Luxembourg City isn’t the biggest place, and we could have really seen everything in a day. But, it’s nice to not have to rush around trying to fit everything in, so we left some sights for our second day in the city.
With an afternoon train booked, we packed up, checked out and headed straight to a fancy cake shop we’d spotted yesterday on the high street. Unfortunately for us it was closed, so we made do with a stop at a Christmas market we stumbled upon, taking the opportunity to grab a bite for lunch while we watched an orchestra belt out a few Christmas carols.
Next stop on our to-see list was Bock Casemates. We weren’t 100% sure what it was, but as that’s half the fun we made our way in the general direction shown on the map. After winding through the quiet streets, we popped out on the edge of the old city walls, checking out the stunning views of the valley below. Although we wandered among the ruins of something, we weren’t able to go inside to explore the actual Bock Casemates.
Making do with what we could see, which was still really interesting, we decided it was time to brave the valley again, this time heading for the residential area, Grund. There are a number of ways up and down into the valley, and finding the closest road down we started the descent. To say the road was steep would be such an understatement, and I was praying I didn’t find a patch of ice and slip because it would have been a very quick ticket to the bottom.
I would like to take this moment to express my awe at the people who managed a hill start on that road as we walked down. While I’m a very capable driver, I would have just rolled all the way back to the bottom rather than attempt a hill start there!
Safely arriving at the bottom, I was pleasantly greeted with a charming neighbourhood. Pretty buildings, a cosy little Christmas market and the promise of something interesting to see. After a quick time check, we crossed the river and made our way to check out some cool buildings we’d spotted from the top. The temperature in the valley is a bit cooler than the main city, but I was still working up a bit of a sweat climbing more hills to get to buildings we hoped were interesting.
As we neared the top of yet another hill, we stumbled upon the old town fortresses. Up stairs, down stairs, I was really starting to get tired! We crossed over the bounciest bridge known to man – no proof for this claim, it was just super bouncy! – and followed a couple of joggers into one of the old, stone towers. Climbing yet more stairs, we popped out on to another bridge, this time an old one that looked to be part of the old town walls. It was here that I experienced an omg-I-nearly-died moment.
As I stepped back to let a few people pass me on the bridge, my foot dipped down in a small pothole. As my foot went down, I thought I was falling backwards, off the bridge and into the river below. A loud scream escaped me, and I reached out to grab the complete random who happened to be passing me. Of course, I wasn’t falling backwards into the river, and I stopped after my foot dropped mere centimetres. I’d like to say I quickly composed myself, but that would be a lie. Instead, I realised what had happened and starting laughing. Loudly. The person who I’d nearly grabbed looked genuinely concerned for me, as I’d seemingly screamed then burst out laughing at just having to step away from them. Giving them an apologetic smile, I let them quickly scurry away from me before carrying on exploring.
Before long it was time to head back to the hotel, grab our bags and catch the train. Taking a slightly unintentional detour back, we soon found ourselves scaling yet another hilly road that should have a health warning attached to it. As we popped out near the top, I already knew I’d never be accused of missing leg day, and was thankful for the free time we had at the hotel to relax with a coffee and let my legs recover. As I’d ordered a couple of drinks in the hotel bar, I spotted a tablet with what looked like a jukebox on it propped up nearby. Ever the nosy person, I had a quick look and saw that we could select the songs that were played into the bar. Knowing how much my boyfriend loves Frozen – off the scale, though not in a positive way – my first choice was Let It Go, before opting to play a few of my favourite songs. Great way to spend our last bit of time in Luxembourg!
Before long we were on the train again, heading for Koblenz before changing trains to end in Frankfurt. This was my first experience having a train journey that wasn’t direct, and it was surprisingly easy with the hour changeover time in-between. The only downside of the whole journey were the other passengers – the couple who chose to sit in the seats nearest us on the train in Koblenz really believed in a public display of affection. And although we changed trains, we ended up in a 6-seater compartment with a couple that managed to top the previous’ PDA levels. Turns out it is really uncomfortable to be sat in a closed off compartment while two people play tonsil tennis.
Finally stepping off the train in Frankfurt, we weren’t able to find a map and couldn’t access the internet to find our way to the hotel. I’d screenshotted the immediate area of the hotel, and the roads surrounding it, but I’d managed to not include the train station by one road. Unable to get our bearings, I approached the first person who didn’t look like they were going to mug me. Unfortunately, she couldn’t speak English, and although I can ask for directions in German, I couldn’t understand the level of detail she gave. In the end we headed in the direction she’d pointed, hoping for the best as the rain began to fall. 20 minutes later we found ourselves at the hotel, where we were beyond happy to find an amazing room. Sleep has never been so welcome!