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The meeting of Horst and the eating of horse

Contern, Luxembourg

We had to get up early today in preparation of meeting Horst, Koras step dad. He was going to pick us up at 11am, which normally is a civilized hour, but as we’ve been sleeping until 12pm these past few days, 11am feels like we’re being picked up at 7am, which is well to early lets be honest! Still, we were up and ready.

Horst is lovely. He picked us up, and brought us back to his home in Luxembourg which from Trier is about a 40 min drive, all the while he was introducing himself and filling us in on what was what as we passed by it. Germany and Luxembourg are divided by a river that runs between the landscape, we went over bridges here and there and at times became a little confused as to whether we were now in Germany or Luxembourg, and Horst was very patient in saying “No, still Germany…” until we asked one to many times and he said “you know what? I tell you when we are in Luxembourg” It is VERY pretty this part of the world. We drove along and eventually Chris and I petered out with conversation and instead had our noses pressed up against the windows taking in the views. It is so green here, and the fields of wheat are all so golden, there are vineyards, rivers, mountains, forests… it is all so gorgeous!

We eventually arrived to Horsts home where we met Heidi (Koras mum, who is just a complete, crazy angel!) and Chris’ distant cousin Janet and her husband Andres who are also both staying here on holiday from there home in Germany. We were then even more grateful to Horst for putting us up, being that we are complete strangers to him and he already has a full house, but still, he took us in and has offered us amazing hospitality. Such a lovely man!

We were offered a ‘light lunch’ that consisted of so many delicious meats, cheeses and nibbles that we couldn’t say no and came away with rather full tummies. Light lunch, HA! When the food is so good and you just can’t resist eating it all, it hardly works out to be light! After this delicious lunch we all head out for a sight seeing tour of Luxembourg. Luxembourg is NOT a big country, 80kms up, 40kms wide. We drove to the north of Luxembourg and it took us just under 2 hours and that was with a few little stops here and there. Again, we all started the drive chatting and talking, but as the scenery became more and more gorgeous we all fell silent, taking in the views and scenery. We drove through dense, thick, green forest and then, suddenly, there was a gigantic, amazing, gorgeous, fully in tact, still standing, Walt Disney replica, castle. I couldn’t help but exclaim out loud “oh my gosh! Look at that castle!!” Pointing it out to everyone, who then in turn all gasped and made appropriate ohhhh, ahhhh sounds. Not only is the castle still in tact and wonderful looking, the outer walls and keepers gates are all in tact too, and inside all of these are buildings that are still in use today. Some of the buildings are tiny, little doors, little windows, some have been renovated and made into nice café/restaurants, and just to see exactly HOW nice these cafes now are, we stopped in at one for a drink. It was lovely to sit outside, look at the old walls and imagine how the city would have looked back in the day. It was a steep little city with steep roads; I personally would have had a horse back in the day if I lived there because I’d be danged if I could walk up those hills everyday! We then left and made tracks home once more so that we would be on time for our dinner reservation.

Unfortunately Janet was not feeling well today, a little too much to drink last night so, apart from the little sight seeing tour she participated in, we did not get to meet/see her for long today as she opted to go back to bed when we got home. So, the five of us head out to dinner at Horsts little local restaurant, where, he is such a loyal customer they gave the table free appetizers, which was lovely, though, sad for me as it was crab and avocado pate. I’m told that it was very very nice and refreshing. I believe it. Now, the menus were all in German/Luxembourg-nese so reading the menus proved a problem for Chris and I but thankfully we had many people there too interpret it for us, the only problem was, there was so much on the menu and the translating took such a long time that we were still interpreting when the waitress came back to take the orders. I had remembered a ‘safe’ option, which I had been told was “chicken piles” which I just hoped meant little stacks of, and not anything else (they eat alllll the meat of the animals here, so you never know what you’re going to get…) all I knew was that it came with chips and salad so it sounded quite tame to me and the good choice to make. Chris on the other hand wasn’t sure what he wanted so Heidi, being a good host, said “would you like a horseblahblahblahblah steak? It is good, lots of protein” So Chris went “steak? Yeah that sounds good, I’ll have that please” It was only when the waitress had talked Chris into getting the red wine sauce with the meal and had disappeared the penny dropped… “Sorry” we asked “did you say HORSE STEAK?” “Yes” Heidi nodded enthusiastically “horse, you know” she mimicked riding a horse “Horse” and nodded once more in understanding. “Ohhhhh” we said “Yes, horse…” I have to admit, my tummy did a little flip at this. I’m not good with ‘odd’ meats. I like my chicken, beef and lamb and that is it. I’m a bit picky I admit. The thought of eating crocodile, emu, kangaroo etc is not good for me, and thought of eating a horse really made me go “oh god!” Still, it was ordered and it was Chris’ meal, so it was okay. I had my chicken piles coming. Good ol’ safe chicken! The meals came out; I had ‘chicken piles’ which was actually, to my delight, chicken and leek pie and Chris, his horse. Horse steak looks just like beef steak, and I have to admit, didn’t look or smell that bad. Chris says that it was very tasty and just like a lean cut of beef, so, with this in mind I asked for a VERY LITTLE bit please, but the more burnt part… and I admit, it wasn’t soooo bad, but it took me a long time to get the thought of eating black beauty out of my head. All little girls’ dream of riding horses, not eating them!

Dinner was lovely and relaxed and a great chance to get to know everyone. We greatly enjoyed this meal. After this Heidi and her friend Marriott took us for a night tour of Luxembourg City. It has to be said. Luxembourg is just amazing and gorgeous and utterly amazing! I really think that this city is by far my favorite (thus far) While most of the European cities we have visited have been dead flat, Luxembourg is on a hill, with half the city sitting on the top of the hill and the other ‘down town’ which is, appropriately, at the bottom of the hill. Marriott was a fantastic host, stopping at all the places of interest (sometimes illegally parking just so we wouldn’t have to walk, that’s my kind of girl and what I call a fantastic tour guide!) showing us ‘the hollow tooth’ the liberty statue (which was pulled down during the WW2, some local Luxembourgians grabbed it and hid it away as the Germans wanted to completely destroy it, they hid it so well that it was only found and restored back to it’s original state and place of pride 15 years ago! They found it hidden under the football stadium, so obviously it was men who put it there. Oh, and also, the Germans put in jail the locals who had tried, but failed to protect and hide this statue, which I think is just a bit rough, but then, it was WW2 and it was the Germans… enough said really) We also saw the palace, the defensive wall, the cathedral and much much more! It is just a gorgeous, untouched city full of history and wonderful back drops of old bridges, rivers, and green green gardens. I think that Chris should get a job working on the palace computers and I can look after the royals’ children just so that we can stay here. But then, the royals are a tad old and by the looks of them, past their child baring days, so perhaps Chris should just work on their computers and I’ll just stay as a lady of leisure… now, that’s more like it! We had a drink in a very busy, crowded, loud, but very funky bar with the girls before heading back home where Horst was waiting for us with a bottle of wine. We couldn’t be rude, and despite the fact that our eyes were closing and we were forced to pry them open manually, we stayed up and drank the very tasty Luxembourg wine with him and Heidi before crashing into bed at about 2am.

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on July 14, 2009 from Contern, Luxembourg
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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