Do fairytale countries really exist? Why yes, yes they do. And you can find it all here.
Luxembourg was our first trip post-lockdown and what an adventure it was! There were a lot of things that were different, but still a lot of things that were the same. Is this what it means to "get used to a new normal"? Although mask wearing was a bit of a challenge at times, we were really grateful to be able to leave the country after such a difficult spring whilst locked down.
DAY ONE- TRIER
We flew into Luxembourg but actually booked our hotel in Trier, which is in Germany just east of Luxembourg City. Why? We have a lot of IHG hotel points and this made the most sense for our budget. It was about a 45 minute drive which we didn't think was too bad- especially since MOST of the stuff we wanted to see was on the east side of the country.
We did a little explore around the city, and their city centre is lovely! Of course, there was even a little merry-go-round for the ride loving kid.
Money Saving Tip- We really love the IHG reward points system!
Easy to accrue, easy to use and there is usually an
IHG hotel in every city we travel to world wide.
Check out their rewards here!
DAY TWO- VIANDEN
This city was straight up out of a fairy tale. So magical. We arrived early in the morning. No one was awake, the sun was peeking up over the hills, and the town was glowing. Wow, wow, wow.
From city centre, we took a chairlift up to the castle which was beautiful! It was a little convoluted on where to go after the chairlift... we ended up walking through some trails toward the castle but nothing was very well marked. Keep following the dirt path and it will eventually lead you down to the castle gates where you'll find the ticket office.
We had to wear masks the whole time, but the castle was open and ready to be explored. There was a one-way system through the castle which made it easy to get around. The inside was a pretty typical castle... but the views from the windows were stunning!
Little Tip- We took the chairlift UP to the castle, but in retrospect wish we had taken it DOWN for better views. If you take it up, you get a great view of the castle but you also look at the side of the hill the whole time. If you take it down, you'll still get great castle views but you'll also get to see
the valley and the city below.
In the afternoon on our way back to Trier, we made a little stop at Larochette Castle. It sits on top of a hill and is half ruins and half restored- what an amazing contrast! We had a good time running around the ruins and taking in the good views. There was even a woodwind quartet at the cafe that serenaded us as we ate some ice cream.
DAY THREE- ECHTERNACH
We headed to Lake Echternach this day to do some paddle boats on the water, but little did we know- it needed to be booked in advance. It was a two hour wait for a paddle boat. Instead we just dipped our feet in the lake and watched the paddle boaters go by.
The lake is surrounded by a path for biking and walking, so we hiked around until the little one got tired. On the west side of the lake is a youth hostel- where they had many sport activities for hire and a great playground! This didn't end up being the stop we expected, but still had a lot of fun.
Not too far away from Echternach is Mullerthal which boasts beautiful hiking and waterfalls! We went on a Sunday morning and it was very crowded. It was the most people we'd seen on this whole trip. We felt a little bit nervous about being able to keep ourselves socially distant, but managed in the end.
Travel Tip- Not too far down the road from Mullerthal is a campsite with a great playground and a cafe/restaraunt. It made a great rest stop for us as the little one climbed over the logs at the natural playground.
There was also a giant slide but was closed due to Covid restrictions.
DAY FOUR- LUXEMBOURG CITY
We really loved just wandering the city streets here. What a beautiful place. The drive in was stunning as the city drops down into the valley and you cross a bridge to city center. It doesn't get more fairy tale than this!
We ate some ridiculously sugary breakfast at "The Chocolate House" across from the palace in Luxembourg City. It was so rich and delicious and filled us up for the rest of the day!
We did a tour of the Grand Ducal Palace, which I highly recommend. I didn't know much about royalty in Luxembourg and this tour did a great job of teaching us all about them. It was an hour long and was a little bit hard for the five year old to stay interested... so my recommendation would be to NOT take this tour if you have littles under five years old. They don't allow pictures inside, which is unfortunate because it was beautiful!