Today was a fun day. It was nice to have another great CouchSurfing host – when we arrived the previous night he had already procured city maps for us and had even bought a pre-paid cell phone that he programmed with his number and lent to us while we were in Luxembourg so that we could call him if we needed to. Anyways, back to today. We started out with a great expresso from Andre’s espresso machine and then walked downtown. (Luxembourg is a really small city…) There were a bunch of beautiful old buildings and the city center was surrounded by fortifications. Historic Luxembourg is actually a UNESCO site because in medieval times it was perhaps the most fortified city in the world. It was considered the “Gibraltar of the North”. The city center was therefore on an extremely fortified hill surrounded by a river valley. (The river was even dammed so that the water could be released to drown attackers.) Unfortunately many of the historic fortifications were torn down when Luxembourg became a neutral country in the 19th century but those that remain are still impressive an hint at it’s previous glory. These fortifications also had an extensive casemate system (remember Dover Castle?) which we explored.
We went back home to meet our host (and another CouchSurfer from Hungary that was staying with Andre for just one night) and Andre gave us a tour through the valley, which is now a beautiful park. The evening concluded with us sharing a few good Belgian and Luxembourgish beers over some good conversation.