Category Frommer’s. Belgium, Holland & Luxembourg

Toll-Free Numbers & Websites

1 FAST FACTS: BELGIUM


AMERICAN EXPRESS See “Fast Facts: Brussels,” p. 91.

AREA CODES See “Telephones,” p. 56.

ATM NETWORKS/CASHPOINTS See

“Money & Costs,” p. 45.

BUSINESS HOURS Banks are usually open Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm and 2 to 4:30pm, and some branches are open on Saturday morning. Stores gener­ally are open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and some are also open on Sunday. Most department stores have late hours on Friday, remaining open until 8 or

9pm.

CAR RENTALS See “Toll-Free Num­bers & Websites,” p. 515.

DRINKING & DRUG LAWS Belgium has rigid prohibitions against the posses­sion and use of controlled narcotic drugs, and a strict enforcement policy that virtually guarantees stiff fines and/or jail sentences for offenders...

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THE MOSELLE VALLEY &#9733

Luxembourg’s vineyard and winery region is set in a landscape that’s quite different from that of the Ardennes. A tour of the area will take you along the flat banks of the broad Moselle (Musel) River, with a gentle slope of low hills rising on both sides—the east bank is in Germany, where the river is known as the Mosel. For miles, these slopes are covered with vineyards. The riverbanks themselves are alive with campers, boaters, and anglers. Several wineries open their doors to visitors: They take you on a guided tour, explain how their still or sparkling wine is made, and top off your visit with a glass of what comes out of their vats.

To explore the Moselle Valley, begin at Echternach, and follow the well-marked Route du Vin (Wine Route) south through Wasserbillig, Grevenmacher, ...

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Outdoor Pursuits

The rivers of the Grand Duchy are an anglers’ paradise, but one that’s strictly controlled by the authorities. Complex regulations govern fishing in private waters and rivers. Licenses are issued by the district commissioners in Luxem­bourg City, Diekirch, and Grevenmacher, and by a few communal administra­tions, such as those in Ettelbruck, Vianden, and Wiltz. Check with the local tourist information office about the local regulations and licensing before going fishing.

There are marked walking paths throughout the Grand Duchy. During the summer, organized walking tours of 10 to 40km (6-25 miles) are conducted from Luxembourg City. Contact the Federation Luxembourgeoise de Marche Populaire, BP 272, 2012 Luxembourg (& 621-500-677; www. flmp-ivv. lu), for more information.

Horseback-ridin...

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Natural Avenues

On a bend of the Sure River, 6km (4 miles) south of Wiltz, Esch-sur-Sure has a ruined medieval castle. But it is the Parc Naturel de la Haut-Sure ★, on the village’s doorstep, that brings visitors here in large numbers.

Though its area of 184 sq. km. (71 sq. miles) is tiny by North American stan­dards, the natural park occupies a significant chunk of Luxembourg’s real estate, a protected scenic part of the Grand Duchy in the hills and forests around the waters of the Lac de Haut-Sure. This is the place for fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing in winter. There’s good bird-watching, too.

For the lowdown, stop by the visitor center in the Maison du Parc Naturel, route de Lultzhausen 15, Esch-sur-Sure (& 89-93-31-1; www...

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THE LUXEMBOURG ARDENNES★ —

This northern region, which spills over from the Belgian Ardennes (see chapter 11), is a treat for the nature lover and a gift for those in search of a quiet vacation. Handsome castles are everywhere in the Ardennes (Ardennen), with especially impressive examples at Cler – vaux and Esch-sur-Sure. The area has its share of vacation resort towns, perhaps most notably in medieval Vianden, the proud site of a huge restored fortress surrounded by dense forests. In this area is Luxembourg’s highest point, the Buurgplatz, 559m (1,835 ft.) high.

In places like Berdorf, Clervaux, Ettelbruck, and Wiltz, U. S. forces engaged German troops in the Battle of the Bulge (winter 1944—45), and the Ardennes bears more visible scars of World War II than any other part of Luxembourg...

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Touring the Valley of the Seven Castles

It’s really just the valley of the Eisch River, but that doesn’t have the same panache as "Valley of the Seven Castles,” which is what the Luxembourg tourist literature calls it. This scenic little area holds one of Europe’s finest concentra­tions of castles.

Steinfort (Stengefort), 16km (10 miles) northwest of Luxembourg City on N4, is the entry point to the valley. Thereafter your route is northeast to Koer – ich (Kaerch), and its ruined medieval castle. As you follow the course of the river (which is really no more than a stream), next up is Septfontaines (Sim­mer), a high-sited village dominated by its ruined 13th-century castle. Below the castle are the seven springs (sept fontaines) that give the village its name.

From here the valley road turns east to Ansembourg (Aansebuerg), w...

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A Visit to the U. S. Military Cemetery

The serene U. S. Military Cemetery at Hamm (& 43-13-27; www. abmc. gov), 5km (3 miles) east of Luxembourg City, is the final resting place of 5,076 of the 10,000 American troops who fell in Luxembourg during World War II, in the course of liberating the Grand Duchy and fighting the Battle of the Bulge (1944-45). There are 101 graves of unknown soldiers and airmen, and 22 sets of brothers buried side by side. The identical graves are arranged without regard to rank, religion, race, or place of origin, the only exception being the grave of Gen. George S. Patton (because of the many visitors to his gravesite).

To get to the cemetery, take bus no. 5 from Luxembourg Gare; by car, take bd. du General Patton east, which becomes N2 outside of town...

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Luxembourg

Two distinct regions comprise the

tiny Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, creat­ing a landscape of scenic beauty. The for­ested Luxembourg Ardennes, in the north, is part of a range of hills gouged by narrow rivers like the Our and the Sure. South of the Ardennes are the rich farm­lands of the Bon Pays (Good Country), a rolling plateau traversed by narrow valleys, and by Luxembourg’s stretch of the Moselle River, with its celebrated riverside vineyards and wineries. Both regions are liberally sprinkled with pretty villages, castles, and vacation retreats.

Luxembourg City, in the center of the Bon Pays, was for centuries a thorn in Europe’s side...

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GETTING THERE & GETTING AROUND

GETTING THERE

While getting to Luxembourg is not exactly hard (see “Getting There & Get­ting Around,” in chapter 3), it’s not as much of a snap as getting to most other parts of the Benelux lands. Luxembourg City is such a tiny capital it doesn’t justify much in the way of intercontinental air service, yet as an important financial hub and seat of some European Union institu­tions it does have decent service from many European capitals.

Luxembourg City is served by only one high-speed rail line, the TGV from Paris, but the distances involved are short enough that even the slower trains from neighbor­ing Belgium and Germany don’t take all that long to arrive.

GETTING AROUND

Good news: Traveling around Luxem – bourg is easy...

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LUXEMBOURG CALENDAR OF EVENTS

For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events. frommers. com, where you’ll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what’s happening in cities all over the world.


March

Carnival Parade, Petange. Mid-Lent Carnival. Contact Petange Tourist Office (& 50-12-51-1; www. petange. lu). Refreshment Sunday (3 weeks before Easter).

Printemps Musical (Musical Spring),

Luxembourg City. Festival of music, including classical, jazz, and folk, at venues around the city. Contact Prin – temps Musical (& 22-28-09; www. printempsmusical. lu). March to June. April

L’Emaischen, Luxembourg City and Nospelt. Market stalls sell pottery and other items; pottery whistles for children are especially popular. Contact Luxem­bourg City Tourist Office (& 22-28­09; www. lcto...

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