One month in and each day it seems less and less like I am living in a foreign country. People always say it’s more of a culture shock going back to America then moving abroad in the first place. I’m starting to think that will be true. It has become harder to notice the differences that were so obvious before.
Last weekend, I got the unique opportunity to meet up with my cousin in Luxembourg. Brandan and I have always found ourselves in fun and interesting adventures together. From the days of searching for frogs, to driving all around New Jersey delivering dry cleaning to the fine SeaBreeze Cleaners customers, we have always had fun together. Luxembourg was no different.
Luxembourg was unlike anything I have ever seen. This city was beautiful. It had valleys and hills everywhere (I’ll repeat, EVERYWHERE! And really tough to walk up I might add). It was extraordinary how houses and shops were outside on the elevated edges of the valleys while also within in them. It was almost like cities were within cities. The Luxembourgers (yes, they are called Luxembourgers) kept asking us why of all places we had come to the little country of Luxembourg. For this I would proudly say that Brandan and I are Luxembourg (of course Brandan, my friend Emily, and Brandan’s friend Tim would laugh at me). Although it is a small piece of our ancestry, it was really cool to see a place that is almost twice as old as America. Around the city is a fortress that was built in 963. The fact that there was no number 1 before the 963 was hard to wrap my mind around.
This is one of my favorite parts about Europe. Each of these countries has such a long history. The people of Denmark or of Luxembourg could be pretty much 100% of their nation. Where as I am German, French, Welsh, Cherokee Indian, etc. (the list goes on and on), they could be just Danish or Luxembourg. History is such a prevalent part my everyday life in Denmark because there are things I pass everyday that have so much meaning and age to them. Just on my walk to school (about 15 minutes) I pass at least 10 buildings or parks that are over 100 years old. This just amazes me.
Brandan, Emily, Tim, and I really had no agenda. We all knew we wanted to tour the city, see the historic sites, and definitely see the nightlife. We took ourselves on a self-guided tour; which was more of Emily being our tour guide while reading us the facts from the pamphlet. We saw all of the 32 touristy spots on the guide, with occasional stops for drinks, and we even got to see the Chocolate House shop. The Chocolate House was one thing I really wanted to see. Sadly, it is not a house made out of chocolate (in that case it’d be worth a trip to Luxembourg on it’s own), but it is a three level chocolate shop that sells all different chocolate candies, cakes, and chocolate spoons for making hot chocolate. I bought some chocolate for the trip home, but it didn’t even make it to the airport. Oops.
The bars we went out to were all very unique. From teens to people in their fifties, from hanging dinosaur skeletons to hanging lanterns, and from beers to people taking shots that were on fire, not one bar was like the next. The trip to Luxembourg was great. The food was amazing, the nightlife was crazy, and the city was humbling. I loved Luxembourg, and of course, seeing a familiar face made the trip even better.