Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Luxembourg Locals

It was Sapphire's mid term break because the Swiss darlings need seven days off after a gruelling six weeks of term and, as luck would have it, Love Chunks was going to Luxembourg for work.

As Sapphire's school actively discourages kids being taken out of class to join their parents during term time, this coincidence was too good to pass up. So, erm, what did we know about Luxembourg, other than it was a tiny place that you could supposedly drop kick a footy from one side to the other?

Not a lot.  And yet, some things remain the same wherever we go.

Firstly, I always get asked for directions.  Within two hours of arriving, a woman approached me to find out where the museum was.  Sapphire was able to locate it on the map and show her the way.  The following day a bloke asked me in German if the train we were about to climb onto was heading to Vianden. "Yep," I nodded, when "Ja" might have been more helpful.

What usually makes a holiday something special is the locals you encounter.  We heard as much German spoken as French and found everyone friendly and helpful. The streets were even more spotless than Geneva's ....... except for the mountain of ciggie butts and dog turds on the pavements.  I spent as much time looking down in order to dodge doo-doos (which, when inspected closely, were mostly old bunched up leaves) as I did gazing at the pretty magnificent scenery.

Gotta love a gargoyle.  This was one of four festooning the lower balcony of the Grand Duke's palace, which was modestly tucked behind the main shopping drag and guarded by only two blokes who mostly had their eyes on the chocolate shop across the road.

Possibly a contributor to the preponderance of pavement poos, but this one was carrying an empty Fanta bottle.  She paused just after this photo was taken to proudly show us her prize before trotting further along the river.

This wolf was slightly less active and, despite the perspective, wasn't about to have its head bashed in by a builder's crane.

Nike, the golden goddess of victory and proudly on top of Luxembourg's main war memorial looked pretty dazzling from a distance, but up close, we felt a bit sorry for her.

Being forced to stand at a significant height in a cold country...!  Couldn't they have at least dressed the poor love in something other than the sheerest muslin and kept her dry and out of the wind?

At Vianden, there was another woman who aroused my pity.  Are they lemons or breasts? And I'm no artist, but surely that belly button is where her knees would normally be?

Close up of the bumbled boobies.  One is at viewer's eye level and the other is limply hanging to the bottom left towards the face of the puzzled greyhound below. Not sure that sub-standard plastic surgery was to blame in Greek times......

Nike isn't the only golden creature in town.

..... and the beginnings of the Carnevale weekend saw the train fill with high school kids on their way to celebrate:

Perhaps these two aren't really local, but after a week in a small country, LC and Sapphire certainly felt as though they knew their way around.  Sapphire had her camera privileges taken away temporarily and was not happy about it.

...... but she got her own back the next day with this portrait of her parents, entitled 'We're lost, aren't we?'

At the airport, I noticed a particularly unwelcoming hotel and said to Sapphire, "Oh that's an awful place.  It's loud, ugly and far too close to the airport."

Quick as a flash she grinned, shooting back with "And so are you, Mum."  Little wit bag!

Luxembourg's motto is 'We want to remain what we are.' Words to ponder on, indeed.  


Andrew said...

The lady painting, she is well out of proportion, unless bodies have changed. I can't believe you have lived there for more than a year? and answered yep.

Nicole said...

Great photos!

Kath Lockett said...

No, not a year yet Andrew - seven months and those mostly in French speaking Geneva. The guy was German.

Thanks Nicole - we have oodles of lovely castle views, old walls, quaint buildings etc but I didn't want to bore people with 'here's what we saw' photos. Yet.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

Or should I say "Guten Tag"?

I've never been to Luxembourg but would like to - as well as Liechtenstein.

Great photos - and I couldn't help chuckling at Sapphire's comment (sorry!).




River said...

I need to buy a larger Atlas, mine is so tiny I have to get out the magnifying glass to read place names.
I love the gargoyle and now I think I want a statue of a wolf in my garden.
The painting does look odd, not done by one of the "masters" I'd say.
I've read about "half-term" holidays in the "Chalet School" books way back when I was in school myself, I always assumed they were just a long weekend. seven days is a decent break.

The Elephant's Child said...

Gargoyles rock. Thank you for including one. I too chuckled at Saph's wit. I wonder where she gets it from? And she looks so like you (which you might be able to remind her next time she cleverly insults you.)

WV: quarterly psnips (something to ponder there)

Achelois said...

Excellent photos. The painted lady oh dear oh dear I think the artist was very drunk indeed.
I adore the red setter.
Thank you for the all of the rest you write so well.
I went to Luxembourg a very long time ago now when I was about eleven and remember very little about it all. Snippets though of your blurb reminded me a little so thank you,

franzy said...

And there was that artist, railing against the trend of painting perfect body after perfect, unattainable body, bucking the trend.
"Imperfection! Why not! Let the wonky-breasted among us also be represented in the pictures of history! Unite! Stand up proud!"
And yet, centuries later, the old PREJUDICES (yes! I said it!) remain!
For shaaaaaaame.

(On closer inspection, perhaps the artist didn't quite realise that people would be looking at this image from below and adjust the perspective accordingly.)

diane b said...

I don't get bored with castles and landscapes. Bring them on.But I had a chuckle at these shots and your commentary. Sapphire is catching on to your humour I see. Bill tells me that we have driven through Luxemberg but I must have blinked but I don't remember much about it.
Please turn off word verification it takes ages to work it out and slows down commenting. Pretty please.

wilbo43 said...

OK, I give in. Why did Sapphire loose her camera privileges?

Kath Lockett said...

PlasMan, Sapphire said it with a smile.... then I laughed so hard I farted!

A week is a decent break indeed, River. The wonky boob picture is from a tapestry, so maybe the ladies who had to stitch it got a bit bored?

Good idea, E-Child. I might have to word my retort slightly better than "Oh yeah? Well so are you!"

My pleasure, Achelois. I'm a sucker for a cute dog, especially when my own was left in Geneva (with two utterly wonderful carers).

Franzy, I wondered if someone might point out my double standards but this woman needs help, surely? Or at least a toga with some form of support?

Diane-b, I will take it off - I noticed when visiting a few blogs the other day that it had suddenly changed to those double words that are pretty hard to see.

Wilbo43, I think she may have given us the dreaded sigh and eye roll when asked to do something. It's never anything major; we're just strict and find that five minutes of 'suffering' is enough. She's a good kid.

Christine said...

Love the gargoyles and also the dog with the fanta bottle. entertainment really comes from small things like this.

I seem to have struck a simple word verification this time.Maybe they are getting the message.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Christine.

I'm trying to remove the word verification requirement altogether but can't work it out for the life of me. Some advice I've found via google says I need to log on to the old version of blogger to find it. I've done this and still not had any luck.

Hannah said...

Lemon breasts, very pretty, and the lemon flowers are sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon...

Wait, no, that's not how the song goes.

Those black and white hijinking kids are giving me the willies.

Baino said...

I don't comment much but I am visiting. LOve these photo walks even if you do look a little chilly on the willy.