Day 1: Luxembourg
After a 9 hour flight from Chicago I landed in London Heathrow, it was only 5:55am local time and my connecting flight was not until 8:20am. At least it would look like a very decent amount of time to connect considering I didn’t have any checked bags and had my boarding pass ready.
Totally forgot how strict and busy Heathrow is. It was such a long walk to get to my boarding area, those hallways just seemed not to have an end. Once at the security check point the long lines were starting to stress me out, on top of that they would take such a long time to inspect those bags which needed a second inspection. At the end, I got to my gate only 30 minutes before departure, isn’t that crazy?
Once onboard the flight, I didn’t really know what to expect from Luxembourg. I had read a few travel guides and articles, knew it was one of the smallest countries in Europe and that they have a very nice life quality, but that was about it. Everything else was kind of uncertain, the only thing I knew for sure it’s that we had to pick up our car there to begin our roadtrip…
This is what Luxembourg looks like…
This is the trip report of the roadtrip we did through some of the most beautiful scenic drives in Europe through Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and The Netherlands.
- Introduction: Our Scenic Drives Route
- United Airlines Business Class ORD – LHR
- Day 1: Luxembourg…. Our starting point
- First Night in a “Spa Town” – Baden Baden, Germany
- Day 2: Driving The Black Forest Route 500 Germany – Switzerland
- Day 3: Breathtaking! – The Swiss Alps scenic drive
- Day 4: Breakfast in Switzerland, Lunch in Italy, Dinner in Austria.
A little Background
- Luxembourg is a very small country in the middle of Europe. It’s population is only 560,000 people and only about 100,000 lives in Luxembourg City.
- Based on the International Monetary Fund, Luxembourgers enjoy the second highest per capita Gross Domestic Oroduct in the world, just behind Qatar.
- The Economy of Luxembourg is largely dependent on the banking, steel, and industrial sectors.
- Luxembourg also hosts many agencies and institutions from the European Union.
- It has one of the lowest taxation rates in Europe, which makes it a very attractive country.
Getting to Luxembourg Airport
I was about to land in Luxembourg and could already noticed from the plane how everything looked so small. You can imagine coming from one of the busiest airports to land in a very small but nice airport in the country. In fact, is a small airport but with a beautiful modern terminal, you can breathe the wealth here.
By the way, this was a very very good British Airways redemption for only 4,500 Avios + $5.60. The cash fare was over $200, so went ahead and transferred some Chase Ultimate Rewards to purchase this ticket.
So we started our trip in this beautiful city, full of parks and places to walk around. Getting to know Luxembourg was the cherry on top because the purpose of the trip wasn’t to visit cities it self. We stayed downtown so everything was within walking distance.
We chose to stay at the Le Royal Hotel, which was such a beautiful venue. I arrived at the hotel at 10:30am, so in order to help my body get used to the time change and to avoid jetlag, decided to go for a run to a beautiful park right behind the hotel.
Shopping in Luxembourg
In the city centre of Luxembourg City most of the streets are for pedestrians only. Since summer was about to end, you can see most of the people trying to enjoy the very last weeks of sun and nice weather.
Something that got my attention was how wealthy people in here is, and you can also see that in the kind of stores you see around the block. Basically what I’m trying to say is that in a city of only 100,000 people you can see within a couple of blocks all kind of designer stores such as Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and all the rest…
Grund: Old City
Just a few blocks from the city centre you can get to one of the most famous balconies in Europe. Here’s where the old and modern Luxembourg meets.
The Grund is located in a valley right below the centre of Luxembourg City, is a very picturesque area which figures a film set since only ~780 people live here.
If Luxembourg City seems calm, The Grund is triple that! It seemed like nobody lives here, everything runs very very calm.
Una de las maneras de llegar al Grund, es a través del recién inaugurado elevador de cristal. Un mirador muy moderno, el cuál está a unos pasos del parque dónde había corrido en la mañana. Una parte del suelo de este mirador es de cristal, así que sientes el vértigo del vacío que se encuentra bajo tus pies. ¡No apta para cardiacos! Ahí mismo bajas por el elevador y estás en el corazón de la ciudad antigua, ahí caminamos por sus calles, admirando las casas a la orilla del canal.
The Vianden Castle
Sometimes we just need to go with the flow. A good local friend recommended us to visit the Vianden Castle, which is about 1 hour north of the Capital City.
We were a bit doubtful of whether it worth it or not, since we had to drive to Baden Baden. Later we thought that coming from a local guy, it must be worth it to visit the Castle.
So we did it. We detoured for a few hours to visit the Vianden Castle, and trust me, it worth it so much! It’s one of the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine.
We did a tour of The Vianden Castle, which it’s kept in very well shape. You can even access to most of it’s areas and see some original artefacts from centuries ago.
Vianden it’s a very small picturesque town full of beautiful landscapes.
There’s a restaurant on top of the mountain, and of course we decided to go up there to grab some food and a beer. We had stunning views of Luxembourg!
The short time I was in Luxembourg was extremely pleasant. People treated us in such a great way, we had almost 2 days of sightseeing.
It was a little ironic to me that even though this country has the second highest per capita Gross Domestic Product and an extremely high quality of life, it didn’t seemed to me too pricey compared to other countries such as Switzerland, what you think?