Our Road Trip to Luxembourg
This past weekend we took a road trip to Luxembourg. Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How?
Deme has a old friend named Fergal whom he used to share a house with when he lived in Ireland. (Fergal is Irish.) Fergal then married a lovely, dainty, petite but “she-can-hold-her own” lady named Alice, who is Belgian. Deme was the best man at their wedding 6 years ago when he was working out of Brussels. Both Fergal and Alice settled in Luxembourg and since Deme and I have been married, they have come down several times to Rome for long weekend sans their child, the outspoken Gwyneth. Now it was our turn to pay them a visit. (An interesting note, Fergal and Deme were out of touch for a while and Fergal found Deme again and met me via this blog, before we ever met in person. Blogs are great!)
We drove from Italy through the St. Bernard tunnel in Switzerland and then through France and into Luxembourg. It was a long drive as the last weekend in July/first weekend in August is the busiest travel season in Europe. There were thousands of folks on the road hauling camping equipment, bikes, trailers, horses, boats, canoes, really dehydrated looking dogs and so on a so forth. The drive there took 10 hours and the drive back took 9. Giordano was a great passenger and never complained, I on the other hand, got a sore back from being in the car that long and WILL remember a back pillow the next time.
Some things I Noticed about Switzerland, France and Luxembourg:
1. Luxembourg is a very, very clean. No graffiti downtown, no dog poop on the streets even though there were dogs to be seen. The flower pots that hung everywhere were well tended, well watered and absolutely overflowing with blooms.
2. Luxembourg has its own language, Luxembourgish. Most citizens that live in Luxembourg speak 2-5 languages. (French, English, German, Luxembourgish and/or Dutch/some other language.) Most of the labels in Luxembourg are baffling since there are at least 5 languages printed on every product.
We had dinner one night in an Italian restaurant. We even found grissini from Torino there.
The owner of the restaurant does a musical number every night and he coaxed Giordano to help him sing "Roma Capoccia". He also sang in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish.
3. There is an abundance of farming in both Luxembourg and France. Cows, horses and sheep were grazing every bit of available farm land. Straw was being cut and baled for winter. I saw no less than 4 species of cows, and fields and fields of corn and cabbage crops.
4. Driving through the Alps is very expensive. To drive through the St. Bernard tunnel cost, 36 euros and to drive through the Frejus tunnel cost 26 euros.
5. There were no Turkish toilets in Luxembourg but I found a few in France.
6. People drive much slower in France than in Italy. They typical speed limits were 90, 110 and 130 kph, in Italy they are between 110-180 kph.
7. There was a lot of bread, pate, butter, and meat being served everywhere. The sauces were richer and I did not see a drop of olive oil being offered anywhere.
8. Switzerland has official languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh. Now that is cool!
9. The flag of Luxembourg and the flag of the Netherlands are just about identical. Both consist of three horizontal stripes of red, white and blue except the flag of Luxembourg uses a light blue and the flag of the Netherlands uses a darker blue.
It was a great trip and we all learned a lot. Thank you Fergal, Alice and Gwyneth for all your hospitality!
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