Luxembourg: Europe’s most maligned?

When telling others of my visit to Luxembourg, I had to ready myself for a very predictable type of responses. “What is there to do in Luxembourg? It seems like a boring place!” is perhaps the most common, and notably most kind. Even my decision was fueled by an unfortunate desire to raise my rather superficial travel repertoire. Luxembourg would bring my “countries visited count” to a very respectable 26, and the flight from London City airport was a stone’s throw from my place. “Why not?!” I thought, when I booked the ticket. Deep down though I wasn’t confident, and information from Wikitravel didn’t exactly inspire much imagination.

On, how wrong was I? Luxembourg is beautiful and fascinating, perhaps helped most by people’s misconception of the place.

I arrived at its capital city weather foggy and spirit-dampening. My initial disappointment soon turned into delights, for the mist in the air accentuated the colours of the falling autumn leafs very well, and every where I looked became a photo taking opportunity. It was an easy job depleting my camera’s battery within a few hours.

Views of the Grund

The old town of Luxembourg city is most interesting. Situated right within the majestic valley, it is split into upper and lower halves, offering different sights depending on where one is. The corniche is sometimes referred to as Europe’s best balcony by the enthusiasts, something I found difficult to disagree.

Views from the lower old town, or Grund
When the sky was clear

To fully appreciate the country, I traveled out of the city into the countryside, with the town of Vianden my destination. The trip on the train kept me entertained throughout, with views of towns and establishments situated right at the foot of impressive valleys a consistent theme. Vianden itself is most noteworthy, inspiring tales of medieval castle with its impressive chateau overlooking a rather charming village.

Chateau Vianden overlooks the Our river
Picturesque village along the Our river

Admittedly, having been living in big cities like London, there is little appeal for me to work and live in a country like Luxembourg. But as a travel destination, Luxembourg is exciting, beautiful and mysterious. Plain boring or terribly maligned? Uninspired or Europe’s best kept travel secret? One simply would have to be there to find that out.