Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Luxembourg holiday, 8-11 Nov....
This was another of our three couples mini-holidays. Bit of a panic to start with as told we were meeting the coach at 8am but got a text at 7:40am saying coach early and we're already on it but don't panic! We were instantly out the door and our lovely neighbourA was playing taxi so there in a jiffy.
We've done these before and this was the feeder coach and a nice easy ride to Thurrock with no other pick-up stops. Quick comfort break then onto our coach for the trip with driver Bob. I'll not bore you with long coach journey stories of chatting (all 6), sleeping (very rarely me), reading (mostly me), passing round sweets (all 6), losing keys (not me), finding keys (not me either) and lots and lots of getting ons and offs.
So coach-coach-ferry-coach and finally arrived at The Grand Hotel de Vianden in Luxembourg. A lovely hotel and even though our arrival was delayed quite a bit the staff gave us a lovely welcome, really efficiently sorted us into our rooms and served a lovely three course dinner. We all agreed at the end that it was a great hotel, spotless and modern(ish) upstairs and full of character downstairs. Someone there had a bit of a thing for hippos, there were loads of stuffed toys, pictures and ornaments everywhere! Excellent buffet breakfasts and three course dinners were included too!
Saturday coach trip into Luxembourg City where we did our own thing. Beautiful Cathedral and yummy pastry shop for our coffee break.
During dinner Saturday night the staff ushered us outside quickly to witness a local tradition for St Martin's day, where men light huge fire balls on chains from the bonfire at the top of the hill and (pretend) fight with then down the hill to the bonfire at the bottom, we all watched even though it was raining then ran inside to finish dinner. Afterwards our men decided that we would walk into Vianden to a small bar that had a jazz night advertised, so we all togged up for the cold and then once we got there decided €10 each entrance was too much so went to another bar for drinks. Back at the hotel we found the landlord entertaining those in the bar with a singalong and knowing that two of our men were musicians (earlier conversation) he handed friendF the guitar for a while and we all drank, sang and danced till finally heading up for bed at 1:45am.
Sunday's coach trip was along the Moselle River and a stop in Remich, then through Mullerthal (called Little Switzerland) and saw unusual rock formations, then through the pretty town of Echternach.
While on the road a white car was trying to speed past but misjudged and knocked into the side of the coach then drove off. Our driver was furious but managed not to swear, I was most impressed. A little further down the road we came to a t-junction and just as the coach was turning left the hit-and-run car was spotted parked up on the road to the right and half the coach shouted to let our driver know. Seems our coach had a few minor scratches and their top of the range Audi was bashed in right along its side!
Sunday dinner was good and there was an Italian singer entertaining us and the Belgian coach party, so she mixed French songs and English songs modern and traditional so we all had another sing along and dance. Great fun! Only damper on the night was paying our rather large weekend bar bill before we went to bed.
Early start Monday with breakfast at 6am and all luggage and passengers loaded by 7am. Thick fog for quite a while, choppy ferry crossing, heavy traffic, wet weather and road works however home safe and sound but tired around 7pm. FriendA played taxi again and Daughter had been in and turned the heating on, put milk in the fridge and even filled and boiled the kettle ready for us.
Well done BfriendM for finding this holiday at such a bargain price and well done friendF for his German and French language skills that sorted all our communication needs.