Luxemburg

July 2007


Introduction

Lotte and me spent a prolonged weekend in Luxemburg. We drove to the capital Luxembourg on Friday evening and made day trips from there.


July 21st (day 1): Echternach

Echternach is a small town near the border with Germany. It grew around the abbey which was founded in 698 AD and is famous for its proverbially slow yearly procession.
The town hall of Echternach, called Denzelt
The Place du Marché, the main square of Echternach

After checking out the town we made two walks that we read about in a brochure found at the tourist office. These walks turned out to be the best part of the trip. The first was to the Wolfsschlucht (Wolf Gorge) just west of the town.
We walked up through this forest looking for the Wolfsschlucht
Nearing the Wolfsschlucht
This crack in the rocks formed a narrow cave about 20m deep
Here we're about half way into the cave
Caveman and cavewoman
Since it was pitch black Lotte didn't notice I was doing this until I showed it on the camera screen :)
This picture is straight, these rocks all just tumbled sideways
Looks like a jungle
Looking down into the actual Wolfsschlucht
Looking straight ahead from the same spot. The Wolfsschlucht is 28m deep.
Lotte doing some exercise

The second walk was to the Teufelsschlucht (Devil's gorge) some 10km north of Echternach. We didn't realise until we drove back that this place wasn't in Luxemburg but across the border in Germany. This walk was just as good, lovely forest and rocks.
The Teufelsschlucht
The Teufelsschlucht
Lotte under a rock at the end of the Teufelsschlucht
The exit of the Teufelsschlucht
Looking up at some rocks
Lovely forest
Lotte taking a nap
A tree that had good aim
This tree is clinging to the rock sideways
Bit of rock leaning sideways

On the ride back to Luxembourg we made a stop in a little town called Junglinster.
Imitating a cute traffic sign that you see everywhere in Luxemburg


July 22nd (day 2): Luxembourg

We'd already walked around the center after arriving on Friday evening but now we took a whole day to check out this city. It's a very pretty place with a lot of green.

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg is a 17th-century cathedral with a beautiful interior.
Inside the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg
The altar of the Notre-Dame de Luxembourg cathedral
The back of the Notre-Dame de Luxembourg
Ornaments in the back of the Notre-Dame de Luxembourg

The Casemates are a network of underground galleries hewn into the rocks below Luxembourg in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were 23km long in total, of which 17km remain. They are now one of the main sights in Luxembourg and are a Unesco World Heritage site. We visited the Casemates in the Rocher du Bock, the rock on which the first part of Luxembourg was built in 963 AD.
The Casemates in the Rocher du Bock
A water well in the Casemates, 48m deep
Lotte in the Casemates
Me in the Casemates

After visiting the Casemates we descended from the Rocher du Bock into the valley of the Alzette which cuts through Luxembourg like a canyon. This valley is full of trees and is crossed by several bridges, which is an amazing sight since on both sides of the valley there is the city, built on flat ground. It's like a big river flowing through a town and crossed by bridges, but instead of water you're looking down on trees.
On the left is the Rocher du Bock, on the right the valley of the Alzette
Looking down on a bridge across the Alzette
In the valley lies a picturesque village
Looking up to the edge of Luxembourg from the village in the valley
View over the valley
Me on a bench enjoying the view
Beyond the village the valley becomes a big park. Here you see the Pont Adolphe, the prettiest of the bridges that cross the valley. It is 42m high and 153m long.
The Pont Adolphe seen from inside the valley
The Pont Adolphe leads from the center of Luxembourg to an area called the Plateau Bourbon

In the late afternoon we drove to the European area, which was deserted since it was a sunday, and found the beautiful Salle de Concerts Joséphine-Charlotte, a new concert hall designed by Christian de Portzamparc. Superb architecture, I'm jealous that we have nothing like this in Belgium.
The Salle de Concerts Joséphine-Charlotte
Back side of the concert hall.

Finally some pics of us...
A few more months and I'll be long-haired scum!
Lotte

Luxembourg is a really nice city, and the valley makes it unique. What is also remarkable is that in this city (and in most of Luxemburg) every restaurant has menus in Dutch and waiters do their best to understand Dutch (I heard Dutch tourists try several times). It's harder to get serviced in Dutch in Brussels, sadly.


July 23rd (day 3): Castles

We left the hotel in the morning and visited two mediavel castles before heading back to Belgium.

Vianden Castle

The castle of Vianden is Luxemburg's most famous. There was already a castle here in late Roman times, but the current one was built from the 11th to 14th century and further expanded in the 18th. In the 19th century it fell into ruin, but it was restorated in the 1970s. Rebuilt would be a better term, the castle seems like a new, unauthentic building now. Judging from the old pictures we saw they should have just kept the ruins the way they were.
The Vianden Castle
Houses near Vianden Castle
Vianden Castle seen from the parking lot
Hall inside Vianden Castle
Me with some spears in Vianden Castle
The tavern in the cellars of Vianden Castle
The Castle seen from the village Vianden below it
The village Vianden
The village Vianden

Bourscheid Castle

From Vianden we drove to Bourscheid, a long ride through forests and over climbing roads with lots of hairpin corners. Luxemburg seems like a big country this way! Bourscheid has a big castle that was built in the 14th and 15th centuries. The GPS was programmed to bring us straight to the castle but wanted to send us over a terrible tractor path, so instead we found our own way...
In the village Bourscheid we saw no castle, but we passed this lookout point on a hill
Inside Bourscheid castle
Corner tower of the Bourscheid castle
Looking down from the tower of Bourscheid castle
A river meanders below Bourscheid castle

From Bourscheid we drove home to Belgium through the pouring rain. This was a very nice trip, Luxemburg is perfect for a long weekend!




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