20 August, 2012

Girls Weekend in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a tiny little country sandwiched between Belgium, France, and Germany. Their people are called Luxembourgers and they even made up their own language "Luxembourgish", a mix of French and German. Due to its geography and large number of immigrants, Luxembourg is a very culturally diverse nation. I heard it's common for its citizens to know up to 4 languages. Crazy! Lucky for us, English was sort of a common ground for language and widely understood/spoken.

The food was very similar to German so I kind of steered away from the traditional dishes. The city was much more modern than I was expecting. I think this was due to the large banking sector and heavy EU influence. I went into this trip having very little knowledge of the county and didn't research at all- which was new and kind of fun for me. The girls and I did the touristy things like a sightseeing bus, but also made sure to shop and wine & dine. Overall, I enjoyed our girls weekend, but Luxembourg probably won't place very high on my list. 




The most interesting part of the trip was definitely the casemates. For only 3 Euro were able to walk through about 1 km of the underground tunnels. The casemates were built as underground defenses connecting numerous fortresses. Construction started in the 17th century by the French, but was completed by the Austrians. Since then the casemates have been occupied by numerous nations (Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Prussia...) and were makeshift bomb shelters during WWII. The casemates spanned 23 km, but only about 14 km remain today. It was definitely a neat experience getting to walk through these tunnels!

FUN FACTS FROM THE TOUR:
1. German translation for the picture below: "don't forget the sand". Since the casemates were bomb shelters during WWII and became home to the thousands of individuals, makeshift toilets had to be made and they used sand to mask the odor. How neat that the writing is still on the wall. 
2. Not all of the casemates are connected. At the end of the Bock casemates we exited into a park and across the river was an iron door for another casemate. I was hoping we'd get to go into the next one, but this casemate was not open to the public because it was used as a vault for one of the banks. How cool is that!? 

4 comments:

Dianna Cook said...

Very interesting! love the pictures.

Melissa said...

Some cities are hit or miss. I'm glad you enjoyed time with the girls, though!

My Traveling Troop said...

I didn't know Luxembourg was so diverse! Looks like a fun trip! And it's always fun to travel with friends. Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Kristina

Betsy Lynn said...

That was really interesting, thanks for sharing! Glad you had a fun trip!

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