Dear Luxembourg Board of Tourism,
It has been but a few days since the royal we here at Luxembourg or BUST first held out our digital thumb in the hopes you might help us hitch a ride to your great nation via the information superhighway; While we can’t say we’re surprised that you’ve yet to pull over in your Peugeot (or whatever the official company car of the Luxembourg Board of Tourism is) and tell us to hop in, we are a tad bit disappointed that the several days we’ve left this post to simmer in a world wide web stew has done little to garner us any attention or favor within your office. That being said, we here at Luxembourg or BUST do not doubt you will come through and aim to prepare as though this trip will go on as planned. We use the word “planned” on purpose because before making our trip we’d have liked to hammer out a well thought out, yet loose travel itinerary to compliment any serendipitous occurrences.
In order to create such a masterful strategy for sightseeing and subsequent merriment we are going to need research tools. That’s where we run into a bit of a jam. Not one to carry around a heaping helping of research whilst on the road; we’re looking to find the definitive literary guide to enjoying the time we spend gallivanting across the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. When doing an online search for Luxembourg Travel guides we came across a few options, but were unsure which was the best. Here’s what we found.
The Rough Guide to Belgium and Luxembourg 4th Edition- Initial Reaction to this one. We didn’t like seeing Luxembourg lumped in as an also ran with Belgium. Look how big the letters of the word “Belgium” are compared with “Luxembourg.” Yes, we know Luxembourg is a longer word, we’re just saying that it’s obvious Luxembourg is not deemed more important by this book seeing as it comes second in the title. In addition, the term “Rough Guide” had us worried that once purchasing this lengthy text, we’d discover it’s “rough” nature would allow the author to merely gloss over Luxembourg by saying, “if you’re in Belgium, why not visit Luxembourg. It’s right there.” Needless to say, we were not up for that kind of nonsense. Though to be fair, 480 pages seems like an awful amount of paper to devote to Belgium. What else do you need to know besides Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Beer, Waffles, Chocolate?
Luxembourg Travel Guide by Offbeat Guides – Initially this seemed like just what the travel doctor ordered, a book devoted solely to the Bourg of Lux. Unfortunately, this was the Kindle edition and we don’t know about you Board, but we travelers fly by the seat of our pants, and occasionally those pants get wet in the midst of an adventure. We can’t have a digital book short circuiting in the midst of our travel excitement now can we?
Luxembourg (Bradt Travel Guide) - Our first reaction to this particular guide was one of excitement on account that not only was it solely about Luxembourg, but it was also Illustrated. Not only did someone take the time to point out all of the great thigns to do while in country, but they took the time to draw and color them. How wonderful! The listing also described the author as having a “deep fondness for Luxembourg.” We can’t argue with that.
Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg- While we agree with the title of this one in respect that yes, sometimes earth can be a Lonely Planet, and Belgium & Luxembourg are just as good if not better places than many to be lonely in; the lack of focus on one place hurts this volume as does he fact that the cover seems to touting the Belgian knack for crafting delicious candies over the Luxembourgish talent for banking and other economic matters.
Frommers Belgium, Holland & Luxembourg- To complicate matters more Frommer’s is throwing Holland into the mix. Sorry Frommer’s, but no matter how high you think we are for coming up with this blog idea, Luxembourg or BUST was not the product of a spliff-induced brainstorm. Take your heaping helping of Marijuana, illicit sex with attractive prostitutes, and seemingly infinite supply of cute girls on bikes and take a hike. Well, maybe not just yet. According to the Daily News this book is “Complete, concise and filled with useful information.”
There you have it Luxembourg Board of Tourism. Those were all of the travel books we could find concerning the matter of what to expect while you’re expecting to go to Luxembourg. We’ll pick one of those up just as soon as you give us the skinny on just which one will tickle our travel fancy the best. We thank you for your time and consideration and look forward to hearing from you. And by we I mean I.
Evan J. Kessler
The year was 1988. A young boy in Pomona, New York gazed admirably at the events taking place nearly 4000km away in Calgary, Alberta through his television screen. He was particularly transfixed with the Alpine Skiing portion of Winter Olympiad XV.
At every turn in the Men’s Downhill he eagerly awaited to see if the aerodynamic tucks and leans undertaken by each athlete had been sufficient enough to earn them that parenthetically enclosed “1″ on their Longiness splits. The realization of the delicate nature of time when combined with a slick surface and utterly perfect stem technique was absolutely mesmerizing. One knee bent improperly, a slight deviation to one’s resistance to the wind could fashion a rather non-victorious circumstance for even the most accomplished of slope aces.
Then it happened. The human interest story to end all human interest stories. Seeing as the little boy was human, how could he not be interested as then two-time world cup champion Marc Girardelli took to the starting gate, the first Winter Olympic participant for the country of Luxembourg since the 1936 games? “Hold the phone,” thought the not yet ten-year old. “What is this Luxembourg you speak of? I have never heard of such a country. I must know everything about it…after this race at least.” While Marc Girardelli did not capture a medal in the Olympic downhill that day, he did capture one thing; a young boy’s imagination.
With that the young boy took to the L volume of his Encyclopædia Britannica, as the Internet was not currently available with Al Gore too busy fulfilling Senatorial duties for Tennessee. He learned that those who inhabited this mythical land spoke in a tongue known as Luxembourgish and to say hello to such people one would have to work the mouth and vocal cords in concert to somehow utter “Moien.” They paid for goods and services with the Luxembourgish franc and sailed the waters of the Alzette through the capital of Luxembourg City and on to Mersch where they would meet with the confluence of the Marner and Eisch Rivers.
Not only was this a land comprised of language, rivers, and currency, but also steeped in more than a thousand years of history centered around a lavish castle and a flourishing economy specializing in matters of banking, business, and agriculture. Luxembourg appeared a cultural wonderland with impressive architectural structures and splendorous displays of mother nature’s generosity. From Ardennes mountains of the Northern region to the Red Lands of the Southwest, Luxembourg surely had sights to see, places to be and people to meet, thought the little boy.
Despite an obvious yearning for Luxembourg, the years have gone by without the boy so much as sniffing the soil of the land he longed for. He has never met someone of Luxembourgish descent, nor has he had the pleasure to utter a warm “Moien” or bid someone a tearful “Äddi.”
Yes, in the years since, Marc Girardelli has had the blessed fortune of receiving two silver medals for Luxembourg in the Albertville Olympics, but the little boy from Pomona, New York has never had his dreams of Luxembourg come true. That little boy is me.
So, Luxembourg Board of Tourism, it my plea to you to help that little boy that grew up, realize his long suffering dream of reaching the landlocked shores of destiny otherwise known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. I would make that dream come true myself, but you see Board (if I can call you Board), times are tough and money for travel is scarce. I figure we can cut some sort of a deal here. The plan goes like this: You give me the opportunity to visit your storied Kingdom and I, in return, shall trumpet the appeal of visiting your great land as somewhat of a foreign mascot for Luxembourg Tourism. Think of the possibilities, well-off world travelers flocking to your nation as your clout as an international tourist attraction reaches new heights previously thought unimaginable. I can see it now, can you? Take a little time to mull it over and get back to me.
While you’re busy figuring out if a boon to your tourism sounds appealing , I’ll be working my way to your great land with my digital thumb and actual thumb extended toward the middle of the road with a sign that reads, “LUXEMBOURG OR BUST!” Thanks for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.