Friday, May 13, 2016

Checking Countries off the List: Luxembourg

Karen had one month to try and visit as many countries as possible while still working.   We knew she would get Turkey, Italy, Vatican City and Germany, but we also knew there were probably a couple more that she could check off if we were strategic.  Luxembourg was one of those countries.  It's less than a two hour drive from Ramstein and there is about a day's worth of sights to see. Perfection!

We got there around 10:00am on Saturday and were able to find parking pretty easily.  My buddy Rick Steves told us to walk along the Le Chemin de la Corniche as an introduction to the city.  Maybe one of the best recommendations Steve's ever given me! 

Le Chemin de la Corniche leads to the Bock Casemates.  The Casemates are tunnels that once held 1,200 soldiers and 50 cannons.  They had all sorts of rooms, such as kitchens, bakeries, slaughterhouses and workshops.

About to go into the Casemates!

The view from the lookouts was phenomenal!

This cannon had a wine bottle stuck in it!

After the Casemates, we wandered around the city for a while, which feels very European. In Luxembourg, there are three official languages, German, French, and Luxembourgish.  I thought we would see German and French pretty equally, but we found that most people speak French primarily. 

We saw the parliament building, which is extremely impressive.  You can only go in for guided tours in the summer, so we just admired from the outside.

And watched this guy march back and forth all day

love these doors!

Across the street from the parliament building is the Chocolate House! It was cold and drizzly and we stepped inside to find a whole hot chocolate menu! It was fate!  You choose your hot chocolate flavor and milk choice (as well as if you want alcohol in your hot chocolate).
Then, they bring you a spoon with a big chunk of chocolate
As well as a mug of hot milk
You insert the spoon into the milk, stir and wait a few minutes and ta da!

It was maybe the best hot chocolate I've ever had.  We both bought a few spoons to take home with us.  Although warm weather has arrived, I wouldn't be surprised if we both had hot chocolate at home!

After some more wandering around the city, we stopped for lunch in their town square.  We ordered off of the traditional Luxembourg menu, which ended up being a lot of meat and potatoes (aka German food). 

Our last stop was the Luxembourg Notre Dame Cathedral.   It's not the biggest cathedral, but it's beautiful.  There was some sort of service that was about to begin, so we couldn't go up close to the altar, but it was still pretty incredible. 

I loved Luxembourg.  I thought it was the perfect day trip from Ramstein and it was filled with beauty.  The flowers were blooming, the people were nice and there was lots to see.  Definitely worth the drive!