Vianden in the morning, Echternach in the afternoon! Sometimes I travel really fast, and on this 3-day trip to Amsterdam and Luxembourg I had no other choice than to hurry my way through my places of interest. Besides Luxembourg City, I also wanted to visit some smaller villages in Luxembourg. My first choice fell on Vianden, which I visited in the morning of my second and last day in the country (read the post on Vianden here!). The second choice fell on Echternach, which I would visit only if I had time. Luckily, I was quite quick in exploring Vianden, so I was ready to leave already at 2 PM.
I caught a bus to Diekirch, waited for 45 minutes and then caught another bus to Echternach.
Echternach is the oldest village in Luxembourg, founded in 698 by the English monk St Willibrord, with the building of the Abbey of Echternach. The village is located right on the border with Germany, only separated by the river Sauer, so I had quite a few peeks into Germany that day. This reminded me of when Steve and I drove along the Panj River in Tajikistan, looking over to Afghanistan just across the river for over three hours, before finally actually crossing into Afghanistan. The situation between Luxembourg and Germany is, of course, very different, but I found it funny how the two reminded me of each other. After all, it’s all just one beautiful world.
The first thing that I did when I got to Echternach was to walk to Lac d’ Echternach, an artificial lake located just south of Echternach.
I sat at the lake for a while, enjoying the warm weather and feeding the ducks and geese (with granola bars, hehe).
At the banks of the lake lies Villa Romaine, an ancient roman archaeological site that is a 10 hectare big farm surrounded by walls in the middle of vast agricultural land. The site was discovered in the 1970s when the artificial lake was being dug out.
Thankfully, the entrance was free, so I had a look around. The place isn’t very big, and it definitely can’t compare to the roman village in Butrint, Albania, which I explored back in March, but it was cool to see nonetheless.
Back in the center of Echternach, I ate at Subway and then had to go to the loo (sorry for that, but there’s a point with telling you this)….. The toilet in Subway was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen, haha! Just look below, it really needs no explanation!
Echternach is a small village, so exploring its center didn’t take me long. I walked through its lively streets to the cozy main square, where the historical building Denzelt is located. I met quite a few cats and stayed away from the shops (it requires a lot of strength and willpower).
Right next to the square is the main sight in Echternach, the abbey! This is a Benedictine monastery, founded by St Willibrord in 698.
Unfortunately, the doors were closed, but the exterior was definitely impressive!
I then walked to the Municipal Park with the beautiful Gardens of Echternach Abbey. I climbed the stairs of a pavilion and this was where the view of Germany on the other side was the best. I stood there for a while admiring the neighbouring country, feeling slightly sad that I couldn’t just swim across that river and step foot inside Germany for a few moments.
My sightseeing in Ecthernach and Luxembourg as a whole was now over, and it was time to head back to Luxembourg City and the airport, where I planned to stay the night, as my flight the next morning was at 06.20 AM. The airport actually closes from midnight to 4 AM, but I snuck inside a (clean) bathroom and locked myself in for the night. I didn’t sleep much, but it was better than being stuck outside for four hours!
I’m glad that I got to visit both Vianden and Echternach, but if I could’ve only made it to one of them, I still would’ve chosen Vianden over Echternach because of its undeniable beauty with its setting high up in the mountains – and of course it’s historical, picturesque castle!
Luxembourg surprised me in a lot of ways, and I definitely feel like I haven’t seen enough of the country. Someday, I’d love to bike around the entire country, and in that way discover much more.
This was it for my posts on Luxembourg, as I’m leaving for USA tomorrow! My friend Amanda and I are going on the trip of a lifetime, driving from LA to Chicago and seeing the Total Solar Eclipse in Illinois! Stay tuned for maaany posts from The States – and from a day trip to Toronto, Canada!