Monday, August 22, 2011

August 23, 2011 -- Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

In Brussels I walked to the train station in the rain in Brussels, but what a difference! When I got to Luxembourg City, it was sunny and quite warm, really like summer! Now that I am about to leave, it appears that summer has finally arrived to Western Europe. In fact, the dormitory room was uncomfortably warm for sleeping last night.

The Central Train Station in Brussels is a madhouse. On each of the tracks, there is a train arriving every few minutes. That means that the traveler has at most a minute or two to hop on the train after it stops, because each train has to leave to make way for the next one.

In the Luxembourg train station, upon my arrival here, I managed to purchase a reasonably cheap ticket to Frankfurt. Trains here are like airlines, there are all sorts of prices, and it pays not to wait too long or the best deals are gone. I spoke German when I bought the ticket and with the bus driver on the bus I took to the hostel, but the language that dominates inside the hostel is English. Everyone who grows up in Luxembourg speaks Luxembourgish, a language that is seldom written, as well as French and German. I'm told that almost everyone also speaks English, although I haven't tried English on the street yet. French is supposedly the written language of choice, although I noticed that one of the local newspapers is written mostly in German with only a few articles in French.

The youth hostel here is beautiful, sparkling clean, roomy, and modern. Decades ago in my youth, I used to stay at the former hostel, which stood on the same site, but the old hostel has been torn down and this new one has been built in its place. The setting was beautiful then, and it is beautiful now. The hostel is located at the bottom of a canyon in the city, right at the base of an old stone railroad viaduct. Not only is the hostel very roomy, including the dorms, but there is a garden out back with swing sets for the kids to play on and tables with umbrellas for the adults. The hostel is modern, spacious, clean, and secure with electronically keyed locks on the dorm room doors and free lockers available in both the dorms and downstairs in the public area.

The following picture is of the viaduct. The corner of a structure at the left of the picture is part of the front patio of the youth hostel.

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