banner - Around the World

Phespirit goes to Luxembourg
Clervaux     April/May 1999


Map of Luxembourg

1 Clervaux

A picturesque village in a beautiful location that, despite its small size, finds room for a robust white-washed castle, a twin-towered stone church, and a secluded, working Benedictine abbey set on an overlooking hill.

Having seen these sights Phespirit found little else to do, but the Hôtel des Nations provided a comfortable bed for the night and an adequate base from which to explore the rest of the country.

back to top

2 Vianden

Vianden's prime attraction is undoubtedly its castle, built between the 11th and 14th centuries in a fairytale gothic style.

The castle's appeal is threefold: the novelty of a chairlift ride from the centre of town to the high rocks upon which the castle is built; the rooms and halls and towers of the castle itself; and the highly agreeable views across the Our Valley from the tower balconies.

All very enjoyable.

back to top

3 Echternach

It is said that Echternach was founded in 698AD, which makes it the oldest town in Luxembourg. It doesn't look especially ancient, but a lot can change in thirteen hundred years.

Phespirit visited the Benedictine Abbey and the Orangerie out the back, and then took a stroll along the west bank of the River Sûre as far as the Bitburger Straße bridge. Over on the east side of the bridge is village of Echternacherbrück in Germany. Phespirit went across, loitered about for a couple of minutes, then came back.

He can now say he has been to Germany.

back to top

4 Luxembourg City

Phespirit enjoyed a day in Luxembourg's eponymous capital city, starting with some token sightseeing and then generally relaxing in the Pétrasse gorge that sweeps around the city.

His finished by ascending the Bock - a high rock promontory - to visit the casemates. Seventy francs secured him entrance to the heavy fortifications above ground, and an archaeological crypt and network of tunnels below ground.

A friend recommended that Phespirit should partake of Bofferding whilst in Luxembourg. It was only upon arriving in the city that he discovered this was the name of the leading local beer rather than some enigmatic Luxembourgish activity .....

..... He was rather disappointed.

back to top

5 Bastogne

Bastogne is at the heart of 'Battle of the Bulge' country. To remind visitors of this fact, an American Sherman tank is kept on display in the town square.

Phespirit carried a crudely photocopied map with him, which was fine for sightseeing but unfortunately didn't indicate the location of any public toilets. Finding some became his main preoccupation.

After a great deal of fruitless searching, he eventually succumbed to nature and made use of a deserted building site instead, telling himself that he was sufficiently close to France to make roadside urination an acceptable practice.

back to top

  1. Clervaux
  2. Vianden
  3. Echternach
  4. Luxembourg City
  5. Bastogne
images 1
Clervaux Vianden Echternach Luxembourg City Bastogne