Sunday, September 3, 2017

How to Put the "Lux" in Luxembourg

SUNDAY, 9/3:

Loraine was almost overrun by a herd of hungry & vicious animals today. Luckily, she made it out alive.

Greetings from the grandest of all duchys, Luxembourg. Remich, Luxembourg, to be specific, a nice little place that sits on the banks of the Moselle River. We're actually several hundred feet above the river in the cool hotel that's giving us the balcony views of the rivers, of vineyards, and of about a dozen other small towns around here. Don't believe me?

By the way, we're currently in Luxembourg, but if you look at the picture above? Everything you see on the left hand side of the river? That's Germany. That's right. Our balcony lets us see two countries at once!

Our entire day was spent sight-seeing in Luxembourg, a country that's physically smaller than Marquette County but has no end of places to make you go “ooh” and “aah”. We had driven through the country last time we were in the area, but didn't make the time to stop and properly “ooh” and “aah”, so we made sure that was on the itinerary this time around.

The first stop was Diekirch, a place we've quickly visited before but had always hoped to spend a little more time in. And why wouldn't we? It has a nice little pedestrian area...

And sits along the Sure River...

Which means that it has a nice little river walkway running along it.

Us being us, we did a lot of walking today, and that included a stroll up the river path. That's where Loraine was attacked by those hungry, vicious animals I mentioned before. Don't believe me? Look at this herd of rampaging, bloodthirsty creatures!

Of course, someone (ahem) may have been the cause of the whole melee--

But like I said, thankfully she made it away from that pack of beasts with her life, her dignity, and almost all of her lunch (at least the part she didn't feed the ducks) intact.

Next stop? A place named Larochette, in the “Petite Swiss” area of the country, so named not because everyone there has picked up yodeling as a hobby but because the town sits on a series of hilltops, the highest of which holds this old castle--

That leads to the second hike of the day. We could've driven up to the castle, but instead decided to take the hiking trail that was a kilometer or so long. Besides, if we drove, we would've missed all kinds of local scenery, including a restaurant where their outdoor grilling of chicken got just a little out of hand--

Once at the top, we were rewarded with views of the town--

Including, as you can plainly see, the fact that the restaurant never did get its chicken grill under control. On the other hand, it did make the whole town smell like grilled chicken, so we had that going for us.

We then made it to the eastern edge of the Grand Duchy, where you get to drive one of the most beautiful roadways you'll ever lay tires upon—the N10, which goes right along the Moselle River. You get to zig & zag just a few feet from one of Europe's major rivers, and you get to enjoy the views, like this one Loraine took out of our front window--

The only thing that separates you from the river (which is on your left) is a bike path and that little wooden barrier.  The drive, by the way, is one of the reason we wanted to spend our whole day in Luxembourg.

The drive led us to our final destination, Remich, which calls itself (and in English, to boot) “The Pearl of the Moselle”. And I can see why. Not only does the town have some amazing street views--

But it also has Elvis!

As we walked past I wasn't quite sure why The King was painted on the side of the building. Then as we walked back up to our hotel I noticed his portrait was gracing a place called “The Rock Cafe” (no copyright violation intended, I'm sure). So that's why we saw Elvis today.

Our final walk of the day was in joining what I'm guessing was literally everyone in town along the Moselle Walkway--

I don't know for sure, but the parking lots were just packed and singles, couples, and families just jammed the area. We're thinking it might be a Sunday tradition for locals & visitors just to stroll up & down the river (especially on a nice day like today). If that's the case, we were glad to be part of it. And it wasn't just other walkers you could see while out on your stroll. All kinds of activities were available, from dinner cruises on the river to mini-golf on shore. And, if you were a kid, you could even try bungee-bouncing.

Yes, I checked. I was just a little too old to take part.

Then we made it back to our hotel, where I'm writing this glancing at views like this--

Yeah, I know. It almost seems a little like bragging, doesn't it? So I'll leave you with two things. First, because we didn't get the chance to photograph any cows today (although we saw plenty), here's today's animal picture, “beasts not attacking Loraine” division--

That's one of the 10 zillion baby swans that call Remich and the Moselle home. And so does this guy--

In all honesty, I have no idea what this thing represents. All I know it's a rotating statue of a guy riding a wine barrel like a bull, with a wine bottle in one hand and a wine goblet in another.

That probably explains why he's naked, too.

Tomorrow, we head into France for a few days, including a stop in a town a guy named Jacques Marquette once called home. So until then...

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