… because some of the most charming parts of Luxembourg are outside of Luxembourg city!
We started off our final day in Luxembourg with a short bus ride to a little city called Echternach.
As it turned out, this day in Echternach as it was Whit Tuesday and every year on Whit Tuesday, Echternach holds a dancing procession where people from the city (and from so many other cities, towns and villages near and far) come to dance around the city in the annual dancing procession. This tradition has been around for quite a while (reports suggest as early as the 1300s) and it is the last traditional dancing procession in Europe – a fact that has led to it being assigned a place on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is taken quite seriously in Luxembourg (although it is a lot of fun) and people are given a day off work if they are going to dance at the procession (government workers only get half a day off…)
Everyone was involved and hopped their way all around the city!
There was live music in form of bands who played the main songs for the procession. After a few minutes, we were all tempted to join in and start dancing through the streets too! 🙂
We stayed around and watched for a bit before deciding to have a little wander around Echternach…
The architecture here was distinct reminiscent of German architecture (and by the time we left, it all made sense why)…
We made our way to the rather impressively large Abbey of Echternach. As it turns out, the procession starts just outside the Abbey and ends with the dancers entering into the Abbey…
Before we knew it, it was time to leave and so we tried to trace our way back to the entrance of the city (where the car was parked). One of the best parts about not knowing your way around is the likelihood that you will probably take the most inefficient route to wherever you need to go and sometimes, these routes hold the very best discoveries….
Like this orangerie…
Now remember when I said about how the buildings were reminscient of German architecture, well as it turned out on this side of the river we were in Luxembourg but on the other side of the river, you had Germany! Turns out that the river acts like something of a border between Luxembourg and Germany… plus side, you can drive along the side of the river for quite a bit and it feel like a bit of a surreal experience (when you over-think it like I do) that you’re seeing two countries at the exact same time for quite a while. I was almost tempted when we saw a bridge to run back and forth shouting “Yay! I’m in Luxembourg!” followed by “Yay! I’m in Germany!” but if I started that, I would probably carry on doing this for quite a while so it was a good thing I didn’t!
We drove for a little while to the little quaint town of Clervaux and our venue for lunch for the day Restaurant Les Ecuries du Parc – Pärdsstall.
The restaurant looked so quaint and was so far off the beaten track that the menus were in Luxembourgish and in no other language! Thankfully, Keyta, Lloyd and I had Sandy and Nicole (who just recently joined us on the trip) to help us translate! 🙂
We kicked off with kir royales (a la Luxembourg – as the mixer for the champagne was from local berries)….
…and some white wine, of course!
Turns out the restaurant has quite the reputation and even the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg have popped round for a bite or two! 😉
We started off with escargots in a delicious garlic sauce. This was Lloyd’s first time trying it (I’d had them before in Nigeria but they were cooked differently) and Lloyd absolutely loved it. I also think he loved having the bragging right to say he’d eaten snails that he just wouldn’t shut up about how amazing they were! 🙂 Long before we started travelling the world, Lloyd used to be the fussiest eater and wouldn’t even eat chickens with bones in it so between the frogs legs we ate in Croatia just a couple of weeks before this and the escargots (both first times for Lloyd), I think travel has definitely given him a more open mind (and palate) when it comes to food!
I went with the duck for mains….
Lloyd with a chicken pie (I have no idea what the original name is – I wasn’t paying attention to what he ordered)…
We were all so stuff that we couldn’t get dessert by the end of it (which is saying a lot as I love dessert) but all in all, we all felt fully sated and prepped for our next stop before heading back to London… But more on that in the next post! 🙂