It was never actually my aim to combine the two, much less to specifically visit Luxembourg for either of these! It was in fact by sheer coincidence that I happened to book a few days here just a couple of weeks before Christmas.
Luxembourg being so expensive, I decided to stay in Konz in Germany, around 30 minutes away by car. That was a lucky break as, once again by sheer coincidence, I was right next to two sensational towns, Trier and Saarburg, both beautiful in their own right but for very different reasons. Trier has splendid architecture and also a fantastic Christmas Market while Saarburg is famous for its waterfall that passes right through the town centre.
One cannot fail to stop for a minute and describe Saarburg. First of all, it’s an extremely popular place and being such a small town, parking is a nightmare. In fact, it took me quite a while to find an empty parking slot. Finally, after having parked my car quite some distance away, I walked towards the town centre through quaint narrow streets until I finally reached the pinnacle of my visit here – the famous waterfall! It’s very impressive, especially when night falls, as it’s all lit up. Of course, being Christmas time, there was also a tiny Christmas market here too!
Being so close to France, I was also encouraged to visit Metz, particularly due to the famous stained glass windows of its cathedral. It was only around one hour away by car from Konz, the town where I was staying, so the deal was on. I spent around half a day here and it was time well-spent. I parked as close to the centre as I could and walked around as Metz is not that big. I was impressed by the many places of interest, particularly the railway station, of all places!
However, there’s much more to Metz than the railway station! Equally impressive were the castle, the Protestant church and of course the Cathédrale Saint Étienne de Metz, an impressive sanctuary with fantastic stained-glass windows and Gothic features. On entering the cathedral, I was not disappointed despite the fact that these beautiful works of art are difficult to capture on camera.
Of course, the highlight of this trip was always going to be Luxembourg, my 35th country. Since I had rented a car, I drove far and wide and saw at least four or five castles, some bigger or more aesthetically pleasing than others. This is why I nicknamed Luxembourg the country of castles! So if you’re into castles, then you’re just going to get bowled over when visiting Luxembourg! If you do go, make sure you go when they are open though as almost all of them were closed in December. However, they were still lovely to look at from the outside.
I finally ended my short trip in Luxembourg City itself. I was told that there’s nothing much of interest to see here and that’s very true but luckily enough, it was getting close to Christmas, so there were plenty of exciting Christmas Markets and even an Ice Rink to visit, all beautifully decorated and lit up in sparkling colourful lights at sunset, definitely the best time to take photos!
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by Luxembourg, as it was far more interesting that I had envisaged. If you love castles, make sure you visit in the summer, but if you love Christmas and want to spice up your visit, then going in December is the perfect time of the year! Oh, by the way, DO go into the shops at this time of the year, as fantastic bargains are to be had!