“How come to Luxembourg, all of a sudden??”
“What!! are you going to Luxembourg for a vacation..i mean..who does that??”
These and some of the similar question were asked, posed when I told people that I am going to Luxembourg for an easter break. With such questions and those surprisingly disgusting looks, I too started becoming sceptical about our well planned holiday. But still, we decided to stay positive and do the adventure. However, after completing the journey, I can now say, rather boastfully, that the journey was worth it and would suggest others also to experience it.
Our flight was from London city airport, so we have to travel all the way to East London and that’s where our first surprise was. After the routine check-in, security checkup, when the boarding was announced, we could see a 76 seater LuxAir flight, which we were supposed to board. The flight was just a bit bigger than the chartered flight, with the wheels below the wings. It was a totally new experience and bumpy too. We landed in Luxembourg and took the car keys for the car that we had hired. First few minutes were intimidating as traffic in Luxembourg drives on the right. But after initial few minutes of driving, my brain started sending proper signals to my limbs and I got used to it. It was solid fun. I got a Citroen C1 automatic 2017.
I took a car seat for the daughter and used google maps on the phone. We were there in Luxembourg for 4 days, 3 nights and in that entire duration we travelled like crazy and had a good time. We travelled 517 km in three days. We travelled:
- In and around Luxembourg (Grund, Vianden castle),
- To France (Metz and Nancy) and also travelled
- To Germany (Trier, oldest German town).
Vianden – The approach road to Vianden from Luxembourg is through a landscape called as Little Switzerland. The roads are all in good shape and the drive is enjoyable. We stopped at many places in between just to appreciate the nature and the atmosphere around. Upon reaching Vianden, we saw the castle from within and also had a lunch inside the castle cafeteria. The castle was restored to its original glory by reconstructing it. It’s worth seeing the monument and most notably the journey, even more.
There is also a cable car ride, which is a must if you visit Vianden.
You can also hitch-hike from the place where the cable car drops you on the top of the mountain, to the Vianden castle.
Grund – This is an ancient part of Luxembourg city and its situated right in the heart of the city. It’s basically a valley on the banks of the Alzette river. It’s a beautiful walk. There is a glass elevator (in an area called PFAFFENTHAL), which takes you to the top, for the panoramic view of the valley. From Grund car park to the Notre-Dame, there is another elevator, if you wish to take or you can walk the entire distance uphill. If you wish to know more about the city, there is a tourist centre close by the Notre-Dame.
France (Metz and Nancy) – We travelled to Metz and Nancy in France, from Luxembourg. These two cities give a very good glimpse of the old French towns and were a treat to see them. The cathedral in Metz was one of the biggest I have ever seen. Nancy as well was a very good place to roam around into. In both of these places, we took a petit train tour, which was the best to see the entire city, as we were pressed for time.
The city centre ( Place Stanislas) in Nancy was also a good experience and sneak peek into the ancient french architecture.
Germany (Trier) – We travelled to Trier, oldest German town. This was a 40 min. drive from Luxembourg. This city offers a very good view into the ancient German architecture. We thoroughly enjoyed our day out in Trier and the typical German vegetarian cuisine.
Some useful tips when in Luxembourg:
- For Indian vegetarians, there are two pretty decent restaurants in the city centre called ‘Taj Mahal’ and ‘Nirvana cafe’. We had our dinner in both of them and found them reasonable.
- Luxembourg as a city is very expensive. Hence especially to save on water, we used to visit ‘Monoprix’ (equivalent to Asda in the UK, Big Bazaar in India) and buy water in bulk for dirt cheap prices.
- Parking in Luxembourg is ample and you should be having change, as most of the machines will not accept notes and some cards will not work.
- At petrol stations, the petrol and diesel are mentioned in either French / Luxembourgish language. I did take help from the station employee for me to select the right fuel, instead of repenting it later.
- There are no tolls on any highways in Luxembourg. At least the ones which I have been to while travelling to France and Germany.
- LuxAir was good and the staff was friendly.
- There is so much to see and experience in and around Luxembourg that it is best to hire a car, instead of using a public transport, which saves a lot of time and it is convenient and cheap as well. The roads, motorways in Luxembourg are good and well maintained than in France and Germany. The tunnels were awesome to drive for and the overall driving experience in Luxembourg was fun.
Those who wish to take an offbeat short holiday and have some adventure at the same time, Luxembourg is the place to go.