Well it’s been almost a month since I last posted and a lot has happened in that time in France, some of it not so good.
I decided to get out of France for now and I elected to head off to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Patrick’s friends were heading away for a few days to celebrate the end of their studies, and they had a spare place in their car. As long as I was happy to pitch in for petrol, then they were pleased to be able to have an extra person along for the ride.
Camping and Fairytale Castles
A few of Patrick’s friends knew of a small campsite near to a town called Vianden, which is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful towns in the whole country. It has its own castle sat on the hillside overlooking the village and river. This castle is straight out of a children’s fairytale, and has plenty of its own amazing stories to boot.
If you are not interested in the history of the place, visit the castle for the views alone: you will not be disappointed. When we went, it was actually pretty miserable weather, and most of the valley was shrouded in (strangely beautiful) mist for the first half of the trip, but suddenly, the clouds lifted, the sun came out and the view was stunning.
Tree Top Adventure
The guys I was with really wanted to go to the local high ropes course as well. It’s not the cheapest activity for a shoestring traveller to take part in, but it was less expensive than similar activities back in the motherland. We went on a school day, so there weren’t too many children around, which was great because it meant that I could unleash my inner child. This is not one for people who don’t like heights, so know your limits before you pay as there are no refunds if you chicken out! Make sure you wear sensible shoes and rent out a locker so that you can safely store all of your stuff.
After our stay in Vianden, we headed off to Luxembourg City to stay in another campsite just outside the centre. The site arranged shuttle access for people to the main city centre, because parking is at a premium in certain areas. On the plus side, public transport in the country is amazingly good value, so you won’t really be at a loss if you do not have wheels of your own.
The Old Town area (“Ville Haute”) is pedestrianised so it is a great place to just wander around and take in the sights and sounds of the city. This area is a veritable paradise if you love European Medieval architecture. The Old Town is also the best place to go if you want to be reminded that Luxembourg is also well-known for its opulence and riches, because the area is crammed with luxury shops and bars. Thankfully, us cheapskate students had packed our own lunches so we didn’t have to worry about coppering up our cents to afford a few morsels.
Luxembourg City also has a spectacular river basin area, where the river has carved its way through the local sandstone rock. If you have had your fill of the old town opulence, then you should take a stroll through the Ville Basse area. Although there is plenty more medieval sites for you to see, you will also find that this area is a little bit greener and more reminiscent of the geographical quirks which serve to make Luxembourg a very interesting country to take a trip to.