I’m not widely travelled, but I have travelled at lot. (I could probably fly the plane back to Birmingham from Frankfurt were it not for the fact that I am a very anxious flyer; who would have suspected that, eh?!) With little in the way of ties, no car, no mortgage, my husband and I are in an extremely fortunate position – both financially and geographically – that enables us to be able to see lots of Europe. (Despite having been overseas for a while- because the English channel counts, ask the EU – I still get giddy about being able to pop across to another country, especially if that country is France.)
We’re still on a budget though, so when Paris and Berlin proved too expensive this New Year, and a Europa Special ticket to Luxembourg offered itself up for purchase, I booked it. And this is where I get to the point: It doesn’t matter where you go, what you do, or when you do it, going somewhere or doing something new is very good for you.
To be honest, I knew nothing about Luxembourg before getting on the train. I mean sure, it’s sandwiched between Germany, France and Belgium. I think – I’d challenge most people to correctly draw its borders on a European map without the frontiers. Still, off we went, and five hours and three trains later, we arrived in Luxembourg City and it was beautiful.
Now, to be fair, and to avoid overly romanticising this trip, it rained, there was fog, wind and general greyness. However there were also cobbled streets, old forts, winding lanes and excellent bread. Yes, Germany, you know how to make a fine Brezel, but anywhere with French or French-influenced bakeries has got the bread thing sealed, or baked, as it were.
Luxembourg appealed to my sense of curiosity, a need to know what is around the next bend – a curiosity inherited from my Dad, that, incidentally, I hated as a child because it always meant longer until picnic/ice-cream time. But, I love exploring new places, especially major (well, relatively) cities. You never know whose footsteps you’ll walk in, what you’ll stumble across (often actually in my case, I’m a tripper), what history you’ll see, tragic or otherwise. And I admit it: I love a good museum. Especially if they are interactive.
I really do know I am lucky that I get to do this. But even if you can’t travel far, be a tourist in your home town, go to a museum you’ve never visited (any Heidelbergers up for a visit to the packaging museum – maybe we can pop bubble wrap?!), walk a new route or a new street. Anything to get you out and get you discovering.
So I went off and wandered around Luxembourg and discovered some pretty special things: friendly people, a beautiful city, French-style food, Belgium-style beer and some fresh ideas.
What will you discover?