1.07.2013

My Luxembourg

Mudam
Holydays over, season on and cyclocross in full swing: I'm back from Luxemburg and happy with my pictures. Have a look here if you are curious: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4658036702749.163946.1648328732&type=1&l=fb78b2bc89 
I'm not a photographer but like to play with my camera and have got the impression that walking with the aim to take pictures you watch things around you in a different way. They are opportunities you pick from the flowing of your personal time and make somehow 'ojective'.
Light was few in those short, gray winter days and if a cloudy sky is good for photography a decent ammount of light is needed as well so I had to 'work' a little on many pictures to give them the liveliness I wanted. Colors are often unrealistic... but I prefer them like that than pallid. And working on them I couldn't avoid to think that reality is what we make with it. That seems to be true also - and more - about our personal life.
Mudam was the first day set piece: no words to tell how cool it is. Mudam's building - by the same architect of the Louvre Pyramide - is a simply amazing and so well placed you get delighted admiring the mix of contemporary and ancient. That mix is the true secret of Luxembourg City's unique beauty. I belove it. In add Mudam's coffee is good and that isn't a small thing across the Alps. 
Place d'Armes
Good food was le fil rouge of all our stay and that could be surprising if you have never been there. Luxembourgish cooking is a tasty mix of traditional dishes - quite similar to German dishes - with many and different immigrant cultures: French, Italian, Portuguese but also and more recently Indian, Arabian, Japanese... Fusion is something Luxembourg really doesn't fear and is making it great. 
Mudam's cafeteria is very good and offers everyday also a Luxembourgish speciality. In the Gare area there is a pizzeria to try: Bella Napoli. They are all a bit too jittery there for me but pizzas are very good: real Italian pizzas not surrogates. But the best restaurant was L'Un - http://gastronomie.lu/index.php?browse=resto_x&id=3293 - just in front of the Parliament: its magret de canard aux poires, noisettes et raisins secs is la fin du monde. The place is small but cosy and quiet, the service is great. It isn't cheap but not even expensive. I asked them an e-mail so next time I can reserve from home. 
Place d'Armes
The weak point of the trip indead has been the New Year's Eve dinner: we must reserve and some restaurants allow you to do so on line but they are few and it isn't easy to decide from far away, so I asked a Luxembourgish friend of mine to find us a good place. She did and I must thank her because we risked to welcome the new year eating peanuts from the minibar but she couldn't know the management of the very good Italian restaurant she picked up changed in October. The former owner was also eating there that night and talked loud bitter words: "Those people here wasted in few months the work of all my life". To be honest food wasn't that bad, it was just banal, stuff you can cook at home when you are not in the mood to do much. Prices were a little high compared with that but ok... The point was the 'mood': in New Year's Eve the local was almost desert, no music, no decorations, a very poor St.Sylvestre Menu.... We finished too early and walked perplexed toward the City to not watch the fireworks: cancealed to save money after the expensive celebration of the royal wedding, few weeks ago. 
Defence buildings
In Place d'Armes, as beautiful as ever, the Christmas market has been dismantled: they should have waited till the Epiphany in my opinion. While in all Europe capitals squares were full of partying people, here there were only few disoriented tourists and some...ehm... 'happy' local guys and girls. Nevertheless we had fun: my son started playing football with a Luxembourgish child kicking a water bottle all around the square. "Tu parles Francais?" he asked the child. "JOOO!" he was, very proud. But they didn't need to talk. 
A quiet, dark, silent square in New Year's Eve! in the heart of Europe! think: it's a gift. The blue white Christmas lights gave my pictures a magical aura, soap bubbles were floating in the dark coming from a secret place and from far away I could hear the noise of firecrackers. In Italy at that time it was like hell. It wasn't sad no, it was intimate and I liked it.
La Petrousse and le Pont Adolphe
Luxembourg has been for a long time one of the strongest fortress in Europe and that past still deeply mark the City. Nowadays it's a peacefull play to explore its defence buildings, walls and tunnels and it's always a surprise to constate how much green it is that incredible canyon called la Petrousse by the name of its small river. Together with the Alzette, la Petrusse formes a natural moat crossed by many huge bridges, the most famous and beautiful of them is le pont Adolphe. Our last day was dedicated to walk up and down through those wonderful places. I had already been there twice, in the snow and in the hot sun of an early summer, but still enjoyed it and the childish enthousiasm of my son.
Finally I bought the Luxembourgish dictionary I needed to go on with my course on line. We also bought a cute children book with splendid illustrations and a text I can understand completely :) I'm proud. 
I didn't go to Mondorf this time: first of all because I had no time - a relaxing day at the thermes is always a good idea - second because Andy Schleck wasn't there so I couldn't go and say Happy New Year. I sent a card though: I wonder when he will find it given that he was in the USA and probably on his way to Australia. No matter, New Year's wishes don't go off.

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