browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Luxembourg – Never Turn Down Free Cake

Posted by on May 15, 2011

View of the 'Grund' with the Casemates behind, on the Bock

View of the 'Grund' with the Casemates behind, on the Bock

Arriving at Luxembourg City station, I asked around about tickets and times for my plan for the evening, and then stored my bag in the luggage room and headed out with a map in hand. Suddenly excited about being in a new country (#54), I whipped out my SLR in preparation…and found the battery dead. No matter, I always carry a spare. But…that was dead too. Fortunately I carry a point-and-shoot too – my trusty Lumix. Battery dead as well. Hmm. Well, I’d tried out my cellphone camera for my shots of the lines of people camping at Westminster for the Royal Wedding, and it takes fairly decent photos. It was 50% charged so I was set, and off I walked, cellphone camera in hand. Let this be a lesson to those who scorn cellphone cameras – they take surprisingly good pictures now!
Stylish buildings, arty as well

Stylish buildings, arty as well


Luxembourg is spectacular. To me, Luxembourg was a tiny country that I’d heard tales of people walking from one side to another hitting four countries in one day. While that’s unlikely (although possible by train), the country itself has switched over time to investment banking, steel and IT, and as a result of upskilling and upscaling the country, has also resulted in most prices being rather high. Especially accommodation. There is one youth hostel, but due to my late departure from London, it had no available beds. As a result of this I’d resolved to spend the night elsewhere, eyeing up Vianden in the north-east as a random small town to stay in.
View from the Corniche, overlooking Neumunster Abbey

View from the Corniche, overlooking Neumunster Abbey


Walking down the street from the station it felt quite a bit like most European cities – the similar shops, cars and so on. I very quickly identified the French links and was into a bakery for breakfast, before making my way to the river. The old town is across the river and was one of the most well fortified and easily defended locations in all of Europe. Situated above two major river valleys, the Ville Haute or High City is the old medieval center, while down in the valleys are the Ville Basse or Low City. This is of particular importance as it is where the ‘Grund’ area is located.
Inside the Casemates, one of the main tunnels

Inside the Casemates, one of the main tunnels


Above the ‘Grund’ is the Casemates Bock – an 18th century network of underground fortifications built into the rock and tunnel under the city (the whole area is recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site). The Bock (the rock itself) is where the original castle in 963AD (everything in Europe is so old!) first stood, and below, the river Alzette flows through the valley and the Grund area. The lookout point next to the old castle location – the ‘Corniche’ looks out over all of this, directly above Neumunster Abbey in the Grund, and is considered by many to have ‘the best view in all of Europe’. Standing there, it’s hard to disagree.
Europe Day celebrations, complete with cake

Europe Day celebrations, complete with cake


I explored the Casemates, all their old tunnels, an amazing network of tunnels that run the length of the Bock, and the Grund below, and finally walk throughout the old town. Randomly I find that I’m there on a celebration of ‘Europe Day’ or ‘Schuman Day’ after Robert Schuman, the French foreign minister, who was instrumental in the forming of the Council of Europe and later the European Union. I wasn’t particular sure about the details at the time, but there was music and free cake. Never turn down free cake.
Diekirch beer, a local brew

Diekirch beer, a local brew


Finally I wanted to try Judd mat gaardebounen, a traditional dish from Luxembourg – pork neck with broiled broad beans – for a late lunch, but after close to an hour of searching I gave up and got some fast food. Only when I finished did I find the very next restaurant served it. Murphy’s law. At least I had cake. I finished my circuit of the old town and crossed back over the valley via a different bridge, and finished up with a pint of quite good beer – Diekirch, before returning to the station and getting the train north towards Vianden, where I planned on sleeping.

Next time – Vianden, Hitchhiking, and more.

Related Articles:


If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate you clicking ‘Like’, tweeting it or sharing on your favourite social media site.


Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

4 Responses to Luxembourg – Never Turn Down Free Cake

  1. Justin Morris

    Sounds like Luxembourg is well worth it mate and your photos give a good impression. Pretty rad that you got some free cake as well!
    Justin Morris recently posted..London- you’re all kinds of rad

    • Mark Mayo

      Have to say, it certainly surprised me – I went in expecting to just tick it off, but now I’d recommend it as one of my top Europe city break destinations. Cheers for the comment!

  2. Kristina Dogge

    I was in Luxembourg in July this year and loved it. Had very similar experience to you. but would also very much recommend the Museum of Luxembourg. It show both the history as well as modern life in the city,including aspects such as poverty that you might not expect. It’s really interactive and a total delight to wander through. You learn as you walk along and enjoy. Best museum I’ve been to in a long while. Needless to say they also won various awards.

    • Mark Mayo

      It’s funny that even when you’ve been to a place, there’s always a reason to return – museum sounds really good, thanks for the recommendation!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge