I did this to myself. I booked an early train. My goal for the day – Luxembourg. Why go there you might ask? Several reasons. One is, that I like to see new places. Luxembourg is a place you normally have no reason to travel to, unless you live or are clos by. Then Geocaching comes in for me. That is another country, that I can add to my collection. And another bonus… one part of Luxembourg boarder with one of the German federal states that I need for my diamond level. This is also the state nobody goes to without any reason, because it is so out of the way. I am talking about Saarland.

I got a nice deal for the trip. The car ride would have been 4,5 hours from Paris. By train from Gare de l’Est it is only about 2 hours with the TGV. I got the deal for a return ticket for 80 Euro and that is first class on my way back.

So up at 6 in the morning, trying to be silent to let my parents sleep and be lazy as always. The Metro is going directly to Gare de l’Est, so an easy tour to take. Of course I am early and have enough time to get some breakfast before it is time to board the train. The train is leaving from platform 30 – the outer one. The TGV is a double decker train that will take me there in 2 hours and 18 minutes.

The trip will have two tops at Gare de Metz and Thionville. So much easier than driving. The train is full and I get the worst neighbor possible… someone smelling smoke and alcohol. Yeah. But the time is over fast and the train rolls into Luxembourg station on time.

Now I have to follow my preplanned trip. Outside of the station is the bus station and there is a guy, that answers i different languages – and German is one of the languages. He points out the right bus stop to get to Schengen. Public transport i free in the whole country and that means just getting into the bus and sit and wait. On the way I have to change the bus once in a small village that I don’t remember the name of. But everything is very smooth.

Arriving in Schengen, there is really nothing there. They must have chosen to sign the Schengen treaty here just because it is on the border between France, Germany and Luxembourg. But my goal is a Geocache here – which is easy to find at the river, where they have a museum/information center. And then I have to get over the bridge end the river Mosel. Directly on the other side is a Geocache, that will give me the state of Saarland. An easy find after the GPS on my phone found the right satellites. Perfect. A new country and a new stat in under 20 minutes.

Just walking back into Luxembourg – that is why the Schengen treaty is so important. Just walking over borders is great. For getting back to the capital, I need another bus ride. The signs are not the best, where the bus stops, but after about 30 minutes waiting I am on my way back to Luxembourg. This time without having to change busses.

Back at the station I get another bus to go to Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg – another church. Not to impressive. One good thing – there are few tourists here. Not the most popular country for tourism as is seems.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg

I will not go into all the geocaching I started here, but from the church I made my way to the Place Guillaume II. A big marked square in the middle of the old town (upper town). There is nothing here at the moment. A few tourists but not much more.

Place Guillaume II

The Rue de la Reine takes me to the Palais Grand-Ducal, where the ruler of this small country lives. In the middle of the old town. Just a guard walking back and forth along the wall.

A little bit up and down the Grand-Rue, which is the pedestrian area. Nothing special. Like many other cities. I feel a little bit disappointed, but carry on, following the geocaches placed in the city. A good thing to do so! When I walk down the Rue de l’Eau from the palace north-east, I get into a part of the old town that looks older and there are more tourists. I have to admit, that I did not do the most of research of what to see in Luxembourg. For only one day, I try to explore by chance. But this was the right turn.

At the end of the Rue Sigefroi and passing the Église Saint-Michel you get to the really old part of the city. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. And here, at the outer part where I am now, you can see much more older parts. You have a view of the river Alzette, that runs through Luxembourg. And along the ricer you see the old, medieval parts of Luxembourg, parts of the city wall that runs along the older parts of the city and the hill the old town (upper city) was build on. This is, what I am talking about. This is a great view.

The little I read before I came was about the old city – the modern is more like every other city you visit. There are several, thematic routes you can walk. And I don’t have the time to do any of them as a whole, since I have to get back to Paris in the evening.

What I do (after the mandatory photos and geocaches) is trying to get down to the river and over to the other side. I already have done a lot of walking (again) and the way back will be long. But I have to see as much as possible in the short time I am here. My first try to get down to the river ends in a dead end and I have to climb the path back up. The only way I see is to follow the road – which is quite a detour. But I t gets med down to the river in the end.

Passing at the foot of the city wall I make my way to the Pont du Stierchen to cross the Alzette, ending up in an old monastery that now seem to host a conference center, restaurants and a museum.

Passing through the gate, there is only one main road to walk along the river, the Rue Münster. Only problem – I want to get up to the old town again, and the elevation difference between the river and the upper city is quite high. I am tired and need a toilet. Not the best motivation for such a journey.

But what do I see… people going in and out a tunnel in the mountain? I have to investigate. And yes… the tunnel does not only have a public place of relive, it has also an elevator to the upper city. Partytime. And the elevator spits you out exactly in front of the Palais de Justice Luxembourg. A perfect place to continue my exploration.

Back to the Palais Grand-Ducal and again walking the Grand-Rue further than before and a tur into a side street I get to the Place d’ Armes. A great spot to sit down a few minutes ad drink some McDonalds beverage and getting a souvenir magnet for the fridge.

I want to take a look at the “new” city around the station. That means more walking. Down the Boulevard Royal and over the Pont Adolphe and down the Avenue de la liberté. This is only (another) kilometer of walking. Back at the station but to early for my ride back.

I make use of the free public transport once more and take the tram T1 up to the old town again, to get some dinner before my trip back to Paris. The stop Retournement Hamilius vers Etoile and then through a passage onto the Rue Aldringen where I find the restaurant La Baraque, which serves Belgian fries (the best ones). That is my dinner. Easy and tasty.

But then it is time for the train back. The tram gets me down to the station and when I arrive on the platform there is no train. That should have arrived there some moments ago. Not long until the signs change and inform the waiting passengers about a 1 hour delay. Unfortunately for many, the information is only given in Luxembourgish. This can be understood if you know German, but many did not get the message. Only thing to do is wait.

When the train finally arrives, I just have to sit down in my 1. class seat (which I bought for cheap for the way back) and enjoy the ride into the sunset into Paris. My feet are tired. But more walking is coming.

I Paris back to the Metro 7 and back to Villejuif Léo Lagrange and then the walk back to the flat, where I happily throw myself into the sofa with my parents that had a very lazy day of doing nothing. I had a great day and got a lot out of it,

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