Since I’m perpetually a season behind on doing most personal projects, now is the perfect time to blog about our Spring Break trip! I painted my toenails yesterday for the first time since living in Scotland- I’m feeling very productive!
As much as we’d love to see ALL of Europe, we’re trying to focus on seeing the places higher up on the bucketlist first! Bobby and I are learning the pains of traveling on an academic break schedule: EXPENSIVE and CROWDED. Bobby is the master of scouring the internet for travel deals. He’d recently taken an interest in seeing Brussels, so why not! We found really great tickets from Edinburgh to Brussels. Between a couple of free hotel nights we had acquired, and some travel points on our credit card, we really only paid for one hotel night, a bit of the rental car and our food!
After booking the trip, I was working on the itinerary and realized Luxembourg City was only 2.5 hours away from Brussels. Bobby has always talked about visiting there as it is the land of the “Krier” ancestry. So we changed our itinerary to spend our first night in Luxembourg!
Whenever we travel out of Edinburgh, we stay with our lovely friends, Jonathan and Rebecca Green. First of all, they are the best hosts, best cooks, and we always laugh a lot with them.
We arrived to the airport in Brussels on a Friday, hired a car (that’s how they say “rented a car” out here) and headed directly for Luxembourg City. I really didn’t know anything about the city, other than seeing a few things on trip advisor. So, most of the trip would be spontaneous.
It was Good Friday and we thought it would be so cool to be able to attend a Good Friday service in Luxembourg. Our first adventure: We googled and found an Anglican Church advertising a Good Friday service. Perfect! GPS brought us to an interesting looking church that definitely didn’t have an signs of life. Sure enough, it was the wrong church. So, we tried again, and put the address in directly from the church website. “You have reached your destination”… we were looking at someone’s house saying, “maybe it’s a house- church?”… then I realized I had put in “street” instead of “avenue”. Bummer. We would certainly be really late to this service. I let Bobby update the GPS at this point.
It was dark now but we found the building that we saw on the website. We found the main front doors and it looked like a community centre with different religious groups using different spaces within it. We saw signs for the anglican church, but for the life of us could not figure out how to get to that part of the building. I opened the door and got a wiff of incense. We found a woman asked her how to get to the church and she wasn’t even sure. Behind her we noticed more people were in that room doing some kind of strange flowy dance. We had crashed a séance of sorts and no one looked happy about it. Woops! Another side door led us to an upstairs room holding a meeting for catholic university students. Woops. Sure enough, the church was not actually meeting for Good Friday despite the advertisement online. Oh well- what can you do!?
Luckily out hotel had a great restaurant. We met a really nice couple sitting next to us. He apologized for being on the phone because he accidentally ordered meat on Good Friday and was worried and call his Catholic mother to discuss it. She said that God cares more about the heart. Good answer- and pretty funny! We had a lovely chat and meal. Good food always redeems the night.
DAY 2. Finally the sight-seeing!
I was surprised to see that the number one rated thing to do (according to Trip Advisor) was to see was the Luxembourg American Cemetery Memorial. We were not disappointed and I may have shed a tear or two.
It was incredibly moving to recall the War and its impact it made on the future of Europe. If you’re an American visiting Luxembourg, I highly recommend visiting this memorial to pay your respects to Americans who lost their lives and never made it back home to their families and friends. You can read more about General George S. Patton here on the great Wikipedia. 🙂
After this, we headed into the City to do some spontaneous wandering! Here is a photo album of some things we did with captions so you can learn more about these places!
To give you some context, Luxembourg is situated on top of a bock / raised area (as you can see in the above pictures), with a viaduct and beautiful views all around. The stone cliffs were carved out (The Casemates) and naturally used as a fortification ages ago.
We just had to do the Casemates tour. It was an impressively massive set of tunnels and rooms carved right into the side of the earth. Here are some pictures from in and around the Casemates!
We absolutely loved our time in Luxembourg!
Random fact: The “Krier” name was originally pronounced “Kree-er”. But the story goes (I think), long after their migration to the states, there was a business partnership with a Meyer circa 1940’s. And their store would be called Meyer and Krier (so it needed to rhyme!). . . Keep and eye out for the 2nd Spring Break post about our visit to Brussels!