June 21, 2014, Luxembourg- It was the Solstice! How to ring in the Summer? For me, there was no better way than to walk down to the Alzette River, passing the three segments of the old fortress district of Luxembourg-Ville along the way. The path to these magnificent sites passes along Rue Marche des Herbes.
The walker passes Luxembourg’s Palais de Justice.
Around the corner is L’Eglise Saint-Michel, honouring the Archangel.
Then comes Rocher de Bock. This is the oldest area of Luxmbourg-Ville, having been built by Count Sigefroy, on the site of an old Roman castellum, in 963 AD.
This is a view of a casement, under the Bock.
From the Bock, a viaduct, built first by the Romans, then restored by the Spanish, still shows usefulness.
Ville-Basse, the lower city, has its vibrance and trendiness, much as do the city centre and Quartier Gare, both in Ville- Haute.
Maybe Not Bob’s is an eatery that has been open for 21 years. The name comes from a compromise between the two owners. One wanted to call it Maybe’s and the other, Bob’s. So they disagreed in the middle, but continued to serve good food, or so I’m told. I saved my appetite for New Color’s, later that evening.
On I went, past the confluence of the tiny Pertrusse with the moderately-flowing Alzette, towards Wenceslas Wall.
The Alzette offers a short, but tranquil, walk in shady woods.
Wenceslas was an early Duke of Luxembourg, allied with the Spanish, during the days when Spain was ruled by the Hapsburgs. His wall was intended to keep out the French. This worked until the War of the Reunions, which I mentioned in the previous post. Vauban, who led the french to victory, left his own fortress.
There is a third fortress, Thungen, in the Kirschberg District, but I did not get over that way, this time.
Instead, I circled around and took in Ville-Basse’s small but scintillating garden.
New Color’s is a brasserie, built by some of the employees of Color’s, a now defunct eatery, which ruled the Luxembourg dining scene for several years, or again, so I’m told. All I know is that this new establishment provided a delectable five-course meal, and has one of the most energetic staffs I’ve seen anywhere. I was the first dinner guest, and by the time I left, there was zero room on the patio. Hugo became a friend, and I gave my payment standing up, so that he and his wife would not lose four guests, for whom mine was the closest table to being available.
The Orchestra ended its performance at 10 PM. In Place d’Armes, however, Dany Kohll and Maxim were just getting started.
Graceful Mme. Kohll and her troupe, which includes her husband, Felix Schaber, a horn virtuoso, kept everyone gleeful, with a mix of pop, show, blues and rock anthems. We all got to join in for “Silly Sally” and Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home”, with which Dany sent everyone home, right at Midnight.
This was the most eclectic day of my journey, certainly, and what an honour to have been able to take part in the little nation’s big weekend. By the way, the Duke whose birthday is the basis for this celebration was the first Grand Duke of an independent Luxembourg: Adolphe I.
NEXT: Morning in Luxembourg, Evening in Metz.
( I must let everyone know, all the photos taken during the last week of my time in Europe were lost yesterday, in a computer mishap. I am looking into long-shot possibilities for restoring the SIM card, or extracting the photos, but Best Buy says its impossible. The remaining posts, therefore, will have accredited photos by other sources.)