Moiën from Luxembourg!
This is an adorable nation. You could spend a ton of time touring your way across the countryside. There are lists, of the over 100 castles in the country, you can find and tours that will take you all over to explore. Our focus on this visit though was the capital of Luxembourg City. I am unsure what expectations we had upon arriving in this country; but, we felt surprised nonetheless. The beauty of what we saw along with how much we did not know about Luxembourg astonished us.
We were first taken aback when we boarded the bus, to leave the airport, and were informed that all public transportation is cost-free. This is a first for us. We are still a little shaken up from our time in Poland (with their militant ticket checkers) so it took a minute for us to adjust to the idea of riding without having paid a fare. This is just one of the initiatives Luxembourg is putting in place to help lower car dependency and increase its citizens' quality of life and we took full advantage.
The second big thing we noticed as we rode through the city was the remnants of the fort walls. Luxembourg was a stronghold for so long, and its geography has enabled that. Riding the tram along the valley and looking out over the Grund shows you just what an advantage this land was. We spent a whole day walking up and down around the center of town taking in the developments and the casemates.
For an even fuller picture, we made sure to visit the Luxembourg City History Museum. Here we were treated to a whole host of history on Luxembourg, the region, and the people. There was an entire exhibit that focused on social clubs. This calls back to the government’s encouragement of improved welfare for its people. They recognize that socialization outside of the family and work is valuable for a healthy social life. The people of Luxembourg have built a culture around these hobby organizations for everything from knitting to swimming. Any athletic activity you can think of along with so many more relaxed ones such as birding or reading all have their own clubs. The exhibit highlighted these groups' advertising to recruit members and showed their pennants for championships competed in over the last century.
Overall, we loved our time in Luxembourg. It is such a quaint country and has the feeling of being a less popular destination. We will have to come back in the summer and experience it during peak tourist season to see if that is always true. But for now, our bags are packed, and we are headed to a country known for its comic strips (namely: The Smurfs, TinTin, and Lucky Luke). Any guesses where we are off to next?