Sunday, April 15, 2007

spring break! (luxembourg)

after the major disappointment which was luxembourg city, we were quite happy to get in our car and drive through the lovely countryside of luxembourg. unlike the netherlands, luxembourg does not have a very extensive train system, so we were forced to drive instead of taking public transportation. this turned out to be a great way to see the country, because we were able to tool around on all these quaint little back roads and take our time whenever we wanted to stop and take a picture. (some of these pictures were actually taken from inside the car -- the roads were too narrow to stop to take a picture, so adam had to quickly snap them while i would drive as slow as i could without upsetting the people right behind us.)

the weather was really bad, but it almost added to the mystery of luxembourg. it was so gray, and so cold, and so wet, that the hues of the church steeples and the shade of the forests and fields really stood out.

luxembourg is almost exactly like what you think of when you think of europe: cozy houses, picturesque churches, hills, fields, forests, castles, vineyards, tiny little streets made out of stone or brick, etc. we'd be driving along this winding, narrow, dark road through the forest, up a hill, and then reach the top and the view would open up, and we'd be all "oh, there's a castle!" and then we'd drive around the corner, down another hill, down to the bottom, where the view would open up again, and we'd be all, "oh, there's another castle!" and so on.

we came across a really fascinating castle almost accidentally, so we decided to stop and have a picnic in our car while we looked at it. it wasn't open for visitors yet since the tourist season wouldn't start for a few more weeks, but we were able to watch the construction crew do some maintenance work on this old, 11th-century castle.

adam: when you're repairing ruins, how do you know when to stop?
amber: just before it's finished.

(a chapel that was inside one of the castles)

(take a right to get to germany!)

we were able to walk inside one castle, which was virtually empty, so we got to take our time and linger in the halls and in the dungeon and take as many pictures as we wanted. it overlooked the town of vianden, which i'd like to stay at next time.

oneoftheprettiest places we saw was the wine country of luxembourg, right on the border with germany. it followed the plump and winding mousel river: vineyards to our left, which was luxembourg, then the river to our right, and on the opposite bank were more vineyards, but they were in germany. the road hugged the river for most of our drive, and it was fun to see what surprise was lying around the corner every time we made a shift in direction.

we stopped for dinner in a little town that i can't remember the name of, and then drove to a bar along the river where we both drank the local white wine, to celebrate adam's 30th birthday which was that very same day! fun!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Wow! You stood in castles that people stood in centuries ago. I'm learning about people from the time periods of those castles in my Christian history class, and some of those people probably stood right where you two are standing by that fireplace. That's cool.

Didn't you also go to Liechtenstein recently? I think I'm getting them confused. I thought you did go there, because Liechtenstein's near Austria and you just traveled to Salzburg, too, but I was probably getting it confused with the other landlocked country on the German border that starts with "L" that you obviously did go to, namely Luxembourg.