Luxembourg at twilight of Valentine’s Day

Back in Luxembourg for another conference, this time with our devices business.

The upside? Instead of being stuck all day in a hotel conference room, we got to meet in the light and airy Philharmonie concert hall.

The downside? Between last week and this week, I’m all conferenced out. I’m tired of corporate Kool-Aid and non-stop socialising/networking. I’m ready for a return to normal.

So I left. I had a long lunch with a colleague and took the afternoon to catch up on work. The idea of dressing up for another marathon costume party filled me with despair, and it was too late to move up my flight to tonight (I tried!), so I went on a long walk instead.

Luxembourg City sits on a bluff overlooking a deep ravine called the Grund. The “haute ville”, as they call it, is where the medieval fortress sat, and where the current fairy tale city continues to charm to this day. But the city spills down into the Grund, and that’s where I wandered today.

The cliffs are steep and deep, but fortunately there’s a giant glass elevator that takes pedestrians and cyclists up and down — and allows for excellent views.

Down I went and discovered a jumble of houses on the bank of the river, nestled up against a long wall and a pair of late 17th Century towers. This is where the poor and the sick lived back in the day (one of the gates in the wall was called “la Porte des Bons Malades” because that’s the gate through which the incurably ill were expelled), but nowadays it was peaceful and charming, though still, I think, not the most prosperous part of town.

From there I climbed the steep stairs back up the other side of the ravine and into the forest. Had it not been so dark it would have been fun to keep exploring; but as it was, I took a more prudent path back to civilisation and warmth.

I traded Valentine’s texts with Justin, ordered room service, and worked for several more hours before unplugging for the night. Tomorrow back to London!

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