Sunday, July 23, 2017
Western Europe: Short stop in Luxembourg
I bought my train ticket from Gent to Luxembourg online before departing Melbourne. According to the train itinerary when I bought the ticket, I only need to do one change of train in Brussels and I would be on my way. When I checked which tram I need to take to get to Gent-St-Pieters, I realised all the trains needed at least 2 transfers including one bus ride.
I took tram #1 towards Gent Flanders Expo earlier so that I have time to re-check the train itinerary at the train station. Ticket machine in Gent unfortunately only take coins and cost €3 for a single ticket. I didn't have enough coins when we first reached Gent and I had to run over to a cafe to change a note into coins. They were really nice about it though. ^^
The Sunday I left Gent was the Pentecost Sunday, a holiday what I was not aware of until then. Pentecost is observed 55 days after Easter and 10 days after Ascension. This day commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of flames to the Apostles, as recorded in the New Testament in Acts, 2.
Among the days I wasn't feeling well, I was probably most sick on this long travel day. I started on a coughing marathon when I was in the middle of a conversation with the lady in the train station. Poor lady, she probably thought she was going to contract TB the way I coughed. Lol. I bought a waffle, my last one before I left Belgium as breakfast. As the day passed, when the drugs were losing its effect, I started to increase the layer of my clothes and ended up 2 layers of jackets, a scarf and a beanie while the next guy who walked passed me was in shorts.
I supposed, like Australia, track works are usually scheduled during long weekends. So there was a track work in progress from Gent to Luxembourg. So I had to take a train from Gent-St-Pieters to Liege-Guillemins. Changed to another train to Troisvierges, followed by a bus to Ettelbruck. After that, switched back to a train to Luxembourg.
I was indecisive between Luxembourg or Trier but went with Luxembourg because... I would need a change of train in Luxembourg anyway and it is a different country. Um.. there is no smart logic, in fact now it sounds very shallow.
I had very limited time in Luxembourg, so I could probably only do one thing, at max two. The shortlisted two items were Bock Casemates and The Grund. As I wasn't feeling very well and being cheapskate, so I decided to go with walking around The Grund. Grund is a quarter in central Luxembourg city, it is within walking distance from the train station or you could take a public transport. I was recommended to just walk, so that was what I did.
On the way there one will passed the Notre Dame Cathedral of Luxembourg.
I was quite surprised to see how popular it was with China tour groups.
One could take as much time or as little time to explore the Grund. There are many routes to wander but I only did the most obvious one. As you can see in the photo above, someone was walking on another route, below where I was.
I walked back to the train station with some time to spare so that I could grab a bite and of course, being paranoid of missing my train as I have informed the hotel the time I would arrived.
I saw a Oberweis outlet inside the train station and thought I could grab a sandwich, though I admit the sweets definitely looked more tempting.
I haven't had any thing since the waffle in Gent, I thought I should eat something despite the lack of appetite. So I got myself a ham, cheese, tomato and egg sandwich. It was ok, though I was still unwell so probably not the best judge of any food.
I did feel the little pinch in terms of affordability after the couple of days in Belgium. Despite my usual habit of getting a fridge magnet for my collection, I decided to forgo one from Luxembourg due to the price and nothing jumped out to me that I really wanted. So instead of a physical magnet, I took a photo of them. After going through the whole trip, I have come to terms that Switzerland wins hands down, the most expensive of them all. Haha.
Side note: Masterchef Australia grand final tomorrow.. lol..