The earliest memory I have of anything to do with Luxembourg is from primary school where a teacher had mentioned this country which is “about the size of Edinburgh.”
That stuck in my head for two reasons. The first being a bit of wonder at what such a small country may be like. The second being that it’s entirely wrong. Perhaps my teacher meant Liechtenstein. Or maybe just couldn’t count.
For a city of little over 110,000 people, Luxembourg City feels a lot bigger than it should. From the train station along Avenue de la Liberte and Avenue de la Gare to the city centre there was near constant traffic, both people and car. This peaked when Portugal beat Wales in the Euro 2016 semi-final and the many Portuguese residents had an impromptu horn-blasting traffic parade along the streets.
The city is split into four main areas: Ville Haute (the upper city), Ville Basse (the lower city), Gare (the station) and the modern financial district.
I had an impression of Luxembourg which turned out to be slightly wrong. I had assumed, given its location, there would be a lot of French and German influence. I thought it would be a small, quiet city and an expensive one at that. But aside from being bigger and busier than expected, Luxembourg City has no obvious German influence. It felt more like a Mediterranean town than a mid-European one and prices for drinks and food seemed wholly reasonable.
The upper and lower parts of the city had their obvious contrasts. Ville Haute is designer shops, designer people, busy little cafes. Whereas the lower part felt more laid back. Ville Basse had a few restaurants, cafes and bars and a more peaceful setting without the designer everything, which is perfect for someone as unstylish as I am.
The whole city is great for a wander and that in itself that could take up a lot of a day. Walking around the edge of the valley provides some great views and working down into the gorge, among the little tracks and through the old, intricate fortifications makes for a great walk and one that will provide some decent exercise.
Slightly further out of town (but still walkable) is the American Military Cemetery and Memorial. As with other US memorials I’ve seen, it’s tasteful, humble and immaculately kept. Think Arlington National Cemetery but on a smaller scale.
How much more there is to Luxembourg I can’t really say since I focused on the city. The train ride from Brussels wasn’t particularly scenic, but one thing was obvious: Luxembourg is certainly bigger than Edinburgh.