Normally I would not have noticed the metal piece sticking 5 inches from the wall. But I had seen similar items in Gent. These boot scrapers, next to entry of a building are a hold over from the days when the streets were mud. As you came to the door these convenient boot scrapers are at just the right height to clean your boots, to some extent. It was refreshing to see that the owners of the buildings have left these historical pieces in place.
Luxembourgians are very nice and polite people, especially in shops. If you want to see they get really upset, ask for a discount for buying more than one of something. They go absolutely nuts! They have a firm concept of the ‘fixed price’ (prix fixe) and they consider anyone asking for a discount a deep offence. What they don’t seem to realise is that just about 100% of all souvenirs sold to tourists are grotesquely over-priced and a complete rip-off. I would highly recommend tourists buy souvenirs in Belgium, France or Germany. I asked one shop for a discount on 25 postcards and she began to WAIL at me for over a minute as if her whole family had died in front of her eyes. She did this in front of a shop full of people. Not only did I leave, several other tourists left to due to the extreme wailing.
She got exactly zero Euros from us.
Luxembourg is home to about 7 beer breweries. When I was in Luxembourg I tried a few local beers.
The largest brewery is Diekirch which merged with Mousel in 1999 and nowadays belongs to the Interbrew empire.
The Diekirch brewery was founded in 1871. Their lager kind of beer I drank tasted about average.
Another local beer brand you will come across quite often in Luxembourg is Bofferding. It is brewerd in an independent brewery called "Brasserie Nationale" which is located in Bascharage.
They have pils, lager (also unfiltered) and a dark beer on offer. I tried their lager pils which in my opinion tasted slightly better than the Diekirch beer.
Bofferding beer: http://www.bofferding.lu/
Mousel Diekirch beer: http://www.mouseldiekirch.lu/
When I visited Luxembourg the head of state was Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, who abdicated in 2000, just three months before his 80th birthday.
The current sovereign is His Royal Highness Henri Albert Gabriel Félix Marie Guillaume, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Count of Sayn, Königstein, Katzenelnbogen and Diez, Burgrave of Hammerstein, Lord of Mahlberg, Wiesbaden, Idstein, Merenberg, Limburg and Eppstein. He cannot possibly use all these names and titles, so in documents and decrees that bear his signature he appears as Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau.
Of course I did not meet any member of the Grand Ducal family when I was in Luxembourg, but strangely enough it was the Grand Duke who came to my hometown, in the summer of 2010, to attend the funeral of the Duke of Parma. In fact the picture shows the Grand Duke in the church of Santa Maria della Steccata, in Parma.
He is a good looking man, who has four handsome sons. Only one of them is already married, so girls whose ideal match would be a cute guy who lives in a castle should consider Luxembourg as a prospective home.
It goes without saying that you'll likely be able to connect in your hotels and in many of the cafes and restaurants.
But the city does have several WiFi hotspots where you can quickly connect with your mobile devices to maintain communication while you're on the go. Simply look at places like larger bus stops, city plazas, information signs, etc. As this service is offered by P&T Lux, there is a fee for connecting (details are on the web link below).
OK. This is complicated. Trading hours are 9am-5:30pm on weekdays. That’s except for some shops that don’t open until noon on Monday. Then there are loads of shops that close for a cosy 2 hour lunch between 12pm-2pm just when you need them. I told you it’s complicated. Now we have Saturdays. Shops can either be open all day or just a half day depending on the owner’s preferences. It’s a little known law that anything you absolutely must have will be closed when you need it. Sundays? Forget it. A few Tabacs and some restaurants only. Bank? Of course they close early. 8:30am-4:40pm Monday-Friday with closures at lunch. The only banks open on Saturdays (mornings) are in the capital.
Luxembourg City is an excellent place to on and/or walk a dog. It’s also against the law to let you dog foul within the city. To make it easy there are quite a few handy dispensers of bags to scoop the dog poo up in and hundreds of nearby rubbish bins to put them in. The bags even have instruction printed right on every bag and you can grab one or 2 for later. Well done to the city authorities who make it far easier for dogs to go to the toilet than humans. A lot easier. Despite this there are still some inconsiderate bastards who let the do poo and leave it (last picture). This dog mess on a busy pedestrian area was left within 10 meters of one of the bag dispensers.
This is another British term for another fine European tradition. Before a man becomes an unhappy slave for life (when they get married) he has the right to do ANYTHING on his last night of freedom with his friends. This right to pillage as he sees fit is enshrined in the European Human Rights Act (1998). This is the last time the poor man will ever enjoy a social life or any happiness in his life. Its all down hill from here. Just getting drunk is only the start. Dressing like a loon, dancing in the streets, doing unspeakable acts with human and animal(s), vomiting and eventually passing out are all part of the ritual. This soon to be miserable Groom was from German and his many friends carried pictures of him, kept him drunk and tried their best to talk him out of it. They happily performed for my camera and then went on to damage random areas of the country.
This is a fine European tradition. The term ‘Hen Night’ is a British description of a Bride-to-be’s last night out with her friends before getting married. I ran across this nice lady and her friends my first night in Luxembourg. For a small donation to this ‘Nurse’ she dispensed a choice of 2 liquors and even a kiss with lots and lots of lipstick. I went for the drink (only). Not every Bride is also equipped as a mobile bar and kissing booth, so I count myself lucky to have met these nice ladies. They obviously love VT and I even made a 3 Euro donation to their joint drinking funds for the evening on behalf of all Virtual Tourist members and wished her good luck on her upcoming nuptials.
Although life in Luxembourg is slightly more expensive than in the surrounding countries, it is well known that petrol is relatively cheap in Luxembourg. Petrol prices are about 20 % lower than in Belgium, France or Germany.
This is due to differences in petrol tax and causes a large number of huge petrol stations on the Luxembourg side of each border.
So if you visit Luxembourg by car, don't forget to fill your tank with cheap petrol.
Luxembourg was among the 11 countries which introduced the Euro as legal tender on the 1st of January 2002.
As in all other countries, also the coins of Luxembourg have a special national side. It shows a portrait of the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, but in 3 different designs.
Also the name of the country in the local Luxembourgish language is shown: "Lëtzebuerg".
As Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries of the Eurozone, you will notice that the majority of coins you will get as change in Luxembourg is still from other countries, such as Germany and France.
If you have any friends who collect Euro coins you should make sure that you keep all Luxembourg coins for them.
Luxembourg has an official language, Letzeburguish. It sounds a lot like German. Also virtually everyone speaks French, and most street and site names are in French. In my experience most people understand English as well. Additionally, there are a lot of Italians who live here, and this is reflected in many Italian restaurants everywhere.
I figured if she had a bridge named after her, even if it's a big red hulking bridge that's not very attractive and totally out of character with the architecture of the city, that she must be important so I looked her up to see just who she was.
She reigned as duchess from 1919 when her older sister was forced to abdicate until 1964 when she abdicated in favor of her son. It was under her reign that the powers of the monarchy in Luxembourg became severly restricted.
The colours of the Flag of Luxembourg have first been branded around 1830 during the Belgian Revolution. They were probably adopted from the shield of the Province of Limbourg, the only difference was the background which was changed into silver with blue stripes.
It took until June 23, 1972 before a law was passed regulating the flag of Luxembourg. The same law also prescribed ensign and roundel for aircraft and ships registered in Luxembourg.
One important clarification brought by this law was that the colour blue was defined as being a very bright blue, in contrast to the flag of the Netherlands
Every year Luxembourg swings into the Christmas mood with a traditional Christmas Market, where the spirit of Christmas is celebrated with many stall beneath a massive Christmas Tree. The market starts on December 1st and ends on Christmas Eve. The markets is held at Place d'Armes and the local inhabitants call it the "Chreschtmaart".
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