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As the first leg of my summer vacation winds down, I decided to spend the afternoon strolling around the neat city I call home.  Luxembourg.  It reminds me of a Fabregé egg. Today was the perfect day. Not too hot, a few fluffy clouds to offer a bit of respite from the sun’s glare. Not too many tourists, at least while I was wandering about. I was even fortunate enough to experience empty parking space karma in a positive manner adjacent to a broad section of the city park. Walking through the park to reach the Grand’ Rue (the pedestrian zone’s main drag) kept me out of the heat for a spell and treated me to birdsong and fresh, green botanical perfumes.

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I really had no destination other than a café. Luckily, I missed the lunch time crowd and thus allowed myself  a substantial cappuccino at a terrace table hosted by the Chocolate Shop smack in front of the Grand Ducal Palace. Since the Grand Duke is on holiday, the guard boxes were shuttered up for the summer. Too bad for the tourists.

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A portion of the Grand Ducal Palace. The building attached on the right is the Parliament (Châmbre des Deputés). It is not usual to glimpse the political movers and shakers on foot near the governmental buildings. No bodyguards, except perhaps for the Prime Minister, as this city is quite safe.

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My café vantage point in front of the Palace guard boxes. All shuttered up for the duration.

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And through this intricate, forged iron gate, we allow our eyes to feast on the beauty of …Image

that particular yellow hue of so many buildings here, the ramparts (Luxembourg was once a city protected by massive fortifications) and off in the distance, Kirchberg, home to several European Union entities. At the very bottom, you see what is called the “Grund”. It is so far down that there is an elevator for those in a hurry, or not up to the decent/ascent by foot. Everywhere one turns, the architecture  and geographical uniqueness of this one thousand year old city generously offers a postcard view. It never changes apart from the seasonal decor. I find it especially distracting if I am driving! The beauty never ceases to surpise and inspire me.

The cobblestones remain one of my “da-das” , albeit tricky to walk over depending on your footwear and the amount of precipitation on hand. I am an very impressionable  history “geek” and invent all kinds of little stories whenever I traipse through these old  and narrow passages.  I have been doing this for 24 years and I still experience that thrill of the past and continuity side by side. Its old quarters and fortifications have been honored by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There is a story around every corner.

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Continuing down that very street you will eventually arrive at the Judicial complex (Cité Judiciaire) located on the Plateau du Ste Esprit. Here you find the Courts and all things of a judicial nature. These buildings are quite recent (inaugurated 2008), built to assuage a very deep need for a  modern, representative complex for the courts of Luxembourg. In my opinion, the dignified simplicity of the architectural style enhances the geographical surroundings and endows the European capital with an ensemble of proud public edifices which are kind to the eye.

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Colorful urns adorn a building in the judicial complex.

Stay tuned to part two. I’ll take you to an art museum and we won’t even make it past the threshold.