Since I had Memorial Day off, I decided to take a day trip to another country that is close by to Germany, that would be Luxembourg. Again I find it very weird that I live in a location that is only a few hours from a number of other countries, I've never had that before and to be honest I probably never will again. But, enough about that, you're not here to hear about anything but the trip itself. :-)
Our first stop in our day trip excursion to Luxembourg was to visit the city of Echternach, Luxembourg around 9am. This is a very small town, probably actually a village, that houses an Abbey of Echternach founded by a gentleman known as St. Willibrord. This was one of the things that I had really wanted to visit. In the process of looking at Echternach I found that they have a yearly dancing procession that they are known for. Unfortunately this wasn't the day we visited. We started out the day by eating breakfast at a small little place that I believe was called La Petit Poete. Aside from the cafe hostess only knowing French and some German (luckily we know some German), we were able to order breakfast of some cappuccinos and Croissants. They were very good, after driving for a few hours and being very hungry.
We then started wandering around, and found the Abby of Echternach and wandered into a small garden of the Abbey where we were met by the groundskeeper who noticed us aimlessly wandering. He, speaking German, directed us to the local tourist office located right in front of the Abbey where you can get a map and do a self guided walking tour of all the sites of the city. This tour took us from the Abbey to its properties and other various sites in the city.
One of which, perhaps my favorite, was periodic remains of the city wall through the city. The residents have creatively converted parts of the wall to apartments people can actually stay in, including a tower that was apparently converted to apartments specifically for tourist visitors. This might be a neat place to go for a honeymoon or other romantic getaway in this quaint location.
The next place we visited was Vianden Castle, in the village of you guessed it, Vianden, Luxembourg. Now, if Echternach was quaint, I'd almost call Vianden a little majestic. The castle itself was fascinating. It is one of the largest, fortified castles west of the Rhine, and very beautiful. My only disappointment was that the castle was organized more like a museum with exhibits in each room behind glass cases, instead of letting you wander through and see things like it might have actually been. But even still, it is perhaps one of my favorite castles so far and I really enjoyed the visit, especially seeing what I would call the Great Room and its' spectacular view. I enjoyed the castle so much, that I am seriously considering returning for a Medieval Festival they hold in the fall.
Next we decided to go down into the village of Vianden for lunch. We decided to stop at a little place that was called Beim Hunn. This was a small restuarant and it looked like a hotel catering towards bicyclists. The food was fantastic as well, and the service wasn't too bad either. I had Chicken Cordon Bleu, and the portions were more than generious. I salad I saw was comparable to the size you might get at The Cheesecake Factory. Again, all of it was delicious.
Finally our day in Luxembourg took us to the capital itself of Luxembourg, Luxembourg. I slightly wish we weren't there at the last part of the day and already pretty tired. It is a quiet, yet very beautiful city. We visited the Casemates, which apeared to be, or at least be near, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It gave us a pretty spectacular view of the lower city of Luxembourg.
I will say that the drive from Germany and throughout Luxembourg was fantastically beautiful. The scenery and the terrain was amazing and well worth the trip on it's own. My only regret was something I found out after the fact, that I didn't know that Luxembourg contained the largest American Cemetery outside of the United States. Luckily that, in itself, is a reason to return to Luxembourg again right? :-)
Again, this trip was a very enjoyable trip. There are more things to see in Luxembourg since we were there late and only saw a few. I definitely recommend a quick view, and I think that a day trip was the right choice for me. I hope you can enjoy Luxembourg too!