Monday, September 28, 2015

Luxembourg City Dining

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Feeling Hungry?

We had eaten lunch before leaving for our city tour of Luxembourg and dinner would be waiting for us when we return to the ship, but if you didn't want to wait, there are plenty of dining options in city center.

From French Brasseries and Pâtisseries to local or international food chains, there is something for everyone.

"You Deserve a Break Today ..."

Traveling the world we've found the Golden Arches all over and that includes Luxembourg.  Here you'll find your hometown favorites as well as a local twist on the menu.

As you can see from the sign, there's plenty of seating inside or you can eat outside in the center of the plaza.

There are 9 McDonald's as of this writing.

Quality Burger

If you are looking for a fast food alternative to McDonald's, give Quick Restaurant a try while in Luxembourg.   We can't provide personal experience, and since food likes are subjective, you'll need to make your own decision on whether or not it was quality or simply fast food.

Luxembourg is one of those cities where we didn't have enough time to really try or see it all.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

More Luxembourg Prominent Attractions

Grand Ducal Palace

The Grand Ducal Palace is a palace in Luxembourg City. It is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and where he performs most of his duties as head of state of the Grand Duchy. There were no guards present which means the Grand Duke was not in residence when we were there.

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After walking around for awhile, several passengers were looking for a water closet.   Our guide directed us to the Chocolate House which had a WC downstairs.   The stairs were very narrow and had enough room for only one person at a time.


The most prominent attractions include the "casemates" or bunkers, which are among the longest subterranean tunnels in the world. The casemates that once formed an extraordinary network of 23 km were carved into the rocks of the city and are a top attraction in Luxembourg City. Not only did they provide shelter for thousands of defenders with their equipment and horses, but they were also home to workshops of artillery and armaments, kitchens, bakeries, slaughterhouses, etc.

Chemin de la Corniche

Also called “the most beautiful balcony of Europe” (according to the Luxembourg writer Batty Weber), it runs along the Alzette valley on the ramparts - built by the Spaniards and the French in the 17th century - from the Bock Promontory up to the lower part of the Holy Ghost Citadel, the so-called “Rondellen”.

Up to the year 1870 the Corniche had staircases in steep parts which were leveled off only after the dismantling of the fortress. Moreover the greatest part of the protecting wall with its loopholes was cleared away so as to disclose a superb panorama on the valley of the Alzette, the city district of Grund and the Rham Plateau.

Place de la Constitution

The Constitution Square was put up on the ancient Beck bastion (1644, 1685). The "Gëlle Fra", a monument which is located on this square, was set up in 1923 to commemorate the Luxembourgers who perished in the First World War, today it sympolises freedom and resistance for the Luxembourg people.

From here you have a superb view over the Pétrusse Valley and the Adolphe Bridge.


The Old bridge – in common parlance – was built between 1859 and 1861 to cross the Pétrusse valley at a height of 45 metres.

It consists of 24 arches spanning either 8 or 15 m The total length is 290 metres whereas the slight curve in the middle is the result of military and strategic considerations.
etres and of pillars up to 30 metres high.

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Notre-Dame Cathedral Luxembourg

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Cathedral of Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame Cathedral is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. It was originally a Jesuit church, and its cornerstone was laid in 1613. It is the only
cathedral in Luxembourg.

The church is a noteworthy example of late gothic architecture; however, it also has many Renaissance elements and adornments. At the end of the 18th century, the church received the miraculous image of the Maria Consolatrix Afflictorum, the patron saint of both the city and the nation.

Around 50 years later, the church was consecrated as the Church of Our Lady and in 1870, it was elevated by Pope Pius IX to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

The Towers 

The Cathedral has three towers, the west tower, which was the tower of the Jesuit church and which contains the bells, the east tower, and the central tower, which stands over the transept.

When the Cathedral was enlarged in 1935-1938, the east and central towers were added. The central tower, which is only a third of the height of the other towers, consists of a wide, pyramid-shaped base and a narrow peak covered with copper. The roof itself is carried by a steel frame, consisting of two PN20 beams from ARBED-Belval.


 Cathedral Repaired

On Good Friday, 5 April 1985, around mid-day, work on the roof caused the west tower to catch fire. The church bells, i.e. the Virgin Mary bell, the Willibrord bell, the Peter bell, and the Cunigunde bell were destroyed in the fire. When the tower collapsed, the roof of the central aisle was also partly damaged. It took until 17 October 1985 for the tower to be repaired.

The crypt of the Cathedral contains the remains of members of the Grand-Ducal family.  In particular, John of Bohemia (1296–1346), Marie-Adélaïde (1894–1924), Marie Anne of Portugal (1861–1942),  Felix of Bourbon-Parma (1893–1970),  Charlotte (1896–1985), and Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium (1927–2005) are buried in the crypt.

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Luxembourg City Tour

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Motor Coach to

Following lunch, we boarded a motor coach for our optional tour to the capital of Luxembourg. The scenic ride took about 45 minutes from our ship's docking location in Grevenmacher.

Because of its location and natural geography, Luxembourg City has, throughout history, been a place of strategic military significance, the first fortifications having been built as early as the 10th century.

The city center occupies a picturesque site, perched high on precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers.

A local guide acquainted us with the city, whose layout is complex as it is set on two levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two river valleys.  Earlier there had been some rain, evident by the wet sidewalks and streets, but it was lovely while we were there.

 Walking  Tour

Our tour began at The Monument of Remembrance, usually known by the nickname of the Gëlle Fra ('Golden Lady'). This war memorial in Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg, is dedicated to the thousands of Luxembourgers who volunteered for service in the armed forces of the Allied Powers during World War I.

  Town Hall

Located on William Square, it was built between 1830 and 1838 in neo-classical style. The stones of the old Franciscan monastery, dismantled in 1829, mainly went into its construction. In 1931 two bronze lions were added to flank both sides of the outdoor stairs.

The edifice is the seat of the city administration and houses the plenary hall of the municipal council.

A little bit further you will find the Luxembourg City Tourist Office.

Equestrian Statue of William II

This bronze statue was set up on William Square to pay tribute to the King and Grand Duke William II of Nassau-Orange. He ruled from 1840 to 1849 and, one year before his death, granted the Grand Duchy its first parliamentary constitution, one of the most liberal in Europe at the time.

The riding figure of William II is the work of the French sculptor Antonin Mercié; the statue of the horse is by Victor Peter. The pedestal of the monument reveals the coat of arms of the House of Orange-Nassau and of Luxembourg and the ones of the 12 cantons of Luxembourg.

From William Square, we walked to the Notre-Dame Cathedral which we will cover in a separate post.

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Celebrate World Tourism Day

Today is World Tourism Day

September 27th is a day to observe all the wonderful things about travel and vacations.  

A great getaway relieves stress and brings people together.  It can also give us a chance to learn about new cultures, visit historic places, taste exciting foods, and experience new things.  Let us help you see the world.

"Let us work together to maximize the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Earlier this year, the leading global Travel & Tourism private sector and government organisations - the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC) -  launched a commitment for aligned advocacy and action to harness the full potential of the sector to create jobs, drive inclusive growth and foster development.

“Powering Travel & Tourism into the Next Decade: An Agenda for Growth and Development” was launched at a press conference in Madrid on the behalf of the GTAC by three of the founding members: Tony Tyler. Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA); Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO); and David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

GTAC is currently comprised of the following members: Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), World Economic Forum (WEF), World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

When You Travel - You Contribute to Economic Growth

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sunday in Trier

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Urbanian Run Trier 
 Historic Center
Old Town Trier

Sunday, July 19, 2015, the historic old German town of Trier was host to the Urbanian Run.

When we arrived at Trier, workers were setting up fences, signs, and advertising along the course.   Registration of the runners was also taking place near the Porta Nigra.
While the rest of the shops may have been closed due to it being a Sunday morning, there was still plenty of activity at the various race sponsors' booths.

Our tour concluded before the 5k & 10k runs began, so we didn't get to witness the event.  If you want to learn more, see their website.

Ice Cream

There's always room for ice cream.  You just need to decide how many scoops and what flavors you want.

As they say, life is short, so eat dessert first.  When returning the ship you could have your main course.

Looking for a Meal

If you want something more than ice cream, you could also checkout some of the local cafes.  Select from your favorites back home or one of the local establishments.

When our free time was over, we all met back at Porta Nigra for the short walk back to our bus.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Announcing National Plan a Cruise Month

October is National 
Plan a Cruise Month

Explore the World of Cruise Vacationing
October 1 - 31, 2015
If you've ever thought about going on your first cruise, October is the time to begin that journey.

Fall is the Perfect Time for Vacationers to Plan a Trip at Sea  

We're joining with member travel agencies from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) across the US and Canada to host National Plan a Cruise Month. Through a multi-dimensional campaign, the cruise industry has come together to help everyone fall in love with cruising by featuring unprecedented cruise vacation offers – from chances to win dream cruise vacations each day of the month and discovering new cruises and destinations to receiving the best cruise deals and promotions.

Cruising is all about you. You can find adventure, culture and education or, relax the day away. Dine on fine cuisine. Indulge at the spa. Reconnect with family. Share romantic moments. All this, in the destination of your choice, for a few days, a week or more, on a cruise that's right for you.

#CruiseSmile #Sweepstakes – A Cruise-A-Day Giveaway

To celebrate National Plan a Cruise Month, CLIA created #CruiseSmile, a daily chance to win a cruise from October 1 through October 31, 2015. Each day, #CruiseSmile will feature and giveaway a different cruise vacation - a total of 31 cruise vacations for two - showcasing there truly is a cruise for every travel style and budget.

Announcing the giveaway, CLIA said that together with their partner cruise lines they "are excited to give travelers a chance to see the world while discovering the variety of travel experiences the cruise industry has to offer. We know that once a traveler takes a cruise for the first time, they fall in love with the cruise vacation experience. We want to spread the love of cruising through the #CruiseSmile campaign giving everyone a simple way to enter to win a variety of cruise vacations.”

How to Enter #CruiseSmile 

The campaign will offer a chance for consumers to win a different cruise vacation for two each day during the month of October (for a total of 31 cruise vacation giveaways). Every day in October you can upload a photo of a great smile and be entered to win a cruise for two from a variety of CLIA member cruise lines. Participants can also enter by uploading a photo directly to Twitter or Instagram, using hashtags #CruiseSmile #Sweepstakes and can tag a friend for additional chances to win.

Contest entries do not roll over from day to day and entrants must upload a new photo each day to be eligible for that day’s prize. The sweepstakes is open to entrants 13 years of age or older. If a minor is selected, a guardian must accept that day’s prize on their behalf. Winners will be selected at random each day in October. Some blackout dates apply and are to be determined by the cruise lines. Visit for additional details.

Cruise Planning Resources

We have a special page with Cruise Line Videos for you to explore. Just click the cruise ship of your choice and watch the video for behind the scenes tours.  We'll also be featuring articles about cruising all month long in addition to our normal blog posts, so be sure to come back often to explore.

National Plan A Cruise Month Promotions 

Cruise lines are offering special promotions and pricing on popular cruises to encourage consumers to plan their next cruise vacation now. We'll be featuring promotions on our website and social media.

Trier City Tour

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Beyond Porta Nigra

Trier offers pleasant market squares, Germany’s oldest Christian church, and a cornucopia of architectural styles: Roman, baroque, neo-classicism, renaissance, and gothic.

window shopping
On Sunday the shops in Trier are closed with the exception of some cafes and terraces.  A few souvenir stores were open.

Even though the stores were closed, it was possible to  get an idea of what products were available in the shops.  Looks like we missed some good sales.
Market Fountain

The Market Fountain from 1595 shows St. Peter, the patron saint of the Cathedral as well as the city, standing on top, surrounded by the four cardinal virtues of good city government, Justice, Strength, Temperance, and Wisdom (originals in the Municipal Museum), but also by monsters and frolicking monkeys.

Church of Our Lady

The Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Dear Lady) is a 13th-century parish church in Trier, separated from Trier cathedral by a narrow passageway. Built in the Gothic style, it makes an attractive foil to its older Romanesque neighbor.

We were able to tour the Church of Our Lady but not the Cathedral as a mass was in progress.

Free Time to Eat or Shop

Following the guided portion of the tour we had time to explore the shops that were open or to do some more window shopping.   This McDonald's isn't your typical looking restaurant but they do serve some of the same meals from back home.
Ice cream and candy are always a good treat, so indulge your sweet tooth if you are so inclined.

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