Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Luxembourg (Luxembourg trip - Part 2)

From Bastogne we crossed the border into northern Luxembourg and over to Chateau de Bourscheid. We were very lucky to arrive just before it closed and were able to explore it a little. Very cool place and extra great because it is not popular at all. It has a magnificent location and view over the valley and river below. It is mostly in ruins but that just adds to the effect. I got the impression that nobody really goes there. You need a car to get up to the castle and there's room in the parking lot for maybe a dozen cars. It does have a cafe and audio guided tours if you want but I can't imagine crowds. Not a major attraction which is such a nice thing to feel after being in much of the rest of Europe these days. Maybe Luxembourg isn't that popular on the "to go" list but I thought it was really beautiful. The castle was definitely worth a stop to see.

Chateau de Bourscheid.

View from the Chateau.

Looking up at Chataeu de Bourscheid.

It fit exactly with what I wanted and needed to feel in Europe this time around; quiet, not busy, castles and good scenery. It was nice to be in the hills again too. So let that be the answer to the question of whether or not it's possible to visit 120 countries and still be impressed with somewhere new. I'd say it is possible because it happened to me.
From there we drove a little further to another small town in the north east on the German border called Vianden where we stayed the night.
Vianden had a few tourists and was a very pretty little town with an even better looking castle overlooking it. We had a relaxing evening at a restaurant (I finally got my chance to eat horse) overlooking the little river and looking up at the castle as the sun set. I love these long evenings and we needed all the light we could get for the long days we put in on this trip.

The Vianden castle.


In the morning we visited the castle quickly then headed a few km down the road to Diekirch where we visited the national military museum. This was our substitute for the closed museum in Bastogne and I was expecting a dinky little museum of mild interest but it turned out to be excellent. The battle of the bulge started more or less in the Diekirch area and lasted through Dec/Jan 1944/1945. The Germans were attempting an offensive to capture Antwerp, Belgium and split the American and British forces in half. The Germans lost after a month of fighting and heavy losses on both sides. It was the bloodiest battle the Americans fought in all of WW2.
The museum had tons of original items and equipment as well as displays set up showing conditions on both sides. It was also remarkably objective and unbiased in its presentation. What was most impressive was the huge collection of original, uncensored photos of the battle and its aftermath. Disturbing, fascinating and shocking. We easily spent a few hours there and I'd definitely recommend it for anyone interested in the war.

From Diekirch we went to Luxembourg city. Pretty and small, it felt more like a big tourist town than a capital city. I love the hills and views from the corniche. The old town was taken up with a rock festival that day so we didn't get to see it as it normally is. Luxembourg still has a royal family and is so small that it is heavily influenced by it's neighbours. Some parts speak French and others German but they have their own Luxembourgish language also. Don't ask me which is the most dominant because we just played the stupid tourist card the whole time and went straight to using English.

Looking down from Luxembourg's corniche.

Luxembourg's famous casements on the left in the cliff face.

Lots of viaducts and stone bridges around Luxembourg.

We spent a couple hours walking around town before taking off again, this time on a last minute trip extension into Germany.


At 9:34 AM , Blogger LiLu.PaX said...

you were right! it's a beautiful place! and good job on the photos! ;)


At 1:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whaaat!?!? How did you go to such nice palces with out me?!?! BTW very nice photo of you Ammmoonilia.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home