Around 35 tours are organised by volunteers who want to show you their favourite parts of the country over the next few weeks.
Pictured: The lake in Esch-sur-Sûre
Photo: Maison Moderne
Discover a different Luxembourg
Do you want to see Luxembourg through a different lens over the next days?
“Ordinary” people have offered to show you their own personal favourite bits of Luxembourg on 23 June and for a short period afterwards.
The website “guide for one day” proposes a range of tours, all done by volunteers who want to share their own favourite parts of the country. Check the dates for every tour!
Pub crawling in the capital
Frazer Alexander, a Brit who grew up in Luxembourg, has been taking many of his international friends around Luxembourg for some time. For national day, he organises a pub crawl with a twist: participants will run or cycle from bar to bar. That way, he combines his passion for sports with his favourite haunts. Starting off at the Paname near the Place de Paris, he will set off to Merl towards the Pasha, a well-known bar very popular with Luxembourgers. Then it’s off towards the Café des Tramways in Limpertsberg--“a must”—as he explains. He adds: “If people want to explore further, we could go for example to the Ennert de Steiler at the marché aux poissons, which is apparently one of the oldest bars in the country.”
Cycling with an olympist
Christine Majerus, who participated in the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, is offering to take amateur cyclists to her favourite spots in the country. She even proposes two tours: a more leisurely one along the river Sûre from Diekirch to Echternach and back, and they can have a coffee on one of the lovely terraces in Echternach and a chat.
The other tour is more challenging and she hopes people “will see what it means to train really hard.” The second tour will be from Diekirch, up the Haemerich to Erpeldange and then to Bourscheid and then back to Diekirch via the Herrenberg, “if the legs can still take it”, adds Marjerus with a wry smile.
She explains why she chose Diekirch as a starting point for both tours: “I really like Diekirch and its surroundings. Since last year, I have trained a lot more in that area because it’s a more difficult terrain than in the Gutland. In light of the Olympic games in Rio, I had been looking for a terrain which would allow me to train for the mountains in Rio, and Diekirch was the best starting point for these training sessions. There are fewer cars in the north and it’s more interesting to climb mountains than to cycle from industry zone to industry zone.”
Majerus loves this route: “It is a very diverse route with good climbs, which are still doable as they last over 10-15 minutes and don’t go over 10%. Added to that, they offer amazing views. Bourscheid is not for nothing one of the major tourist attractions in Luxembourg- it really is one of the must-see sites for tourists. I find these climbs the most interesting and that is why I chose them for this tour.”
Seeing the City through postage stamps
Emile Espen, head of the philately department, gives a different tour of the capital on national day: by taking illustrations of buildings from postage stamps, he not only explains the history of those buildings, but also how artists have portrayed them over the decades. “Stamps often refer to history or art, so there are many aspects which come together”, said Espen.
He will show the Upper Town, starting at Place Guillaume II, and work his way around the centre to the Corniche. Espen said his favourite recent stamp was the “commemoration of the 150 years of the signature of the treaty of London, when the fortress was dismantled. That stamp was well done because it showed where the fortress walls overlap with the current layout of the city.”
Espen explains: “We have stamps which are rather abstract, and others which are very realistic. We have views of the Christmas market on the Place d’armes which look more like children’s drawings. There is a great bandwidth of how you can show things.”
Take the train up North: Wiltz
Bob Wetzel proposes to start in Luxembourg city and enjoy the train journey to Wiltz. Once there, he will show whatever the participants are interested in: world war 2 history, the history of the Oesling, and if you’re lucky, he will sprinkle the tour with anecdotes of famous people who performed at the Wiltz festival, such as Miles Davis.
Wetzel explains: “In 1943, the general strike started in Wiltz, when young Luxembourgers were ordered to join the Wehrmacht. That is an element of Luxembourg national identity because the people of Wiltz said 'We’re Luxembourgers, we are not Germans'. I expect that I will have more foreigners joining the tour and I expect them to be very much interested in this...The museum of the battle of Ardennes explains that part of the war, and even Eisenhower was in Wiltz.”
He is also eager to show the gardens of Wiltz, which were created by foreign artists in the 1970s.
But when talking about Wiltz, Wetzel said with a twinkle in his eyes that: “Another good subject in Wiltz is beer. There is a big brewery, and naturally we will go to a café! But first I would start with the musée d’art brassicole, and then take them to the café Jang Primus, which belongs to it, which is a typical Luxembourg café. There is also a microbrewery where workshops are offered to learn how to brew beer. Waiting lists are very long for that!”