Monday, October 27, 2008
perhaps my favorite part of living in europe is the feeling that i am in the middle of history. so many things become more than just a history lesson or a story from the 'standing tall' princess series my mom had us listen to when we were young. everything is more real.
a little while ago we were able to travel around with sarah and kevin before they left to go back home. lucky for us, we scored big when a member in the ward lent us his company car and accompanying gas card (beat that ryan air). so we all packed it up for a day trip to luxembourg; however, as you will see below- the path to little luxembourg was packed with little treasures all along the way.
for our first treat, we stopped off in the infamous bastogne. if this name does not sound so 'infamous' to you, you're not alone. although i smiled big and nodded along to the old, belgian, war verteran's story, if it weren't for the informative plaque at the entrance, i would still be lost. bastogne was actually a really cool place.
during the war, this area proved to be a very important place where allied troops teamed up with the belgian troops to win a crucial battle. because the american troops were able to step in at just the right moment to lend a hand, a huge monument was erected to show the relationship of respect between america and belgium. the monument also gave a beautiful view of the belgian countryside. (warning: do not cross reference any of the above information...)
after walking around the site, we headed into town where we all gorged ourselves on belgian pastries and sweets. this part of european living has become a sort of standard. a day just isn't done until you've snarfed some sort of priceless pastry.
after bastogne, we packed back into the car to take a scenic drive through more green hills and countryside. it was beautiful and i wish that our pictures could really do the sights justice... but just know how beautiful the land is here. as we wound around hills and made our way towards the city, we eventually ran into the most charming little castles. they were always built on some hill in the middle of nowhere. we made a stop and toured one castle that had been there since 360 a.d.. while ruler after ruler built onto the castle and made it lager and better, i could not get over the history of this place. cool kitchens where servants prepared big meals, huge dining rooms, dance halls, big bedrooms...it was straight from the 'bill and ted's' movie and i loved every second of it.
after winding our way through this castle, we headed on to other castles with equally impressive beauty. i have never wanted to be a princess more in my life than i do right now. i would walk along the corridors and stare out over my kingdom, all the while wondering what dress i would wear to dinner that night, while my prince could be found climbing over walls and spitting down the water wells. charmed....we really did have a blast.
after all that royal business, we were ready for some burgers. i realize i have already praised this mcdonalds in a previous post, but i think it is necessary to point out what a gem this place is. free refills, free ketchup, free balloons, tv on the walls with table tennis, and nice workers. if all luxembourg had was this small mcd's, i would love it all the same.
needless to say, all of this was packed into one day, which ultimately means that by the time we reached the city- this is all we saw. here's luxembourg.
we loved it all the same. it was a great day trip and a fun way to spend the weekend. gee, thanks europe!