A Surprise 60th

We recently detailed the fifty-nine country strong list that A Wandering Memory has had personal experiences of. Calculating the amount of countries visited is always difficult when you reach a higher number as sometimes you just can’t recall them all, especially not in order!

We never expected that our 60th would take us to the 28th smallest country in the world – Luxembourg. On a previous road trip we did contemplate a visit from Amsterdam but it was just a touch too far.

So why Luxembourg? Well in all honesty it was the perfect stopover, on route to our final destination of Switzerland. Four hours drive from Calais this country is not renowned as a tourist destination, and is mainly referenced for it financial institutions, in fact it was described by a dutch colleague as ‘pretty dull’ (his words).  That didn’t put us off, bad reviews never do. What interested us is that it may be one of those overlooked countries and I know very few people who had visited.

We booked a hotel by the airport which was extremely cheap, and headed into the centre of the largest city Luxembourg (who’d think it!). Upon parking we were very pleasantly surprised by the incredibly deep valley view dividing the centre of the city.  It was incredibly picturesque and surrounded by a beautiful woodland. The river valley that divides the city is a national park, which was well worth an explore. Note that a walk down requires a walk back up the steep sides, but it’s worth every deep breath. The huge road bridge that separates the chasm is also a different view.

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The capital of this small but well-formed  country is also well worth an explore with lots of incredible architecture dividing sides of the road. It actually reminded me of London to a degree with similar architecture. The main square is surrounded by well-known restaurants, and leads into a number of other similar squares, one which houses a small local market at the weekends. With bell towers, churches and grand houses around every corner, wandering the streets was a memory in itself.

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I can’t say I know what Luxembourg food is like, but we passed a very busy independent burger joint that again excelled in quality – it was honesty the best burger I have had in a long while. French cuisine for breakfast and a stroll over the other side of the city which houses more imperial looking buildings, housing numerous banks and museums finished off a great overnight stay in an unknown gem of Europe. It wasn’t a country that would creep into our favourites but it was a great surprise and very enjoyable.

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