Tuesday, October 6, 2009

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 because he does not think he could fly because he could not go without cigarettes fro the duration of the flight.
After a sleepless night due to a raging fever and an achy body, I began my day. I took a train to Ettlebruck and then caught a bus to Esch-sur-Sûre, which is North East of Luxembourg City. Esch-sur-Sûre is a tiny little hamlet nestled (that really is the most appropriate word for it) between the mountains in a steep bend in the river Sûre. The ride there was beautiful, past farms with horses and sheep with long tails and enormous cows. The town is tiny - population 250. It took me 20 minutes to walk every street. I played on a swing by the river and listened to birds and watched dogs playing by the river. The air was so crisp and the leaves were all in various shades of autumn.
The town dates back to about the 600s and there is a castle from about 800 on a hill in the centre of town. The castle is mostly in ruin now, but from its vantage point I had excellent views of the town. After a cup of coffee, I returned to Luxembourg city.
This afternoon I visited the AM Tunnel gallery. It is very odd. It is a gallery of photographs (100s of them) displayed in a tunnel 5 floors below the ground. The tunnel exists as a conduit between the various banks in the area (none of which look like banks, by the way; the all look like homes for royalty). The gallery had two exhibits: a vast collection of photos by Edward Steichen and a similar array of photos by Rene Burri. It was very impressive.
I haven't done much since then; I had dinner (pizza) and I have just been walking and relaxing. I just had some tea and a cigar at my hotel. I am pretty exhausted and still feeling quite ill, so I shall retire shortly.
The weather was nice today: about 17 degrees, cloudy, but not rainy.
Tomorrow I plan to take the train to Clervaux. Details to come.
Esch-sur-Sûre river

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