Holiday = Vacation
Two weeks ago Friday was Halloween, and therefore the next day was All Saints day. This isn’t something that we celebrate in Canada so it took me by surprise when a fellow mom on Facebook reminded us all that Germany was closed on Saturday. With everything is closed on Sunday’s in general, this weekend was going to be long. Since we don’t celebrate, we decided to go on a weekend trip out of the country.
Lay of the land
Luxembourg, according to google map, is only 2 hours away. Well, once it was plugged into the GPS and traffic was taken into account, 3.5 hours away. We arrived in Luxembourg around 11 am. There are three city sections; up on the mountain where we parked and found a hotel, down a large hill for the downtown centre and shopping, then down an elevator to the bottom of a cliff where we found the old city.
Points of Interest | Fort / Bridge / Rock Wall
Right beside our hotel was a Castle museum, closed because of the holiday – just our luck – and a fortification. We took the stroller because we didn’t want to go back to the hotel, turns out there were a lot of stairs to get down to the fort itself so we left it at the top of the stairs, practically in the middle of a field, and hoped no one would steal it. The fort was large, and the edge had a terrific view of the city. The bottom of the fort had a trail through the woods that would go to the city centre. We would have taken it, if the stroller wasn’t at the top of the fort waiting for us.
We crossed the large and long bridge to get to the city and took some amazing photos of the view; we could see both the downtown area and the old city. Considering I’m terrified of heights, I stayed close to the road and the hubby took the photos; though he did admit that his knees were getting shaky after a few minutes of looking around.
I had planned on taking the hop on – hop off train throughout the city but the website I visited from home did not mention that they had stopped running the week before for the season. The bus would have been a second choice except the top was on and the windows were up; not conducive to photography.
Most of what we wanted to visit was at the base of the cliff, in the old city. We found the elevator and made our way down. There was a bridge with a calm river passing through the town, with lots of ducks. Munchkin was very happy to see the ducks and didn’t want to leave the bridge. Turning left, we went towards the cultural meeting centre and la Chemin de la Corniche. Since we still had the stroller we were only able to go so far up the trail before the walkway was too narrow for ourselves, oncoming pedestrian traffic and a stroller – even if it was closed. We briefly thought of doing the rest of the trail the next day, without the stroller, but it was too far from the hotel for the little munchkin to walk , then explore and walk back. We eventually found a park where munchkin could play for an hour before we made our way back for dinner.
Dinosaurs / Art / Trains
The next day, munchkin woke up at 5:30 am. It was brutal. Thankfully we had wifi and played a few Netflix shows for him before we dragged ourselves out of bed. Checkout was 11 am and we didn’t want to come back then so we loaded the car and drove into the city centre. Parking was interesting to find, only because our GPS took us to the back exit, and couldn’t get us to the entrance of the parking garage. The joys of modern technology.
We walked around an empty city, watching churchgoers make their way to choir practice before mass. We visited a few statues and the palace, where the guard on duty marched passed the doorway. It certainly grabbed the kids attention. We found one bakery that was open before 10 am and grabbed a few snacks. La Palais Grand Ducal was not only beautiful, but had a guard on duty, which mesmerized the little monster. We took another walk by the Notre Dame Cathedral then decided to walk down to the Casemates du Bock to look at the art and attemp to translate the plaques – my french (Quebecois) is ok and his is non-existent.
The National Museum of Natural History didn’t open until 10 am, but we waited patiently in the rain until it opened and took the munchkin in. He has never been to a museum before but I promised him dinosaurs, his new favorite thing. Hubby questioned whether a small museum like this would have them, and I honestly hadn’t checked before making the promise so I was very thankful when I saw a dinosaur picture on their poster in front of the building. Of all of the toys in the gift shop, he choose to buy a ladybug yoyo – even the dinosaur figurines were not good enough.
Since everything else was closed, we left the city and headed towards the Tramway Museum.
The museum itself was boring for him, but there was a large section in the centre with original trains, trams and buses that the kids could jump around in and press buttons. We played for an hour before heading home. We wanted to be in town before the sun was down. The GPS took us through Trier in order to get to Luxembourg city, so we reprogrammed it for another direction on the way home. We managed to go through a mountain tunnel, then along the side of a mountain on the border of Luxembourg and Belgium where the fog was so thick that we had to dramatically slow down. Of course, locals didn’t seem to find the fog an issue and honked/passed us at every chance they could. We managed to find a sign for a drink store and we wanted to grab a bottle of local wine for our wine cellar.
Natural history museum -4.5euro per adult, free under 6
Stroller friendly enough, but not suggested