Steve, Isaac, and myself were now off to Luxembourg. Why Luxembourg you ask? Well, mainly because it was on our way to France. It was not necessarily a part of the itinerary, but the trip never involved a plan. We were having an unlucky run with trains. Trains were late, we were late, or they were booked They are a great way to travel in Europe, but spur of the moment decisions lead to rough sails at times. As we had been saying the entire trip, it’s all a part of the experience. No matter the train schedule, we took full advantage of every minute. We did not simply sit in a train station waiting.
Sitting around complaining would be a waste of our time. When plans don’t go according to plan, trips can become hectic. When there is no plan, you simply roll with the flow. Sure, we were upset for a minute, but the next minute we were off doing something else. This something did not have to be a miraculous something. It could simply involve getting food from a local street vendor, finding a way to communicate with locals, or walking down random streets we may never have the privilege to visit again. This was all tied into an experience of a lifetime. Most cities we visited, we came away hoping we could return again. Realistically, most of us will not be able to revisit the wonderful places we encounter. There is simply not enough time in our lifetime and there are so many other wonderful places to see in the world. Trips eventually come down to memories that will last forever. Memories are something you can always revisit, so make the memories worth remembering. This is done through experience, so this was our goal. It was about a five hour train ride to Luxembourg from France. This is a pretty hefty journey, but time flew on the train. We either attempted to catch up on sleep or gazed at every sight our eyes could take in on the fast moving train. Everything we saw was something new or something we may never see again. When my time is limited in a specific area, I become more attentive to my surroundings. It helps make you appreciate everything a little more while traveling. The train would be arriving at night, so we had no idea what to expect when arriving in Luxembourg.
We knew it was small with the country’s population under 600, 000 people. Of course, we had no idea of a place to stay again. We hoped for another lucky situation. As the number of people on the train grew smaller and smaller after multiple stops, we realized the remaining passengers must be locals of Luxembourg. Our best chances were to ask for advice. Fortunately, it was such a small country not much advice was needed to be given. We struck conversation with a couple passengers, who were very willing to answer our questions. The questions ranged from the country’s history, their experiences living there, and of course where to stay.
One passenger went as far as offering a us a ride when we got off the train. We took our chances and accepted another ride from a stranger. We were playing cards with fate and kept coming out a winner. Why stop now? We loaded all our stuff in the car with our new friend behind the wheel. A few seconds later, he was driving away with everything we owned. This is similar to my Belgian story, so don’t worry I’m kidding again. I guess we got lucky again. He actually drove us around the city and even gave us a small tour. It was a small tour for a small city. Then he dropped us off at the closest hostel, the only hostel. He gave us advice on what to see and we said our thanks. The generous people we met along the way truly made our European experience. Our day didn’t exactly end there. We took our chances to explore the city a bit, but it was rather difficult in the dark. We eventually decided to get a little sleep and head out to see everything the next morning. We probably got about five hours of sleep that night, which for this trip was a good amount.
In the morning the city became much clearer in the light. The city of Luxembourg started as a fort a thousand years ago. The fortress walls remain today and a city was built within these walls. This eventually evolved into the small country it is today. We ventured around the fortress and through the quaint and charming streets. It had an old-world allure within the fortress walls. It seemed as if we stepped in a time machine and went back a few hundred years. It may be a small country, but it delivered a long lasting memory. We enjoyed a small breakfast, continued our walk through the city, and continued our way back to the train station. It was a short stay, but a worthwhile one. It is not a much traveled country by many tourists, so we were happy to be a part of this smaller list of travelers. If you are ever near Luxembourg, stop by for a visit. It was now off to a city that had four times as many people than the entire country of Luxembourg. This large and magnificent city would be Paris. We were soon on our way and it was time to put my many years of French study to the test.
By Mike Minnock
(Senior Studying Integrated Marketing Communication)