Luxembourg City.

Luxembourg City.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, local name Letzebuerg, is a small country located between France and Germany. Its official languages are Luxemburghish, German and French; lots of people also speak English, so it is a truly multilingual state. Its location, landscape, monuments are quite unique. One of the most famous sites bears the unofficial name of the highest balcony in Europe. It is an observation deck which truly looks like a balcony overhanging the green valley down below; the view is breathtaking. One can see the green trees, the bridges and buildings which all climb up and descend alternately. The most surprising ingredient of the view is perhaps the many cyclists and pedestrians who brave the steep slopes and the many pathways situated on different levels.
Haute Ville, the city above, is built on a plateau. One of the traditional meeting places is the tall column on Constitution Square, with the brightly golden statue of a woman on top. Fra Gelle, the Golden Lady, is a monument to the heroes of WWI, though as time passed by she became associated with both world wars. Notre Dame cathedral is nearby, as well as the lift which can take you down to the Grund. The city center is in front of Fra Gelle, you can walk along any of the streets which branch off from the square and find all the main landmarks. The Town Hall, the Grand Ducal Palace with one guard at the entrance, and various pretty buildings. It is said that the best view is from Adolphe Bridge. At present it is all enclosed into scaffolding and the huge signs tell the tourists the bridge is “under rehabilitation”, which we correctly interpreted as under renovation/reconstruction.
A very beautiful building on the other side of the new bridge above the ravine turned out to be the state bank. There are lots of banks, legal institutions; several EU institutions are located here too.
One of the most charming features of Luxembourg is its many parks and gardens with fountains, nicely laid out flower beds and lawns, little waterfalls, trees and bushes which are all in bloom in May.
The city is a haven for those who love to go shopping, one can find all the usual chains like Zara, H&M, Promod, C&A and so on. On another street there are ample opportunities for window shopping, with brand names like Dior and all the others. Eating out may be a bit of a problem, you may want to check the hours and even days before you go in search of dinner. Some restaurants are closed Monday evening, while others may be closed during the weekend. Most places only serve dinner after 6 p.m. You can see people sitting around nursing a drink or enjoying a talk with friends while waiting for the dinner hour. We arrived at Il Ritrovo, an Italian restaurant, a little before 6, luckily for us the owner or manager came at the same time to open up the place. He tried to tell us that they were still closed. When he realized we were tourists, he waved us to a table and let us stay in. For about an hour we were the only customers, then obviously the regulars began to arrive. The food there was excellent.
The citizens seem to take care of their other needs too. In many places there are clearly marked signs for public toilets, usually they are free and very clean.
It is amazing that a tourist can ask a passer by about various places in English and get good-natured answers. The people seem to be in no hurry yet they all work a lot and take good care of their amazing beautiful city.

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