11th April 2017. Verdun & Bech-Kleinmacher, Luxembourg.

I was very surprised at how quiet it had been last night.  We were woken, as expected, by the sound of the renovation works starting up.  It was very interesting watching them in their cherry pickers  cutting away at the old stone.

Our plan this morning was to go to Intermarche and hopefully find somewhere to do the washing, if not we had another washing place programmed in just over the border in Luxembourg.

Of course plans are made to be broken and while we were having breakfast I Googled Verdun and was shocked and surprised to see how much this town had suffered during WWI.  We discovered that there was a tour inside the walled area that we’d walked round last night and yet somehow managed to miss the entrance to.  It was essential that we went on that tour.

It was brilliant, there was a 30 minute tour where a little train took nine people through the tunnels to see various tableaux relating a sequence of stories from the start to the end of WWI.  It was so interesting to see a small section of the maze of tunnels within the walls.

From there we walked round the town and saw the large white war memorial which had numerous steps to climb, just for a change.  It had a centrepiece which ran from the top to the pavement below, I think it used to have water cascading down it but now it was planted up with one row of blue flowers, one row of white and one of red, it looked amazing.

We had a quick tour of the town from there as the morning was marching on.  We saw some beautiful statues and buildings, I’d like to come back here again when we’ve got a bit more time to explore the town properly.

Back at the van we set off for Intermarche, they didn’t have a laundrette, then we went back over the bridge to another supermarket which also didn’t have a laundrette and sat in their car park and ate the quiche that we’d bought in Intermarche before carrying on.  We stopped a long time later at Lidl where we did our shopping (we probably could have done that in Intermarche with hindsight as this Lidl didn’t have the things we’ve been able to buy at a lot of the others in Europe).  We checked out three more Intermarche’s on the journey, no laundrettes!

At around 3.45 we left France and entered Luxembourg heading for Bubble ‘N Lock which was a laundrette, I use the word WAS because when we got there it had been demolished and replaced with a combination of swanky offices and apartments, the buildings were very modern, one in the distance was oval in shape and looked like it was made from sheet metal.

We had one more laundrette programmed in so we drove there but that didn’t exist either so we gave in and carried on to our overnight stop keeping our fingers crossed that at least that will exist!  Time was marching on and we didn’t want to be rushing around Luxembourg trying to find somewhere to park for the night.

We arrived at our stop over and as the review on the app had said, the view was a sight to behold.  We parked facing out over vineyards with the Mosel River snaking past below in the distance.  We toyed with the idea of eating our dinner at one of the picnic benches but after I’d prepared it we stepped out of the van to be greeted by a rather chilly wind.  Instead we walked round the picnic area to take in the view.

Three other people were enjoying the last of the sun, two of them were sitting in chairs in the lower car park with a bottle of champagne, using their car as a windbreak, the other man had made himself VERY comfortable in a sunny space between the trees in the picnic area.   He had blown up an inflatable sun lounger which was holding him like a big hug, he had a beer in his hand and a smile on his face, what a perfect way to spend a few hours.  We watched him hobbling around the car park trying to stretch his back out later, perhaps he’d been laying there far longer than we realised!

The picnic spot was situated high up on the top of a hill so we had far reaching views across the valley to Germany.

Numerous pictures later we strolled back to the van where we watched people coming and going.  Cars came in, the occupants got out, they would take a couple of photos, jump back in the car again and drive off, quite often they were only there about two minutes.  We watched a couple of little tractors beetle to and fro along the windy lane that ran along the top of the vineyard and some people riding their horses along it being led by a dog with very short legs who was having the time of his life.

Unfortunately we’d forgotten our experience at the beauty spot in Norway at Nyksund but had a sharp reminder when we finished watching our third episode of Castle around 12.30 a.m.and took our headphones off to hear people chatting in the picnic area, a while later they went then another car turned up.  This carried on until around 2 a.m. in the morning, we definitely should have watched another episode of Castle during that time!

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