44 nights : 1,599 miles travelled : Countries visited: 3
“It’s too darn hot” Cole Porter
Why is everyone not visiting Luxembourg? It’s wonderful here!
We had planned a week of quietly camping by a river to recharge our batteries and were amazed to find just what we were looking for in Luxembourg. Camping de la Sure is in lovely Reisdorf. The village has a boulangerie, a bar and a restaurant, a part time post office and… an ATM….the height of civilisation in Graham’s view!
Most important is the opportunity to sit quietly by the Sure and watch the wildlife in front of us. Wagtails working all day feeding young in the willow tree, cormorants and herons gliding low over the river and a red kite soaring high above. When the sun eventually sank we even had neon fireflies in the long grass on the bank. A first for us and they don’t look anything like the Disney version! Lots of water vole holes but the only one we saw was a stowaway in Kipper’s bed and luckily Graham was quick enough to rescue him before he escaped into Brian’s cupboards.
Kipper must have heard our sighs of relief and relaxation as we pitched up. Within 20 minutes of arriving he had thrown his favourite toy into the river, dug up two ant nests and snapped an awning pole….more gaffer tape required.
Our neighbours are mostly Dutch with a few Belgians. This makes it hard to know how to greet people in the mornings. Is it Dag, Morgen or Bonjour? An abrupt “Moh” with chin down and a nod of the head seems to work for all. We are ashamed of our lack of language skills when so many people we meet speak good English. Luckily we all smile in the same language!
There are some great walks from the village and one led us to the border with Germany….we hadn’t realised we were so close. Luxembourg is quite unlike anywhere we have been in Europe but it did remind us of Singapore! It is so neat and tidy. Every day, roadsides are manicured by an orange army of mowers, strimmers and sweepers. Residents take great pride in front gardens, neatly arranged hard landscaping and bright plants in pots.
We were in the area known as Luxembourg’s ‘Little Switzerland’ featuring forests and meadows. The nearby Mullerthal trails offer great forest walks with bizarre rock formations and sparkling streams. We expected Gandalf to appear around every corner. This was the only way to get out and about during the heatwave. Set off early to walk in the trees and paddle in the water before the heat of the day drives you to melt into the chair under the awning.
Luxembourg is no bigger than a large county in England and is dotted with castles and ruins. We loved the little town of Vianden whose glorious castle had once been a ruin, having been sold to a scrap merchant, but was restored by the Duchy in the 1970’s. Although a tourist trap, we explored on a quiet Monday and enjoyed the old streets, the new fountains and views of the castle from all sides.
Our 7 night stay extended to 11 as we chose to wilt in 36+ degrees by the river rather than on the road. Kipper and Graham found their own way to keep cool with Kipper fishing for sticks and Graham fishing for Kipper. He was not a confident swimmer before we arrived, but after days playing in the river had well and truly mastered doggy paddle and more.
From now on he can get his own toys out of the water!
M & G xx
Treat of the week: for Brian, it was hiding in the shade, snuggling up close to a gorgeous 1977 Hymer.