It has taken the pandemic for my children to appreciate how lucky they have been to travel so much in their relatively young lives.
Ruaridh (13) and Flossie (11) were once blasé about hopping on planes and staying in hotels. But, after a year of enforced home stay, they are craving for more adventure and to help ease lockdown, we have taken to having indoor tourist weekends, where we eat, drink and breathe a particular country we have visited.
This week it was the turn of Luxembourg, a particular favourite of the children, mainly because they remember how kind Brigitte Goergen from Luxembourg for Tourism was when she came up with a fun itinerary for our short stay in October 2020.
We had gone to promote the new initiative of being a first and offering free transport to all, in a bid to help the country become greener.
This forward thinking idea came into being the following March, just as the world headed into lockdown, which like everywhere else proved a blow for tourism.
But as the world slowly opens up, Luxembourg has started a campaign to welcome us all back with the launch of Luci – a magazine packed full of inspiring stories to encourage people back to this small, but wonderful country.
With more time than ever to read, the magazine is a great distraction from our current troubles, and it has a range of interesting stories for all ages. It shows off every aspect of life from the main city where old meets new, to the countryside, with rich opportunities to walk, cycle and climb.
Our visit only touched the surface of this lovely country, but it was enough to leave us knowing we wanted to see more and reading Luci has only enforced that feeling.
We were based in Luxembourg city, itself a place of old versus new. Our stay in the heart history gave us an insight into why it was given UNSECO world heritage status.
The small family run Hotel Vauban in the heart of the lovely Place Guillaume and our hideaway in the loft of this beautiful building, came to life every morning with the sounds of the bells from the nearby Notre Dame Cathedral.
We had great weather during our stay and spent every hour we could exploring, from getting our bearings via the Hop On, Hop Off bus across the majestic Adolphe Bridge and taking in the beautiful traditional houses and offices.
A favourite for the children was a visit to the Luxembourg City Museum where we enjoyed a blast from the past with a hands-on fairground exhibition and history buff Flossie fell in love with the Gelle Fra monument which was built to commemorate those who died in the First World War.
She liked the fact that the statue had returned in style after being pull down by the Germans and now gives a protective glance over the city.
For Ruaridh, it was the modern area outside the old walls which impressed him, from the huge gold coloured European Union courts of justices to the quirky statues including a very tall banker and the vibe of fast moving workers from across the EU who gather here for work at the EU headquarters.
The Grund area of the city was my favourite, heritage brought back to life with style and accessed from a huge glass elevator. Here classy homes and shops are intermingled with Michelin starred restaurants and the city’s music and entertainment hub.
Of course, people make up the main reason we travel, to meet, mingle and experience their differing cultures and tastes and the Luxembourgers oozed class and kindness.
The 114 page Luci magazine gave us a chance to reflect and remember when times were more carefree and hope that will soon return and we can get back to travelling. After all there is so much more of Luxembourg to explore!
Check out the online magazine at www.visitluxembourg.com
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
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