Wanderings in…

Vianden, Luxembourg

featured We had packed up camp before 11 AM. Had some difficulties checking out as the lady who owned the campsite knew absolutely no english and her husband who did speak rather good english wasn't there! (The lady also didn't speak German either, as we've now found out Luxembourg has it's own language, called Luxembourgish... helpful)

After about 15 minutes of weird hand signals, a 'zwei nächte' and a 'ja' or 'nein' every so often we were able to leave to explore Vianden.

We found a handy little car park by Vianden Castle (Château de Vianden if you are so inclined, or Buerg Veianen for the lady at the campsite.)

The castle looked beautiful from down below. Benjamin went to pay for the parking and made a friend along the way - the poor wasps only wanted to be loved, something Benjamin did not want to give the little creature (which let's be honest, we will forgive Ben for - they are the spawn of Satan himself). Once being chased back to the car we made the climb up to the castle.

It was a glorious day compared to what the weather warnings were forecasting (thunderstorms and heavy rain all day) and needless to say the steep walk up (about 5 minutes worth) was a killer. Perfect timing for Ben to turn around and remember he had dropped his wallet in the car when (manly man time) the wasp was chasing him - Urgh. Back down and up we went once more (well, Beth went half way...). The Luxemburg Card we had bought a day previous included the castle as a free attraction so we went straight in.

Overall the castle was pretty sparse of objects and there were no signs with the English langauge on anywhere (apparently the ticket office bloke failed to mention anything about an audio set and headphones you could pick up for a few Euros), and so it's kind of difficult to express how we feel about the place. Exterior-wise it looked grand, towering over the town and surrounded by forests of pine. The interior, however, was lacking. It was as if they opened the place up without finishing rooms off, whether that be maintenance or decorative. Either way, it still gave us something to do for an hour or so!

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After the castle, it was down into town for the exciting part! The chairlift. We queued up and went straight on with our Luxembourg cards. Beth demanded to have the right seat, because it made her feel safer... Yeah, Ben didn't get it either really.

Upwards we went, Beth was absoluted terrified (seeing as she's scared of heights). Many explitives were uttered on the ascent, especially as we passed over the river, the road and the thing got steeper. Nevertheless, she was brave enough to take a picture or two with her one remaining hand (she of course had a death grip on the hand rail). The death grip only got worse as the chair bounced around, and occasionally stopped, leaving us dangling in mid air.

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Ben was trusted with the polaroid and the film camera, mainly as he had use of both hands... When we reached the top, we hopped off and waited for Beth's jelly legs to fix themselves. The view was pretty good from the top. You could see the entire town, the castle and miles and miles of forest on the rolling hills.

On the way back down, Beth thought it was much better. Maybe because you could see where you were going. Either way, it provided very good views as the clouds were rolling in.

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Just as we were about to head to our last stop in Vianden, Beth remembered about needing to grab a postcard from each place - that was taken care of within 5 minutes (1 minute actually...) of jogging (this lady is not for running!) to a nearby souvenir shop.

We carried on around some windy forest-lined roads and pulled up at the Hydro-electric plant station, the biggest in Europe. This educational attraction was free to the public and covered questions from "what is climate change?" to "what are the different kinds of energy sources humans use?" (We can tell you feel compelled to visit this town now learning about this!). What may come as a surprise, however, is that it was not Beth that chose to come to this place, but Ben (Buhaha, he is slowly becoming a tree-hugging eco-warrier: Geography forever!).

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As we stepped back outside of the bunker-like structure, we agreed that the weather forecasts may have infact been slightly true... the sky had turned dark and the first few droplets of rain were heading our way. We got into the car just as the heavens opened - from this point until we arrived in Frankfurt 3 hours later, we drove through thunderstorms and heavy rains that would give the UK a run for its money!

Halfway through this journey, Megan the Renault Mégane decided to have her first episode... Because it was so humid in the storm and the air con was on full blast, the condenser drain couldn't cope and so Beth's footwell got a little damp. (as in wringing out a towel on a southern Germany autobahn layby damp)

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Having said that, Megan coped well with the Autobahns, as did Ben... Clearly!

With the air con drama over and done with, and the storm past, we arrived into Frankfurt at Hotel Attaché and immediately decided to order a takeaway and get it delivered to our room. We opted for a curry, which apparently Germans do very differently! Poppadoms were roasted, not fried, and had holes and seeds in it! Kind of like this... Yuck! Ben had them with a Chicken Vindaloo, feeling brave (maybe stupid?) as there was no Madras.

"Paparis em Lisboa" by Adriao - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Beth had a vegetable masala, which turned out to be much hotter than usual! She couldn't handle it, so instead just ate her Peshwari Naan, which seemed like the most normal piece of the meal!

After the takeaway and skyping the parents, we headed to bed, ready for our lazy stay in Frankfurt.