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January 2013

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L'Essentiel: je m'en vais. Et vous? Bookmark and Share

When we arrived at Luxemburg Train Station, beside a stand of the newspaper “L’Essentiel” we found this graffiti of a woman saying “Je m’en vais. Et vous?”, which means “I’m leaving. What about you?”.
How accurate! We definitely are!!

Luxemburg Train station

We went to Luxemburg to take the plane to Rio de Janeiro (via Rome).
There was a good promotional fare and it was much cheaper than flying directly from Paris, even when adding hotel and transportation costs.

Luxemburg City is just a two hour train ride from Paris.
We slept at the Mercure Alfa Hotel, a very nice hotel not far from the centre and right in front of the Luxemburg’s Train station.

Hotels in Luxemburg are rather expensive. We didn’t find any host on Couchsurfing, but Mercure Hotels did a very interesting winter promotion so that’s how we ended on this one.

Christmas in Luxemburg

We woke up late the next morning. Our flight was in the evening so we had time to take a walk around Luxemburg City.
Huge clouds covered the sky but it wasn’t that cold, and it didn’t rain.

I’ve been to Luxemburg a few times for concerts, but the last time I visited the city centre was about 10 years earlier. As far as I remember, it hasn’t changed that much. It’s still a small and compact capital that just welcomed his 100 000 th resident in late 2012.

After the modern part of the city around the train station, there’s a bridge over the thin Pétrusse River leading to the old town. Although there are houses built on each side of the river, the huge cliffs and rock formations still make the place looks quite wild.

Pink Floyd The Wall at the Banana restaurant in Luxemburg

We stopped for lunch at the Banana’s restaurant, located near Place d’Armes.
The decoration is very nice, with vintage goodies and old fashioned advertisements.

The kitchen wall that separates the kitchen is painted with Pink Floyd’s logo from The Wall.

The menu starts with several famous funny or ironic sentences from Coluche, Heinz Ehrhard and W.C. Fields, all in their original language.

Prices are reasonable but food actually wasn’t that good.

I think it’s better to go for some drinks in the evening rather than for lunch.

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Guard marching in Luxemburg City

There are several pedestrian streets full of luxury shops, cafés and restaurants, along with museums and art galleries.

Buildings are all very clean, as if they’ve been renovated lately. That’s one of the most visible marks of Luxemburg’s high standard of living.

Still, prices are similar to many other European cities, so comparatively, it’s not that expensive. Quite a few things are even cheaper, due to some lower taxes.

Metal and classical music

There was one lonely guard in front of the Grand Duke’s palace.
Maybe he knows that in front of the Palace, there’s a record shop.

One could imagine that in such a prestigious location, in trendy area of the city, only classical music or commercial pop records would be sold.
Well, not really. AC/DC, Aerosmith and Doro are the ones that stand next to Bach, Haydn and Liszt!

Metal and Classical music side by side, it definitely seems that Luxembourgers have good taste in music!

Christmas inside Luxemburg's cathedral

Later, we visited the Cathedral Notre Dame de Luxembourg, which is a truly beautiful church.

The first unusual feature is the automatic door at the entrance!

Inside and outside, every stone was clean and everything seemed to be restored.
A lot of parts looked like if the church was new, but the current building actually dates from the 19th Century.
Even the priests have good money in Luxemburg.

When we got inside, there was a record with Christmas songs playing. Actually, there were Christmas decorations all over the altar.

Strange sculptures inside Luxemburg's Cathedral

The organ was guarded by two small dragons, but other creatures were more intriguing to me.

The sculpted columns seem to be Hindu inspired, as you can see on the left side picture.

I don’t know what these beings represent: they have crown similar to the Hindu Naga snakes, and indeed the legs seem to be snake tails.

I never expected to find anything like this inside a Catholic Church.

Organ of the Luxemburg Cathedral

Well, at 3pm it was already time to get to the airport to catch our flight.

We flew with Luxair to Rome, where we waited 4 hours in the transit area for our flight to Rio de Janeiro.

Now the trip to South America was about to begin!

Click here for Rio de Janeiro.

Luxemburg's Ducal Palace

Place d'Armes, Luxemburg City
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