Monday, Oct. 1, 2007 - LUXEMBOURG - Train to Luxembourg, capitol city of Luxembourg

Having previously checked train schedules, it was easy to take Brussels' Metro the short distance to the Shuman Station where we caught the train heading south to Luxembourg.  With but one small exception, we had no problem with weather during this long, but fun day.


Peg, a little sleepy still from a restless night, almost misses the fine Belgian scenery passing by. The train was crowded during the first part of this trip, but hordes of students got off at Namur.

The Luxembourg train station sports attractive artwork above a central arch which in turn houses a grand stained glass rendition of the city skyline.  Nice welcome~

Outside, we find our bearings and discover that we are in walking distance to the center of the city - probably just over 1 comfortable km.

Peg is ahead of photo-shooting Keith as we walk over the busy Viaduct (named Passerelle).  It wasn't as far as it looks. 

We quickly discover that the view from this bridge atop 24 high arches (built mid 1800's) is spectacular as we look down on the Pétrusse Valley.

We were supposed to have a room booked right here on in the center of the city on the William Square. Opps! No room at the Inn, so we break for a less than great sandwich lunch + beer.

Just across the square from where we thought we had a room in the Casanova is the Town Hall  (1830's) with 2 attractive lions guarding the entrance.

Even more attractive is this monument to Michel Rodange (1827- 1876) crowned by a great fox. Rodange authored the popular national epic featuring Réynard the Fox.

Gee, what is this William Square all about? Time for history lesson: Here on the square is statue of mounted William II Prince of Orange-Nassau, "King of the Netherlands & Grand Duke of Luxembourg" & grandson of William I. William II ruled here 1840-49, granted 1st constitution, but died young 1650.

The Royal Palace with the changing of the royal guards.  Later there was serious helicopter hovering, sirens & fast cars, which we assumed was the royal arrival (or departure).

This whimsical animal/musical fountain we came across in the City Centre must be a relative of the one in Brussels.

We enjoy the fall colors & the view of the viaduct bridge which we had earlier traversed. We will soon need to walk over it 2 more times.   

Behind Keith are the spires of the Cathedral to the Blessed Virgin (1613) as he stands near Constitution Square, a popular place to get superb views over the Pétrusse Valley.

But we must take a break from touring to walk back over the Viaduct Bridge to check into the Hotel Nobilis. After the reservation snafu, Karen (with characteristic expertise & aplomb) had made emergency, but comfortable & welcome arrangements here.

Back at the city center area (sans rolling backpack) we explore the so called "cradle of the city of Luxembourg" & the walkway that leads to the Corniche & the most famous views of Luxembourg. 

Here on the famous "Chemin de la Corniche" we get a view of the "Bock" (left) & part of the lower old town called "Grund" which is nestled inside a curve of the Alzette River. Prominent in the Grund quarter is St. John's Church & the National Museum of Natural History. 

From the "most beautiful balcony of Europe" we zoom in to get this view of the old bridge at the base of the "Bock." This picturesque bridge crosses over to Grund with a nice view of the river & handsome terraced garden beds.

Peg was especially drawn to this perspective, more directly down, which afforded another angle of the old Bridge from the casements in the cliff. Of course the magnet for her is the attractiveness of the lovely garden.

Coming to the end of the corniche, we arrive at the castle bridge which links the upper central city of Luxembourg to the "Bock" promontory, considered the "cradle" of the city. 

Here on the top of the "Bock" Keith views the uncovered foundation walls of the first stronghold belonging to the Luxembourg Counts & Dukes. Below are the Bock casemates (underground defense works from 1745-46) & archeological crypt.

Not having the time or energy at this point, we opted to not do the underground tour. Instead we enjoyed the expansive views - this one directly down on Peg's favorite bridge & garden.

Looking farther up the casemate area, we get this view of a modern train crossing a much older viaduct bridge.

Swinging a little more northerly & across the road we get this view of jagged ruins that seem quite popular as a bird perch. This is called Dent Creuse (hollow tooth) & is the only remaining part of the castle that was built here in 965 AD. 

Also from this Bock vantage point we look northward to the modern Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge (or Red Bridge) which crosses over the Alzette River & the Pfaffenthal quarter of the city.

Completing our panorama sweep, we now look westward toward the center of the old city & get a good view of Saint Michael's Church, the oldest in the city.

On a quiet street just up from the Church, a sudden shower caused us to duck into this pleasant coffee shop where we enjoyed quiche and pie.

Crossing the Centre of the city, Keith gets Peg to pose here just off the Boulevard F.D. Roosevelt with the Adolphe Bridge in the  background.

Out on the Adolphe Bridge, & looking in the general direction of the Viaduct Bridge, we get this great fall view of Constitution Square & the Pétrusse Casemates.

Loving the fall colors merged with photogenic historic structures, Keith gets Peg to pause for another photo as we near the other side of the bridge.

It is getting late in the afternoon now; it has been a long day. It is now time to take our last photo of note here of the Place de Metz & the State Savings Bank. From here it would be a relatively short walk to our hotel. [Okay, in honor of our neighboring town here in California, 1 more photo nearer our hotel, the Fortuna Bank!] 

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