It was a bit of a slow start this morning. But then I remembered Luxembourg as a small city from my last visit nearly two decades ago. That visit was a sunny summers day. Today, however, was a colder and much, much wetter day with only brief let ups in the rain. Still, the show must go on.
We had a fantastic sleep in the Golden Tulip Central Molitor. So much so, in fact, that I would be inclined to stay here again when I return to Luxembourg. The Golden Tulip Central Molitor is also only around 10 minutes walk from Luxembourg train station and a similar walk, albeit in the opposite direction, from the Old City of Luxembourg. So location's pretty good too. Reception was pretty quick and efficient. Didn't do breakfast on account of excellent sleep.
Our first stop this morning were the Bock Casements. We had already decided to enter the Bock Casemates having read our guide book yesterday and found the entry price of 2 Euros to be quite reasonable. A fortress has existed at the Bock promontory since 963 when a fortified castle was built here by Count Siefried. The casements themselves were built by the Spanish troops in 1644 who wished to reinforce the existing city fortifications and are a warren of tunnels running upto 40 meters into the cliff face. Today 17km of the original 23km of casements remain - not all at Bock though. Only the Casemates at Bock and Pétrusse remain open to the public. Our 70-odd minute of wandering through the Bock Casemates of Luxembourg was a welcome relief from the rain outside as well as interesting perspective of the town itself. We were able to peer at various parts of the city through canon and rifle openings as we made our way through the different levels the triangular fortification.
Next stop - the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The Cathedral of Notre Dame is an eccletic combination of styles and designs which have been progessivly added to/changed/altered etc over the years. This does make for an unusual look which is certainly not cohesive but neither is it what the 2004 Lonely Planet to Belgium and Luxembourg describes as "ugly." Hotch-potch yes. Uncohesive yes. Ugly no. But I guess we're just going to disagree on this matter of opinion - the Cathedral is still worth visiting.
Sadly the rain did put a bit of a dampner (literally) on the day but wandering around the town was still a bit of treat. The bridges over the large valley between the two sides of the town made for an excellent vantage point to view the fortifications of the town which clearly had been impressive their heydey. Pottering around town also revealed some of the more "interesting" street art at statues in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg, whilst compact, does have history and the buildings, fortifications, churches and statues do reflect that. I really like to come back when there's blue skies and blazing suns which would really make for good relaxing weekend.
Luxembourg - Cathedral of Notre Dame - Historical information on the Cathedral of Our Lady of Luxembourg
Luxembourg - The Pétrusse Casemates - Information about the Pétrusse Casemates in Luxembourg City
Luxembourg - The Bock Casemates - Information about the Luxembourg Casemates
Luxembourg - Place de la Constitution - Brief information on the Place de la Constitution, Luxembourg City
Spa Francorchamps - Eau Rouge - The famous Eau Rouge at the Spa Francorchamps formular one circuit
Spa Francorchamps - Felipe Massa at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix - Felipe Massa goes through Eau Rouge in a Ferrari at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix
Spa Francorchamps - Jenson Button at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix - Jenson Button in his Maclaren Mercedes at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix
Spa Francorchamps - Jenson Button at the Belgian Grand Prix drivers parade - Jenson Button at the drivers parade of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix
Spa Francorchamps - Mark Webber at Eau Rouge in the 2012 Grand Prix - Mark Webber in his Red Bull goes through Eau Rouge at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix
Spa Francorchamps - the view from Eau Rouge - View of the Spa Francorchamps circuit seen from the Gold 3 stand at Eau Rouge
Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook