Our trip to Luxembourg in November was booked back in June because of the following actions that took place one evening:
However, since June, a considerable amount has happened to make Luxembourg more significant. For those that didn't get a chance to read our Toulouse article, our good friends Neeraj and Deepti will be moving to Luxembourg this year as Deepti has accepted an amazing offer at Amazon. As a result, this trip ended up not only being a good opportunity to explore a new city, but also to scope out where our friends would be living next year.
Our weekend began with a usual Friday evening flight out of Stansted after work and arrived in Luxembourg late on Friday night. Tired from work, we went straight to our AirBnb (a Web Texi from the airport to the city was about €28 for 4 people). What we couldn't see at night, which we awoke to discover, was the incredible sea of red autumn leaves along the hills right outside our window. This would be the first of many points during the weekend where we would stop to admire how beautiful this city is. We began Saturday morning, with cooking breakfast in our Airbnb, admiring the beautiful views.
Following breakfast, we decided to venture out and explore the city. Now, Luxembourg isn't a big city and there isn't really much to do in this town. We were on our way to the city centre on what would have been a 10 min walk. However, on our way there we stumbled across a beautiful park! What was supposed to be a few photos, ended up being a half an hour worth of photoshoot! :)
The city of Luxembourg provides free bus transport on the weekends - very handy for tourists! We ventured to the town eventually and were amazed to see that the whole city surrounds a valley, right in heart of town! We had read that there is this outdoor lift that you could take to go down the valley. We tried finding the lift but kept getting lost and instead decided to walk down. Eventually we realised that there are in fact two lifts and one of them was actually quite close to our AirBnb.
Down in the valley, is where the headquarters of Amazon are situated and of-course we had to go pay the offices a visit! Its a beautiful setting for the offices as you have to walk along side a small river and go past beautiful mountains.
Other than the city centre and the valley - there isn't much to do in this tiny town so we decided to visit a friend of ours - Varun who had recently moved to Luxembourg for work as well. We went over to his place, decided to order in for dinner and made ourselves comfortable in his beautiful flat. The events that followed were without a doubt, the highlight of our trip!
We ordered Thai food from a food delivery service called FoodStix, the Luxembourg equivalent of Uber Eats or Deliveroo. We ordered around 7:30pm and were told that our food would take 45-60 minutes to arrive. By 9:30, there was still no sign of the food. Unable to get a working number for FoodStix, we called the restaurant and were told that they were waiting for FoodStix to send someone to collect the food. Patiently we waited. With our hunger and impatience growing by the minute, at 10:00pm we finally called the Thai restaurant again, and asked if we could collect the food directly. They said that it was fine by them and that they would hold our food there, but the restaurant closes to customers at 11:00pm. Pressed for time, the girls quickly got in a cab - spending €20 and got to the restaurant, only to be told that FoodStix had arrived and despite our conversation, the restaurant gave them our food. Sigh! To make matters worse, the girls arrived back to Varun's and there was still no sign of FoodStix. Ok what is going on? Eventually, by around 10:45pm FoodStix arrived with our food. We tried complaining to the driver, but everything seemed to be muddled due to the language barrier.
After our hunger subsided, we were still annoyed at the Thai restaurant over our wasted trip. We called the restaurant back and angrily asked why we just wasted €20 on a taxi, if they were just going to give FoodStix our food anyway. After a bit of back and forth, they finally agreed to reimburse us the €20, but we had to collect it from the restaurant directly before midnight, when the staff leave. I guess they thought that we wouldn't be bothered, but to their, Varun's and even our surprise, we were!!! It was the principle of it! We hopped on a free city bus and arrived at the Thai restaurant, only to be greeted with a bunch of men hanging outside ushering us inside to what they claim "the best place ever." To Vruchi & Deepti's surprise, the entire restaurant had gone from being a restaurant to suspiciously looking like a front for some 'dodgy activity'. Skimpily clad girls hung around every guy! The owner of the restaurant / brothel? walked in (in a floor length fur coat, mind you!) and said she would reimburse us the €20 on one condition - "No bad reviews on Trip Advisor." Laughing, we agreed, collected our €20 and were on our way! To be honest, it wasn't about the money, it was the principle of it!
But our adventure that night didn't end there. As we walked back from the Thai restaurant to a nearby bus stop, we were stopped in the street by a random man carrying a bag under his arm. He asked us where we were going and if we wanted anything. Not wanting to engage in a conversation with a strange man at midnight, we ignored him and started walking to the bus stop, only to find him following us to the bus stop.
We started to feel a bit uncomfortable with how closely he was lurking around us, and suspecting that he overhead where we were going, we decided to bail on the bus and catch the train. As we started walking towards the train station, we noticed him following us down the streets. Ok this was now starting to get scary! We picked up pace turning around every now and then only to see he was closing in on us too. There were hardly any people on the street and by this time, the man had followed us a good kilometre. Almost getting to a sprint now, we started to run towards the train station ahead and quickly got on the train that was waiting at the platform. The train started to move just as he was about to get in the train station. Relieved to be on the train and safely away from him, we all breathed a collective sigh of relief.
However, that didn't last long, as we saw a ticket inspector walking down the carriage. After catching free buses all day, we naively assumed that all public transport in Luxembourg was free. Certain that we would get a fine, we were laughing at the irony of the effort we took to get back €20, only to be fined. But when we explained the situation to the train guard, he let us go! An amazingly kind gesture, but also not the only point in the trip where we would be amazed at how nice everyone in this country is. And, another stroke of luck - the train happened to go in the right direction of our AirBnb too! What a night! Back at the AirBnB, we couldn't stop reliving our adventure and laughed at the craziness of it all!
The next morning, following breakfast, we decided to check out a live Jazz performance taking place next to the Natural History museum. As another example of the kindness of the people in Luxembourg, on our way there, when we missed our stop and remained unaware, the bus driver stopped the bus at a random point and walked all the way over to tell us that this was the best point to get off to get to where we were going! Luxembourg is a tiny, but beautiful country, and its physical beauty is undoubtedly matched by the genuineness of its people.
In terms of things to do and places to check out, I definitely recommend a bar called Urban and a funky cafe called Kalli Kaffe, both of which are situated in the town centre. Kalli Kaffe is particularly interesting because, in this cafe, every item, from the lamps to the artwork, you see is for sale. However, Luxembourg is not really a late night city, so be sure to have a back up plan, if you fancy a quick dinner. Ours was McDonalds unfortunately :(.
Despite Luxembourg being a small city, it is incredibly beautiful and I recommend getting lost and exploring the little laneways and alleys. It's a thoroughly gorgeous place, where every corner is a photo opportunity.
But like anywhere, a city is what you make of it and you can have an amazing adventure anywhere around the world! We had an amazing time in Luxembourg, and we have a story to tell for some time now!