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The International Writers Magazine: Europe:


On my tour through Europe, I set off for a place of wild adventure, dazzling culture, magnificent landscapes, and superb weather. Instead, I ended up in Luxembourg. That’s not to say Luxembourg has nothing to offer! It´s got plenty! Just not during the winter... or during this century. I hear it was a real blast back in the middle ages...

I’m not sounding bitter because it was rainy, cold, and empty, am I?
Let me start over, I’ll give Luxembourg a better review. Here we go, my ad for Luxembourg:
-We´ve got hills!
-There aren’t any wars going on!
-We got lots of money too!
-Stop by! You´ll most likely have an okay time!
Want to go? I got an extra ticket… never used.
Honestly, I did like Luxembourg, and I remember the exact moment I thought so…
(Dreamy flashback)

I arrived late in the evening; a light, misty rain veiled the city and the air was "brisk" (this is how you describe the weather when you wish you wore a heavier jacket). I dropped my stuff in the hostel, which was extremely nice, and oddly enough, filled with businesspersons, and then decided to check out the city.

Important note: They built Luxembourg on hills.

The main city is on the outer edges, across the bridge and the "City Center" is up on the hill in the center of the city; so, good call on naming it the "City Center". In the valley live the residents and around the hills lie the old, crumbling castle walls. As I walked around the castle walls, umbrella in hand, I began to enjoy the atmosphere. The light rain became an orange glow, illuminated by the old city lights. I was halfway around the hill, resting on an ancient bridge, when I stopped and thought. "You know what, Luxembourg? You’re not so bad. In fact, I think I like you."
Little did I know, Luxembourg would soon betray our new found friendship.
dun dun dunnn…
Commercial break:
Do you have bad breath? Stinky feet? Unsightly nose hairs?
That´s gross. You should get that looked at.
In the meantime, grab a LuxCola! MMMmmm, that´s Luxemgood!!!Welcome back.

After my wet, night tour, which isn’t as sexy as it sounds, I went back to the hostel and planned the next day. The main attraction was the castle wall and a tour with great historical information that leads you through the tunnels in the walls. With only one catch: You can’t do any of that during the month that you chose to go, you idiot.

My next option was to look around the main city and find the happening area, which as you already guessed, was not happening. The most interesting area was the information booth in a small plaza. On an interactive video screen, a nearly annoying knight with too much zeal for Luxemborg paraded around its little virtual world and pointed out all the exciting sites and events that occur when you‘re not there. I was amused until I told him I was here in the winter, and he burst out laughing, squeezing out between fits of laughter, "The winter? You chose to travel during the winter! Ahahaha."
So, I punched his stupid digital face and walked away.

Okay, that didn’t actually happen, but it may as well have. What else could I do? Walk around and view the amazing landscape? Maybe, if the rain quit blowing my umbrella inside out. Luxembourg’s good tidings were wearing thin.

In the end, I decided if it were nice the next day, I would rent a bike and cruise the town, causing good ol’ American chaos. Luckily, Luxembourg gave me a break the next day and stopped raining (It didn’t get any warmer though… bastard). I rented a bike from the hostel and headed to town. I got about ten feet.

The hostel is conveniently located at the bottom of the valley, and the bike path up the hill was... um, up the hill... So, like any real man would do, I tried to bike it, for three seconds, and then gravity and physics said, "ah ah, no you don’t!" I hopped off and starting trudging up, wondering if Germany was in walking distance.

When I reached the top, I biked to the city and soon found out that I was the only person on a bike. I could read the thoughts in everyone’s eyes, "Tourist!" I shot a look back that said, "I don’t care! And I’m going to run down anyone in my way! You built the town; why is there nothing else to do in the winter? If there were a movie festival or something I wouldn’t have to knock over old ladies and fly past you so-called "important" businessmen!" My eyes are very expressive.

After terrorizing every person in town (all twelve of them), I peddled off to the hillier, tree filled, "nature" area. I biked up a massive hill; being a real man, I had to find where it went… nowhere. So, I flew back down the path, peddled up another hill, flew down that one, got semi-lost amidst the tiny town in the valley, biked another hill, flew down again, and eventually made it back to the hostel, hands freezing, nose runny, and legs dead. I had only been gone four hours.
I thought... okay, I rented this thing for the whole day, maybe I’ll just take a nap and then head back out.
I napped for three hours and never looked at the bike again. Instead, I hung out in the hostel, watched Family Guy in German and Friends in French (which, with French accents, made it an intense soap opera.)

After two days, I realized that Luxembourg is a nice place to stop by… and since I’ve stopped, I may as well continue onward.

© Kevin - October 2008

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