I guess ambiguity of culture is exactly what makes Luxembourg, well, Luxembourg.
It’s hard to say. I visited Luxembourg City for just a few hours, but I definitely liked it. It had the kind of character that feels authentic – like real people live and work there – despite Luxembourg’s reputation for being a very wealthy place. My friend, Wisconsin (the alias I’m giving her because of her deep Midwestern roots and thick accent) and I decided to spend our free Wednesday taking the train over to have a look.
We decided to take a leisurely approach and headed towards the city center, where we ambled amongst the streets, shops and monuments.
The highlights of our excursion included:
Walking the main bridge into the center of town. The city is divided by an enormous valley, with bridges connecting the two sides.
Happening upon the Ladurée store. We bought incredible macarons in beautiful boxes, served to us by an incredibly charming man at the counter. True luxury.
Having lunch in a small café-type place. My salad had shrimp and some sort of cream sauce. Wisconsin had the pasta. This place was teeny tiny, which was what added to its charm. Being squeezed in - fellow day trippers on one side, lunching businessmen on the other and the single waitress serving everyone with an ease of someone who knew how to do her job – is what made the place, so unassuming from the outside, feel so charming on the inside. And of course, we desserted on our macarons, which were delicious.
Walking through the streets, happening upon fun little gourmet shops and walking through a maze of beautifully kept government and judicial buildings.
Luxembourg is charming, but not in a storybook kind of way. Which I like. It makes it more real, in the way some university campuses are charming and clean, but also useful and functional, too. I don’t know much about the people of Luxembourg, can’t really sum them up. One afternoon doesn’t seem a fair amount of time to try and make a judgment anyway, does it? So I’ll just leave it at that. A charming mash up. A crossroads of cultures. Something entirely unique on its own.