Episode Sixty Two – I Don’t Speak Luxembourgish

Did you know Luxembourgish is a real language? I guess it says a lot about my blundering approach to travel that I didn’t even research what language they speak in our weekend destination; but aside from the fact that the official language is not French as I had assumed, doesn’t it seem like it should be called Luxembourgese or Luxemburger or something instead?

Whatever they choose to call their language, we got along fine without it: gesturing to your camera and pointing at yourselves tends to get the message across.

Anyway, so here’s poor Grant, just off the plane from Ohio having been in and out of airports since the previous afternoon. I meet him at Strasbourg Entzheim and guide him back to my tiny room, where we nap for a few hours before I rouse him to make our way back out to the station for our train.

Destination: Luxembourg!

Two hours later in Luxembourg, our bus fails to show and we wait 40 minutes for the next one; on arrival at the hostel we realise we have no towels and have to pay 5€ to rent one the size of a hand towel for two nights; the showers are of that stupid design where the shelf for your clothes is almost directly in the water flow; there is no kitchen, only a restaurant, so we have to ask the chef nicely to microwave our instant meals for us… and we share our room with two obnoxious Canadian guys who have chosen the two bottom bunks, so we both have to sleep above them, on opposite sides of the room. You can see why I still feel pretty bad about getting mad at Grant for his negative attitude towards all of this because it was ‘bringing me down’. Sorry, honey – I kind of forgot how much rougher your day had been than mine :S

Grant will perk up again, ready to take up his photographic duties the following day, you'll see :P

Grant may have been seeing the worst in the hostel for obvious reasons, but in the interest of fairness to the hostel itself, let me say that my impression of it was much sunnier. It was part of the Hostelling International group, so you got that comfort you get from chains, even if that detracted from the personal aspect of what a hostel really is. In fact, apart from the dorms and the showers, this place really felt much more like a hotel, with its restaurant, formal reception, common room with bulging bookshelves and a flat-screen tv, and even a ping-pong table on the front patio! This place was much pricier than your average hostel and if there had been a lower-grade option available we would’ve taken it; but we definitely got our money’s worth (apart from the towel, that is…).

Luxembourg is tiny and peaceful... in fact, we think it's so tiny that ours was the only hostel in the city!

So our first evening consisted of our microwave meals, and lots of sleep for Grant. On Friday we awoke to the realisation that we had no idea what we wanted to achieve during our stay, so we did what seemed natural: grabbed our cameras and walked.

Ancient fortresses are a common sight on any wander through Luxembourg City.

First, up the hill next to our hostel, which ended up leading to the casemates, a military stronghold dug into the rocky cliffs whose history dates back more than a thousand years. From here we spied a small river and descended towards it until we found a sign indicating the guided Wenzel Walk, which we followed for a while before returning to our own devices.

The signs were something of a hide-and-seek game in themselves, but they led you through some of the prettiest sights the city has to offer.

So excited to be back together, to be exploring somewhere new, we had the best day just messing around in this weird little city, taking silly photos and window shopping. We didn’t really know much about what was on in Luxembourg, or how to go about doing it – the sweet castles we’d dreamed of visiting seemed to be inaccessible except by professional tour or rented car – but we had a grand old time just walking and seeing the town. Even on a budget, it’s a treat to see all its natural beauty and unique buildings.

Window-shopping eventually drew us in to a dessert shop where we found this beauty. It. Was. Sublime.

We found a random pole to swing on. What fun!

Luxembourg is such a cool, calm, confident country: or at least its capital is, since we never got to see any of the rest of it. Hopefully, we’ll make it out to those castles some day; in the meantime, I have more stories waiting for you in the episodes to come :)

See you all later for more Luxembourgish fun!

Best wishes to you all!





Filed under France

6 responses to “Episode Sixty Two – I Don’t Speak Luxembourgish

  1. Gerard Madill

    Ha! Proof, if ever it were needed, that you don’t listen to your Dad!
    I told you about how I went to Luxembourg and discovered that I could understand Luxembourgish! Which was a surprise because a) I’ve never had a lesson in my life! (copyright Fry & Laurie) and b) like you, I didn’t even know it existed. It’s seems to me to be mostly a mixture of French and German, but also with some Dutch thrown in. And there was a hint of something else, too, which I can’t remember. It’s harder to understand than either French or German, because you don’t know whether a French, German or other word is coming at you next! You must remember foftig (approx pronounced ‘foftich’) – surely?
    Glad you enjoyed Luxembourg – I was there for a seminar, and just flew in and out on the same day, so you got to see a lot more of it than I did….
    Love, Dad

    • Look Dad, just because I don’t constantly remember every word you’ve ever said doesn’t mean I don’t listen! I thought it sounded familiar somehow, and I figured it was probably down to you. The ‘something else’ might have been Portuguese or Italian because apparently they are also among the most spoken languages there.

  2. Very cool! I am dying to go to Luxembourg and this post moved it up a couple notches on my bucket list! Fantastic pictures, too!

    p.s. I had no idea about the language! How interesting!

    • Luxembourg is a lovely place. The shopping is fantastic – too bad I didn’t have any money to spend :P – and it has such an interesting history which I’d recommend checking out BEFORE you go, since I didn’t and it’s not the same to do it retrospectively. Also watch out for Sundays: it’s worse than France, NOTHING is open. Except the Casino, which is actually an art gallery.

  3. Pingback: Episode Sixty Three – European Sundays | A Trail of Breadcrumbs

  4. Pingback: Episode Sixty Four – Wandering around Strasbourg | A Trail of Breadcrumbs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s