Luxembourg (2011)

The Campsite

We find a campsite with a decidely underwhelming name, do our groceries and chill in the sun!

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We decide to keep our eyes open for campsites from this point on. Fortunately we are better at these than at gas stations and soon we pass a few that look to be on the large side. We do not necessarily need to interweave our tent lines with those of our neighbours, so we drive on. In the village Rosport we stop to check out a campsite, but we are not enthusiastic about that one either—all neatly fenced off places with a lot of hedges and caravans, it is a little too “good morning neighbour, how are you doing today? Won anything at the bingo yesterday?”. We take the gamble and continue our search.

It turns out to be a good decision, for the in the next village, Born, we drive onto a much smaller, but really nice campsite that is situated right alongside a bend in the Sauer river. We do see a lot of Dutch license plates (not that we have an issue with our fellow holiday-having countrymen, but you are on vacation and do not want to hear your neighbours speak every morning about what the weather is going to be like and what the supply of chocolate sprinkles is like; even if you want to know the weather yourself and you too have brought chocolate sprinkles along), but at the reception we do require a combination of German and English to indicate we would like to stay for about two weeks. After a few impressive German sentences from my side, we are awarded with a nice spot in the grass near the river.

The tent is pitched

We have already put up the tent at home to check what goes where and if all parts were present (immediately leading to curious questions from neighbours whether we were really planning to camp beside the ditch behind our apartment block—and anyone knowing the location will realise that is not a very enticing prospect), so we manage to pitch it here in short order. Of course I delegate the task of furnishing the tent to Vonne (read: I am not allowed to interfere), who speedily manages to transfer the contents of the car to the front area of the tent. As it is getting late in the afternoon and building the tent has given us an appetite, we start cooking our well-deserved instant macaroni-with-sauce meal, which we picked up at a gas station and turns out to be surprisingly good.

So our vacation started on a campsite of which we never discovered the name during our stay, but is apparently plainly named "camping officiel Born". Not very creative, if you ask me. But then I would probably attempt to come up with the worst possible name, like Camping Sauer Power or Campsite The Gilded Tent Pole, although in German, of course. At the very least I would not blame you if you were to speed up to above the limit to get out of Born and made for the boring, but reasonable Camping Officiel Wasserbillig in the next village.

The first few days were wonderfully sunny and warm and we mostly decided to relax in a lounge chair next to the tent with cold drinks and a book. Although I did not need to fear having to build an entire bookcase inside the tent, we did bring a supply of books which would have made that a real possibility. We made a first dent into our newly purchased vacation thrillers and popular science books in which someone tried to teach quantum physics to his dog. The only thing we needed to depart our paradise was the ancient quest for food. As Born consists of two streets a church and the aforementioned campsite, our gathering and foraging soon turned out to be fruitless. The next step, agriculture, seemed a bit much effort, so we got into the car to skip ahead to the stadium of trade.

A supermarket! My kingdom for a supermarket!

The next five villages, too, were able to tell us at what speed we were driving through them, but not how to provide the means to stay alive. They have some strange priorities in Luxembourg. It took us until Echternach to finally find a Delhaize, basically the Belgian/Luxembourgish version of the largest Dutch supermarket chain. As they seemingly expect everyone from a radius of ten villages to shop there (or they expect you to know where to find a market in your village and keep it a secret), it was a pretty sizeable one too. And the most spectacular discovery is that they carry at least twelve different varieties of Dr. Oetker’s pizza, where we only get five or six at home! As such, I complained to Vonne that we had neglected to pack and bring our oven, but she did not appear to share in my woe and just gave me a pitiful stare.

Once supplied with a sheer endless source of nutrition and having spent a few days resting and even getting some sunburn to show that we did actually see the sun, it was time to start exploring Luxembourg properly. Castles, cliffs and caves were waiting for us!

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