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Friday, December 22, 2006

July Trip
27/7 - Vianden

The guidebook said the best bit of visiting Vianden was the view from the top of the hill, from which one could look down on the castle, but it was too hot, too long a walk and too steep, so I gave up.

There was going to be some medieval festival from 5-13 August. A pity I was going to miss it.

View of the Castle

Inside the castle, everything was in German, no surprise given the proximity to the border, and not everything was bilingual. Poor French. Poor me!



There were information panels on Ringpanzerhemd, Schildpanzer, Schuppenpanzer, Begittertes oder Benageltes Hend and Kettenpanzerhemd. I have just ascertained that these are the names, in German, of various types of chainmail.


Armour display

15th century Gothic ceramic

The Vianden castle started as a Late Roman fort and it was expanded many times over the years. Unfortunately the current edifice was heavily reconstructed recently as the place was ruined. The inside was also very sparsely decorated.

Courtyard on first (second) storey

View of Vianden through dirty castle window

*Obere Kapelle*
This picture seems to have gotten lost somewhere.

A movie ‘George and the Dragon’ was filmed in Vianden. Hmm.

Salle des Banquests

Wohnraum des Romanischen Donjong

Tapestries in Salles des Comtes:

The sacrifice of Lystra. After Raphael

Ulysses drops anchor at the Isle of Circe, after Vouet.

The auto-ISO option on my camera seems to almost always default to ISO 50. Bah.

Great Kitchen

The conquest of the ‘Fort des Tourelles’, 2nd half of 17th century.
ambussun guess
in what I sull? Sable a manger

54m deep well


Details of 'Celtic' amulets for sale at gift shop

View of castle

There were lots of auberges in Vianden, but they were all pricey establishments. The real auberge (at least the one I was looking for) was at the top of the hill. I bet the others were conveniently located along the way to the youth hostel to distract weak-willed travellers, most of whom'd give up after a seemingly endless uphill climb. No wonder you can only backpack in your early 20s.

A mere fraction of the journey I had to undertake to reach the hostel

I’m quite sure that low rents aren’t the only reason why most Youth Hostels are in the middle of nowhere or otherwise inaccessible – they only want people who really can’t afford more sanely-located accommodations.

Cloister, Trinitarian Monastery. 1248

Unlabelled carving

Unfortunately, the Trinitarian church itself was closed.

My huge backpack and the chairlift did not go well together, or I’d have gone on it. Too bad there was no place to put it. I’d have left it at the hostel, but I didn’t want to risk the door being locked and more importantly, at that time the chairlift didn’t seem worth 4 more steep, lengthy treks (1 to place my backpack in the hostel, 1 to come down to the chairlift, 1 to retrieve my backpack from the hostel and a last to return to the Gare).

I had lunch in a restaurant beside the chairlift, and a French radio station was playing. Before playing the song ‘I feel it in my fingers’, they had someone recite each line in English, and someone else translating it into French. Uhh. Maybe this is how they learn English.

While waiting for the bus to Ettelbruck (Vianden had no train station) I noticed that the Gare had one of the only free toilets in the Benelux. Amazing.

nefl. lux = germ

Despite both Italy and France requiring reservations for trains, queues are much shorter in the latter. Not only do they have more staff and machines, they're less stingy with manpower.

In Liege I saw an East Asian guy and a girl who looked Walloonese (check adjective). Wah.

I saw an androgynous man (short spiky hair, androgynous features and a slim build) wearing a pink shirt. I first saw the words 'Fuck the', and thought the last was 'government'. In fact, it was 'babysitter'.

In a very screwed up incident, due to a miscommunication with a former housemate, she waited an hour for me at Eindhoven to pass me her room key so I could stay there while she was at her boyfriend's (I was coming on a later train, 3 hours later). Meanwhile my Dutch line had run out of credit so I'd switched to the Singapore one, so she couldn't contact me. Although very angry, when I called her from Maastricht she later agreed to meet me at Helmond. When I arrived there, I called her and it turned out she had prepared for bed (at 9:15pm!) since she thought I wasn't coming (she grossly underestimated the travel time from Maastricht to Helmond). Since she had work the next day she couldn't come out to meet me and said I wouldn't be able to find the place even if she gave me the address. So in the end I went back to Utrecht and lodged in the same hostel (Strowis) I'd spent my first night in Utrecht in (I wanted to try another - B&B - but it was full).
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