A surprisingly interesting and very green city, Luxembourg is the heart, and really the only city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, with around 100,000 people. Despite the political importance to the EU and the 100+ banks that are based here (contributing to a large part of the country’s wealth), it has a relaxed atmosphere – in fact it’s considered to be the safest city in the world. Built over and around a gorge filled with trees, part of the city lies in the narrow, twisting valley and part on the cliffs surrounding it.
Kathy and I wandered around and went to the ‘Casemates’ – an underground network of tunnels – once over 27km of them under the city, but now only 17km, giving it the nickname ‘Gibraltar of the north’. It has changed ownership between 7 different countries and extended each time, making it one of the most envied fortresses in Europe (it’s just for tourists now though). The ‘Bock’ is the main attraction. Built inside a cliff protruding from the upper town, you get a good view of the gorge and river below.
We even met some touring cyclists in the city. And because it was about 6 degrees outside, I think I must have been the only person in the country wearing shorts! (trousers were soaked from the rain)