Sunday, 9 September 2012

Luxembourg - New City, New Inspiration

New places are always rife with unexpected ideas and insights. Which is probably one of the reasons why I just love new experiences. I'm lucky that Luxembourg exceeded all my expectations concerning its potential for exciting stories. Coming from Vienna with its wealth of history, I wasn't really convinced that Luxembourg would have the same charisma. However, after a visit to the Musee National d'Art et d'Histoire this weekend, I'm thoroughly cured of all my doubts. Luxembourg's historical crux is just a different one. Where Austria is marked by the emperial power games of the Habsburgian monarchy, Luxembourg to this day lives a culture of multiplicity. While over the centuries it was continuously invaded by foreign cultures, more often then not caught in the geographical power struggles of the bigger European empires, it today profits from its multi-cultural and polyglot population as well as a striving financial sector. 

Since moving to a new city means making yourself at home in a different place, I find it important to find spots in my new hometown which anchor me. Little oases of serenity where you can feel all the little burdens of everyday life being carried away by the breeze... One of these spots is Am Bock in Luxembourg city for me. Situated at the edge of the city centre it boasts the ruins of Sigefried's fortress which gave Luxembourg its name. Beyond its inherent beauty as a relict of history, its location also yields an amazing, panoramic view over the city's different plateaus. 

If the view doens't succeed in lifting my spirits, then the Chocolate House in front of the Ducal Palace is only a stone throw away. There is nothing a chocolate spoon dipped into hot milk can't put right. Esepecially with the added entertainment of seeing tourists tease the palace guards. I think my favourite episode was when a hen night party tried to gain a smile by playing "Mother Duck" chase with the guard on duty, following him on his obligatory marches like a flock of obedient ducklings. The hilarity was even greater because they wore screaming pink T-shirts and feathery tiaras. Those are the moments you would normally only conceive when you are writing a humourous scene. It's great to see when they happen in real life!