District de Grevenmacher

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  • Day464

    Biodiversum, Schengen pt 1

    October 3, 2017 in Luxembourg ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We couldn't do a tour of Luxembourg and not visit Schengen, the town that gave its name to the historic treaty, signed here 32 years ago. It led to the abolition of internal border checks within what became known as the Schengen Area, then comprising of 5 European Economic Community States; France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and of course Luxembourg.

    On the way we topped up on LPG at a very busy petrol station. People were going in and out, their shopping trolleys stacked with cigarettes and other items bought in bulk. We soon realised that being so close to France and Germany, people were nipping over the border to fill up with cheap fuel, fags and whatever other low tax items they could get cheaper here than in their home country.

    We parked a few miles out of Schengen town at a nature reserve with a visitor centre called 'Biodiversum'. The reserve's long quiet road had gravel parking off to either side and car parks at either end whose bays were marked out by small trees and logs. We pulled up adjacent to a football pitch, separated from us by a large fence and hawthorn hedge. Our view to the front was of a vine clad hillside with a coppice and solitary wind turbine on its summit. We were now in Luxembourg's section of the Moselle Valley and the farmers were making good use if the microclimate that produces such good conditions for growing grapes! We enjoyed watching the colours change in the sky as the sun settled behind the hill that evening.

    In the morning we took the cycle track that ran between the road and river all the way in to Schengen, 2 miles upstream. Nearning the town centre we passed a number of artworks, celebrating Schengen's role in uniting communities. Chaining the bike to a signpost we came accross a midweek food market. Specialist stalls run by small scale producers sold goat cheese, salami and homemade honey along with beautifully presented vegetables, including a table of garlic, chilli and onions. Wooden tables were set up in the middle of the market corridor. People took time to rest on benches or lean nonchalantly against the higher tables, their fingers tearing at flakey croissants, wrapped around cups of hot chocolate or pinching the stems of glasses containing white wine or some pinky orange cocktail. It seemed likely that they came regularly to get a bit of shopping then meet with friends or family and there was a real buzz in the air. The produce on the stalls was good quality and so we splashed out and bought a bagful of food, including some fresh dates- something neither of us had seen for sale before.

    We dragged each other away from the delicious looking foods and took a look round the floating tourist information office; an undulating tube of a building. It had a decent variety of EU orientated souvenirs but nothing caught our eye.

    After cycling back we ate, recovered our energy, then put the canoe on its little trolley and wheeled it over the road to the steep bank of the Moselle. We had flown, taken the train, driven, cycled and walked across country borders before, but we had never paddled. With the river as the dividing line between Luxembourg and Germany, this was the perfect opportunity! We followed the border all the way up to Schengen town, where the market was now packing up. Will consulted the gps on his phone and was able to position us at the point where the third country France, met with Germany and Luxembourg! It was on a boat moored at this very spot that ministers signed the famous Schengen Treaty that paved the way for the creation of an area that today spans 26 countries and more that 1.6 million square miles, where there are effectively no internal border checks. We have enjoyed our freedom of movement within Europe so much over the past 15 and a half months that it felt like a very significant place to be. You can watch the short video we filmed here:

    The day's exertions meant we slept well that night, but we couldn't leave the following morning without taking a walk around one of the Nature Reserve ponds. The 'Biodiversum' centre wasn't open when we passed it but it was an interesting looking building covered with small wooden tiles. Many of the reserve facilities seemed to have been made with local materials, such as the bike rack comprising of a large tree trunk with wedges cut for you to place your bike wheel in. It was windy and the air had a chill in it so many of the birds were tucked away but we saw a Black Kite, a few Coots on the water and Blue Tits amongst the tree leaves. One thing we did spot was a Damselfly clinging to a shrivelled brown leaf. Its damp wings were spread wide and as the sun peeped out from behind the clouds the moisture made them sparkle!
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  • Day466


    October 5, 2017 in Luxembourg ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We'd visited Echternach the last time we came to Luxembourg and had planned to stay at the stellplatz in town. We'd been put out to see a sign banning vans from the overnight spot and the car park beside the lake between 10pm and 8am. Perhaps there had been a change of adminsitration since the stellplatz was set up. At least they still provided free town parking for vans and a service point. For this reason we gave them another go.

    It was necessary to park the van with its wheels overhanging the service area but we made sure we didn't block the road in any way. The handle of the drinking water tap had been removed but we were able to turn it with pliers. As we were filling up a woman in an expensive looking car passed us, her gesticulations making it clear she didn't like our being there. We drove out of town and parked near the Youth Hostel on the shore of Echternach Lake where there weren't any restrictions. The sky was dull and only a few dog walkers passed by our windows. We later took advantage of a spell of partially sunny weather to wander around the lake. It had been a warm summer's day when we'd last visited and the place had been buzzing with families and groups of youngsters- a real contrast to the peaceful quiet that now pervaded.

    The following morning we explored the quaint streets with their old style town houses. We went in one shop to buy an umbrella and the friendly and relaxed owner greeted us first in Letzeburgesch, then French, German and finally tried English - she'd talked so fast and flipped between the different languages so quickly that we hadn't been able to keep track and work out what she was saying, despite knowing two out of the first three!

    For lunch we went to the Hostellerie de la Basilique- somewhere that our nephew Dave's parents used to eat. We certainly weren't let down by the recommendation! It had a smart but not pretentious restaurant and a good selection of dishes. We chose from the weekly menu where you could order one, two or three courses for a fixed price. Will's blood sausage with apple sauce and boiled potatoes and Vicky's vegetable pasta dish were both perfectly cooked and well presented. We enjoyed them with a little Riesling before tucking into scrumptious iceream profiteroles and a faultless crème brûlée. The service and atmosphere were spot on. We thought back to the poor service and pasta we'd been presented with last Friday and smiled - this is how it should be done! After a poor start, Echternach had charmed us with its lovely lake, its town centre atmosphere and the fantastic meal. Glowing from the good experience, we carried on to find somewhere we could park for the night.
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  • Day463


    October 2, 2017 in Luxembourg ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    After leaving Dudelange we picked up some shopping including a refil for our dehumindifier (essential when living, cooking and drying clothes in such a small space) and a new 12 volt extension with USB sockets to charge Will's laptop, our phones and other electric gadgets. Heading east we parked up accross two of Mondorf-les-Bains' designated van bays which were a little too short to allow us to fit inside just one. We were impressed that the cars around stuck to their own area and none of the designated bays had been commandeered for their convenience as has been the case in some other countries.

    Residential flats bordered the car park but there was a wide walkway with grass, trees and hedges for Poppy to get her nose stuck in to. The apartments, some of them quite upmarket with balconies, all had shutters on to keep the heat of the sun at bay- it had been a while since we'd seen this!

    Looking at the map, we discovered we were only half a km from the French border so in the morning we walked into France! Being in the Schengen area there were no big signs announcing the border that ran along the pavement at the edge of town. The only way we knew we were crossing it was to look at our position on Maps.Me! In France a little bridge led over a shallow stream before opening up into grassland and woods. We only went a hundred metres or so over the wet and muddy ground to a horses' field before turning back. To celebrate, we bought a couple of croissants from a café bakery in Luxembourg and took them back to the van to eat with a cuppa.
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  • Day34


    July 30, 2016 in Luxembourg ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Our nephew recommended Lake Echternacht in Luxembourg as a favourite of his parent's. We'd planned to stay in the town's stopover, eat out and explore the lake and surrounding area known as Little Switzerland for it's natural beauty. However we were disappointed to find a sign saying vans were no longer allowed overnight. Needing to find somewhere to stay we decided to head straight to the lake then move on so we could find somewhere before tea. Lake Echternacht itself was nestled amongst small tree covered hills and rolling farmland. It had a great family feel to it as we cycled round. Groups gathered around the bbq stands scattered around, several people swam and there were plenty of people walking, cycling, sitting and rollerskating as well as a few on hired peddle boats.Read more

  • Day9

    Etappe Schwebsange - Konz

    July 28, 2019 in Luxembourg ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    Wir starten heute um 9.00 Uhr. Am frühen Morgen hat es kurz geregnet, im Moment ist es trocken.
    Langsam ändert sich die Landschaft, immer mehr Weinberge prägen das Bild. Wir passieren zwei große Schleusen. Beide Male werden wir alleine abgeschleust. Zwischendurch regnet es immer mal wieder leicht.
    Um kurz nach 14.00 Uhr machen wir im Yachthafen Konz fest; 5 Minuten später beginnt es zu regnen. Glück gehabt! Am Abend kochen wir gemütlich und beschließen morgen einen Tag zu pausieren.
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  • Day8

    Schwebsange / Luxemburg

    July 27, 2019 in Luxembourg ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Wir kommen kurz nach 12.00 Uhr im Yachthafen Schwebsange an. Zuerst tanken wir Diesel nach, dann machen wir fest. Der Hafen ist sehr groß, es gibt Boote aller Art, einen kleinen Laden, ein Restaurant und eine Bootstankstelle. Im Laufe des Nachmittags klar es auf und die Sonne kommt wieder durch. Der Abend klingt mit einem gemütlichen Essen auf der Restaurantterrasse aus.Read more

  • Day6

    Dag 6 verder.

    September 20, 2019 in Luxembourg ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Na een snelle lunch weer verder gereden. Het was echt een heerlijke rit door een heel afwisselend landschap. Helaas in totaal 3 wegafsluitingen waar je ook echt niet langs kan. De omleiding geven ze 2 kruispunten aan en dan is het verder : have a good life, zoek het maar uit. Gelukkig is dat allemaal goed gelukt. In de middag kwam er nog wel een flinke wind opzetten, maar dat mag de pret niet drukken. Vandaag dus weer 2 landen toegevoegd aan het rijtje, Frankrijk en Luxemburg.
    Vannacht overnacht ik in Remich, en die kleine kan lekker binnen slapen.
    De laatste 4 foto's zijn van de Moezel, het hotel en de omgeving. Zit nu te wachten op het eten onder het genot van een witte wijn.
    Morgen het laatste stuk terug naar huis, dat is volgens planning ook weer 6,5 uur rijtijd.
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  • Day2


    April 8, 2017 in Luxembourg ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Smooth running through Holland, Belgium and into Luxembourg city. Quick stroll round then to Schengen in the Moseley valley, staying at the youth hostel. Wine country.

You might also know this place by the following names:

District de Grevenmacher, Distrikt Grevenmacher, Grevenmacher, Distrikt Gréiwemaacher

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