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Blog: Back to Luxembourg!

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Sorry for the interruption in Me Going On About Luxembourg last week - I'm sure you were DYING to know about my lovely holiday and wondering if it would stay AMAZING.

Saturday morning certainly started off that way as we sat in our hotel room drinking our way through the mini-bar (it was various JUICES, not alcohol - we are not SAVAGES) and watching the Jeremy Corbyn news. It was BRILLIANT! I will not ADD to the huge pile of WORDS what everyone has said about this whole business... except to say that I am enjoying the irony of millions of political pundits confidently predicting what will happen next when UTTERLY NONE of them had ANY clue that something of this magnitude was going to happen AT ALL. And also that it's a bit bloody rich saying someone can't possibly be electable when HE JUST HAS BEEN.

ANYWAY. We eventually got out of the hotel and popped round to SUBWAY to get an Emergency Back-Up Sandwich for possible Breakfast/Lunch. We found ourselves queueing behind that marvellous breed of person i.e. Someone In A Specific Kind Of Shop Who Doesn't Know How That Specific Kind Of Shop Works. In Subway there are MANY SIGNS (in different languages) telling you HOW IT WORKS. "Pick a bread! Pick a sandwich! Tell us what size!" After five minutes of the people in front of us saying "What is 'tuna'? What sizes do you have? Is it just sandwiches?" I was ready to GO BERZERK.

I didn't go berzerk, which was probably for the best, and eventually we managed to get out and wander into town with our emergency sandwich, in search of the Open Top Bus Tour. As anyone who has EITHER travelled with me OR spoken to me about travelling will know, I am a HUGE exponent of the Open Top Bus Tour - it's a delightful hour in which you get to know how a new city works from the comfort of a BUS. We found the stop but another QUEUE meant we missed the bus, so went back to BEET for a proper breakfast... of... er... BEER. Well, it was gone NOON even in continental time and we WERE on holiday, and did have some COFFEE too. It's healthy!

We went back but missed the NEXT bus too due to a) eating our sandwiches b) looking at the VIEW c) looking at the bus loads of tourists getting off for a FAG and to look at the VIEW, but did eventually get the NEXT one, and it was well worth the wait for LO! it fulfilled all our expectations of showing us where things were and, often, WHY.

That done we went back to Beet for the THIRD time ("Hello again!" they said) for LUNCH and then strolled along what I like to think of as Europe's most beautiful balcony hem hem (OK maybe I am not the first to say that), The Corniche. Luxembourg is basically an island surrounded by a valley all the way round with huge bridges across it. The Corniche goes round the edge with delightful VIEWS across and then at the end of it you can (eventually, after getting lost a bit) find your way back to The Grund, which is the old town in the valley. It was very nice INDEED and we celebrated with MORE BEER.

After that we headed home, our thoughts turning to TEA. One of my main worries about going somewhere NEW is that I don't know where the veggie-friendly places to EAT are, so I'd spent a while before setting off researching restaurants. One place I'd found was The Nirvana Cafe, which appeared to be a veggie friendly Indian restaurant. We went for a look and it turned out to basically be INDIAN VEG i.e. the fantastic place in Islington with a HUGE and DELICIOUS vegan buffet EXCEPT in this case two minutes from our hotel!! We thus filled up plastic cartons with take-away GRUB and headed back to CONSUME it at "home".

It had been a fantastic day and one which, surely, could not be improved. So I thought anyway, but I was wrong - not only was POINTLESS on again, but it had a guest appearance by BASIL FLIPPING BRUSH! Amazing scenes!

Sunday was very much the same - we had a MASSIVE kip, went out to Beet for breakfast (BEER for breakfast! ROCK AND ROLL!) and then decided to do a spot of sightseeing. Many people have said that you can see Luxembourg City in an afternoon and, to be fair, you could very much DO that, though you wouldn't be able to spend quite as much time drinking BEER. We'd been given a tourist WALK leaflet on our first day, so followed that a little while before reaching the STRANGEST part of our trip: The Petrusse Express aka The Train Of Shame.

This was one of those lovely street trains that you always seem to see at RESORTS abroad and we hopped on and plugged in our earphones expecting the usual gentle audio tour describing the sites what we were seeing. What we GOT however was a deeply ODD monologue which, we worked out half an hour in, was narrated by a WATER NYMPH who had married Prince Ziegfriend who (we think) "discovered" the area in 963 and settled there. It was all a bit confusing as she kept saying "Oh my Ziggy! What would you have thought of this had you known?" while we looked around desperately trying to work out what she was on about. It was like a long FRINGE SHOW of POETRY which would occasionally veer into travelogue ("Oh Ziggy! To your left it is the river.") but then more often turn into a weird historical version of EASTENDERS. Large chunks of it featured medieval villagers going "'Ave you 'eard the latest about 'er and 'er soldier fella? 'E's only gone and shot 'imself ain't 'e?" We kept expecting to hear the DOOF DOOFs!

After an hour of that we staggered off BEMUSED and went in search of more THRILLS. These included a BRASS BAND doing a medley of Eric Clapton hits and a miniature railway - the sort you could SIT on. This did NOT have a weird soundtrack AND was free, so we went and had a go. It was three minutes zipping round at HIGH speed and was BRILL!

We finished our tourist walk by going round a big PARK (where the miniature railway was) then up the side of some CLIFFS before heading to the full-size ACTUAL railway station to look at its ROOF, thus completing ALL tourists sights which the tourist office had officially sanctioned. TICK!

HUNGRY from our exertions we went to Luxembourg's ONLY supermarket. Yes, I said ONLY supermarket - we had been walking round for nearly THREE days and though we had seen many bars, cafes and other shops we had seen only ONE shop selling actual food, a dinky little supermarket near the station. Do people in Luxembourg go out all the time like in New York or something? We never found out, but DID buy some crisps and a BEER (HEALTH) before getting ANOTHER Subway sandwich for emergency eating.

Our healthy lifestyle concluded that evening with a trip to the WELL SWANKY hotel bar where we had LUXEMBOURG WINE because we are dead posh. It was lovely and, as well as being sophisticated, we also became Quite Tipsy.

Monday rolled around FAR too quickly and, with a few hours before our flight, we set out to find ANOTHER Veggie restaurant, got a bit lost, discovered it was CLOSED (Luxembourg is MOSTLY closed on Sunday and PARTLY on Monday, it seems), had a bit of cake and coffee somewhere else (NO BEER!) then went and caught the BUS back to the airport. Like pretty much everything else on this particular trip it all went FINE and a couple of hours later we found ourselves back at home, NO PROBLEM.

In summary then: Luxembourg was GRATE, it was PEASY to get to and from and we had a LOVELY time. Put THAT on your posters, Luxembourg Tourist Board!

posted 21/9/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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