The driving effort from last night only got us half of the way to Luxembourg. There was still a lot of driving to go today to get to Luxembourg, and then further into Belgium proper. It was a grey day with occasional squalls blowing our little van around the road, followed by bouts of blinding sunshine.
We stocked on French groceries ahead of heading to Scandinavia in the coming weeks. We also foolishly filled up with fuel, only to learn that Luxembourg has some of the cheapest fuel in Europe – at €0.93 it was even cheaper than Andorra!
The north of France was grey and miserable. I’m not sure if it is less depressing in fair weather, but the towns we passed through had a down feeling to them that I doubt would be overcome by sunshine. The people also seemed less friendly, giving an already far from pleasant experience further negative memories.
Country number 11! Like little Lichtenstein, Luxembourg is another anomaly, surviving through to modern day thanks to keen politics and positioning by the royal family. There wasn’t much that grabbed our interest, other than the capital, Luxembourg City, so that’s where we headed.
We were fortunate to find a large outdoor car park about 15 minute walk to the old town. We passed by large green parks before hitting the high streets, with the same shops we see everywhere – the streets were just a little cleaner, and the people were a little better dressed. Oh, and there was this bizarre silver sculpture hanging over everyone.
The castle is in the middle of town, and covered in pointy spires. It wasn’t easy to see the whole building, instead we had to make do with close-ups, or distant fragments. The rain started coming down hard, so we made our way to the shelter of the nearby Notre Dame.
The cathedral was quite plain, but not without decorations. There were carved columns and vaulted ceiling, as well as some vivid stained glass windows – as well as a giant red glass sculpture hanging from the ceiling.
We found ourselves outside again in the sunshine, and a little confused about the beauty of the city. It was clean, but that isn’t reason enough to want to visit a city.
There was one further area that we’d both saved on our maps to visit – Grund. We got our first look from the Corniche, which showed this cute village in the river bend, as well as the enormous defensive ramparts of the old town above it.
We followed the walkway along the ramparts above this little valley, still mesmerised by this cute little settlement. And then the rain and the wind returned, so we ran for cover.
It was a short lived burst of rain, followed by further intense sunshine. As we returned back past the cute shops off the high street, we passed a large outdoor square with brave souls sitting outside watching Wimbeldon on a giant TV. We could see more heavy rain on its way, so we hurried back to our van.
It was great knowing that Luxembourg and Belgium have free motorways. No need to worry about what it’s going to cost us to use them – unlike unpredictable Spain/France/Italy.