Saturday 29th April
Do you remember that in the last blog I told you that I managed to book into this site as a German? I found out why when I went to reception the next day. The woman I spoke to on arriving was Belgian and only spoke Flemish.
The weather here has been a bit up and down, sometimes warm, oftentimes cool and a bit of rain. After getting all of the washing done we decided to get the bus into Luxembourg.
200m from the site is a park and ride which after 50 minutes, 36km and €2 bus fare takes us right into the heart of Luxembourg City. The first thing you notice is all the building work, a new tram line is going through the middle and on the outskirts huge glassy buildings are going up which is all very promising until you get off the bus.
One of the first buildings we see is above, “The Palace of the Deputies”, there is an armed guard marching up and down, stamping his feet and that is about as interesting as it gets.
To say the city is rather bland is exaggerating (to a huge degree).
The cathedral is OK…
…the columns were lovely, but…
The city itself is in a fantastic location. It is perched at the top of a high cliff where two rivers meet but it is the heart of a huge administrative structure interspersed with faceless banking headquarters. It doesn’t really seem to have a heart. There is a short shopping area which at first look seems promising but it is all high end (expensive) jewellery and clothing.
The skate board park looked interesting.
And the memorial to the fallen Luxembourgers during both World Wars. The Germans invaded both times and weren’t very friendly at all. In the Cathedral we read up the history of Luxembourg and tried to make sense of it all. It’s been owned by the Spanish, Dutch and Austrians, bits have been carved off over the years and given to the French, Germans and Dutch. The Luxembourgers had a referendum and voted overwhelmingly to stay independent and the neighbours accepted that referendum.
The French Revolutionary guard were here and seized the city very quickly. Amongst them was Vauban, the designer of numerous fortified positions that we have been to before, he was given the task of making the city imprregnable.
His building style is unmistakeable.
Beer of the day – school boy error number two. We managed to find an almost English looking bar, it had beer, a chalkboard menu and sawdust on the floor.
I almost forgot to tell you of schoolboy error number one. First mistake is that we don’t have a guidebook to Luxembourg. What language do they speak? Our bus driver was quite happy with my German. Our barmaid was very much less impressed. The people sat next to us were talking gibberish (possibly Flemish). I found out that the barmaid could talk fairly passable French and we managed to order beer and food.
I’m going to have to blame the lack of guide book here but back to schoolboy error number one which I should have picked up on when the barmaid was talking in French. There were extenuating circumstances as well, the cost of diesel in Germany is €1.16 to €1.22, as soon as our bus got into Luxembourg the price is down at 99¢ (I’ve been told it can be 89ç).
Silly me thinks that if diesel is cheap, beer is cheap. Photo above is €12 worth of wet stuff and I went and had a second pint!!!!
Whilst sat in the bar I phoned mother, it is her 173rd birthday (nearly) and when I told her we were in Luxembourg she passed on her only knowledge of the place – it has a radio station that she used to listen to in the war on her home made crystal set. This place was on the way back, it might be where the big hairy cornflake broadcast from, but I doubt it.
Schoolboy error number three. We have five camping cheques which means we need to leave here on Sunday. The original plan was to move into France but…
…all the Lidls will be closed on Sunday, how are we going to stock up with Gin at €5.49 a bottle. We’ve found a site in Saarbrucke, we’ll stay there overnight and raid Lidls on Monday morning.
Schoolboy errors number 4 and 5 – it’s a Bank Holiday, even the Germans take time off work, we’ll have to stay until Tuesday. I had to make a second visit to the supermarket today to make sure that I wouldn’t run out of alcohol before the shops reopen. Three bottles of wine and a bottle of brandy should tide me over. We’ll be travelling to a new stellplatz on a bank holiday weekend – they will all be full up!
Schoolboy error number 6 – we have a Three data sim card that allows us to use data in Europe. Somehow, we have managed to over use our allowance twice in a year and have now been excluded from the Three feel at Home offer. You might have to wait for this blog until we get back into France and can get some free SFR Fon signal.
Just to let you know that Saturday was bright and sunny all day long. We bought some steak a week ago hoping for a BBQ but it hasn’t been great weather – today was perfect, marinated steak barbecue with new potato and bacon salad. Days like this make it all worth while.