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LUXEMBOURG

My favorite thing about this place—Luxembourg City---was the bathroom!  But more about that later.

This trip was a three-day weekend jaunt out of Detroit connecting with our international flight in Atlanta to Brussels.

It was so cold and rainy after touching down in Brussels that we opted to take a train to Luxembourg City, a three-hour trip from Brussels.

The trains that connect Brussels and Luxembourg are not nearly as nice as most other European trains we've had the pleasure of experiencing.  In fact they reminded me more of a commuter train than a long distance train with the cars filling up so rapidly at some stops that many riders had to stand-up and really crammed together.  Many school kids hopped on and off the train.

When we arrived in Luxembourg City it was raining even harder and it had gotten even colder. The rain mixed with snow and it was totally miserable. So we simply checked into the wonderful Grand Hotel Cravat and holed up there for the evening.

The Cravat has been there for a hundred years and while the lobby was anything but impressive, the rooms were lovely and the bathrooms get a 6 star rating on a scale of 1 to 5!!!!

We had hoped to be able to head to a restaurant outside the hotel but the rain kept coming down in buckets so we dined at the hotel's casual La Taverne restaurant. There we dined on the specialty of Belgium and Luxembourg—moules (French for mussels) and frites---crispy french fries although I must say that they are blown out of proportion. Sure, they’re good, but not the best in the world as they tend to brag in Belgium and Luxembourg. We chased our meal with a local beer (we each sampled a different brew and traded sips). Good beer but not the best we’ve ever tasted.

The Cravat's "premium" restaurant, Restaurant Le Normandy was closed since it was off season.  Many raved about it so you might want to give it a try if you visit the city.

Now about the bathrooms at the Cravat. They were great. They were huge and featured a separate large tub and shower stall. The tub came with turbo spa action! Jets shot out from underneath and from the sides. I had to pry Cindy out of there!! Me—I was in the shower, which was equally intriguing. It had a huge shower pillar that offered several different functions. It had a "ribbon waterfall" out of the top if you selected that. Below it had a series of jets that gave you a virtual Jacuzzi shower if you selected that option. Finally, it had a usual showerhead that was detachable. Quite an experience. And of course, the towel rack was heated. You find that a lot at hotels in Europe. Strangely in this shrine to bathrooms there was no bidet!

Like many European cities, Luxembourg is alive with people at nigh even in the middle of a nasty, rainy, snowy night. All night long outside our room we heard the laughs and conversation of late night revelers heading home.

We chatted with the front desk about restaurant recommendations for future visits and they offered several suggestions.  Speltz in the city center was mentioned for good local favorites.  We usually try to take in places where the locals do local food the best.  And for a "big night out" they recommended St. Michel, a French restaurant viewed as the most elegant in the city.  Be prepared to part with up to $100 bucks a plate without cocktails or wine.  Ouch!!!

We awakened early hoping to get out and do some sightseeing but the rain came down harder than ever so we decided to have our taxi driver give us a brief tour of the city as we headed back to the train station for the three hour trip back to Brussels.

We definitely intend to go back to Luxembourg someday and give the place a fair chance. Among the sights we had hoped to see was the Place de la Constitution. We were told about the beautiful views from this area and about its history during the Nazi days of World War Two.

Cindy had very much wanted to see the Luxembourg Casemates—ancient fortifications or caves that have ancient writings in them and have sheltered generations of people over the years from war and other threats.

Other things you might want to see in the city that we didn't get a chance to include the National Museum of Art and History.  And if you're a castle nut as my wife is, a visit to the Castle of Sigefrot might be in order.

CURRENCY IN LUXEMBOURG IS THE EURO.  IT USED TO BE THE LUXEMBOURG FRANC. DRIVING IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD AND A PASSPORT IS NEEDED FOR ENTRANCE (ALTHOUGH IF YOU’RE JUST HEADIN’ DOWN THERE FROM BELGIUM THERE ARE NO IMMIGRATION CHECKS.)

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