Place visited: Luxembourg City/ Stad Lëtzebuerg (capital)
Royal Family: Grand Duke Henri (constitutional monarchy – the world’s only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy)
Languages spoken: Luxembourgish, French, German
So say the Luxembourgers for “hello” (same as Plattdeutsch spoken in Northern Germany and other countries). But it appeared that French is more spoken in Luxembourg for I heard “bonjour” more and had to resort to speaking French (not that I’m complaining. And when stuck, I spoke English. I found it too strange to speak German unless I heard Germans speaking it).
It was funny to be addressed as “madame” as opposed to my favourite “mademoiselle”, to which I was accustomed to being addressed in France. It made me wonder if I looked married or if mademoiselle was only for little girls, as is the case for Fräulein in Germany.
The first time I was “in” Luxembourg was when we drove through it to Belgium – or from Belgium to Germany. Thus, I do not recall anything from that trip… I arrived at a busy Gare (Fr. for train station) by the Luxembourg-Express bus from Saarbrücken, Saarland. I was quite naive in thinking that Luxembourg was smaller than it really is, for I had to take a bus to the Mudam Museum (completely modern part of the city), which was actually quite a bit away (and therefore, not within walking distance). Even the Ville (“Royal” stop) was more than 3 stops away from the Gare!
Upon arriving at the Mudam, I was told that my ticket would be free since they were changing expositions. I didn’t mind; it would have cost only 3€ anyway. My favourite exposition was the modern Gothic “chapel”. It was the architecture that I found more appealing than the strange stained glass windows of intestines, skulls, and kissing. I left after an hour or so and caught the bus to Royal, and tried to find the “main Ville”. Since I couldn’t seem to find anything I wanted on my own, I decided to drop by the Tourist Office first, conveniently located near the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and the Palais Grand-Ducal (Grand Duke’s palace). With the 2 maps they gave me, I began my “2 hr walking tour” – but as you can guess (with my awful map-reading skills), it took more than 2 hours and I also skipped half the crazy loop walk under the Pont-Adolphe (Adolphe Bridge). In fact, after seeing the first attraction – Palais Grand-Ducal – it started to pour like a typhoon had hit, and I was drenched despite having an umbrella above my head. In fact, everyone had wisely taken cover whereas I walked on. It finally stopped but eventually rained now and then. I loved the view of Luxembourg, the whole city being a UNESCO site! I simply loved how the city walls and fortresses had been preserved for so long.
I can certainly see myself living in Luxembourg. After all, I would be able to speak German and French, as well as learn Lëtzebuergesch (Luxembourgish), as it is very similar to French and German. It’s a charming city filled with beautiful people!