Discover LUXEMBOURG,

Discover LUXEMBOURG

LUXEMBOURG is a unique destination bordered by France to the South, Belgium to the West, and Germany to the East. By high-speed Eurail it’s only 2 hrs. and 20 from Paris and less than one-hour by air transport. It’s one of the smallest countries in Europe, less then 2,000 square miles and with a population of only 600,000. It’s capital, Luxembourg City has a population is less and 125,000. As a Grand Duchy the country is governed as a Parliamentary Democracy through the auspices of a Constitutional Monarchy headed up by the office of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. Yet the country offers surprising opportunities for Adventure Travelers, for individuals, families and groups large and small.

LUXEMBOURG City is a good place to start. It boasts a UNESCO World Heritage site by virtue of its assembly of lush green valleys, meandering rivers and smooth running streams along with a series of bridges, walkways and by-ways.My associate and I counted at least a dozen major places to visit and another dozen or so places within the city walls worth checking out.. These included Petruss Park, described as having ” the most beautiful scene in Europe”. It stands adjacent to Saint Quirin’s chapel, a 14th century facade which is actually cut into rock and the Corniche, ascribed as having the “most beautiful balcony in Europe”, built in the 17th century by the armies of Spain and France. It overlooks the “Grund”, or Lower Town and offers a panoramic view of the valley below. As for bridges there’s the Castle Bridge, built in 1735 which links links the Lower Town to the Upper with its four passageways. Another favorite of ours was the Adolphe Bridge aka “Nel Breck”, a newer bridge built in 1900-’03, It was once described as the longest stone arch in the world at over 277′. The “Al Breck”, designed in 1859 and described as the Old Bridge once linked the city’s rail station with stops inside the city’s walls. As this is a walking city you’ll find a whole array of museums and historical sites everywhere you go.For us these included the Natural History Museum, the MUDAM, or the Museum of Modern Art, the Letzebuerg City Museum, and the National Art and History Museum. Not to be missed are Cathedral of Notre Dam-National Library, the  Bock Casemates, stone tunnels once used for defense, the Grand Ducal Palace, Constitution Plaza,and  the Ramparts, the city’s main thoroughfare dating back to the Middle Ages. Note, the city has many different types of restaurants and cafes to choose from. At the St. Francis Hotel we stepped into their outdoor pavilion for cold beer and coffee to slow us down at bit. And the weather in late afternoon was picture perfect, somewhere in the brisk 50s. That night we chanced a concert at the Circle Municipal, a magnificent turn-of-the century Gothic structure built in the 19th century by the French as a military garrison. It’s now managed by the city government and offers all sorts of entertainment to the general public. On the night we visited we were treated to Duane’s Musek, an orchestra made up of young musicians celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary. Best part, the concert was free and without charge.  In 1994 the city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 1995 EU designated Luxembourg City it as the Capital City of Culture and in 2007 the entire region surrounding the city was given the award as well.Traveling through the city on foot was our choice of travel.If this doesn’t work for you you can buy yourself a a travel card aka the Luxembourg Card that allows you access to over 60 cultural places in the city and  in the surrounding region.For more on what to see and do in Luxembourg City contact the LUXEMBOURG Department of Tourism, open seven days. Try www.luxembourg-city-lu or touristinfo@lcto. It’s Located at 30, place Guillaume 11, L-1648. The phone is +352 22 28 09.

Outside of Luxembourg City you’ll find a lot more to do and see. Our rent-a-car was at-the ready.Our first stop was Vianden where we found a 9th century  castle recently restored. A chairlift gets you there with fabulous views of the Ardennes forest below. Located in the region of Eislek, this is LUXEMBOURG’s largest. In the city of Vianden we had lunch at “Beim Hunn”, a 17th century lodge and restaurant serving traditional fare. Good and plenty and reasonably priced. For info on the region try www.visit-eislek.lu. For Venden Castle,go to www.castlevianden.lu. The area is quaint and easy-to-get-to with very good roads clearly marked. Less than an hour from the capital by car. For the night we stayed at the newly renovated Chateau D’ Urspelt in Clervaux. www.chateau-urpelt.lu. Restful, with nice appointments. The restaurant there is like a painting, all done up in white plaster and mirrors. Follow the menu or ask any of the waiters for the evening’s special. We settled on steak. Nicely prepared and with fresh grilled veggies on the side and with homemade bread. M—mmm! Clervaux is also the home of the world-famous Family of Man Museum, Edward Streichen’s collection of over 500 photographs from 68 countries by nearly 300 photographers. First traveled to NY’s MOMA in the 50s the collection has been seen by over 9 million people to date. The museum is a modern structure on three levels. representing 37 themes and is based on Man’s aspirations to Love and Faith, depicting birth,work,family, education, children, and peace.www.streichencollection.lu. Lunch found us in the town of Berdorf in the Mullerthal Region, dubbed Little Switzerland because of its rocky terrain. The place we settled on was the restaurant Berdorfer Eck 53 where everything we sampled was prepared day-of including their lusty desserts. As we were in apple orchard country, my choice was a sumptous apple tart mit oceans of whipped cream. After lunch we journeyed to the town of Echternack, the oldest town in LUXEMBOURG where we found the Orangerie, an 18th century Rococo Pavilion along with its bustling cafes and restaurants in the town’s picturesque square. The town sits on the Moselle River whit Germany on the opposite side. Our final resting stop for the day was the Romantik Hotel Bel-Air on Route de Berdorf. It will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019-20.The hotel has a superb wellness spa, an adequate pool with warm running water and a steam room and sauna for those of us that need pampering. The restaurant there is 5-star. www.hotel-belair-lu. On our next day in LUXEMBOURG we headed towards the European Museum in Schengen, a newly constructed site that tells the story of wine production in the region. The village is located on the  Moselle river, at the tripoint of LUXEMBOURG, France and Germany. The famous Schengen Agreement under the guidance of the European Union was signed here in 1985 abolishing border controls between these counties and allowing for open access for visitors and wine producers alike.The museum is digitally packed and fully interactive. There ample room to sit by the river and carouse on the museum’s campus for R & R. if you have the time.For more try on this:www. schengen-tourist.lu. Lunch today was at Le Bistrot Gourmand, a spanking new restaurant in the nearby town of Remerschen. Very popular and sitting outdoors was a pleasure on this sun-filled day. The menu was regional and delicious. Good wines and spirits here with local beer brands on tap. After lunch we traveled to the town of Hamm where the American Cemetery and Memorial is located. For WW II vets, their spouses, and any relations thereof, as well as history buffs like myself, this is a must visit. Spread on over 50 acres, it contains the remains of more than 5,000 US Army Veterans. It was dedicated on July 4,1960. Note, the field contains 4,958 Latin crosses, 118 Star of David headstones and tablets for the MRIs, 371. A Mosaic chapel is located on the Memorial site. Gen. George S. Patton of the famed Third Army and commander of the Battle of the Bulge campaign is buried here as per his wishes before he passed on. www.abmc.gov/ cemeteries-memorials/europe/luxembourg-american-cemetary#.W78WTPZoSUK. Our final resting stop for the night was back in the City of LUXEMBOURG where we stayed ’til mid-afternoon on the next day before leaving for France on Eurail’s high-speed TGV. less three-hours from Paris.

A special thanks to LUXEMBOURG’s press liaison officer Romain Schwartz for pointing us in the right direction over a 3 1/2 day period. We found it a most profound experience worth telling about. www.visitluxembourg.com. Cudos to Eurail for efficient, fast and courteous service and to Norwegian Air on their new 787 -9 Dreamliner for our passage, NY’s JFK to CDG Airport, Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Michael Zufolo, Producer/Co-Host of Let's Travel! Radio

Michael has been an active player in Media Relations and Marketing for the past 30 years with stints at The New York Times, Forbes, WOR Radio, TV Channel 11, Attenzione Magazine, et.al., and with participation in the Caribbean Tourism Org.,/ CTO, the Pacific Travel Assn./ PATA, the Foreign Press Assn./ FPA, and the International Society of Travel Writers/ ISTR. Libra/ America, his latest signature, provides travel opportunities to VIP travelers and groups world-wide. Let’s Travel! Radio is an extension of his experiences.

An interview with Mr.and Mrs. Gaul of Gaul’s Legacy Tours in Luxembourg.

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