Bordering Germany, France, and Belgium is the small country of Luxembourg, a small duchy just 2500 square kilometers. It has a population of just about a half-million with a Catholic majority.
Luxembourg's northern region falls along the Ardennes, while the south is more farming lowlands. If you're looking for a rainbow of colors, the northern areas during the Fall is just the thing.
Come winter, the Ardennes areas can get snowy. So, unless you like to bundle up, head south where it's warmer.
Geography and topography aside, places like Luxembourg City are filled with cobblestone streets, framed by cafes and restaurants. Its Old Town has a 17th century Cathedral (Notre Dame), and a Grand Ducal Palace (only open in July & August).
One must see castle in Luxembourg is the 12th century one in Clervaux. This is also the region for the Battle of the Bulge, if you're more interested in modern history.
If you want older, head to Echternach where you'll find a 7th century Benedictine Abbey. There's a museum here to tell you all about it.
Two more castles can be found in Beaufort and Larochette in the Müllerthal Region. Or, as it's affectionately called, Little Switzerland. Note because it's got international banking, but for its forests and rock formations.
However, it's about two other countries in the town of Schengen. It was here where the German and French borders meet up with Luxembourg; and was the site of the signing of the Schengen Agreement that virtually did away with border control in the European Union. The Gardens Without Borders through the area is an extra added treat.
The close proximity to these other countries has influenced the food in Luxembourg. And if you want something sweet, try the Tarte aux quetsches, or Plum Tart. And the Eau de vie is a fruit spirit that can also be made with plums.
Wine tasting tours through Luxembourg are also popular, and rightfully fitting since the country lies along the Moselle wine growing region.
Or, in German, the Mosel. It's easy enough to switch back and forth between French and German since both are the official language. Within the last few years a German/Mosel dialect known as Lëtzebuergesch was added as another official language. English isn't just widely spoken, but excellent English is widely spoken.
Great, all the better to get yourself excellent deals on some shopping around here. The porcelain and crystal are of excellent quality, perfect trinkets to bring home. Designer clothes are also a good buy.
After all the eating, drinking, sightseeing, and shopping--you'll need to relax. The thermal baths in Mondorf-les-Bains are perfect.
No need to worry about how to get from place to place in Luxembourg, even if the country has only one airport and taxis are expensive. Bike rentals are cheap, costing about 7-10 Euros a day. Trains are inexpensive too, but a slower option than driving. A leisurely cruise along the Mosel is just as nice, so long as you do it between Easter and September.
No worries about health concerns, either. The worst you'll have to consider is a flu shot in the winter.
That's about all you need for a trip to Luxembourg, and a passport, of course. Not for everyone, that Schengen Agreement means anyone from the EU gets to enter with only their ID card.
Let's hear it for Luxembourg!
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