Thursday, August 29, 2013

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

August 24th we woke up in Luxembourg. The lack of AC was annoying, and sadly the front desk seemed confused about the notion that they should fix the problem or provide an alternate room. Eventually the "helpful" staff provided a big *fan*. Although the "helpful" lady assured us there was no other room available the internet suggested rooms were in fact available.

From the rather high temperature in the room we assumed it would be blue sky and baking outside. When we ventured out it proved that it was just like home: grey above, green below. We may have been the only tourists to celebrate this fact.

A currently pitiful but sometime mighty river runs through Luxembourg City and a giant ravine slices right through town as a result.

Local messaging clarified religious mysteries of the ages.

Across a bridge over the ravine we found a sort of market. The market had, among other things, sweet crystal decanters one might use to store ones scotch in.

And furniture built to withstand tank attack at low prices.

The random ravine continued to be striking whenever a street ended at a railing and a drop.

We found a partner sign to Jamie's favorite from Hong Kong (

In some places the gap between old and new has been formally bridged. From the new side.

Sometimes the fountains are confusing. At least the goats are happy.

Another consequence of the ravine: Neumunster Abbey, which is down in the low area known as the "Grund" can be looked *down* on from other parts of the city. In this case, from the ridge riddled with tunnels known as the Bock Casemates.

Far below the river is bridged.

Further away a castle rings a much newer building. The effect is quite neat.

And then ... time to enter the tunnels.

From cave mouths on the cliffs you can look out to see the Grund and whatever the area on the other side is called.

The Casemates stretch for something like 17km, of which some has been collapsed, some is left open because collapsing it would likely dump rock into important places (like the Grund), and some of whats left is open to tourists. Tourists can access several levels, meaning you get to go down staircases meant for people with small feet and limited height.

Heck even the halls are sometimes a bit tight. And lit in not-the-least-bit-ominous colors.

Note the viewports in the cliffs under the remaining old walls.

To visit the Grund it appeared likely this bridge should be traversed so we went in search of it.

It seemed likely to be this way. In as much as this path lead downhill and the Grund was definitely down of us.

It turned out down did indeed lead down and once all the way down there was a bridge.

We crossed, found a cafe in the Grund, and obtained nachos. They are less industrial in Europe perhaps? Good either way.

From the Grund you can look up at the Casemates.

And other parts of town.

Further on past Neum√ľnster Abbey another hill arises, from which you can look across at the Casemates and the treasure they were built to protect.

For reasons that remain unclear the bars were all closed.

This may have related to the presence of an excess number of customers.

Despite the lack of people and open bars there was at least one cool car.

After that we decided to head back to the populated part of town. The route was kind of awesome. Just cross the Grund moat and follow the narrow path along the cliffs that are full of secret passageways and topped by fortifications.

And then look back and realize you have climbed well above the area you were walking around in a few minutes ago.

And that some cliffs have built-in churches.

All that walking will make one tired, better relax for a few minutes before dinner with some WCS SC2. Go Jaedong.

A sudden outbreak of torrential rainfall prolonged the WCS watching period.

Food is quite expensive in Luxembourg except for kebab shops. It's like a local fast food but 73% more awesome than something like McDonalds. Also as the meat is basically always ready it really is fast. 4 EUR for an awesome kebab sandwich. Or, for Rod, 8 EUR for two.

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