August 30, 2015

Vianden, the Castle and world heritage site

This is Vianden, Luxembourg. I have come close to it but never made it here, perhaps too much driving around. This time I came straight from Echternach on the road N10 and it was fantastic, one of the highlights of the trip as we love castles.

There is a quaint small town ambiance which is superb here, we love it, and nice churches such as St Nicolas and Des Trinitaires; as well as a good cable car that takes you the castle about 15 minutes walking from it for 4,80€ roundtrip. And the river Our with its cascades and levies is nice natural environment to see and walk its banks.

However, all else is secondary to the Castle of Vianden. http://www.castle-vianden.lu/english/visit/index.html

It is open every day from 10h and until 16h to 18h depending the date.  admission is 6€ adults.

You come up a long winding hilly road into the entrance gates, pay, and go up more steps into the first courtyard. YOu follow a sequence of numbered rooms to the Arms hall, archeological crypt, early kitchen, lower chapel (with byzantines designs) ,knight’s study, inner courtyard, upper chapel, Byzantine gallery, JP Kotz hall, Charles Arendt hall, Banqueting hall, bedroom, festivity hall, genealogy hall, grand kitchen, dining hall, the well, knight’s hall, and the large cellars. You can easily spend half day looking at the castle alone or more.

More info in Vianden tourist office here,  http://www.vianden-info.lu/francais/visites-et-decouvertes/patrimoine-historique/le-chteau-de-vianden

The castle is impressive , with great showing , and a nice cafeteria at the way out , suggest though to get something to drink as you start your tour, bottle of water etc as the long up and down sideways can be exhaustive for older and or less active folks.

In all, with only a couple places to see and maybe eat here or take picnic food as we did, you can have a wonderful time in Vianden. We love it, and will be back. Enjoy your Sunday, I am catching up on my trip lol!

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August 30, 2015

Bitburg, land of the Bitburger beer

Ok ok, just a short post on a wonderful little town of Bitburg in Germany. We check this out as we drink this beer here in Bretagne(Brittany), and decided that about 60 kms we will never be any closer so there we went.

Tourist office here ; http://www.eifel-direkt.de/go/info_english.html

So we went up on the road B51 from south of Trier to Bitburg, easy. We walk around the town and check out the Church of Our Lady just when a wedding was going on in the city hall across it;we came back for the inside. We had a good inexpensive lunch at El Greco Greek resto with gyros specials for 10€ per person with bitburger beers lol! The picture is from our table a bit sideways!

Then we went over the Bitburger brewery, to our surprise ,they were doing only tours in German lol!! no help for tourism here. The English tours are done on reservation , I guess needed to call the translators from England ::)

Anyway, we took some of the tour trying our best as we do not speak German alas;;; others yes but not German. The brewery seems impressive big and the beer is one of the most popular pils there. It has nice history and museum next door; will see when back and make reservation. The long scripture tower is the history of the beer and sometimes it pours beers!!! The other photo is the tower of singing bells and the horse market fountain as before the town was big on trading horses.

The ride back was easy on the roads too, another town on my map and still drinking that German bitburger beers ! Cheers and happy Sunday y’all ::)

Bitburg Bitburg Bitburg Bitburg Bitburg Bitburg Bitburg Bitburg Bitburg

 

 

August 29, 2015

Echternach Luxembourg and its Basilica museum

On one of my days from home in Germany near the Luxembourg border we decided to come to Echternach, I have been by here briefly before , but this time the whole family was in. Echternach is the basilica of Saint Willibrock.

The tourist office is here http://www.echternach-tourist.lu/en/city

It was easy for us as we just came from our village up the B51 up to Konz and then to Wasserbillig Luxembourg on the road N10 straight to Echternach. nice ride.

We came upon the old customs house and right afterward there was our parking at rue du pont right next to the Benedictine abbey that took us into city center at place du marché.

Here we came across the old justice palace done in the 13-14C and still in great condition, the city hall or hotel de ville is here. We came across the thing to come here, the Basilica of Saint Willibrock, with its Merovigien crypt with the tomb of the founder of the abbey. Portraits from the 11C, the basilica as we see it today dates from the 11C to 13C  was damaged during the Battle of the Ardennes (Bulge WWII) and rebuilt in a neo roman style. The Crypt is from the Caroligian period and has remains of paintings on the walls. It house a great white marble sarcophagi containing the remains of Saint-Willibrord. You will find as well the fountain of St. Willibrord, the renaissance confessions and the stained glass windows.  It is here that the famous International Festival of ’Echternach is held.

There is ,also, a museum of the abbey present the story of the abbey founded in 698AD, and house in the old abbey vaulted cellars. The museum has great decorative paintings in gold with the first letters of the Evangelism of great value; the beautiful facsimiles of work of such as the Codex Aureus Epternacensis or Codex Aureus Escorialensis. IN another section you can see a few remains of the work of Saint Willibrord,and ,also on his time and origins here; nice. http://web.cathol.lu/991/mouvements/oeuvre-saint-willibrord/st-willibrord-website-english/

A wonderful place du marché or market square to wandered and have lunch completes the day, but we had ours elsewhere this time. Enjoy Echternach a medieval looking complex right in the center of town, easy parking. Cheers

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August 28, 2015

Luxembourg more than one city, Grevenmacher and Schengen.

I have come to Luxembourg but always head out north down the center from the city; this time basing ourselves closer , we took the plunge into the southern part. Here we came up to wine towns of the white grapes or bubblies these towns were Grevenmacher and Schengen.

The tourist offices of Schengen, European Center is here http://www.schengen-tourist.lu/index.php?idnavigation=20&fidlanguage=1

And Grevenmacher is here, http://www.grevenmacher.lu/tourisme/patrimoine-a-decouvrir

We rode from Germany on the B51 over the 419 and into Wellen crossing the Moselle into Grevenmacher and then down south on the 10 and 152 to Schengen. Easy beautiful rides along a wonderful river and very nice scenaries.

Once in Grevenmacher, we walk all over the nice streets, wonderful feeling; beautiful fountain statues and a nice Church St Laurent right in city center near the hotel de ville or city hall.

We had our lunch at La Belle Pierre, 15 Route de Thionville, a nice resto of excellent food at greater good prices. menu at 9,90€! and a nice beer Diekirch of Luxembourg.  We had lasagna dishes, and I had the menu of entrée of shrimp and fusilli  bolognaise with dessert of custard, and it was just right. In a very nice bright clean modern ambiance, here is the webpage http://www.labellepierre.lu/

We came afterward to visit the Caves Bernard Massard, of the great Luxembourg white whites and especially the bubblies of the methode traditionelle (not allowed to use the word Champagne). This house is from 1921 and the founder learn the trade in France before coming back to do his cellars and now they are purveyors to the Duke of Luxembourg. Great host Peter , and a wonderful barwomen Nathalie, in the tasting room, wonderful boutique and great welcoming, the wines were good and we purchase both still and bubbly wines.  We had the tour of the cellars in addition to three tasting full glasses for 9€ per person. http://www.bernard-massard.lu/fr/

We then continue a short ride along the Moselle river to Schengen the European Center and old castle and a nice church St Sauveur. The Euro Center was the treaty of free exchange of people in Europe something that is in vogue today in Europe and test this initiative done in 1990. The castle now a hotel and conference center , originally built in 1350 was visited in 1871 by Victor Hugo. The center is like a museum showing the history of the treaty and the different customs houses of Europe;it ,also, shows the different organisms governing Europe today. Educational.

We headed back up to Grevenmacher and cross the bridge to Wellen and Germany to go “home” in the Saar. Stay tune for more, cheers.

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August 27, 2015

The Saarland of Germany, Saarburg

Again on my wandering routes in Germany , this time we visited the town of Saarburg on the south on the crossroads to Luxembourg on the N2 and then in Germany you take the 407 or B51 all great routes. Saarburg is best known for its cascades of the river in city center or downtown.

The tourist office is here , http://www.saar-obermosel.de/en/citiesandcommunities/saarburg.html

We got up early and went for it even continuing down the road 10 in Luxembourg;but this is Saarburg Germany.

It has a very lively city center or Am Markt area, a nice municipal museum or AMuseum , the cable car or Sesselift , the Church of Saint Laurentius, the Protestant church of great controversy for its ties to the old Nazy regime, and the best is the Cascade. There is,also, a nice river terminus for river boat rides.

The Am Markt is a lively area full of restos and shop circumvolving around the river Leuk that passes thru the center of the city ,very quaint, romantic and nice for an evening walk or day. The municipal museum of Amuseum sits in an old windmill from the 1300’s with a special unique running canal next to the houses and above the river to slow down the water pressure. It shows the history of the city and temporary painting exhibits.

The Cable car or Sesselift is a nice thing to do as you go up to the hills overlooking the city and the vineyards. It cost 3,80 euros per person. The Church of Saint Laurentius is right in the center by the Kunohof street ; it has a beautiful tympan entrance with statues on it in stone, originally built in 1370 the new church was done in 1854; inside you see the Grape Madonna (1500), Baptismal font of stone (1575) ,and the stained glass windows (1855). Right next to it runs Laurentius Gate that was the entrance in the middle ages from lower to higher town.

The Protestant Church or Evangelists, is underneath the Castle ruins built in 1893 in neo gothic style with yellow red sandstone. IN 1945 ,the pastor Schmidt was stripped of his duties for his Nazi affiliation and replace by a new pastor but he remain there refusing to give up his duties until 1950.

Last is the Cascade ,right around the bridge Auf Dem Graben the area is known as Little Venice. The bridge spam the Butter Market , the houses here have been on oak poles for centuries on the Leuk river, the town’s people changed its direction in the 13C to have enough water to extinguish fires. Further on is the real cascade where from the iron bridge on high viewing points you can see enormous water masses of the Leuk plunging more than 20 meters over cliff cascades right into city center. In order to stabilize the banks, the 20 meter high “Tümpelsmauer” wall was built in 1641.

Below the iron bridge on the area known as the Standen and on the other side of the Esplanade full of restos and bus terminal you have the river boat terminus for boat rides on the river Saar on the great Saar Stern boat. In German, http://www.saarflotte.de/de/flotte-team/technische-daten.html

Nice town ,lively on the center and great river rides. A wonderful day trip with the family. Enjoy the photos, Cheers.

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August 26, 2015

The land of Sarre in Germany, Mettlach

Well this was a nice surprise unintended. I was going to Sarrebrucken to see the Ford factory as my car is a Ford all my life. And while getting there met a nice city and a pretty town on the way;the town is Mettlach.

Going all the way on the road B51 from my base south to Mettlach was easy, passing many interesting towns and enjoying the car ride. There is a tourist site but in German, http://www.tourist-info.mettlach.de/de/

From the region tourist office you have more in English, http://www.germany.travel/en/search-results.html?q=mettlach

Mettlach is a nice town, with a history of Saint Luitwinius in a very nice Church. Great river cruising on the Sarre river up river and most of all the home of ceramics wonderland in Villeroy & Boch ,with its many outlet stores and also many others like Land’s End.

For me the hightlight was the visit to the old abbey now the home for 260 years of the ceramic maker Villeroy&Boch, http://www.villeroyboch-group.com/en/visit-villeroy-boch/outlet-shops/mettlach.html

There are many outlet stores there from Land’s End, http://www.landsend.de/de_DE/Mettlach-Outlet-Store/co/ks-outlet-store.html

and many others like Laura Ashley, Bassetti,Silit etc here http://www.mettlachoutletcenter.de/en.html

So it is really a shopper’s paradise with a nice river cruise and picking up some bargain the day trip to Mettlach should be great. And do not forget to go up to the Church of St Liutwinius.

We had a snack there at Eiscafe La Taormina, Sicilian folks and great beers with gelato, Italian ice cream just wonderful like been there,and on the main street just down from the Church on the main street to the river boat terminals and five minutes from the Villeroy & Boch abbey/outlet stores.

the abbey has a great garden with water fountain, and a tower 1000 years old of St Liutwinius and a statue of the Saint in the up the square facing the town; just a nice small town indeed and a wonderful find. Enjoy the pictures;cheers.

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August 25, 2015

The Saarland of Germany, Saarbrucken

Again on my road warrior summer vacation, where I forgot to mentioned before put in 3804 kms! We came down to a new city for all, Saarbrucken. I wanted to see it simply because there they build my FORD !!! and I am a FORD men, can’t wait to get a hold of my Mustang in Europe….!

However, it turn out a lot nicer than we thought and one of the best stays we had in Germany.  The tourist office in English for the city is here ; http://www.saarbruecken.de/en/tourism/saarbruecken/sights

Even with no German language, the trip was easy, always signs , bit of English and French and there we go. We drove from our home base in Oberemmel on the national road B51/E29/620, fast and little traffic! all the way to Saarbrucken and along the way finding new towns one we later came back to it!

We came into the nice parking at Europahalle shopping center at Trierer street, here https://www.q-park.de/de/bei-q-park-parken/stadt/saarbrucken

From there we walk all over the city, very nice. We went into the old palace square or Schlossplatz full of museums from casements ,history, regional arts, and the old city hall; we climb the old walls of the old castle and saw breathtaking views of the river Saar below us.  Even got to see the French embassy of historical significance here as the city was part of France from 1793 to 1815! and later had an independent state from 1947 to 1956.

We went around to see St Jakobs Church, old city hall or Rathaus ,museum of Sacred Arts, Basilica St John, the new city hall and tourist office, St John’s Church, Ludwig’s Church, old palace or castle of Saarbrucken, Historical museum and underground casements, regional Saarland museum of objects found in the area;old castle walls.

We did our shopping at the Europa Galerie, and visited our favorite Galerie Kaufhof, as well as had our lunch in the Europa Galerie at a German bakery chain and salon de thé , the Bäckerhaus Ecker. All easily found walking and enjoy it the walks in city center nice shops and bars!

In all a pleasant day trip by our reliable car FORD. We did pass by the factory but that is on later posts ::) Until next time, and still with one more day vacation lol! Cheers.

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August 24, 2015

We came back to nice quaint Trier ,Germany

Trier was nice the first time I visited in 2005, and continue as I made quick in and outs of it. The family saw it briefly too in 2005 ,and then came back for good this time. We rented and apartment just south and had plenty of time to come in and out of Trier. The oldest city in Germany.

Tourist information is here, http://www.trier-info.de/english/index

We came the first time by the B51 road and park on the first parking available that was the europahalle at the other end of the famous Porta Nigra. This is near the pedestrians street but still a bit away to see the real town.  This is a congress hall but has underground parking very nice, http://www.kongresse-trier.de/english/

We then walk up to the city center. We came upon the first church that of Pfarrkirche St. Antonius at Antoniusstraße 1. We continue pass it to see the Karl Marx house and museum at Brückenstrasse 10 ; curious a simple house for a complex men.  http://www.trier-info.de/english/karl-marx-house-info

Passing many buildings of wonderful architecture such as the Tor des Ayles Schlosses. And again, another nice Church that the name escapes me now, and we arrive at the Konstantin Basilica, and the palace of Kurfurstliches both gorgeous and we move on to the Landes Museum impressive, and the Kaiserthermen spas of roman times! and of course the wonderful Porta Nigra; a roman arch door! right next to it you have the Stadtmuseum.

In all we did a lot of shopping on this day at the Galeria Kauhof, a sort of galleries Lafayette, just great and summer sales lol! we load up on goodies….each time in town. Of course, the Hauptmarkt or central square is gorgeous with many fountains and statues of great architecture beauty not ready to try to explain it, you just need to come and see it.

We did try a new gallery mall the Trier Galeria , good but not as Kauhof. And we had our lunch at Restaurant Pizzeria Fornelli, the real thing witnh 17,9€ per person and pizzas from romana , piedmonte,lombardia, and spa Bolognese all with lots of cold beers trierer lowenbrau and paid bottle water panna.

Then, we hit the Cathedral of Trier, superb , a must to see, the best of them. My explanation will not be enough , need to see it all of it, worth coming here just for it. The lower chapel are just as beautiful as the upper ones. See it.

I will give a sample of pictures on the above, this is a town worth coming back and we had ,and we will again. And we are not over yet , will come back with the second part or third as we came back often in our vacation trip. Enjoy Trier.

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August 24, 2015

The Saarland of Germany, Konz-Oberemmel

When we sat to decide on our summer vacation, we look at all the places we have been even shortly and those not yet gone. We have stop by Trier(Tréves) ,and like the area so we decided to rent south of it in the Saar region of Germany. With the help of the region tourist office ; http://www.saar-obermosel.de/en.html

We chose an apartment in the winemaker’s house in the town of Konz-Oberemmel where we rented for two weeks as our base; the town is lovely, and the stay was good with excellent quality/price ratio. This is the town page on the tourist office, http://www.saar-obermosel.de/en/citiesandcommunities/konz-oberemmel.html

The rental at Willems & Hofmann was here , http://www.schiefer-trifft-muschelkalk.de/en/kontakt.php ;It was in the 2nd floor of the building,  it had an entry stair a bit tight, then kitchenette, dining/living room combine with two windows in the attic, two bedrooms with two twins beds on each and the sofa bed in the living room; coffeemaker, microwave,medium size fridge, closets, the bathroom with shower and window;cable TV with some English stations for news, plus French, Spanish,Portuguese,etc. no telephone and no wifi/internet. The rent was discounted as we rented two weeks so it will change according to your stay and season. The family daughter and winemaker speaks English, and it is the daughter who handles the initial rental by email.

The town has one grocery store and one bakery, that is it, 1700 inhabitants, one spoked English and two French, the rest German and our few words. The reception in town was very friendly, and all folks try to help us; we did attack that grocery store Edeka-Krumm, http://www.oberemmel.de/dienstleistungen/97-aktiv-markt-krumm.html

The bakery was Baeckerei Baasch, no webpage but here is some info, http://www.innungsbaecker.de/baeckerfinder/baecker/baeckerei-baasch-konz-oberemmel/

We were lucky to arrive at the time of the Wine Festival in town, with live music until the wee hours, and plenty of white/red local wines and bitburg beers as well as sausages of all types and friendly service. The town is full of private wineries so on every street there is one to taste lol! And of course, in the wine festival there were all!!! The town page is here in German but you can see the festival announcement weinfestival, http://www.oberemmel.de/

We walk the town all over, and even into the wine fields, lovely, the homes struck us the difference where all the houses were decorated different; the town has an event hall and one Catholic Church St. Briktius . two restaurants and plenty of walks and bicycle rides tours, other than ours plenty of others for rentals here, http://www.oberemmel.de/ferienwohnungen-an-der-saar.html

As for directions well the best is to come from Trier on the B51 direction Saarburg, and then take it to Kazem, and then Wiltingen on the L138 to Konz-Oberemmel. We coming from France took it from Luxembourg city beltway A1 to No 2 direction Remich and American Cementaries, once at Remich take the B407 up to Saarburg and then theh L138 to Wiltingen and then Oberemmel. Narrow and hilly roads full of winegrown grapes but lovely along the river Saar. We enjoy the ride stopping at many places along the way and from Oberemmel using it as a base to cover all of Luxembourg and western part of Germany as far as Darmstadts/Mainz, Koblenz, and Saarbrucken. Many posts to come, stay tune.

Enjoy our base camp in lovely wine country of Oberemmel (Saarland). Cheers

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August 23, 2015

Luxembourg keeps the braves!

Well lots to write about and over 1200 pictures from my latest trips to Germany and Luxembourg passing by my France of course. This is an area I have passed by and always left out, so now took the family in and it was great, glad it was done.

By taking the A3 into Luxembourg and then going around the beltway on the A1 ,and get off at N2 you come into signs on Reimech that also tell you of the cementary. The actual town on which the cementary is call Hamm. The American battle monument association keeps it clean and upkeeps it , their webpage is here

https://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/luxembourg-american-cemetery#.Vdnwg_3ovIU

this is from Luxembourg tourisme ; http://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/place/misc/american-military-cemetery-luxembourg-hamm

And for the most famous name buried there , General George Patton, US 3rd army , thank you Sir. http://www.pattonhq.com/funeral.html

The entrance is nice and has a wrough iron arch door, with a welcoming house on the left. As you go in, sheer adreline pumps up with so many beautiful crosses. The stone plaque on the floor tells of the debt of gratitude we owe these men. There is a tower with a female angel, and the inscription “Here is enshrined the memory of valor and sacrifice”. There are huge stone walls depicting the battle movement and on the back the names of the fallen.

Inside the tower, there is a nice chapel with flanks US flags and the inscription ” I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish”.

I have not arrive at my lodging destination but already thrill to be here in beautiful Luxembourg. In all I stayed on the German side but criss cross the two countries every day ::) Stay tuned for more in the coming posts.

Enjoy the pictures and remember them, never forget their sacrifice. CheersLuxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg

 

 

 

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