The Great EU Quest – Luxembourg – Part Two

Okay, so today will be the conclusion of a two parter about my trip to Luxembourg. I know there are a bunch of food items coming up so let’s get this out of the way now:

List Item: Try half of the combined 1001 food books

Full disclosure: After Day 3 I stopped making notes in the evening of what I did, so Day 4 will probably be a bit less detailed.

Day 3 – Following the Wenzel

Food item: Hot Chocolate

We started the day at The Chocolate House, a café right next to the palace of the Grand Duke. The speciality of the place? Hot chocolate spoons. I’ve seen these in the UK before, but never with such a lump of chocolate. It was gorgeous, and we returned the following day for breakfast so I could try a different one.

It turned out to be nearly midday when we stopped gabbing at The Chocolate House so we went to the Notre Dame Cathedral before making our way into the valley. I’ve said it before, but the sheer lack of people still amazes me. At two points we found ourselves completely alone in a church. The first, when we went into the crypt of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

The second time was after we descended into the ville basse and entered the Neumunster church. Despite being the smaller of the two (the Notre Dame being the church of the archdiocese) it was so much more beautiful inside. It was strange being, basically, alone in a church. Unlike a lot of other tourists I still found myself whispering despite there being no believers in the church with me.

After this we pretty much followed the Wenzel walking route. It’s one of those tourist routes that was meant to take you along a lot of the old fortifications of Luxembourg City before they were dismantled in the 1800s following the Treaty of London.

Using this route walked along old walls, saw barracks that have since been converted into a hospital of some sort and ended up in the Grund.

This quarter of Luxembourg was like a miniature suburb of the city with river running through it. As with most things, it’s like a Hollywood producer’s idea of what Europe would be.

Food item: Croque Monsieur and Cafe Au Lait

The Grund was full of bars, restaurants and cafés, so it was a good time to stop for a drink and a snackwas full cafes, which meant it was a good time to stop for a drink and a snack. We needed the energy if we were going to make that steep walk back up to the old town.

Food items: Carpaccio, Moules Frites, Moules Marinere

A bit a random ambling, a visit to what appeared to be a forestry festival and a pop back to the hotel room later – dinner.

Now, I have never had proper mussels. My mum had a bad experience with them so the idea of having a big bowl of them without much sauce… didn’t seem the most appetizing to me. The thing is, every restaurant had a sign saying ‘Moules sont arrivés’, so I am guessing we got to Luxembourg at the beginning of mussel season. I wrestled against the gorgeous smell for two days, and I eventually gave in.

The first 10-15 that I shelled and consumed were gorgeous. I was disposing of shells and ripping out the creamy meat rather happily and completely neglected the chips. The thing is, I began to get a bit bored of having the same flavour over and over again. The urge left me halfway through the bucket so I began to supplement with more and more frites.

Day 4 – Mummies and the ValleyIMG_1915

Another beautiful day in Luxembourg. We got so lucky with the weather whilst we were over there, I mean it was consistently sunny at about 18°C in September. I ended up with a bit of a tan; something that is a bit hard for me if I am being completely honest.

We decided that we would try out one of the museums in the old town, and so we made our way towards the National Museum of Art and History. It’s a free museum except for temporary exhibitions, in this case a rather well advertised exhibition on mummies! Oh, did I mention that I got free entry to that because I was, at the time, under the age of 26?

Going through the museum I really began to appreciate what it is to be a tourist in London. All the exhibitions were in, as it should be, French and German. This meant that we had to carry around books with translations in. I have so much respect for anyone who is not fluent in English who visits – we don’t exactly make things easy.

Anyway, the highlight of the museum, aside from the mummy with a permanent erection (pictured), was learning more about the history of Luxembourg itself. You know, like how it was 3-4 times larger before France, Belgium and Germany carved off parts for themselves. I mean, it is little wonder that Luxembourgers love the E.U. so much, it gives them a lot of protection.

After the museum it was down into the Pétrusse Valley. It was yet another one of those times where it was strange to be in a capital city. I mean yes, if you craned your neck you could see that there are buildings on both sides of the valley. But why would you do that when there is so much green around? If I was a Luxembourger and I had a dog, I would be down here all the time.

As the sun began to set we walked through some of the parks more local to our hotel. We expected it to be rather small, but it was a lot larger than we anticipated. I mean, there is a large children’s playground with a rather big pirate play ship! How cool is that!

Day 5 – Leaving Luxembourg

It was time to leave Luxembourg. It was an afternoon flight so we wandered around doing a greatest hits of the last few days. Then, astonishingly quickly, it was time to leave for Luxembourg’s (rather small) main airport.

Food item: Vol-au-vent

This was my mum’s but I tried a bit for blog purposes. My lunch? A pate de campagne sandwich with pickles. It was gorgeous, for airport cafeteria food that it is.

Progress: 718/933

I loved my time in Luxembourg and was truly sad to have it come to an end. Still, I had to come back, two weeks until the wedding an’ all that.

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