From Strasbourg the country of Luxembourg is only a 2 hour train ride away, so we decided to add another country to our list of travelled locations. This post will be a bit wordy, so be ready, grab a coffee or a beer.
Since many hotels were already full, we stayed in a hotel that was in a suburb of Luxembourg city. It’s website described it as being “in the heart of the valley of castles,” which sounded Harry Potter like and therefore awesome. We took a bus to the general area of this hotel, it was a small rural-ish area and it only had about two streets and six shops to call it’s own. When we tried to find the hotel, we were told it was 3 km down a rural highway road, which has no shoulder to walk on, and cars will zoom past at about 50 mph. We carried our backpacks and headed down this road, trying to be as careful as possible, staying out of the cars ways. It was a bit treacherous and slow moving, but then I saw a dirt road a bit off in the woods, so we climbed up the small embankment and started walking along it. Luckily the dirt path was right next to the road and we found our hotel.
The hotel was in a beautiful location, with nice atmosphere, but there was nothing around it except trees and cows. We got a ride back into “town” for dinner, with instructions in broken english on the better path to walk back on. After we had a surprisingly amazing dinner at the local pub/restaurant, we started on our second trek to this distant hotel. At least this time it was without our bags.
It started out fine, walking on a paved road filled with houses, following a small creek that will eventually lead us to our hotel. We found a pedestrian bridge that crossed the water and then walked along the bank. Soon though our path went away. This is the first of many instances that we should of turned back, but didn’t, and instead tried to make a path where there was none. We saw that the path continued on the other side of the creek, so we walked/scooted across a fallen tree to the other side. We followed this path along fences of homes with big large yards. Eventually the fences went away, with the exception of the fences seperating properties, that went straight to the water. In order to continue on our “path,” we had to sort of swing around the end of the fences. Have I mentioned that there are stinging nettles all along the “path” by the water? Because there were.
After swinging around 2 or 3 fences, I decided I had enough, and wanted to walk up to the road by the houses. We headed up between two property fences, and then this sheep with her three babies runs over to the fence and starts baaing at us. I think it’s going to attract it’s owners attention, and I don’t want to try to explain in our terrible french/german to the owner that no, we aren’t trying to steal their sheep, we are just lost, because we followed a path that wasn’t actually a path, and that of course it could happen to anyone. We try to ignore the sheep, and move to a different part of the fence (we have to hop it to get to the road) and the sheep actively gets between us and the road, baaing, clearly challenging us to a fight to the death. I decide we can try the “path” by the water again.
When we got away from the sheep yard, we entered a horse yard. This is also when our path on this side of the creek ended, and while we were investigating the situation, about 4 or 5 horses saw us and started walking over. They didn’t seem aggressive like the sheep, but they definitely seemed interested. Which was unnerving, they could of bitten us looking for food, or pushed us into the water by accident, I didn’t trust these horses. Therefore, we took our socks and shoes off, got in the water, and walked to the other side to another “path.”
Soon after the horses, and a few barbed wire fences later, it was clear our water path, on either side, was gone. It was also getting dark by this point, and I was still waiting to get caught by angry property owners. I forced Jeff to return to the rural highway, which he really didn’t want to do, but I was full of stinging nettles, and refused to continue this bushwacking adventure. We got back to the road, and then found the hotel about 15 minutes later.
The next day, we left the hotel on foot, preparing for our third return to the main part of town. This time I was confident we could find the path the owner had tried to tell us about. Lets just say, the first turn we made was wrong. We came across a mud puddle which my shoe sunk into and my foot slipped out. Standing off to the side, I watched as Jeff fished out my shoe with a stick, and then dumped out about a cup of water, and handed it back to me. Then we found the real path.
The next night we stayed in the city, in a much fancier, but similar priced hotel. We went from bugs and mud puddles to waiters in tuxedos. The downtown was very lively because of a marathon going on later that evening and also the Champions League soccer finals. We spent the afternoon cleaning ourselves up, throwing our frisbee in a park, and drinking wine while we cheered on marathon runners. There was a party late into the night for the marathon, but no one was dancing to the music, they just stood around talking to one another (which personally, I am all for. I hate dancing). It seemed very Swiss like.
The next day we headed back to Strasbourg, where we had dinner and then Jeff went back to Paris, and I back to Basel.