On my second and last day in Luxembourg, I wanted to get out of the city and explore some of the country’s smaller villages. I had read about scenic Vianden, located high up in the Ardennes Mountains near the border to Germany, and that was where I headed first.
I first caught a train to Ettelbruck and from there bus 570 to Vianden. The lady at the train station in Luxembourg City sold me a day ticket for only 4 euros, which means I could travel wherever I wanted within the country for the day!
I arrived in Vianden just after midday. The first sight of the village had me in awe. I knew then that I had chosen the perfect destination for a day trip. The streets of Vianden are lined with flowers and trees, the houses are painted in all colours of the rainbow, and there’s a quiet river running through its center. It was like a village taken straight out of a fairytale.
I started the walk up to Vianden Castle just after getting off the bus. On the way, I met the snuggliest Luxemburgian cat so far! She loved hugs, kisses and tummy rubs, so I spent quite a while in her company.
The cat was sitting right by the village church, built in 1248 in Gothic style.
Then it was time for the struggle. The castle is located on a rocky promontory half way up a mountain, at 310 metres above sea level. The road that I followed was extremely steep, but I was determined to make it first to the castle and then to the top of the mountain, from where I wanted to catch a chairlift to the bottom, if the ticket wasn’t too expensive.
After much sweat and hard work, I finally got to the castle.
Vianden Castle is one of the largest fortified castles in Europe. It dates from the 10th century and was built in Romanesque and Gothic style on the site of an ancient Roman castellum. In the 17th century, a Renaissance mansion was added to the castle, but afterwards it was abandoned and left to decay.
Vianden Castle looks like it belongs in a Dracula book, in fact I think it resembles Bran Castle a lot!
I decided not to go in, as I hadn’t allowed myself much time in Vianden, as I also wanted to explore the village of Echternach that same day.
Further up the mountain I went, taking in the stunning views as I fought my way up. Who knew Luxembourg could be this beautiful? I must shamelessly admit that I was surprised! It’s such a beautiful country, and I know that I keep saying this, but Luxembourg is SO UNDERRATED! So very underrated!
When I got to the top, I was exhausted! I was now at 440 metres above sea level, on the top of the mountain. When I saw that the one-way ticket on the chairlift was only 4 euros, I didn’t hesitate to do it! I had imagined somewhere between 10 and 15 euros, so it was a bargain, really! Also, it saved me having to walk all the way back down, and thus not having jelly knees for the rest of the day!
The chairlift ride was a lot of fun! It was quite a long ride and it gave me the most spectacular views of Vianden, the castle and the Ardennes Mountains.
When I got back down, I walked to the last sight on my list for Vianden. It was this tiny chapel on the outskirts of the village, which I couldn’t remember why was on the list, but I figured I would go see it anyways. And I’m glad I did. The chapel was adorable and surrounded by the most beautiful and peaceful cemetery.
Right next to the chapel is a dam on the River Our, which is part of the Vianden Pumped Storage Plant, a power plant that generates electricity using the pumped-storage hydroelectric method.
I walked along the dam, while enjoying the views of Vianden and the castle on one side, and the Our River with trees reflecting in it on the other side.
Afterwards, I walked along the main road back to the center of Vianden, where I caught a bus to Diekirch and then to Echternach, where I spent the afternoon. Read all about that in my next post!