Luci - Issue 2/2020 - English

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Inspiring Travel Stories from Luxembourg ISSUE 2 / 2020 - ENGLISH

Take the indoors outdoors On the road with a caravan

A city that connects Architects wander through UNESCO heritage

Urban art takes off Art ambassador boosts morale

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Editorial Moien and welcome to Luxembourg! Have you ever asked yourself what makes travelling so fascinating? In times when we can’t simply go and travel wherever we like at the drop of a hat, we are far more aware of the things that we’re missing out on: discovering something new, escaping the daily grind, meeting interesting people and gaining new perspectives! If this is what you’re looking for, then Luxembourg has everything you need. So sit back, relax, and let Luci take you on an enthralling journey. In this second edition of our new magazine about Luxembourg as a travel destination, we are once again out and about all over the country: road trips in a nostalgic caravan and vintage cars, by bike with the friendly Velosvedettes cyclists, and on foot through the wild ravine forest. We come across people who, in their own unique way, embody the Luci spirit. Architects Arnaud de Meyer and Nico Steinmetz show us their global village, Luxembourg City, while winemaker Georges Schiltz tells us why his wine makes him “fru”. We wish you an enjoyable read and hope to see you soon in Luxembourg.

Romain Weber President Luxembourg for Tourism

Dr. Sebastian Reddeker CEO Luxembourg for Tourism

PS: Did you miss the first edition of Luci? Order it for free online at and we’ll deliver even more inspiring Luci moments to your door. The first edition won the Red Dot Design Award, the International Creative Media Award, the German Design Award and the C 2A Creative Communication Award.







A city that connects 18-20


A well-rounded experience 22-27


Skateboarding is not a crime 28-32

Open and Diverse



Flying Sumo 34-49

Outdoors Passion



Take the indoors outdoors 50-55

Transforming Experiences AN ÉISLEK ARTIST

His trees, his world 96 4


56 56-60


Speedy squad, great friendship 62-68


Through the wild ravine forest 70-73


The apple revival 74-79



Paddling, diving, enjoying nature 80-83

Transforming Experiences A “YOUNG AND WILD” WINEMAKER


“Fru” at heart

Transforming Experiences




“Borders have never crossed our minds!”

Marlene is alive. 96-111


Life’s good on tour 114


22 5


Skylines and river valleys, modern glass buildings on historic foundations, and swathes of green: Luxembourg’s capital is as diverse as its residents, who hail from more than 100 nations. A ramble with architects Arnaud de Meyer and Nico Steinmetz through the UNESCO World Heritage site and forward-looking urban worlds. Text JAN MAIER Photos THOMAS LINKEL



A city that connects


The tour starts on the Kirchberg plateau. The business and financial district is marked by modern glass and steel edifices. The lenticular Philharmonie, all in white, dominates the Place de l’Europe with its 823-column façade.



Nico Steinmetz and Arnaud de Meyer enjoy exploring the city by bike. On two wheels you often see more than out of a car window. And you can discover all kinds of hidden little pathways!


The light wooden building of the Oekozenter Pafendall, looks like four blocks stacked on top of each other. It is a prime example of a modern passive house with an optimum carbon footprint. The district’s bats have also been taken into account. There is a protected nesting box for them in the façade.



The scene looks like a sketch created jointly by man and nature: below is the meandering valley of the Alzette; above, the historic casemates and the old abbey; and above still, modern buildings on the plateau in the horizon. Between all of them is the vibrant splash of colour provided by the trees’ rich green leaves. That’s Luxembourg City. “A city on many levels” is how architect Nico Steinmetz likes to describe his home. We are currently looking out onto the Dräi Eechelen park. The view gives a good example of how varied the capital is – topographically, architecturally and cosmopolitically. It is a Saturday, and Nico and his colleague Arnaud de Meyer are riding through their city on bicycles. The tour starts on the Kirchberg plateau. The business and financial district is marked by modern glass and steel edifices. The lenticular Philharmonie, all in white, dominates Place de l’Europe with its 823-columns in front of a glass façade. This is where skaters practise their moves in the afternoons. Just two minutes away is the Mudam art museum. The bright building – made of glass, steel and stone and with strong geometric shapes – was built on the site of an old fortress. Descend a steep, forested path and you arrive in Pfaffenthal. Arnaud and Nico love visiting this former working-class neighbourhood in the Alzette valley. According to Nico, the

area has changed beyond recognition in recent times, having been transformed from a “less desirable, out-of-the-way place” to a great location to visit. Birds tweet, while the clamour of children resonates from the playground around the corner. Halfway between the railway viaduct and the Alzette, Nico points to the Oekozenter Pafendall, which hosts the head office of the environmental organisation Mouvement écologique. The light wooden building looks like four blocks stacked on top of each other. It is a textbook example of a modern passive house with an optimum carbon footprint – “a pilot project in Luxembourg,” explains Nico, who designed the centre.

Panoramic lift: a stage for life Part of getting to know Luxembourg City involves losing yourself in the innumerable small, cobbled streets that criss-cross it. It’s worth taking a detour across the river to the Muerbelsmillen, Pfaffenthal’s last watermill still in operation. A mustard-yellow sign with the inscription Moutarderie Hartmann is a giveaway as to its current use: a mustard factory. “Architecture has an influence on people’s everyday lives. With their help, we want to improve everyone’s quality of life,” says Arnaud, looking up to Pfaffenthal’s panoramic lift, which is currently on the

The back of Mudam, where you find the Museum Dräi Eechelen and the park, has long been a popular meeting place for relaxing in the evening or picnicking with friends. “A wide variety of cultures live in harmony with each other in the city. And in this environment, anyone can meet new people and enjoy nature and gorgeous views,” says Arnaud.


move. Since 2016, the lift, designed by Nico and Arnaud, has transported passengers from the Alzette valley to the city centre above in around 30 seconds. The view changes constantly over the journey in the glass cabin. Pfaffenthal’s centuries-old houses become ever smaller. The forest hanging over the plateau comes into view. The towers of the Kirchberg skyline are gradually unveiled on the horizon. The Rout Bréck emerges upon arrival at the summit. This striking red steel bridge spans the Pfaffenthal valley over a length of 355 m. In Nico’s view, the lift is a stage for life in the city. “When you take the lift and look over the valley, you might see someone sitting on their terrace or looking out of their window – and they can look right back at you too. You only catch a fleeting glimpse of each other, yet

you feel connected.” It is a lift that embodies and serves as a point of reference for an entire neighbourhood and those who visit it.

Rue du Nord: colourful façades, lively cafés, UNESCO values A change of scenery. Bright tables are lined up along the edges of side streets, occupied by young people sipping latte macchiatos or elderflower lemonade. People are conversing and swapping gossip along the narrow streets. Others are strolling over the cobblestones, pointing at the yellow, green and lavender-pink façades, nodding at café patrons relaxing on the multicoloured furniture. The Rue

The Rue du Nord in the old town — where the renovation of the historic façades was the first project that Arnaud and Nico worked on together — is yet another urban stage.



du Nord in the old town – where the renovation of the historic façades was the first project that Arnaud and Nico worked on together – is yet another urban stage. “We all have different ancestry,” says Nico. About 70% of Luxembourg City’s residents do not hold a Luxembourg passport, while 180,000 commuters travel from the neighbouring countries each day. “So we all meet up in the old town’s cafés and squares. These places unite us in our differences and make for the city’s atmosphere. For me, Luxembourg City is a global village.” In addition to the city’s countless historic buildings, this multicultural feeling of togetherness is a key component of UNESCO’s ideal values.

Petrusse valley: a garden in the heart of the city The architects cycle past the cuboid National Museum of History and Art down a steep, narrow alleyway towards the Petrusse. It is in this valley between the upper city and the Bourbon Plateau where Luxembourg City shows off its greenness. The tributary of the Alzette flows placidly through the valley. On the fringes of green expanses of the various parks lie the escarpment ruins of fortresses and bastions. A few moments later, the city’s effervescent murmur can no longer be discerned. But that is exactly what makes Luxembourg City such a great place to live – you can switch so quickly and effortlessly between levels and worlds: whether by lift or by bike.

Both architects are adamant that while Luxembourg City is proud of its cultural heritage, it is nevertheless a forward-looking city. This is clear to see. Five years ago, Arnaud and Nico designed the shimmering glass and steel walkway that connects the city hall to the Bierger-Centre. It stands out as a piece of ultra-modern architecture in the historic Place Guillaume II, in the middle of the city.

Part of getting to know Luxembourg City involves losing yourself in the innumerable small, cobbled streets that criss-cross it.


Taking the lift also involves a game of how much you want to experience the height aspect. “People can sound out how far they dare to go. Some remain standing by the handrails, while others live life on the edge by going right to the front onto the glass floor,” Nico explains.



Since 2016, the Pfaffenthal panoramic lift, designed by Nico and Arnaud, has transported passengers from the Alzette valley to the city centre above in around 30 seconds.


Urban Sketching Text BIRGIT PFAUS-RAVIDA


Urban sketching is an international community. The artists are connected digitally and travel around the world to get to know other artists and places and to exchange ideas.

Arnaud de Meyer sits on a low wall in front of the fence separating the grounds of the Rotondes cultural centre from the railway tracks of the central station. On his knees sits a small sketchbook. With a steady hand and a 0.5 mm black waterproof fineliner pen, Arnaud traces delicate lines. The old gantry, through which locomotives once trundled, quickly takes shape. Details merge into others: the lamp on the gable, the surrounding walls, alebenches, folded-up parasols, the façades of neighbouring buildings, a small flock of birds, Virginia creeper on one wall. In only 30 minutes, he has immortalised the entire scene on paper. Just a critical glance over the top of his glasses and he is satisfied: he adds his signature and today’s date to the sketchbook sheet. This is urban sketching – Arnaud’s way of discovering the city. “Drawing requires one thing above all else: taking a good look around,” he says.


“Luxembourg City is beautiful, with a lot of green from all viewpoints – from below to above and vice versa – and buildings dating from a multitude of eras,” rhapsodises the Belgian. Even after 25 years living and working in the capital city, he is still awed by its one-of-a-kind atmosphere, which he wants



to share with as many people as possible through art. “With urban sketching, you draw in public places, whether alone or in a group,” he explains. “Then suddenly, passers-by see what you’re doing and view the area with a new perspective. They look more closely, discuss the buildings and the art, and ask questions,” the architect continues. Urban sketching is an international community. The artists are connected digitally and travel around the world to get to know other artists and places and to exchange ideas.

Experience urban sketching and architecture  The urban sketchers meet on the first Sunday of every month to draw together, always in a different place, including outside the city: http://usk-luxembourg.  Architectural exhibitions and tours with LUCA – Luxembourg Center for Architecture:  Architecture-themed walking tours, proposed by the Association of Architects and Engineers OAI:

“We all have different ancestry,” says Nico. About 70% of Luxembourg City’s residents do not hold a Luxembourg passport, while 180,000 commuters travel from the neighbouring countries each day. “So we all meet up in the old town’s cafés and squares. These places unite us in our differences and make up the city’s particular atmosphere. For me, Luxembourg City is a global village.”



A well-rounded experience

Every nook and curve of the Rotondes art and cultural centre will surprise you. The two round, former railway warehouses in the station district are home to cool performances, bold art and lots of creative space. Text BIRGIT PFAUS-RAVIDA Photo RÉMI VILLAGI



They are twins: similar yet different. One is sleek and clean, the other shows signs of wear and tear. Originally railway depots for steam locomotives, the Rotondes have been around since 1875. CFL, Luxembourg’s railway company, began using the space as a bus depot and repair centre when steam engines slowly disappeared after World War II.

In addition to an excellent programme, the Rotondes themselves, with their pervasive old industrial elements and shabby-chic style positively ooze with atmosphere that spills out onto its buzzing location near Luxembourg’s Central Station. The constant hum of cars, buses, railway carriages, and yes, even the chaos of the recent tramway works, simply affirm the

In addition to an excellent programme, the Rotondes themselves, with their pervasive old industrial elements and shabby-chic style positively ooze with atmosphere that spills out onto its buzzing location near Luxembourg’s Central Station.

The buildings are now under historic preservation. For years there was a lot of discussion about what to do with these unique structures: Contemporary art centre? Science museum? Bicycle museum?

Every summer, the venue also woos “congés-annulés” staycationers to take in an extra helping of culture in the form of alternative concerts and events.


2007, the year Luxembourg was European Capital of Culture, gave a taste of what would become the Rotondes as we know them today. The buildings were rapidly adapted to house art and culture along with exhibits and workshops. They have since become a thriving cultural hub whose history includes a brief stint on a different site because of renovations. Driven by imagination and commitment, the Rotondes offers events for every age: concerts, conventions, markets, conferences, dances, fine arts, literature. “One idea inspires another,” says Rotondes director Steph Meyers.


One idea inspires another


feeling that anything can (and will) happen in this place. All this is topped off by ever-changing art installations that add a fresh, hip and unexpected vibe to the whole area.

Go around the neighbourhood

An eclectic crowd in a diverse neighbourhood

 Creative and dynamic: Attend an expressive performance at the TROIS C-L – Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois in Bonnevoie. This international centre develops and teaches modern dance and offers a professional platform to the art of choreography. The dancers perform regularly, such as the “3 du Trois” which takes place every 3rd of the month.

Every summer, the venue woos “congés-annulés” staycationers to take in an extra helping of culture in the form of alternative concerts and events.


“This place is unique in our country. That’s why many international guests and expats enjoy it so much,” explains Steph Meyers. You will find an eclectic crowd at the Rotondes as well as at the Buvette bar and eatery. Located in the diverse neighbourhood of Bonnevoie, residents also enjoy meeting people from varied backgrounds here. The atmosphere is one of a kind: laid-back yet ultra-urban.

 On the town: Get into the Bonnevoie spirit by exploring its food and drinks scene. Local products are highlighted here, such as the Craft Corner beer bar and the Bouneweger Stuff menu.



 In nature: Not only is Bonnevoie cool and diverse, it also has lots of green spaces. The 8 km Bonnevoie circular hiking trail leads through the forest, over a bridge and past two mills. Take a deep breath in the middle of the city.


The Luxembourg Story Michel Engels (1851-1901), Bilder aus der Luxemburger Sage und Geschichte, Die Lützelburg auf dem Bockfelsen, 963-1543 (detail), around 1886




TUE - SUN 10 - 18.00 THU 10 - 20.00 MON closed


“Skateboarding is not a crime” — this catchphrase in the skateboarding community rings especially true in Luxembourg City. Skaters learn to appreciate architecture and aesthetics from an early age. And everyone’s a winner, even the city — it attracts young, urban and open-minded people from all over the world. Text FABIAN TEUBER Photos THOMAS LINKEL



Skateboarding is not a crime 23

Skaters have been doing spectacular jumps over the steps in front of the cathedral since the 1980s.

The skater scene is open, warm and familiar. Young women also feel at home here and conquer the city on four wheels. 24


There are seven steps on the wide staircase in front of the west portal of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (also known as the Mariendoum), an impressive Gothic edifice constructed in the 17th century. With powerful panache, Ornello takes a run-up on his skateboard, rolls up the steps, jumps off, switches the board under his feet mid-flight and lands at the base of the steps with both legs on the board, before doing another loop. He grins: trick nailed. It’s as though the steps – along with the square in front of the cathedral, which fills the space of a good two tennis courts – were made for skateboarding. This is the go-to place for Luxembourg’s skaters.

Luxembourg Dreaming Skating in front of the cathedral has been a thing for more than 30 years – before Ornello, Tom, Gilles and Nico were even born. Now in their late twenties, they are old hands in the Luxembourg skating scene. At first, Nico, who hails from Munich, found it strange that you could skate undisturbed in front of the cathedral. In many cities, skaters are banished – public spaces are built, or subsequently amended, to make skateboarding impossible. But not in Luxembourg City, where the scene is widely accepted.

right in the heart of the city where any tourist can also stumble upon it,” Nico explains. The skatepark has made the scene larger, more multicultural and more diverse: “Many women have started to come, as have younger people, while not forgetting older skaters whose boards had previously been gathering dust for years, thanks to the great park on their doorstep.” Skaters find unusual spots everywhere, from the steep, curving streets that lead down to the

Grund, to the old city with its medieval houses, swarming with steps, walls and handrails.

Steep curves, big contrasts In between the modern glass and steel buildings of the Kirchberg plateau are large squares that make for a skater’s paradise. “The contrasts we have in Luxembourg City, where the UNESCO World

The almost 3,500 m2 skatepark opened in 2016, boasting two bowls and countless steps, ramps, rails and curbs. The remnants of the historic fortifications tower above right next to it, while the viaduct over the Grund, the deep valley that cuts through the city centre, is visible in the background.

The Péitruss skatepark bears witness to this. “The Péitruss is one of the largest and most beautiful skateparks in Europe,


In many cities, skaters are banished — public spaces are built, or subsequently amended, to make skateboarding impossible. But not in Luxembourg City, where the scene is widely accepted.

Heritage site rubs arms with ultra-modern Kirchberg, are hard to find anywhere else. It’s like a wormhole between two worlds. In other parts of the city, old and new are directly alongside each other, such as the old post office and the shiny new Galeries Lafayette. Of course, that too offers something special for skateboarders,” says Nico.

Urban planning for all Also on the Kirchberg plateau is the Philharmonie. In front of its glass façade soar hundreds of high, slender columns, while the sides of the building run in wave shapes – the perfect ramp. Skaters were in mind when the square behind the Philharmonie was designed: the urban planners asked them how they should shape the benches so that they wouldn’t wear down too quickly. The solution: metal edges, over which the skateboards can skid. Cool skaters against a cultural backdrop. The city truly is a halfpipe.


Skating hotspots  Philharmonie: Luxembourg’s most famous skate spot, which has been widely covered in international skating media. An open space where everyone is welcome, including devotees of other urban sports, such as BMX (1, Place de l‘Europe).  Cathedral: A skate spot steeped in history. Skaters have been coming to this sacred site since the 1980s. The jumps over the many steps are spectacular (Boulevard Roosevelt).

Beyond the city limits  Skateplaza Belval: Skaters rock in the south too! Skateplaza Belval is modern, spacious, and in the heart of a green area in the Minett, also known as the Land of the Red Rocks. The Rockhal, shops and cafés in this hip new Esch-Belval quarter are only a skateboard jump away. (100, Avenue du Blues, Belval).

 Alima: This school campus is another classic skate spot in Luxembourg. A good surface, as well as high-quality ledges and blocks. Skateable at any time outside school hours (Lycée Aline Mayrisch, 30, Boulevard Pierre Dupong).

 Dudelange Skatepark: The Schmelz skatepark and dirtline in Dudelange attracts a lot of visitors, especially in the summer months. The park is also the venue of the annual Park and Ride Competition, better known as Dudelange on Wheels (Route de Thionville, Dudelange).

 Péitruss Skatepark: One of Europe’s largest and most beautiful skateparks, located in the green valley running through the urban capital. Old hands and up-andcoming skaters alike flock here (2, Rue Saint-Quirin).

 Kaul Skatepark: Way up north, on the Kaul campsite, lies an especially beautiful and modern skatepark within Activity Park Kaul. It also plays host to regular events and training courses (60, Campingstrooss, Wiltz).


Ornello in full flow in front of the Grand Ducal Palace.

The city is the ideal backdrop for skaters. Up and down, old and new, and lots of greenery make it the ideal playground. 27


Flying Sumo “Live life like it’s the weekend”: the motley phrase adorns the Luxair-Boeing 737. The airline also boasts a propeller-driven plane where bright colours replace the traditional white, turquoise and red. Sumo’s urban art takes off. Text BIRGIT PFAUS-RAVIDA Photos YANNICK IOB (OPENER), MIKE ZENARI




Sumo’s art is cheerful, loud, life-affirming. In Luxembourg he’s known for his “Crazy Baldheads”, pointy-nosed heads that bare their teeth yet still look funny and friendly. Christian Pearson, alias Sumo, began spraying graffiti on walls, trains and streets 25 years ago. “When you graffiti, you’re free and anonymous. You can build your reputation bit by bit,” says Sumo. Today, he is world-renowned. He sprays and paints on canvas as well as houses on commission. All legally. As of 2020, his “Crazy Baldheads” are literally taking off on two Luxair aircraft.

layer onto a canvas or wall. This time, he created a sketch which was then turned into a giant sticker. This fits his way of working, making his art even more accessible than it already is. These stickers are simply a little bigger. And voilà: airplane pop art. “That job was awesome. It was so much fun and lasted into the night. It felt like creating a start-up,” says Sumo, laughing.

Freedom and beautiful moments In the thick of the springtime coronavirus lockdown, Luxair decided to help boost morale. To do something that would lift spirits and motivate people to travel. Sumo’s colourful letters and symbols? Ideal! He was given free rein: subject, text, layout. The entire plane, his canvas. His motto “Live life like it’s the weekend” just fit. It’s about taking off, enjoying weekends, spare time, freedom and beautiful moments.

Sumo’s art is cheerful, loud, life-affirming. In Luxembourg he’s known for his “Crazy Baldheads”, pointy-nosed heads that bare their teeth yet still look funny.

Sumo created art for both the Boeing 737-800, tail number LX-LGU, and the De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400, tail number LX-LQA. It took him 200 hours to design plus 19 hours to affix the decals to the planes. Usually, Sumo paints and sprays his overlapping images layer by



Boosting morale Both planes now jet around boosting morale and showcasing urban art made in Luxembourg: “Out of office”, “Up and away”. Sumo is happy. He considers this a great honour. “Many people already sent me selfies with the planes. One plane was even

Christian Pearson, alias Sumo, began spraying graffiti on walls, trains and streets 25 years ago. Today, he sprays and paints on canvas as well as houses on commission.

In the thick of the first coronavirus lockdown, Luxair decided to help boost morale. Something that would lift spirits and motivate people to travel. Sumo’s colourful letters and symbols? Ideal!


delayed because so many people wanted to take pictures before boarding.” Passengers on board those planes will get a special treat: Sumo’s signature art graces the cabin too.

Sumo created art for both the Boeing 737-800, tail number LX-LGU, and the De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400, tail number LX-LQA.

Where to find Sumo  Visit Gallery1to1 near the capital’s central station to view Sumo’s art, both as large images and on merchandise. Sumo also helps promote up-and-coming urban artists by exhibiting their work in the same space. Urban art, definitely in demand! Gallery1to1, 31, rue de Strasbourg Usually, Sumo paints and sprays his overlapping images layer by layer onto a canvas or wall. This time, he created a sketch which was then turned into a giant sticker.

 Need a morale boost? Check out Sumo’s airplane art on Luxair’s website.  View Sumo’s work on a building designed by architecture firm Metaform in Cessange. It looks like drawers sliding all the way to heaven. Enjoy the building’s cubist features and Sumo’s glowing signature style.




Take the indoors outdoors



Venture out in comfort! A caravan offers all-weather protection and the same overnight comfort as a hotel room. Embark on a road trip with a caravan and take in Luxembourg’s fresh air. Text THOMAS JUTZLER Photos ANDRÉ SCHÖSSER, THOMAS JUTZLER


The early bird captures the best picture. The Sรปre river sends wafts of mist through the Fromburg scenery as the sun rises above the peaceful landscape.



Luxembourg has a well-developed network of short and long-distance trails that make it easy to explore the country.


Outside Berdorf, the winding road leads through massive sandstone boulders. These formations were created by a primordial ocean that covered the region 250 million years ago.



It’s love at first sight. EribaRockability, a 1950’s style caravan with beguilingly rounded edges, awaits us at the rental company in all its sparkling red and white glory. It’s a cosy cross between an RV and a vacation home topped off with polka dot curtains. Small and round. We hook up our smooch-mobile, start the playlist and hit the road. German campers on the way to explore their neighbouring country! The boombox blares “Peggy Sue” by Buddy Holly which gives us the name for our hotel room on wheels: Eriba Rockability is now called Peggy Sue. The term Rockability originated in the southern United States when white musicians tried to imitate African-American Rhythm & Blues in the 1950s. The result was a mix of rock and country. Essentially, rock music played by country folk. Fittingly, we begin our road trip through the Grand Duchy in the rugged terrain of the Ardennes, the northern tip of the country.

Breaking good At 500 m altitutude, the windy plateaus of the Éislek region pose a challenge for agriculturists. The cooperative of Ourdall farmers came up with a solution by focusing on oil seeds. Poppyseed, rapeseed, flaxseed and hempseed all grow well here. We have an appointment with coop founder Norbert who shows us the production facilities. He opens the door to a former cow barn, now

permeated by a sweet, aromatic scent. The air feels mild yet rich. It’s intoxicating and we can’t stop inhaling deeply. “So? Do you recognize the scent?” Norbert, almost 70, grins. “We manufacture CBD products for the pharmaceutical industry. Of course we work with regulatory authorities but it’s true that the cultivation of hemp is a great opportunity for us here in the region.” We’re speechless. This sleepy Ardennes hamlet is hiding a Breaking Bad setup with all kinds of high-tech distillation devices. THC is not part of the deal of course but the aroma is enticing and we continue our trip equipped with hemp flower tea.

A Babylonian blend We’re on our way to the Upper Sûre reservoir to test our standup paddling (aka SUP) skills. But first, a stopover in Kautenbach. This is where the Lee Trail, a 52 km long-distance hiking trail ends. We follow the trail, starting at the end. Just for a little while. Walking the whole trail takes three to four days. Narrow paths lead through oak tree forests, past craggy rock formations, ridges and high plains. We’re just here to get a taste, immerse ourselves in greenery and pick a few wild blueberries.

The Mullerthal region is characterised by boulders, forest and water. Plank bridges lead across the marsh in the valley around the Beaufort castle ruins. Combine your visit of the impressive 12th century ruins with an exploration of the adjacent, well-preserved Renaissance castle.


With approximately 170 km of it meandering through the Ardennes, the Sรปre is one of the biggest tributaries of the Moselle river. The part between Wallendorf and Echternach Bridge is particularly well-suited for paddling.



Paddling on the lower Sรปre is accessible to all levels. The river is slow-moving, rapids are safe for beginners and in most places, the river is only hip-deep.


Onwards! In Esch-sur-Sûre, we spot the first stand-up paddlers gliding through the village. A few road bends later, the lake emerges. It is part nature reserve, part recreational sports area and a favourite getaway for many locals. On the lakeshore we notice it for the first time: Luxembourg’s multilingualism and multiculturalism. The BBQ spots are a Babylonian blend of French, Luxembourgish, German and Portuguese. The Portuguese community constitutes the country’s largest immigrant group. They came as foreign workers and stayed. Our BBQ conversations also reveal that Portuguese restaurants are a staple in Luxembourg. We SUP through crystal-clear water, then pack up our belongings and cruise along the winding country road

towards Kohnenhof, where we’ll stop for the night at the campsite.

Learning from the Dutch “That’s it! We’re here!” we yell a dozen times before actually finding our campsite. The Grand Duchy boasts an exceptional camping infrastructure. Many river bends hide small, even tiny, campsites. Some only have one row along the bank. Most are Dutch-owned. Coming from the Netherlands, the Ardennes are the first real mountain range, and they are, from a Dutch perspective, decidedly foreign scenery. Ergo, holiday vibes! Since the Dutch are (stereotyp-

Esch-Sûre is a cosy castle town emblematic of the Ardennes region, nestled between the mountains and the Sûre. Its location makes it one of the most unique places in the country. Follow the road through two tunnels to reach the reservoir dam.

ically) known for being avid campers, it’s a well-developed sector. We find a parking spot for Peggy Sue. The fridge hums, the fairy lights are up and our camp is ready. Adjacent is the restaurant Am’Our that exclusively prepares regional products in a wood-fired oven. A perfect blend of indoors and outdoors. Why have only the Dutch realised how great this place is? Why have so few Germans stumbled upon it? We don’t know. Although admittedly, up until now, Luxembourg was “something to do with Europe and Amazon” for us.

Paddling along the river Speaking of the Amazon, we rent kayaks at Ronn’s Bikes and Kayaks to paddle along the river between Wallendorf and Echternach. Except, it’s the Sûre. We see a kingfisher flying around a tree. But as soon as our kayaks get close, it moves on to the next bush until we lose sight of it. Back in Echternach, we return the boats. As a child, Ronn’s family vacationed here. Now he runs a local kayak and bike rental. We continue our exploration through the region around Echternach known as Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland, with its ravines, streams, jungle-like greenery, chasms and caves. We take public transport back to the campsite. This doesn’t re-



The Mullerthal region is known as Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland and boasts ravines with brooks, jungle-like greenery, chasms and caves. 43

The Kohnenhof campsite is located in a forested valley close to the border river Our. Find more camping grounds downriver, embedded in the region’s lush green valleys.



Luxembourg’s campsites offer tranquillity and serenity but also a little luxury. Travelling gourmets will enjoy the excellent Am’Our restaurant for example, located next to Camping Kohnenhof.


The protected area extends about 5 km from the dam wall into the lake. Go swimming, paddling, diving, surfing or sailing on the recreational side of the lake. 46


The Upper Sรปre nature reserve, located in north-west Luxembourg, is shaped by the 380-hectare drinking water reservoir, the largest in the country. The steep, woody cliffs often hug the river, creating a pristine, natural landscape that instils a sense of tranquillity.


quire a lot of planning as transit is free in the whole country. As in, no charge; no ticket. Crazy, but true. Just get in and enjoy the ride to wherever you’re going. Convenient for backpackers or anyone travelling on a budget, by the way.

A good dose of country life

tomatoes and onions along with farm owner Jeff. We’re planning to prepare a BBQ together with Jeff’s friend Philippe who is a professional chef.

Comfortably mobile in Luxembourg

Philippe converted an old oil drum into an oven using an iron plate. Complete with a hole to fit a Dutch oven. Right now, the delicious scent of bubbling mustard sauce is filling the air. All of this from field to table, the best kind of outdoor cooking. Bon appétit!

 Luxembourg boasts a web of comfortable campsites strewn across the country. In addition to campsites for camper vans, caravans and tents, you can stay in wooden pods, log cabins and tepees.

To wind up our tour, we want another dose of country air. Fromburg farm and its community supported agriculture (CSA) piqued our interest. Over fifty different crops are harvested here: Fruit, herbs, berries, flowers, vegetables. CSA members can pick everything fresh from the fields and greenhouses. Guests staying in the holiday apartments are welcome to participate in gardening activities. Under the watchful eye of the farm’s Angus, we pick lettuce,



“Gromperenkichelcher mat Wäinzoossiss” (in English: Luxembourg-style potato cakes with wine bratwurst) are even better when grilled outdoors on the Feuerring BBQ.

 The Grand Duchy offers free public transport (in coach class). Most campsites are well-connected to the transit network. Consult the Mobilitéit transit app for schedules.  Download the Luxembourg Card app for tips and discounts on tourist attractions across Luxembourg.

While bacon, potato cakes and bratwursts sizzle on the Feuerring BBQ, I invite Jeff, the owner of Fromburg Farm, for a hemp beer, a Luxembourg original. We sit outside Peggy Sue enjoying the sun setting over the fields. “Food is ready!” says Philippe from behind. The cows, who don’t care about bratwursts, moo contentedly. Insects jitter in the sun. We could get used to this.


Transforming Experiences AN ÉISLEK ARTIST

His trees, his world 50


The Luxembourg Ardennes in the north of the country is home to painter Jean-Marie Biwer who finds endless inspiration in the region’s rolling green hills. An artist for over 40 years, his work is regularly exhibited, taking you from places like the Mudam to his studio in Niederbesslingen, a small town at the northern tip of the county, all the way to a permanent collection in Washington, D.C. Text BIRGIT PFAUS-RAVIDA Photos VERONIQUE KOLBER


In his studio, Biwer’s impressions are poured onto squares the size of an LP record or rectangles that cover entire walls. This is his world.

Jean-Marie Biwer’s paintings are filled with symbols and often some important truths. And yet, they feel effortless.



Jean-Marie Biwer takes his morning coffee peering at the majestic birch trees outside his large window. He likes a strong cup of black coffee prepared with an old-fashioned espresso maker. Jean-Marie Biwer and his wife live in an old, lovingly restored farmhouse surrounded by the Éislek hills, a small nearby pond, cows, trees and a forest. This is where the couple go for walks and where he draws impressions in one of his countless sketch books. The painter has almost as many as there are leaves on the birch trees he planted for his children’s birth. Back at his studio, he transfers his sketches to canvas. Trees, cows, people. The espresso maker. Brushes, colours and tools. A bowl of apples. A man pensively looking to the side. These are Biwer’s impressions. This is his world poured onto squares the size of an LP record or rectangles that cover entire walls.

An explosion of intricate details and symbols Jean-Marie Biwer paints what he sees, but there is more to his work than meets the eye. His paintings are filled with symbols and often some important truths. And yet, they feel effortless. “If all someone sees in my work is trees, that’s alright by me,” says Jean-Marie Biwer with a playful smile, “but most of the time, there’s more.” You

will find the silhouette of a child in the birch bark and references to astrophysics and quantum mechanics in the pattern of the leaves against the blue sky. You will find details reminiscent of brain synapses and cracks in ice. Biwer elegantly and effortlessly manages to conceal the infinite in the finite, the profound in the shallow. Biwer is a great observer and uses his work to question the role

paintings play in today’s society, a world flooded with pictures and information. “I just want to give people a sense of space and depth at a time when most things happen on a screen,” he explains. His varied collection reflects the 45 years he’s spent exploring art in all its forms. In his workshop you’ll find tasteful watercolour nudes as well as drawings and lithographs oozing vulnerability.

Jean-Marie Biwer was born on 17 September 1957 in Dudelange and has been a freelance artist since 1974. He has received numerous awards. In 1993 he represented Luxembourg at the Venice Biennale. He and his wife, art photographer Geneviève Badoual, have been living in the Éislek region in the north of Luxembourg since the 1980s. They have two children.


Each painting tells a story, and Jean-Marie Biwer enjoys sharing those memories as he walks from one room to the next.

Visual impressions of musical rhythms When the Biwers lived in Paris, a pianist in the attic apartment filled the family’s small living quarters with music every day. The musical notes can be found as rhythmic speckles in his watercolours, such as the one depicting his sleeping wife on the bed of their Paris flat. A visual representation of music.

Jean-Marie Biwer’s paintings will draw admirers into their landscapes. A closer look reveals nuances and overtones that take viewers beyond the limits of a first glance.


Where to find the artist

Explore the region

 Some of Jean-Marie Biwer’s work can be viewed in temporary exhibits at the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA) and the Mudam.

 Would you like to see the landscape that inspires this artist every day? Hike along the long-distance Escapardenne Trail that runs close to Jean-Marie Biwer’s home town. The 106 km long Escapardenne Eislek Trail is certified as a Leading Quality Trails - Best of Europe (LQT) by the European Ramblers Association.

 His works are on permanent display in the event room in the Dudelange town hall, as well as the entrance and the conference room in the Ulfingen town hall. You’ll also find his work in several banks, including in Spuerkeess’s main building in Luxembourg City (Rousegärtchen/Avenue de la Liberté). Jean-Marie Biwer is also represented abroad. Several of his birch paintings adorn the round ballroom in Luxembourg’s embassy in Washington, D.C.  Find Jean-Marie Biwer’s work on Facebook or visit the artist in person in his studio in Niederbesslingen. New works are created here every day. The beautiful landscape in the surrounding area invites you to get to know “Biwer’s world” on a walk or hike, and to let yourself be inspired by nature. jeanmarie.biwer


 Take in the view from one of the two highest points in the country (558m) in nearby Huldange on the Burrigplatz (castle square). The VennbahnRavel cycle path from Aachen to Ulflingen (125km) passes by here.  Enjoy a (digital) detox in the Cinqfontaines/Fünfbrunnen monastery: an ideal place to come to rest and perhaps get creative yourself, whether with sketchbook or writing pad.

Culture in the countryside  The Luxembourg countryside offers oodles of culture: music, dance, theatre, crafts, literary evenings, visual arts, cinema, workshops and international events. For a roundup of regional cultural centres, visit:

Jean-Marie Biwer paints what he sees, but there is more to his work than meets the eye.

The Luxembourg Ardennes in the north of the country is home to painter Jean-Marie Biwer who finds endless inspiration in the region’s rolling green hills.



They are the “Spice Girls” of Luxembourg’s cycling world. While not beginners by any means, the group does prioritise fun and a sense of community over performance. Text CHRISTIANE WÜRTTEMBERGER Photos OLIVER RAATZ


Speedy squad, great friendship 57 57

It’s early summer. Ten o’clock on a Saturday morning. Six Velosvedettes are getting ready at the car park in Ettelbruck. Bikes are checked, shoes changed, helmets and sunglasses adjusted. A quick chat: how was your week, what’s new, where are we heading today? And off they go. Today’s route: a 40 km circuit. These active women always meet on weekends. Sometimes they participate in recreational cycling races. There are many in Luxembourg, such as the 24h Vëlo Wëntger, La Charly Gaul and the Schleck Gran Fondo. This small country is full of cycling aficionados.

Luxembourg, nation of cycling enthusiasts Already during the first stop, the women rave about their home country: Luxembourg is a terrific country for cycling holidays, offering a rich variety of terrain from north to south. Today, the Velosvedettes cycle along Luxembourg’s Ardennes, an undulating, mountainous landscape with gorgeous panoramic views. They pant and chat riding uphill, stop for a quick cooling break with a view over Bourscheid castle, dart in tandem down narrow treelined streets and calmly cruise around small villages.

grown into friendship and mutual support.” In 2018, Liz officially co-founded the Velosvedettes along with Tamara Jung and Xenia Pfeiffer as a group for women who enjoy touring Luxembourg together by bike. The women, who are between 25 and 65, don’t see themselves as feminists but at times do consider their group a “movement”.

Liz and her fellow bikers created Velosvedettes when they noticed that men often bike faster simply because of their physique. Additionally, some of the women preferred to ride amongst women every now and then.

“At the beginning, we just wanted to ride together,” says Liz Van Rijswijck. “But it’s really



“We empower each other!” “We empower each other,” says Noémie Colletin who handles the cheerful and diverse group’s social media. “If one of us is off her game, the others simply adjust their pace. I love that.” Noémie bought her first bike only three

Luxembourg’s Ardennes offer panoramic views across an undulating, mountainous landscape.

The women love a little banter. For example, Noémie’s left sock reads “Don’t follow me” while her right sock says “I’m lost too”. 59

years ago. “Today, I can’t even imagine my life without cycling,” she says, laughing.

Cycling in Luxembourg

„Mir maan eng Rees, mir maan eng Rees!“

 With its rich landscapes, the Mullerthal region is perfect for both professional and leisure cyclists. Not to mention, it has some stunning views. Smooth, serpentine roads with little traffic lead through forests, hills and rock formations. Ideal for bike rides.

These women know exactly what they are doing, what they want and where the fun stops. Biking without a helmet, for example. “Too dangerous. We don’t take along anyone without a helmet, much less if they’re a guest,” says Liz. Men are welcome too but only if they don’t try to push the tempo. “Women call the shots here,” says Noémie and laughs. The Velosvedettes get along so well, they vacation together once a year. They also sing together to distract themselves on particularly steep slopes. “Mir maan eng Rees, mir maan eng Rees!”, which means we’re taking a trip in Luxembourgish. It’s a good thing that the squad has so many routes and destinations to choose from.

 Participate in famous events like the 24h Vëlo Wëntger or La Charly Gaul. The latter is a Mullerthal highlight named after famed Luxembourgish cyclist Charly Gaul, known as “Angel of the Mountains”. The challenging race is open to everyone and allows participants to collect Gran Fondo points. Start and goal are Echternach.  The Schleck brothers had an illustrious cycling career. Andy

won the Tour de France in 2010 and Fränk came third in 2011. Both brothers also found success in other international races. The Schleck Gran Fondo race was named after them. The event takes place in the spring and covers routes of 90 to 160 km. Andy and Fränk Schleck are originally from Mondorf-les-Bains, a place known for its thermal baths, swimming pool and wellness: the perfect spot to relax after a workout.  Summer 2020 initiated the reign of the bicycle! Over the summer holidays, now Vëlosummer, road closures are set up to connect national cycle paths allowing cyclists to explore new routes across the country, unimpeded by traffic.  Want to head out on your own? Find information on cycle paths and tours at Lëtzebuerger Velos-Initiativ.

Luxembourg boasts 23 domestic bike paths covering 600 km in addition to 700 km in mountain biking routes. Trails lead through small villages past defunct railway lines, romantic rivers and beautiful old castles.



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Through the wild ravine forest 62


Ancient trees, rare plants and gently flowing streams — Luxembourg’s natural beauty shows off its wild side on a walk in the Manternacher Fiels. This 11.5 km CFL hiking trail leads through an unspoilt landscape. At the end, all you have to do is board the train to get back to where you started. Text JAN MAIER Photos OLIVER RAATZ


The hiking trail starts along meadow orchards. The apples that grow here are mainly used to make “Viez” cider.

In other places, such massive tree trunks would be removed, but not here in the nature reserve.



The steep hillside rises up amid an ocean of light green ferns and dark green, moss-coated rocks. There are lime and maple trees all around, with overgrown fallen trunks here and there. A narrow path winds its way through the forest. There is humidity in the air. It is pleasantly cool, despite the summer temperatures. The River Syre ripples quietly through the valley below. Welcome to the Manternacher Fiels, a richly varied nature reserve in eastern Luxembourg. You can explore it by hiking the 11.5 km CFL trail between Manternach and Wasserbillig. The trail starts at Manternach train station. The first stop comes after just 100 m, at the A Wiewesch Nature Reserve Centre. Agricultural tools from times of yore hang from the roof of the restored 19th century farmhouse. An exhibition focuses on the connection between conservation and agriculture. “Both can work hand-in-hand,” insists hiking guide Luc Roeder, Manternach’s forest ranger.

“Ancient woodland of tomorrow” Upon leaving the visitor centre, the path crosses the Syre for the first time. The stream flows 32 km from Syren to Mertert. Then come a few natural steps up to the forest, running alongside meadow orchards. According to Luc, the apples that grow here are mainly used to make sweet “Viez” cider. “It’s unfermented apple juice that is simply pressed and then consumed immediately.”

Following a spectacular view over Manternach, one of the oldest settlements in Luxembourg, the path leads through a gate into the ravine forest – at 57 hectares, the country’s largest – and into the Manternacher Fiels. It only takes a few steps to feel that the air is cooler and more humid. As Luc explains, moss and ferns grow well in this climate, especially the rare hart’s tongue fern with its large, undivided leaves, which sprouts in tufts between the shady cliffs.

“This fern is very typical of our forested ravine,” says Luc, the pride in his voice palpable as he explains that this rare fern still grows here. The narrow path, lined with ground elder, continues up and down, further into the woods. Gardeners are allowed to grow this somewhat unpopular wild herb undisturbed here in the nature reserve. That’s because the entire forest has been left to take care of

Hikers puff their way up more than 100 steps here. It’s worth counting, because there are always a few more. How many more? Try it out for yourself!


The hiking trails in Luxembourg are generally well signposted. In the middle, you can see the characteristic CFL sign.

itself for the last 50 years or so. With the only human intervention being the necessary trimming due to the nearby railway track and the hiking trails, not a single tree is ever felled. The result: fallen and slowly decomposing trunks and branches aplenty. The wild takes centre stage, nature thrives, and biodiversity is increasing. An “ancient woodland of tomorrow” is emerging, Luc says. “We have so many insects here to see to the dead wood. At the same time, that wood absorbs a lot of water, releasing it again during dry spells. That’s important for the relatively humid forest climate.”


More than 100 steps through the forest

Another stop. Luc points to a more than 200-year-old sycamore slightly off the path. Its diameter is vast: it takes four adults holding hands to wrap around the whole trunk. In other places, they would have long ago felled this majestic and valuable tree and sold its wood, Luc believes. “But not here. This one stays.”

After a steep downhill section, the path crosses the Syre for the second time, leading under a railway viaduct to reach the southern slope of the Manternacher Fiels. The climate and species suddenly change: it is brighter, warmer and drier, and oaks, beeches and orchids grow. This transformation fascinates Luc, who dreamt of being a forest ranger from a young age. “There is a huge variety of woodlands in a very small area here. Nature is in a constant state of flux – the forest is different every day. And then there’s the high biodiversity: that’s what makes the Manternacher Fiels so interesting.”

As the walk progresses, the splashing of the stream blends in increasingly with the cheeping and chirping of the birds. If you’re lucky, you can even see kingfishers on some days, Luc says. This now rare species of bird has found its habitat on the Syre’s steep banks. The untouched Manternacher Fiels is also perfect for the highly endangered black

Under the next CFL-branded signpost, a brightly coloured information board warns hikers what awaits them: 100 steps, in the middle of the woods, past the shell-limestone boulders for which the Fiels is famous, which look like dry stone walls coated in green undergrowth. There are actually more than 100 steps. But once you get to the viewpoint on the

A home for kingfishers and black woodpeckers

The hart’s tongue fern owes its name to its slightly rolled, pointed leaves.

woodpecker. Luc points to a tree trunk with a gaping trapezoid hole. “A black woodpecker did that with its beak to look for insects. As soon as the woodpecker has gone, other birds, bats and insects make their home there.” Later on, mushrooms grow. Life flourishes in the slowly dying wood – with humus staying until death throes.


The diameter of the more than 200-year-old sycamore is vast. It takes four adults to barely wrap their arms around the entire trunk.

The end of the walk takes you downhill along a tarmac track past grazing cows until you reach the small town of Mertert.


On the move thanks to the rail network

as a premium hiking trail by the German Hiking Institute. The route boasts 91 experience points, making it an attractive hiking trail.

 There are 43 CFL hiking trails throughout the country, ranging from 4 to 30 km in length. Aiming to be practical, the routes always lead from station to station. Once you’ve finished your walk, a train will take you straight back to where you started – all without needing a ticket. Second-class travel on public transport anywhere in the country is free.

Nature information

 The high-quality infrastructure is also designed with cyclists in mind: 14 cycle paths start or end at a railway station. All aboard! The train takes you comfortably back to the starting point of your hike.

plateau, this short uphill exertion is immediately forgotten thanks to the stunning view over the nature reserve, the ravine forest and the Syre valley. On the horizon you can make out Grevenmacher, down by the River Moselle. The path continues over the soft forest floor into the deeply carved valley of the Schlammbaach, a tranquil river with plenty of scree and mossy rock fragments. After a green canyon, the shaded forest and the Manternacher Fiels end here. Walk downhill along a tarmac track past grazing cows and you reach the small town of Mertert. Two almost life-sized lion statues


A dream loop  The dream loop Manternacher Fiels is shorter than the CFL hiking trail and has been certified

from the 19th century keep watch over the entrance of Mertert Park, a roughly four-hectare English-style landscape garden.

A ship with a history As the Moselle riverbank promenade comes into view, the MS Princesse Marie-Astrid does an about-turn. 35 years ago, the famous Schengen Agreement, which enshrines the freedom of movement across borders within the EU,


 A Wiewesch Nature Reserve Centre in Manternach (often referred to as the “Old Farmhouse”, its previous function) is one of five across Luxembourg. Its focal point is the Conservation and Agriculture interactive exhibition, where visitors can learn how biodiversity, agriculture and a healthy diet are dependent on each other. Displays show what farmers and ordinary citizens can do to reduce their ecological footprint. There are also numerous free activities, such as herbal walks, forest baths and guided tours of the Manternacher Fiels, including for families.

was signed on this pleasure boat’s predecessor. About 2 km downstream, the final destination of the hike beckons: Wasserbillig. Before arriving at the train station, the path affords a view of the lowest point in Luxembourg, where the Sûre flows into the Moselle. This is also the location of Luxembourg’s only ferry, which is just leaving for Germany on the other side of the river. Finally, we arrive at the small station. Eight minutes later, the train leaves, headed back to Manternach.

the City of Sciences and the blast furnaces in Belval


The apple revival

Everyone in Luxembourg has a story about an apple tree. All over the world, where there’s an apple tree, cider isn’t far away. Luxembourg is no exception. Text SARAH PITT Fotos VÉRONIQUE KOLBER



What better moment to venture to the meadow orchards than in the Autumn, when the trees are at their fullest and finest, their branches bursting with bright ripe fruit. The five or so weeks from mid-September to mid-October are by far the most exciting time to experience any cider farm in operation. Apple picking, collecting, delivering, sorting, washing, ridging, milling and pressing are in full swing.

they had their first craft cider. Little did they know that this spirited experiment was to be the start of a long adventure. While the culture of cider making was lost, luckily the knowledge and expertise in wine making has been very well preserved in Luxembourg. “Our many wine producers along the Moselle help us to manage the fermentation so that we’re making the most of the apples. Our pro-

At the public harvest, you are invited to pick apples from the meadow orchard. Below, the apples are being washed and sorted before being pressed.

Back in the day, every farmer had many fruit trees but over the course of the 20th century, traditional apple and pear trees drastically declined. With the introduction of machines and changes in agriculture, over a million fruit trees were lost in Luxembourg. All of that began to change in 2013 over a round of cider in the UK, when three friends, Carlo Hein, Gilles Dimmer and Gérard Bisenius, started to recall long lost stories of cider-making back home. Shared memories began to surface of barrels being kept under neighbours’ houses; of get-togethers to drink “Viez”; and as children being enlisted by grandparents to help pick apples.

Perfect blends for good ciders Inspired, they decided to harvest apples to make cider: “We have the fruit; we have the history, let’s give it a try!” With an abundance of unused cider, eating and cooking apples at their fingertips, it soon became official: the apples in the region of Born, Mullerthal, where they all grew up, make perfect blends for good ciders. A few trials and many litres later,


ject is all about a sharing economy, bringing together the best of Luxembourg - that is in fact already there! We are not reinventing anything, just reviving it,” says Carlo. Ramborn Cider Haff (meaning farm in Luxembourgish) is located in a beautifully restored mid-1700s farmhouse, which originally included cider-making facilities and a distillery. There are orchards on maps from this time, but Romans brought domesticated apples to this region, and cider making in the form of “Viez” has been part of the culture here for at least 2,000 years.

Unearthing local fruit Only fresh, cold-pressed juices are used, and back at the farm, the press is hissing and pumping away and a succession of apples of all shapes and sizes are being milled along. Any discarded fruit and the remaining pomace are sent off to be converted into biogas for energy generation. Going back to basics and harnessing what nature has to offer underpins everything. Three apple trees have recently been planted at the farm: Eifeler Ramborn, the namesake Rambo apple, Luxembourger Triumph, a fantastic multiuse apple great for pressing, and the Luxembourger Renette. They won’t be at full production for another 30 years or so, but for the generations to come, they will collectively add another 600 kg of fruit to the annual harvest. The fruit used to make the ciders and juices all comes from within a 50 km radius in Luxembourg and Germa-


ny. There are over 150 varieties in Luxembourg, and many of them look remarkably similar. “You can’t always tell by their appearance which is which, but you can often distinguish immediately by their taste,” says Chantal Hellers-Bisenius, head of orchards. Vast cases of Erbachhofer, Renette, Bohnapple and many others are stacked on top of


Above (L-R): Paul Jeitz and Adie Kaye show the many varieties of regional apples. Below (R-L): Carlo Hein and son Sam at the public harvest event in 2019, pouring the curious crowd tasters of fresh juices, ice cider, ciders aged in rum and whisky barrels, and the unique garden quince cider.

Things to do  Public harvest: For a lively gathering of fun-filled rural spirit, head to the annual public harvest to celebrate all things apple. Complete with village musicians, free guided tours, and tastings of all their delicious products from Apfelschorle and juices to the exquisite ice cider and more seasonal mulled cider. Everyone is invited to pick apples directly from the meadow orchards, which requires a large pole to skilfully shake down the fruit.  A day out in Born: Born is an ideal starting point for exploring the Mullerthal region. It has Rent-a-bike facilities to take you around the Sûre valley and the nearby towns of Echternach, Wasserbillig and Rosport. For hikers, the start and/or finish point of Route 1 of the Mullerthal Trail is the Ramborn Cider Haff, so hikes and excursions can end with a visit to the farm.  Adopt-a-tree! A small step like adopting a tree can have a positive impact on the world! Anyone can adopt a tree at Ramborn and by investing in a tree, you can track its positive environmental impact. The money from your adoption will go directly towards orchard renovation work and supporting farmers. adopt

one another, lined up to be pressed. Chantal shares her knowledge of how to plant, prune and maintain trees with the farmers, as for most, it was already a lost art. “We are also reminding people of the trees’ value, paying a fair price for the fruit, and using what would otherwise have been wasted.” Apple trees are one of the most biodiverse assets in Luxembourg. On the self-guided tour of the beautiful meadow orchards of Born, you can spot the 200-year-old pear tree standing tall in a field across from the many older apple trees with cows grazing beneath. Further up are beehives and the pathway leads onto a field with rows and rows of newly planted trees. None of these marvellous trees require fertilisation or spray, just the care and attention they receive from the orchard experts.

Bringing back Luxembourg’s cider heritage is about much more than apples and pears. Tradition, culture, nature, biodiversity, ecosystems and rural communities have all been given a new life. The realisation that everyone in Luxembourg has a story about an apple tree is what sparked its revival. The Ramborn initiative has made sure that future generations will be telling stories of apple and pear trees for many years to come.

Today, over 100 farmers have been incited not only to take care of existing trees but to plant new trees and play a role in safeguarding the continued biodiversity of the landscape.

Heritage from the land It all began with 1,000 litres in 2014, and over the years their ciders and perries have won multiple awards and are sold in more than twelve countries around the world. While Ramborn’s rise to international acclaim has been rapid, the passage from fruit to glass is laborious and lengthy. An apple tree takes 30 years to reach full production, from which point it can provide fruit for 150 years or more. A pear tree is ready at 50 years, and can live beyond 250. “Producing cider is a slow process. It is not about fast gains but about future investment in livelihood, community and the environment,” explains Carlo.



Paddling, diving, enjoying nature 74


Still waters or foaming waves: the Upper Sรปre lake and the Moselle offer both relaxing and dynamic watersports experiences. Text FABIAN TEUBER Photos THOMAS JUTZLER (OPENER), THOMAS LINKEL


The wide side arm of the Upper Sûre reservoir stretches like a fjord for several hundred metres, tapering with each turn and finally becoming a narrow stream.

Whether you head out with a canoe, kayak or SUP-board, you can reach places that can’t be accessed on foot or by car. You get to choose your own secluded picnic spot!



Built in the 1950s, the Upper Sûre drinking water reservoir meanders through the narrow valley like a gigantic serpent. At times, it feels like a Norwegian landscape. Other spots feel like a boundless Canadian lake. “You can take long trips out on the water here, if you want,” says canoe guide Christoph. “The tour to Pont Misère out west takes all day. It’s 9 km one way.” You can take the trip in a kayak or canoe, your choice. Kayaks require a double-bladed paddle, and canoes a single-bladed paddle. Both are simple to master and the lake is an ideal place to learn because there are no motorboats. The reservoir is located a one hour drive north-west of Luxembourg City and is the largest body of water within a 50 km radius. Sunny weekends draw crowds to secluded swimming spots along the lakeshore and river bank in Lultzhausen, Liefrange and Insenborn. If you’re paddling through though, you’ll barely notice them. Focusing on the rhythmic splish-splash, keeping a steady paddle movement and your eye on the water and waves will make you feel serene in no time. “That’s what I love about water sports. These moments of tranquillity, especially early in the morning when the water is still draped in mist right after sunrise,” says Christoph. Enjoy yet another perk of heading out with a canoe, kayak or SUPboard: “You can reach places that can’t be accessed on foot or by car. You get to choose your own perfect picnic spot.” Over the course of several hundred fjord-like metres, the large

Upper Sûre lake branches off into a creek. Christoph and his group turn around and enjoy a first rest stop on a rock on the river bank. Out of the waterproof container, the canoe guide conjures up a camping stove, an espresso maker and fresh croissants. On their way back to the hostel in Lultzhausen, the starting point, the group passes underneath a high bridge. Stronger winds are stirring waves but the boats remain steady on the water. Guided canoe tours last three hours. “After that, people know how to paddle and steer. They are able to head out on their own,” explains Christoph.

Night dives in the reservoir Back at the hostel, the kayaks are pulled ashore. Stéphane Eberling and his friend finish prepping for a dive. Stéphane is a teacher at the hostel’s diving school. “Diving

is my greatest passion,” he says, raving about night dives in the reservoir where you can see crabs battling it out. The centre of the reservoir is 30 to 35 m deep with a maximum depth of 50 m. It’s a perfect location for beginners and experienced divers alike. “If you can dive here, you can dive in the Mediterranean,” says Stéphane. The diving course takes you from theory to pool to lake. “You’ll be focused on technique on your first dive, but you’ll still manage to see a lot, like fish or some other strange sightings. Garden gnomes and Christmas trees were sunk on purpose.” It takes a while for Stéphane and his diving buddy to put on the gear. The oxygen tank goes on last. Overall, the equipment weighs around 20 kg. They check each other’s gear. Do the air supplies and pressure gauges work? They give each other the OK hand signal, wade into the water and disappear below the surface. Around a minute later,

The centre of the reservoir is 30 to 35 m deep with a maximum depth of 50 m. It’s a perfect location for beginners and experienced divers alike.


a buoy emerges from the water, indicating the divers’ location. Even though you always dive with a buddy, it is still a solitary experience. “There are no ambient sounds. All you hear is your own breathing and the bubbles it generates. That’s it. It’s a phenomenal way to switch off after a stressful day,” says Stéphane.

Relax here, be active there The reservoir is nestled in the woodland hills of the Upper Sûre Nature Park, a great place to hike or mountain bike. Watersports in the park area are an all-round relaxing experience.

He controls the board with swift motions from left to right, choosing each wake. All the while, he holds on to a wakeboard rope and handle, his feet held firm by boots in bindings, similar to snowboarding. It takes some practice to make it look as easy as he does but wakeboarding will be heaps of fun from the start. You don’t have to be a member to learn the sport with one of the many watersports clubs along the Moselle. From action to adventure, vibrant to peaceful: One day can bring two quite distinct water experiences in Luxembourg.

For more intense water sports, check out the dynamic activities along the River Moselle near Ehnen. Here, you’ll find Glenn Birsens wakeboarding on the river at 35 km an hour. He uses the boat’s wakes as a ramp to jump and swing around in the air.

Visitors can stay at the lakefront hostel in Lultzhausen. The yard, a great place to relax and sunbathe, also functions as the starting point for canoe, kayak, SUP and diving excursions. The hostel offers local, seasonal cuisine that will please vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Around the Upper Sûre lake  Enjoy the breath-taking view of the lake and its surroundings from the 70-metre-high Belvedere vista point, only a short walk from the Burfelt nature conservation centre.  An 8,4 km circular hiking trail starts in Kaundorf and takes you through the woodland hills and brings with it beautiful views of the lake  Visit the “An der Runschelt” Bunker in Kaundorf used by resistance fighters in World War II.  The Bavigne circular hiking trail takes you along an entire branch of the reservoir. The trail leads through the scenic Bëmicht valley before winding its way across a bridge back to its starting point.  The area also boasts numerous mountainbiking routes for experienced riders.



More extreme watersports enthusiasts are better off on the Moselle, for wakeboarding in Ehnen, for example.

It takes some practice to make it look as easy as Glenn Birsens does but wakeboarding is heaps of fun from the start. You don’t have to be a member to learn the sport at one of the many watersports clubs along the Moselle.



“Fru” at heart Grapevines along the Sûre and Moselle produce both fine wine and delightful table wine. Young viticulturist Georges Schiltz set up his own experimental winery on land cultivated for generations. Text THOMAS JUTZLER Photos PANCAKE!



Georges Schiltz seems eccentric at first. Back when he was a geography student, he had a wacky idea: growing grapevines. He does not come from a family of winemakers and still decided to set up shop and do his own thing in an area farmed by viticulturists since Roman times. They’re referred to as “young and wild”. The new generation of winemakers marked by a desire to experiment with new cultivation methods and confer with international colleagues. They also value bottle and label design because, well, they’re part of the charm! It’s a generation that cares deeply about making their job and life in general sustainable. For them, sustainability is not just a tagline. At 32, Georges Schiltz is one of the “young and wild” ones. Originally, he studied geography with the goal of working in development aid. But early on, his grandfather introduced him to the art of distillation. Georges was fascinated by the idea of extracting flavour from the orchards surrounding his parents’ farm house. And so, a hobby turned into more. Still a student, he learned how to produce fruit spirits professionally. He began selling schnapps and liquor under the Tudorsgeeschter label. Rosport residents are often referred to as “Tudor’s ghosts”, after Henri Tudor who lived in Rosport and developed the first lead-acid battery.

doesn’t come from a wine-growing family and doesn’t even have a vineyard! “On a study trip in Bolivia it hit me. Confronted with the loss of rainforest on one hand and the modest homes of the local population on the other, I realised that I wanted to help preserve the cultural landscape of my home country,” says Georges. “We are so coddled in Europe. What’s the worst that could happen? I fail. That’s not so bad.” Doing something that gives life a deeper meaning and isn’t just about earning a living must be rewarding. His mind was made up.

The genie must go in the bottle In addition to studying geography and producing spirits, Georges enrols at Geisenheim University to study viticulture and oenology. That same year, a coincidence leads him to lease his first vineyard. The “Clos de la joie” is the only vineyard in Luxembourg enclosed by dry stone

wall. Here, he tries out everything he learns in school. It’s the beginning of his “learning by doing” journey that continues to this day. Unlike other winemakers, Georges is not haunted by ghosts of viticulturists past that criticize his every move. He is free to make mistakes and learn from his experiences. “The biodiversity of the orchards, vineyards and dry stone walls. This is small-scale, sustainable agriculture that harnesses the power of biodiversity instead of destroying it. Creating alternatives to steamrolling corporations is possible from

The “young and wild”: a generation for whom sustainability is not a marketing gimmick, but something fundamentally important to make the profession - and life in general - fit for the future.

The vineyards awaken Georges’ curiosity. He wants to coax flavour out of these fruits too. A pretty ambitious project considering he


the comfort of your own home. You don’t necessarily need to go out into the world. For instance, when I buy my neighbours’ fruit to make spirits, I automatically nudge them into maintaining their orchards. I also don’t fight weeds growing in the vineyard, for example. They’re not hurting anyone. They even push the vines to grow deeper roots to find water. When the vineyard’s ecosystem is balanced, including the dry stone wall and its inhabitants, pests have a harder time and don’t take over.” In person, Georges is methodical, not wild at all. He knows what he’s doing and sticks to a longterm plan.

“Fru” is what life is all about “Fru”, the vineyard’s label, reflects his holistic approach. It means joy and conveys the pleasure found in relishing good food, nature and life. “Fru” also refers to the fruit that started this whole thing: the grape with its dazzling character. As a wink to the Ancient Romans, “fru” also means savour in Latin.


“I’m cooking for my vineyard crew.” This is our second meeting and Georges grins as he opens the door to his old farm. “We have one more round of grape picking to do this year. We’re doing Palmberg tomorrow.” Palmberg has been an active vineyard since 1954. Today, Georges tends the grapevines. Usually, new vines are planted after 30 years in order to ensure sufficient crops. “But Palmberg is not about profit. It doesn’t yield much. I’m fascinated by these old vines. It’s about heritage and preserving genetic information and history. This place has probably been a vineyard since Roman times.” Preserving culture, regaling locals and tourists with regional stories and history: he seems to enjoy it all.


“Fru”, his vineyard’s label, reflects his holistic approach. It means joy and conveys the pleasure found in relishing good food, nature and life. “Fru” also refers to the fruit that started this whole thing: the grape with its dazzling character. As a wink to Ancient Romans, “fru” also means “savour” in Latin. Joy, fruit, savour - that’s what life is all about!

Welcome explorers!  Fru Vineyard welcomes visitors with open arms. Give them a head’s up before your visit.  Visit the nearby Tudor Museum. Dedicated to Henri Tudor, the museum is a cross between a science centre and a traditional museum. Henri Tudor was an engineer and pioneered electricity storage by using lead acid accumulators. He also significantly contributed to the development of street lights, agricultural machinery, means of transportation and much more. Visit the museum to delve into his research process. Experimenting is highly encouraged!  For a child-friendly outing, head to the adventure playground along the Sûre.

Georges Schiltz hardly fights the weeds growing among the vines. They actually push the vines to grow deeper roots to find water. When the vineyard’s ecosystem is balanced, including the dry stone wall and its inhabitants, pests have a harder time and don’t take over.

Georges still glues the labels himself: he applies the label to the bottle by hand. It is not only the wine that is handmade, but also everything around it.





“Borders have never crossed our minds!” François Valentiny, a star architect from Schengen, works all over the world — yet his home at the border tripoint has left a strong impression on him. You can spot the architectural artist’s work in many places along the Moselle. Aesthetics without borders. Text CHRISTIANE WÜRTTEMBERGER Photos OLIVER RAATZ


With his Valentiny Foundation, the architect has essentially made Remerschen his base camp. Visitors can come to the foundation to view Valentiny’s models and drawings and to see how his work has developed over the years.

Valentiny’s artist friends also hold temporary exhibitions here. He always returns to Remerschen, whether from Shanghai or other places where he lives and works.



Depth and soul in Moselle sand plaster Anyone wishing to visit the museum’s multimedia exhibition will first find themselves in front

Although they look different at first glance, featuring a wide range of materials from plaster to rusty steel, they all have common elements and a shared aesthetic: all of them bear Valentiny’s signature – sometimes angular, other times organic. His works include the university library in Belval (above), as well as Remerschen’s youth hostel and futuristic Biodiversum nature conservation centre (below).

more depth and soul than a synthetic coat of paint. But of course, it also means that as early as the building’s inauguration, it didn’t look new anymore,” he says.

“Stock up on experiences while you’re still young!” The Luxembourger’s often sculptural designs can be discovered at the light, open Valentiny Foundation. Valentiny realises: “I sometimes design a building and only notice afterwards that I actually


What do borders mean to a Luxembourger from Schengen? Valentiny laughs. “We live in a small country, so you’re never far from a border. Whenever I make a phone call from my car, my mobile network constantly changes. Other than that, borders have never really fazed us. Many Moselle viniculturists have vineyards in all three countries, and there are families with different members scattered across the borders.” Nevertheless, Valentiny has a close connection with the Schengen Agreement – he designed the European Museum down by the Moselle, which is devoted to the freedom of movement agreement and open borders in Europe.

of a modest rectangular building whose entrance resembles a large window onto the world. The coarse beige plaster, which has the appearance of being dirty, is unsettling at first glance. But it’s definitely not dirt: it is local earth and heritage. Architect Valentiny virtually discovered Schengen plaster, which is created by mixing in Moselle sand. It is important to him to make traces of the past visible, by allowing the wood and the façade to weather. “In poor, rural areas, people only ever cleaned their houses – they never painted them. For me, that has much


“When you build, you have to engage with the landscape: the sun, the culture and the people,” François Valentiny believes. Luxembourg’s star architect spent the first ten years of his life in Remerschen. Remerschen is part of the municipality of Schengen, which lies at the tripoint where Luxembourg, Germany and France meet. Here, at the Moselle – or to be more precise, on a boat on the Moselle – the famous Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985 against a backdrop of vineyards. Schengen has long since become a symbol of open borders in Europe.


sketched it 20 years ago, almost identically.” Isn’t that uncanny? François Valentiny believes that you must “stock up on experiences”, and with ideas and creativity in your youth. In his view, all you then need to do when you’re older is organise them and bring them to fruition, let your life experiences come flowing in. This is exactly what happened to Valentiny: “The vineyard landscapes, the Moselle, the artisans who made everything by hand – all of that had a big impression on me. My reference points have never changed. Although I’ve developed a new design vocabulary in the intervening years, it is all strongly influenced by what I experienced and saw here in Luxembourg when I was young.”

Being aware of borders and going beyond them François Valentiny places great importance on the influences brought to his home country by Luxembourgers who have returned after spending time abroad. “That is our intellectual wealth – primarily young people going elsewhere to study or see the world. Then they come home with totally new experiences and can build on what they learned here as children and young adults.” For Valentiny, who grew up along the Moselle, this includes humble craftspeople and vintners, as well as constantly pushing past borders – both the real ones out there and those in your mind.


Valentiny’s works along the Moselle  The models, sketches and pictures on display at the Valentiny Foundation in his home town of Remerschen provide a vivid view of the star architect’s life and work. A constantly revolving roster of other artists also exhibit there.  Biodiversum is an information centre in the heart of the Haff Réimech Nature Reserve. The futuristic building, which looks a bit like a puffed-out tent, informs visitors of the history of the nature reserve, the underwater environment, bird and plant life, other Luxembourg nature reserves, and more. You can combine your visit to the centre with an ornithological tour through the nature reserve. In the summer, you can cool off in the adjacent Baggerweier lakes.

History and gastronomy in Schengen  Right in front of the European Museum in Schengen fly the flags of the 27 Member States of the European Union – symbolically united, now representing over 440 million people who share a cultural sphere and a similar outlook on life. The


fact that the important treaty was signed in Schengen was mainly for a symbolic reason - the Luxembourg town is very close to two borders at the same time - France and Germany. At the European Museum, visitors can pore over a replica of the famous Schengen Agreement, examine customs caps and passports from EU Member States, and enjoy a multimedia experience through numerous screens documenting the manifold effects of the agreement. According to Museum Director Martina Kneip, “Our ultimate goal is for our visitors to take a bit of the spirit of Schengen home with them, so that they are aware that open borders are extremely important and strengthen our community spirit.”  It is worth taking a walk in Schengen through the vineyards, then ending it with a wine tasting at the Markustower. Promotions and guided tours are available from a number of viniculturists and tourism partners.  Is it a restaurant? Is it a bar? No, it’s both – and on a boat: the vintage boat, “Péniche VINtage”, offers a chance to sample, on-the-river, regional food and drink tastings.

In 1985, secretaries of state from the five signatory countries – Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany – signed the Schengen Agreement on a boat in the middle of the Moselle. Among other things, the agreement provided that travellers were no longer ordinarily required to show their passports when crossing borders between member countries.

Directly opposite the foundation is the Remerschen Youth Hostel. You can eat and sleep in a genuine Valentiny — all without breaking the bank. The youth hostel also offers activities such as climbing, hiking and mountain biking. 89

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“For you, Lili Marlene!” Marlene Dietrich is alive in Luxembourg’s smallest village’s only bistro. The owner Romaine Zieser warbles the diva’s old song, inspired by the German singer and film star, who enraptured both men and women in the 1920s and long thereafter. Text BIRGIT PFAUS-RAVIDA Photos PANCAKE!


Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and many other old stars are regular patrons here. Their pictures decorate the walls, their songs fill the bistro. When most guests are done with dinner, the music is cranked up. Indoors and outdoors, customers sing and dance overlooking the rolling hills. “We always have interesting guests. Many have been coming here for years,” says Romaine Zieser. A hair stylist by trade, she dons a distinctive platinum blonde hairdo and runs the bistro, which used to be a pigpen, with her heart and soul.

the first time I stepped foot in this room,” says Romaine as she pours champagne into a flute and tops it off with a cherry. It’s not just the room that feels enchanted though. Romaine herself is spellbinding. When the place is packed, she bustles about serving food and drinks. Come the right song though, she belts it out. Right where she is. “Non, je ne regrette rien!”

This makes her eclectic bistro even more intriguing. The colours red, black and white dominate the small interior, bedecked by candles, kitsch and art alike. The walls are covered with epigrams and song lyrics written in felt tip pen - Romaine’s handiwork: “I’m tired of great love. I want great lovers” or “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself!”. Strong feelings don’t faze her. This place is a refuge from life’s ups and downs, love and disappointment.

“Für mich soll’s rote Rosen regnen” (“It’s going to rain red roses for me”) Quiet and subdued? Not here. Life is in full swing. It’s a different, intense world.

Romaine enjoys talking to her guests about it all, when there’s time. “Coming here means entering another world. I realised that


 A meditation path, not far from the centre of the village, leads through the refreshing darkness of a forest. Throughout, texts inspire visitors to reflect.  The Thillenvogtei museum is interactive. You can pitch in to bake bread, harvest apples or sew. The museum is bigger than it seems and conveys a sense of country life around 1900.

Embracing strong feelings A coincidence originally led Romaine to Rindschleiden and she decided to open her bistro here. Why this place? “It has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. I immediately unwind when I’m here,” she says.

What to do in Rindschleiden?


 Yoga teacher Laura began her yoga journey in Nepal. She now teaches classes in the park next to the church.

“Honey, just be yourself! Dance, laugh. Don’t let people take your light!” Romaine Zieser doesn’t do small talk. She digs deep into the heart and soul.

Marlene Dietrich, Hildegard Knef, Édith Piaf, Audrey Hepburn: Their pictures decorate the walls, their songs fill the bistro.



Life‘s good on tour Six classic-car enthusiasts were accompanied by the Pancake! photography team on a discovery voyage through Luxembourg, snapping the country’s different regions from unusual angles. A photo journal for more than just classic car fans. Text THOMAS JUTZLER Fotos PANCAKE!




Yves Fiat 500 — 1967 Echternach



The road snakes through the mixed woodland of the Mullerthal region before reaching Echternach, with its winding alleyways and magnificent town houses. Echternach’s hopping procession is world-famous and has been on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list since 2010. 99

Thierry Aston Martin DB 2/4 — 1956 Wormeldange



Between Wasserbillig and the small wine village of Schengen is a string of wineries along the Moselle, ranging from historic to modern. As you pass through the region, signs reveal which vines grow where, and there are ever-changing views of the Moselle valley.


Frazer VW Bulli T2 Westfalia — 1976 Esch-Sûre



Civilisation and wilderness sometimes dance together in the most inspiring ways. The Upper Sûre lake in the Éislek is in the heart of the eponymous natural park: whether you’re into swimming, canoeing, diving, surfing or sailing, the country’s largest artificial lake has space for everything — but only for watersports with no motor.


The knights of 600 years ago probably weren’t travelling any slower than a 47hp camper when they gazed up from the path that winds towards Bourscheid Castle. For the slower you go, the more you see! The Éislek region has a vast amount of natural beauty to bask in.




Up, down, over bridges, through tunnels, along alleyways and one-way streets: Luxembourg City is a place to enjoy getting lost in. The capital is criss-crossed by the deep gorges of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers, while the Bock casemates are hidden in the underground cave network within the cliffs. Something new is hidden around every corner. By the time you’ve finished exploring, you won’t know which way is up and which is down. Bewilderingly beautiful.



Pascal Morgan 4/4 — 2018 Luxembourg-Grund


Gigantic, silent, steel beasts: the Belval blast furnaces. Colossal witnesses to a bygone era. More than 7,000 people worked here once upon a time. Nowadays, the south is home to innovation and research, in a modern and growing university town. A successful makeover!



Claude “Kinch” Cadillac Sedan DeVille — 1956 Belval


Simone Volvo PV544 — 1962 Ansembourg Castle



Everything stands to attention at Ansembourg Castle, from the stone gatekeepers to the rank-and-file apple trees. The hedges of the boxwood maze are meticulously trimmed. What a wonderful place for a stroll! Driving a classic car through the magical Valley of the Seven Castles in the Guttland is like going back in time twice.



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