Thursday, 6 February 2020

Luxy Flies Luxair to Luxembourg for a Weekend City Break.

I've wanted to visit Luxembourg for years, mostly because its airport abbreviation is 'Lux', which is my surname, but also because I'd heard so many great things about this tiny but adorable city. Jasiminne - who, along with many of my other friends, has fondly referred to me as 'Luxy' since our friendship began - and I decided to take a little autumnal trip and there was much excitement when we arrived at the airport and my Luxair boarding pass was printed with my surname 'Lux' next to 'Lux Air' and 'Lux' airport as the destination haha. Naturally Jasiminne took plenty of photos of me with the plane! 

After a quick flight from London City we arrived at Luxembourg airport and quickly found the shuttle bus that takes you from the airport to the city (be warned, a taxi will cost you an obscene amount and the bus is actually quicker during rush hour). Luxembourg is so tiny it didn't take long for us to find our hotel, Hotel Le Place d'Armes, located right on the main square. It was absolutely beautiful and we completely fell in love with the stylish and modern five star hotel that had still managed to retain original historical features and character.

Day 1 in Luxembourg

As we had an early flight and just one night in Luxembourg (which is more than enough time!), we dropped our bags at the hotel and went out to spend the rest of the day exploring. We began by walking through the adorable fairytale-esque streets of the city towards the Chocolate House which sits opposite the Grand Ducal Palace, which is the office of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. It felt as though we were walking around a real life Disneyland, with historic streets and buildings perfectly preserved.

The Chocolate House by Nathalie Bonn is the perfect place for a little pick-me-up as they're famous for their delicious 'Hotchocspoon', and although it got very crowded in there by the time we left, we loved the ambience and huge array of chocolate spoon options! I chose the salted caramel chocolate spoon, and we loved it so much we actually came back the next day as well to test out their cake and pie selection!

From the Chocolate House we then made our way to Chemin de la Corniche for the beautiful scenic view over the lower town of Grund and Neumunster Abbey, and walked along to the Bock Casemates, a 17th century cannon emplacements connected to a complex set of tunnels that is now a museum. The tunnels didn't take too long to walk around and were cheap to visit (around five euros each from memory).

We did a spot of shopping (postcards for me, and a traditional bird whistle for Jasiminne), and then had a late lunch at the Luxembourgish restaurant near our hotel, Brasserie du Cercle. We sat outside and people watched whilst feasting on traditional Luxembourgish cuisine (a sort of cross between French and German food), with Judd mat Gaardebounen for Jasiminne, which is a smoked collar of pork with broad beans, and ëtzebuerger Grillwurscht for me, which was Luxembourg's famous spicy sausage with mashed potato. The food was delicious, and due to the majority of restaurants and cafes being closed in Luxembourg on weekends, we actually ate here the following day as well.

After our late lunch we went back to our hotel to freshen up and get changed, and then headed back out to find a cafe to have a cup of tea (how British of us). We discovered Kaale Kaffi, a gorgeous and quirky little cafe filled with vintage goods that you could actually buy! We spent a good couple of hours in there just sipping on multiple pots of peppermint tea and chatting about life, horoscopes (how stereotypically London-Millenial of us) and travels.

When we were suitably hungry, we strolled over to the restaurant we wanted to eat at, only to find it fully booked (that'll teach us to not book ahead!). After a mild panic we decided to just grab something from a popular and busy pizza restaurant we'd passed on our way, Onesto. Although not the best pizza in the world, it filled us up and ended up being quite a comforting dinner after our long and exhausting day of travelling and wandering. We were in bed and sound asleep by about 10pm/11pm!

Day 2 in Luxembourg

Our second day began with a lazy lay-in and a mid-morning visit to the Chocolate House! Yep, that's right, we ate cake and pie for breakfast :P I chose the apple pie which was absolutely incredible, while Jasiminne chose some sort of cake thing.

After our breakfast of cake, as it was a Sunday we wandered over to Cathédrale Notre-Dame so I could catch the end of mass (I don't really shout about it, but I'm Catholic and enjoy going to mass when I'm overseas, it's always interesting experiencing it in a different country). It's a stunning Neo-Gothic and Renaissance cathedral with a Baroque gate, and the members of the Grand-Ducal family are laid to rest in the crypt. You're able to visit the crypt, which Jasiminne did while I caught the last 15mins or so of mass.

After the Cathedral we then decided to walk to the Pont Adolphe bridge: a rather impressive double-decked arch bridge named after Grand Duke Adolphe, which is the unofficial national symbol representing Luxembourg's independence. The bridge was designed by Frenchman Paul Séjourné, and Luxembourger Albert Rodange, and built between 1900 and 1903.

After snapping some photos we continued on towards Parc Municipal and the Villa Vauban art gallery. Jasiminne is an avid art lover, and although I'm more partial to Renaissance and Romantic art rather than modern and abstract art, I'll always accompany anyone to any art gallery without complaint and just take the time to sit quietly. There was an unusual photography exhibition on when we visited, so I did a lot of just sitting quietly, but there was a section that I LOVED! The beanbag room...

The museum was pretty empty and we had great fun flinging ourselves across the beanbags and jumping up and down like we were kids. We also found the perfect corridor for striking a pose and vogue-ing, and then we discovered a camera where you could wear hats and things and pose for a photo. It was actually a really fun little trip, and we had to drag ourselves away.

With just a few hours before our flight we grabbed a final late lunch at Brasserie du Cercle (honestly nowhere else was open on a Sunday!), and treated ourselves to a dessert of apple strudel and ice-cream.

We then collected our luggage and got the shuttle bus to the airport ready for our Luxair flight home! We saw most of what Luxembourg has to offer and as it's such a small place our weekend was incredibly relaxed and peaceful, and just what we both needed. It was also so much fun to finally fly on Luxair and visit Luxembourg just for the naming coincidence, and what we found was a very cute and charming city with hearty comfort food perfect for a one-night weekend getaway! What more could you want from an autumnal break?


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