M.Góral

I was thinking quite long how to present Luxembourg so it would look good and inspire others. The first thing I came up with was: Do not visit Luxembourg on Sunday.

How many times have you been waiting for the weekend, counting minutes till your last shift in the week finally ends?  How many times have you dreamt about different place where you can free your mind and let relax take it over?  Sometimes the best way to ease off is to change environment for couple of days. Something specific about traveling is that we all get used to quick life, we expect shopping malls, museums and restaurants to be open 7 days a week. And there is nothing bad about it, we got used to it so much that I wonder is it easy for you to distinguish Wednesday and Sunday? Sometimes I do not see a difference but one – that I go to office. But there is this little capital city in a heart of Europe that is completely different and completely dead on Sunday. And yet it is very intriguing as well.  Luxembourg.

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When I left the bus at 9 a.m., I decided to start my day with lovely breakfast. Fischer’s bakery looked tempting. I ordered sandwich (which was actually delicious, that was exactly what I needed in a cold morning) and a tea and started to discuss with my fellows what can we see in Luxembourg. You may think I always plan everything but I have to contradict this now. I do plan when I go for longer holiday but during weekend I let the time fly and see what the city offers. So I was surprised to discover that actually Fischer’s bakery and some of the shops at the train station were the only places to be open. I could speculate it was because of early morning, but surprisingly, when I came back from my hotel in the afternoon nothing has changed. I actually do not really complain about it. For years I was a fan of “no trade” on Sunday. I guess we work too much nowadays. When I was a child people used to be more relaxed during a weekend then now. All the shopping was done at the latest on Saturday so the last day in the week was reserved for friends and family. And that is how Luxembourg presented itself when I was there. It actually looked to me like no one really cared about time. All the drivers let you pass the street without honking, bus drivers waited for passengers and shop assistants were never in a hurry. I felt like I have transferred to other planet.

Due to its exceptional strategic position, the City of Luxembourg was one of the largest fortresses of modern Europe between 16th  and 19th century. The Old Town is located on a very steep rocky outcrop which is a kind of natural fortification. But the real attraction are bock casemates. Build in 1644, they were a part of city’s former defences. Now they are a UNESCO heritage site and if you wish to see them, keep in mind they are open to public only between March and October. The second main tourist attraction is the Adolphe Bridge, some sources outline it is an unofficial national symbol of independence. Although the bridge is now being renovated (works on Adolphe Bridge are slated to last until 2017) there are other arch bridges that compensate the view. I must say, they all look impressive and the best view is of course from a distance or the Peitruss Valley. Going more to the east off the bridge there is Monument of Remembrance which is dedicated to army volunteers during World War I. Gëlle Fra (common name for the statue) is located on the Constitution Square (Place de la Constitution) where everyone may enjoy superb view over the Pétrusse Valley and the Adolphe Bridge.  In opposite of the square there is beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral and just behind it there are William Square (Place Guillaume II) and City Hall. Surprisingly during the whole day the city looked quite sad, but before the dusk it flourished with different colors which changed my opinion about this capital city. Have you ever heard that “your point of view depends on where you stand”? In this situation it is 1000% right.

 

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The most absorbing square was Place d’Armes with the Palais Municipal (Cercle Municipal, administrative building with conference rooms and several festival halls). This place was very vivid and lifelike, in compare with other districts I have to say I loved it. In the past Place d’Armes served as a parade ground for the troops defending the city, nowadays it becomes the main centre of city’s activity. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs and I am sure anyone can find the suitable place.

Overall I cannot really say did I like or not like Luxembourg, it is an ideal city to isolate yourself, if that is what you want. There is only one drawback of that peace. Most good restaurants were closed on Sunday afternoon (some of them re-opened in the evening) and this was the reason why I have finally decided to check out QUICK. It is a fast food chain which could be mostly seen in Belgium, France and Luxembourg. I would not gone too far if I say it is imitating McDonalds. However if you look carefully you will find a place for a pint of beer, even on Sunday :)

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