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One of my favourite photos - it's like a never ending road.
Luxembourg is one of Europe smallest countries and is the world's remaining country ruled by a Grand Duke. It is surrounded by three huge countries - Germany on the East, Belgium on the West and France on the South. Luxembourg is an amazing trilingual country - German, French and Luxembourgish.
We took a train from Brussels to Luxembourg, then a bus ride down to the oldest town in Luxembourg - Echternach. It was a public holiday on that day, and apparently there were some changes to the bus schedules and routes on holidays (which we weren't fully aware of), so we waited a very long time at this supposedly bus-stop for a bus that never came. Fortunately, we met a really sweet local lady who's also waiting for the same bus! She asked other bus drivers for directions and asked us to follow her - really lucky to have met her! (:
Interior of our caravan - the living room
We planned to stay at a caravan during our stay in Luxembourg (really excited because it was our first time staying in one!) but because of all the delays, we reached Echternach at about 5pm+, and the check-in office was closed (much to our horrors - where would we stay for the night?!). Fortunately, we found out (by reading the notes on the notice board) there's a "guard house" located nearby where the family living inside has all the keys to the caravans. They gave us the keys and told us to check in proper the next day - phew!
Interior of our caravan - the bedroom
It's a small, cozy and neat caravan, but there were no pillows, bedsheets or blankets provided, so we were actually very unprepared - the weather at night dipped (it was mid-June when we were there) and we had to pile on many layers of clothing in order to stay warm. It was quite a terrible night, trying to fight the cold and get some rest. Luckily we managed to rent sleeping bags the next day at the reception.
It was a public holiday... hence the empty streets.
A quiet and peaceful walk in the evening.
After settling down, we headed towards the city centre to grab some food and drinks. Most shops were closed, except for hotel restaurants and some mini-marts. We ate at a hotel restaurant, the food was okay but there's nothing special about it... :/ I really love the fact that Europeans really enjoy, rest and relax on their holidays, but I guess it can be frustrating for tourists! Well, I guess I gotta go back Echternach again one day!
After dinner, we took a walk around the city centre. The courtyard is located near the tourism information centre.
The Benedictine Abbey - the absence of human beings allowed the beauty of the buildings to stand out.
The Benedictine Abbey was built from 1726 to 1727 in Lothringian style. The abbey was dissolved in 1797 and is currently a high school.
The Basilica Of St Willibrord
This basilica is the fifth church that is built in this exact spot. The first was built by St Willibrord from 698 to 706 and after his death in 739, a second and larger church was built to accommodate the increase in pilgrims who came to worship him as a saint. The second church was later destroyed by a fire in 1016, replaced it was a Romanesque style church built in 1031.
Stained glass of St Willibrord - taken when we entered the church the next day.
The next day we woke up to a bright, breezy and sunny weather. The plan was to go on a hike towards Berdorf, so we're thankful for the great weather!
The caravan camp site
The Sauer river that seperates Luxembourg and Germany
We started our hike along the river, hoping to feed some ducks, but we found a family of swans (adult and young swans) instead! I remembered when I was young, the Ugly Duckling movie made me cry terribly because the pitiful plight of the duckling.
Papa swan (cob)
Cygnets / swanlings ? I think they are extremely adorable!
And we are looking at Germany right now...
The Sauer river is 173m long and it passes through Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.
Echternach is a popular place for hiking and walks. There are trails of different difficulties to choose from and there are also plenty of directional signs erected so it's quite hard to get lost.
View from atop the hill
Out of the trail, walking towards Berdorf
Along the main road there's a Perekop - a 40-metres high tower-like rock. Climbing to the top gives you a great view of the surroundings.
Really steep and narrow stairway up the Perekop
Kinda scary when we looked down the stairs...
Atop the Perekop (forgot to take a photo of the other side..)
A long, straight road.
It was beautiful walking on the road towards Berdorf - there's hardly any cars, and there were crops on both sides. It's so peaceful, serene and beautiful. There was a slight drizzle while we were walking, but the skies cleared up in no time (and the view was so beautiful - blue skies, green fields and all).
After the drizzle, the skies cleared up...
And reveal this.
While wandering in Berdorf, we saw an old, empty hotel. The skies started to darken again and the setting makes the hotel looked so eerie and creepy.
More cows in sight
Geese at Echternach Lake
We took a bus back to Echternach and we took a long walk to Echternach Lake. There were lots of geese and ducks waiting to be fed.
Another view of Echternach lake
Bridge to cross over to Germany
As we head back to our caravan after dinner, we passed by this bridge built across the Sauer river. The other side of the bridge is supposedly Germany!
Coat of arms (Luxembourg & Echternach)
Last breathtaking view of Echternach
Echternach is a beautiful and serene city in Luxembourg and it's definitely a place worth going. It's like taking a break from all the busy city and hectic lifestyle, a break to relax and recoup your energy, a break to experience the beautiful nature.
Our next destination after Echternach will be Paris - the City of Light!