembourgish".The country is 2586 km2 and has a population of 486,006.It had the highest per capita …