When I was 11, we had to do a project at Ashhurst School about the letter our name started with. Part of this was a project about a country starting with that letter, and I chose Luxembourg. I became so interested in the tiny country that once aged about 12 a teacher asked where we most wanted to visit when we grew up. "Luxembourg!" was my instant response. It is fortuanate that when I grew up I also met a bloke willing to humour me and come with me to the place that I have wanted to visit for 17 odd years, and we went there last weekend.
We stayed in Luxembourg City, the capital and largest city. Of course in such a small country the term "large" is relative though, and the capital has the population of Palmerston North. Luxembourg City is built on a huge rock fortress, and is probably the second prettiest capital city I have been to - after Wellington, naturally. I hadn't realised that Luxembourg is the centre of European banking as well, and as a result feels very wealthy and has excellent shopping to cater for all the fancy finance types that live there.
Another intereting thing about Luxembourg is that all the residents speak three languages, French, German and Luxembourgish. All three are taught in school from what I understand, as is English, so getting around was a breeze. I would love to know what language they speak to each other, but coudn't figure it out. Nor could I figure out Luxembourgish, apart from learning the word for 'hello'.
In a park in Luxembourg City. Me walking feeling glad that my project wasn't on Lithuania, Lesotho or Lybia.
While in Luxembourg, we did a great wee trip to the fairytale town Vianden at the other end of Luxembourg. Again, of course, distance in relative, as it was only 45 minutes and 3 euros away. As great as London is, both Tane and I really needed to spend a weekend away from a city filled with 8 million people. Vianden was perfect - it was a gorgeous small town, friendly locals, and some lovely walks around the river.Tane in Vianden
Tane also got something from the trip (as well as a dose of R&R) as while there he saw his first snow fall ever. Alas, it didn't settle, but was pretty exciting nonetheless.
Luxembourg was the prettiest most relaxing part of Europe I have seen yet. I totally recommend it, whether you have wanted to go there since you were 12 or not.