Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Roundup, Oct. 28-30

I’m headed back to ARA City Radio (103.3 and 105.2) this morning with City Magazine’s November cover model (!), Sara Flanagan again this morning around 10am with a few highlights, and I hope you can tune in! Because there’s so much going on in Luxembourg this weekend, it’s scary.

No, really: it’s scary. There are plenty of events around town this weekend for children and adults who want to celebrate the American tradition of Halloween, from a spooky castle tour to horror films and chances to get freaky on the dance floor. The Wort/English has a great list at this link

But there’s one Halloween treat that’s not a trick: daylight savings time ends this weekend, so clocks fall back one hour. After all of that spooking, you’re going to need that extra hour to get some rest.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vacationing with Vauban

Cancale oysters, fresh from the ocean.
Three weeks ago, Nick and I were on the Brittany coast of France, in the town of Cancale, sitting in the sunshine on concrete steps and slurping raw oysters pulled fresh from the ocean, pried open by women who spend their entire day shucking oysters of all sizes and shapes for locals and tourists who visit their stands. There are normal-looking oysters for the ridiculously inexpensive price of 5€ to 8€ a dozen, and there are also oysters for sale as large as your hand that you’ll wonder how in the world people eat without dripping oyster liquor all over themselves. Then there are the briny Plate-Belons, les plates, the flat regional specialties that the women will tell you to eat as they are; you won’t even be allowed to buy a lemon to take away with your douziane. And no matter which stand you buy your huîtres, you’ll hear the same advice: when you’re finished eating, oyster shells get tossed into the sea; lemon rinds and plastic plates and knives go back to the stand.

What a lineup!
When the tide is high, those concrete steps disappear into the ocean. When the tide is out, sailboats sink lazily into the muddy floor of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. Nearby, men in waterproof bucket pants work the oyster beds on foot or by tractor, meters from where the fruits of their labor are distributed to happy stomachs. All day long, the silhouette of Mont-Saint-Michel sits on the horizon, an especially breathtaking sight against the tangerine glow of sunrise.

Even though it ends in an “r” – as the best oyster-eating months do – October is the off season in Cancale. Which is why we love it there. It’s the only place we’ve been to twice on vacation while living in Europe. I mean, let’s face it: fall colors + quiet seaside town + cheap, fresh oysters + the most unreal deep turquoise ocean you’ve ever seen, well, that all adds up to a pretty stellar vacation for this household.

Oyster beds in Cancale
Lest you think I’m in cahoots with the Cancale Tourism Office by using fancy phrases like “tangerine glow” to describe the sunrise, this post isn’t actually about my vacation. It’s actually about something interesting I learned while on vacation that ties back to Luxembourg.

(But I’m including a few more Cancale tidbits at the end of the post, in case you want to go.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend Roundup, Oct. 21-23

This face was meant for radio and today, it's going to do just that: I'm making my debut this morning on Luxembourg's ARA City Radio for a very brief, shining moment during Sara Flanagan's 9-11am block to plug a couple of events going on this weekend in Luxembourg. This might be my only shot at radio fame, so wish me luck! (If it goes badly, at least Urban is on my way home.) 

Or, instead of wishing me luck, perhaps you could help everyone else out and chime in below? Overall, I have to say that this is a pretty awesome weekend to be a kid in Luxembourg (check out the Saturday events). But what other activities should be included in the Weekend Roundup that you've got your eye on? 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

User’s Guide: Getting to Germany for a Klein Price

Over the past several months, I’ve shared tips for getting to Paris (and the rest of France) on the cheap, I’ve told you how to get to and from Luxembourg on Ryanair, and I’ve told you how to visit wineries in Provence via public bus.

Now, it’s Germany’s turn. And there are a lot of wunderbar deals to be had on the Deutsche Bahn (DB). Of course, the standard rule applies: the earlier you can book, the better your chances of scoring a cheaper ticket from Luxembourg. But there are several ways you can be creative about booking your travel, and several options for last minute trips from Luxembourg Ville.