Local Heart, Global Soul

July 4, 2016

Excited Squeals Of Recognition…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer I got permission to travel from my employer (because I am now on medical leave from work) and wanting a literal change of scene, and desiring a few new culinary experiences, we booked the Landal Wirfttal holiday park in Germany.

The weather however was not exceptionally co-operative and the downpours in Germany drove us a short distance away into Luxemburg since even a little way south the weather was substantially better.

When starting out Himself had said that it would be a good idea to drive south and see where the road took us, but after crossing the Luxemburg border and thinking that I recognised a few landmarks around us I suddenly had a sense of déjà vous, and  a sneaky suspicion where we were going.

I grinned at Himself and he grinned back, realising now that I knew where we were headed. Little Mr had a little neighbourhood friend come on this holiday as well, she is not as well travelled as our children so when we suddenly rounded a corner and a large castle on hill was revealed, one kid looked puzzled whilst the other two let out excited squeals of recognition: We were back in Vianden.
We first spied this castle when on tour with our Singaporean friend Velveteen back in 2012 and were lucky enough to have hit upon a medieval re-enactment weekend and a very special chance experience indeed. Links to those posts are at the bottom of this post. In the meantime our kids are excitedly filling in the details of their previous trip to our guest, and Himself and I see from this just how deep an impression travel makes on children and how many memories come flooding back once the right visual clues are given.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Previous Vianden Posts, Velveteen trip:
Inside The Castle Walls…
When You Live A Long Way Up, Some Things Are A Long Way Down…
There’s Nothing Like Dressing Up For the Occasion…
Eyeing Up The Beautiful Brews…
Dancing The Night Away: Medieval Style…
The Magic Of A Most Bewitching Bird…
The Second Market Is Quite Literally Buzzing…
Taking the Scenic Route Through A Very Scenic Town…
Hotel Belle-Vue: With Beautiful Views Indeed…
Fine Dining Well Suited For The Ravenous…
The Magic Of A Castle In the MoonLight (Well, Floodlights At Least)
A Delicious Breakfast, But Two Of Us Had Pizza And Bread Making On The Brain…
Decorations In Wood, Turrets, Towers, … And A Cable Car!
A Massive Surprise On A Hill At Vianden…

January 2, 2014

Decorations In Wood, Turrets, Towers, … And A Cable Car!

We are about to leave the town of Vianden in Luxembourg and continue our journey northwards. I find the town fascinating because there is a delightful mix of architecture and lots of  beautiful decorative features to photograph. I particularly like the decorative woodwork on the roof edges of a few of the houses we see, and the proliferation of little towers and turrets on houses, churches and towers in the town.  There is even a cable car running up the hill! Once more I can’t resist and my camera is busy…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Spot the Cable Car!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 1, 2014

A Delicious Breakfast, But Two Of Us Had Pizza And Bread Making On The Brain…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another post from my 2012 diary documenting the travels of Family Kiwidutch and adventures with visiting friend “Velvetine’ from Singapore.

We are in Vianden, In Luxembourg and after a lazy hour lay in after castle watching last night, Velvetine and I join Himself and the kids who all rose early and availed themselves of an early morning swim in the hotel’s swimming pool.

We head to breakfast together and is usual in many European countries, there is a cold buffet laid out with fruit, yoghurt, breads, cereals, cake, pasties, cheeses and a wide selection of cold meats.

The kids find the cake and croissants to their liking and having worked up and appetite from the swim, eat far more than they usually do (we have fussy kids who eat like mice, except if sweets were ever to be offered for breakfast, which to their consternation never are). After breakfast we head back to the rooms to pack our suitcases but Velvetine and I can’t resist taking a few more photographs of the castle. Then we spy an outdoor barbecue and kitchen in a garden overlooked by our balcony and can’t resist a photo of that since as fellow foodies, each who live with minuscule kitchens and no gardens we are more than a little envious of the arrangement we can see here.

As well as the grill we also see a pizza/bread oven and chat turns to how we would be making use of such a set up if ever we got the chance to own it. Then we have a laugh because of the ridiculous situation where it’s possible to make yourself feel hungry because you are talking about food even though you have just eaten a substantial breakfast.

Little Mr. and Kiwi Daughter have absconded from packing duties in the Family room and joined us to check out our room, trying each of the beds, checking the bathroom, balcony and generally letting us trip over them at every turn. (Needless to say it’s not rocket science why Himself didn’t chase them to pack and preferred to do it alone).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 30, 2013

Fine Dining Well Suited For The Ravenous…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are spending the evening at the Hotel Belle-Vue in Vianden, Luxembourg and after a day rushing around and not having eaten much we are all ravenously hungry.

Even Little Mr, the pickiest of eaters declares that he is looking forward to a big dinner.  We settle ourselves into the hotel restaurant and decide that we will start with an entrée (starter) as well as a main course.

There is an extensive salad bar but Kiwi Daughter got a little bit of a shock because quite a few of the salad vegetables (carrot, cucumber etc) were pickled, as is is the habit in this part of the world.

She did manage to find a few thing like lettuce that weren’t pickled but in the end settled with bread and maybe it was just as well because when her main course arrived it was a larger portion than she could handle anyway in spite of her hunger.Dinner was excellent,   The kids and Himself had pasta, I had shrimp, Velvetine had beef and I ended up sharing Kiwi Daughter’s schnitzel (she was thinking of Dutch meat portion sizes and was so hungry that she ordered it as well as he pasta, but as is want with kids, by the time it all arrived it was way too much for her to manage). We ate more than well (truth be told we stuffed ourselves) and the kids had to be patient and wait for an hour before they were allowed to go for an after dinner swim. Little Mr. dressed for dinner in that he dined in his knight’s tunic whilst Kiwi Daughter rolled her eyes at his sudden passion for all things medieval.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 29, 2013

Hotel Belle-Vue: With Beautiful Views Indeed…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,The Castle Route,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of yesterday’s post, we have arrived at Hotel Belle-Vue, in Vianden, Luxembourg.

Himself had secretly booked this hotel when he found out from the Mersch tourist office that there was a medieval festival in the town because he knew how much my kindred spirit Singaporean friend “Velvetine” and I would love to be here for it.

He even managed to find a hotel that had a swimming pool as a treat for Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr, and to cap it all off he insisted on taking the family room with the kids so that Velvetine and I could have the suite that had the balcony with the castle view.

The family room has three beds and a very large walk in shower,  whilst the suite has a separate shower as well as a jacuzzi style bath. (naturally we shared so the kids had a bath  and enjoyed the bubbles before bedtime). Being less close to the castle meant it was in a quiet, less busy area of town but the view out of the French doors leading off our suite was still impressive.  I was raised in New Zealand and Velvetine in Singapore, where of course there are no castles, but for Himself, bought up in Europe it was all nothing new so he looked at us excitedly gushing about the castle with sympathetic tolerance. I think he thinks he got the best deal because at least he won’t have to listen to my gushing enthusiasm all night.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 28, 2013

Taking the Scenic Route Through A Very Scenic Town…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,The Castle Route,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Another page out of my travel diary of 2012.  Our summer travels find us in the country of Luxembourg and in a beautiful town with a magnificent castle called Vianden. Now that we have finished our tour of the castle and checked out the medieval festival, it’s time to venture down the hill into the town and find our hotel for the night.  The town lines the valley at the bottom of the castle, follows the banks of a river and is relatively small, but true to Family Kiwidutch tradition we still managed to take the scenic route (i.e. once again we got lost) so we ended up seeing pretty much all of the town as we drove round and around. I naturally took the opportunity to add to the photos’s I’d taken from the castle and ones on the way down, by talking photographs from the car, and very pretty it was too…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 22, 2013

When You Live A Long Way Up, Some Things Are A Long Way Down…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Diaries are great, electronic travel diaries are even better. This blog is like a giant scrapbook where I can stash anything and everything that takes my fancy.

A few spare hard drives as backup are all I need and I can access everything from any computer, anywhere around the world. It’s my limitless filing cabinet…

On this page of my diary  of the summer of 2012 we are in Vianden Castle in Luxembourg, taking a good look around.

Mostly inside the castle walls are just bare castle walls, but I do manage to find a few nice stained glass windows and a tapestry to photograph for my artistic inspiration files.

The historical display area is surprisingly small in size but visitors can get a little glimpse into castle life in the middle ages by looking at things like the castle kitchen. The fireplaces are huge, the range of  “technology” of the day limited and the workers here must have been super fit. Take for instance the well to the side of the kitchen:  it’s about now that the idea of placing a very tall castle on the very top of a tall hill becomes a tad less practical,  you have to make your well very very very very very deep indeed just to reach the water source. It’s a shame my photograph doesn’t do this well justice at all, it’s far deeper than it looks in the photo, like a black hole with no end. Needless to say I had an iron grip on Little Mr. when he leaned over to take a look.

There were more stained glass photographs but I appear to have knocked the settings button on my camera and discovered a little while later that it was on the “portrait” setting so those photos didn’t turn out well enough to end up on the blog.  I think that some of the usual displays had been put away or that access to the public was limited on this particular weekend because Vianden castle was hosting a medieval festival the weekend we visited.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

December 21, 2013

Inside The Castle Walls…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:

In this page of my travel diary of our travels during the summer of 2012, with visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine”, we are at Vianden Castle in Vianden,Luxembourg. Yesterday’s post showed a few of the views around the outside of the castle… today’s post is more about the views of the inside. The slit windows in the outside walls give an idea of the thickness of the walls. The castle is perched on the hill  high above the town and there is a sheer drop over the walls which also provides amazing views.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 20, 2013

A Massive Surprise On A Hill At Vianden…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,The Castle Route,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we are travelling north in central Luxembourg along the castle route.

From Mersch onwards we hadn’t actually seen any castles so I had more or less forgotten about them until we rounded a corner and saw across the valley one that we simply couldn’t miss.

This is the castle at Vianden, and Wikipedia tells me:

Set on a rocky promontory, the castle stands at a height of 310 metres, dominating the town of Vianden and overlooking the river Our about a hundred metres below.

The castle and its dependent buildings have a total length of 90 metres.

Vianden Castle (French: Château de Vianden, German: Burg Vianden Luxembourgish: Buerg Veianen), located in Vianden in the north of Luxembourg, is one of the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine. With origins dating from the 10th century, the castle was built in the Romanesque style from the 11th to 14th centuries. Gothic transformations and trimmings were added at the end of this period. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A Renaissance mansion was added in the 17th century but thereafter the castle was allowed to fall into ruin.

It has, however, recently been fully restored and is open to visitors.

The building is most impressive… and imagine my surprise when Himself announced that whilst our visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine” and I had been busy taking photographs of the Mersch tourist office tower and the beautiful dragon fountain nearby, he had been busy inside the tourist office arranging for us to stay the night in one of the hotels in Vianden.

You know you have an amazing husband when you also find out that he’s also managed to  book a hotel that has a swimming pool to keep the children happy and has arranged a suite for Velvetine and I to share that has a balcony with a stunning castle view.  Knowing that she and I will drool over the view and love all things castle-y, he’s opted to take the third bed in the kids room, so that Velvetine and I can have a girls night in, castle drooling. He also let us in on a secret that he stumbled on by chance in Mersch:  by a stroke of good luck the Vianden castle was hosting a medieval festival at the same time as our visit. 

I lost count of the number of times Velvetine and I uttered the word “wow”… we were like a pair of excited schoolgirls, and loving the idea of being able to see such a beautiful castle up close. Let’s take a look at  some of the outside views…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vianden_Castle

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