Ahh city breaks, how I love you! I’m not a massive fan of summer beach holidays and would choose a winter city break over the former anyday. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a cocktail in the sunshine, however everyone who knows me well would agree that I am near-on completely allergic to summer: pale skin that burns, freckles covering every square inch of my face, hayfever, mosquito bites… the list is endless! City breaks, however, require no beach body preparation. You don’t have to lie on sand (that gets stuck in every orifice) soaking up harmful UV rays to appear ‘more attractive’ in colour. So when my friend invited me to Luxembourg this December, I jumped at the chance to add another European city to my list.
Where on earth is Luxembourg you may ask? Well, it’s a teeny tiny country bordered by Belgium, Germany and France. Very few tourists visit Luxembourg due to it’s small size and more famous neighbouring countries. However, Luxembourg is a beautiful two-tier city full of picturesque landscapes and medieval history. Add to that a good old Christmas market and you have a perfect weekend away. Unfortunately, much of Luxembourg shuts down over the Christmas period so we missed out on a few touristy spots, however there was more than enough to keep us entertained over the two days. The people of Luxembourg are very into their art and small exhibitions popped up all over the place. One particular exhibition entitled ‘Parasite Paradise’ was right up my street with it’s creepy, nightmarish subject matter.
My favourite Christmas market was the one situated opposite the Notre Dame Cathedral. This had your usual mulled wine, festive food and a terrible school choir singing out of tune Christmas songs. However, this particular market was also full of quaint stalls selling unusual gifts you wouldn’t find elsewhere. I accidently spent over £50 on crockery… yes crockery… which makes me feel incredibly old! You know you’re getting old when you get excited about foreign homeware. I also thoroughly enjoyed the rum stall where, after a fair few rums, a decorative candelabra inspired an impromptu rendition of ‘Be Our Guest’ from Beauty & The Beast. (I feel like this blog post has gotten very weird very quickly).
Another highlight of the trip was visiting the ‘Luxembourg American Cemetry and Memorial’ for fallen soldiers of the Second World War. The cemetery was established on December 29, 1944, as a temporary cemetery for the casualties of the Battle of the Bulge. However, it soon became a permanent site for the remains of 5,076 fallen American soldiers. The sheer size of the graves area, and the sacrifice they represent, was overwhelming and a sobering reminder of all that these men and women endured.
All in all, a great trip and I am busy looking forward to the next – Amsterdam!