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Impressed with Luxembourg

Alison Laycock

To be fair I’m probably holding back in the title as I wasn’t just impressed with Luxembourg but I can honestly say that I fell in love with it. During my 5 night stay, that feeling simply increased with everything I saw and those I listened to.  

I have a vague memory of hearing about Luxembourg in my French lessons at school, I guess because then and even now it is mentioned as a country where you can speak French as well as German and their own language, Luxembourgish. When I was a student, Luxembourg was exotic to my ears and I was not disappointed by it especially as you feel like you’re walking through your own fairytale when you look up at the buildings with their turrets.  

When I mentioned to friends that I was going to Luxembourg, those who have already been told me that ‘Ah, I think there is a long bridge there near the city centre, is that the one? Yes, there is indeed a bridge, in fact there are many bridges, however the one most people refer to from their memories is ‘Adolphe Bridge’. The bridge was opened in 1903 and had the biggest stone arch in the world at the time. It crosses the Pétrusse valley and it is possible to get great photos of the valley and the surrounding architecture both by walking across the bridge and by taking the passerelle for cyclists and pedestrians below where you will feel like you are walking on tops of the trees. 

Guided walking tour: For €14, I took a guided walking tour in English (other languages are also available at different times). This took us around Old Town, Corniche, the squares, the cathedral and passed other tourist sights. Yvonne, our guide delivered the tour with humour and provided a great amount of historical facts as well as current details. I was particularly impressed by how refugees and immigrants are treated and how they are helped to integrate within the society. They are helped to speak English and French as they are the main languages used within business and the law and then locals set up opportunities to help refugees learn Luxembourgish so that they can fully immerse themselves in society. We saw a lot of the architecture on this tour and I returned the next day for a slower walk around when I could take lots of photos from the valleys, casemates and Bocks. You can’t help but stand in awe of the sights in front of you whether it’s raining or the sun is shining.

Hard Truths: Photography exhibition from the New York Times: This exhibition runs until January 27th 2019 and is certainly worth visiting. It is free and doesn’t take long to see all the photos, however the effect of them on your thoughts and understanding lasts much longer. In fact, there are some I still think of now and that’s a week on. There are photos from 5 photographers who have often risked their lives to be able to take such sensitive photos which highlight social issues in Cuba, Mosul, Philippines, Venezuela, and Tehran. There is a warning before the start of the exhibition saying it wasn’t suitable for children which made me wonder how we have these conversations with children about the conditions around the world for young people of the same age as them.

I could go on and on about Luxembourg city, however that wouldn’t be good for any of us so I will encourage you to go instead. I would love to go back and see more of Luxembourg which I had planned to do, however once there I realised that there was so much to attract my attention and time in the city.  There will be some other parts of this trip which feature in different posts in the future as there is so much to cover. 

#AdolpheBridge #French #immigrationandintegration #Luxembourg

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