banner - Around the World

Phespirit goes to Luxembourg
Clervaux     April/May 1999

Under clear blue skies, Phespirit leaves England's pleasant pastures, via France and Belgium, for a brief stay in the small Grand Duchy with the most green and pleasant lands in all Europe. Even the dense forests and plunging fjords of Norway would struggle to rival the relaxed, rolling serenity of the Ardennes plateau in sunny spring.

During this agreeable sojourn, Phespirit lodged at the little town of Clervaux in the north, visited the capital city in the south, and headed east into Vianden and Echternach. Border crossings were made into Belgium (the unremarkable town of Bastogne) and Germany (merely a step across the river from Echternach).

Luxembourg City, having ceased all commerce for May Day, was a haven of peace down among its immaculate streets and deep in the wooded Pétrusse gorge. The whole country seems a quiet oasis within the grotesque sprawl of late 20th century Europe. At Vianden Phespirit partook of a hillside chairlift ride up to a peaktop café overlooking a fairytale castle ..... it's that kind of a country.

Of course, this is the result of fifty years spent repairing the destruction of the Second World War. There are numerous memorials - tank turrets, monuments, graves - left in tribute to fallen American soldiers who met their German counterparts on that same picturesque plateau for a squabble which left tens of thousands dead on all sides. Still in living memory, yet still Europe is at war.   Tch.   People, eh?

images 1