20 October, 2007

First Great Beer Find in Luxembourg!

This is an example of the beer isle in one of the supermarkets we frequent here.

These little kegs are about €15 each and are 6 litres. Not a bad deal at all. Too bad our fridge is too small to fit one.

One of the decent Luxembourgish beers.

What a great way to start the weekend and end my first week or work in Luxembourg. When I got back to the apartment tonight I was surpised by something special that Paula bought for me at a local market. She picked up 2 bottles of Cantillon bottles for me and they were the large .75L bottles. Cantillon Kriek Lambic and Cantillon Bio Gueuze. The best part is the price. 2,97 € for the Gueuze and 3,84 € for the Kriek. I don't have my currency converter out at this late hour but they are both less than $6 a bottle which is less than what you would pay in the states for a bottle half that size.

I finished up the night with a bottle of Duvel at less than 4 € which was also a nice treat and then a crappy beer from Portugal which is not really worth mentioning any more.

14 October, 2007

Our First Weekend in Luxembourg

After getting settled in our temporary flat for a few days and getting oriented with the city, we decided to take this weekend to explore Luxembourg City a bit more and to decide where to live.

We started our Friday morning with a trip on the Petrusse Express which is a small little train (that runs on the road) and gives you about a 50 minute tour of some of the historic landmarks of Luxembourg. The tour was really interesting as the little train took us down into the valley below the city and through some really scenic park arenas and under some amazing stone bridges. Pictures to follow on this. The best park of the tour was that it was in 5 or 6 languages and one of them was English which was helpful for Paula and I.

After the train ride we wandered around the town centre which we have been doing for several days and really enjoy. We found a place to eat and we did it local style. We each got a panini and ate it while we walked around the William Square which is where the open air markets are held. We sat down on a bench and finished our paninis and did some people watching which is one of the best things to do in squares like this in Europe. There are so many cafes in this area with tons of tables outside and a very good amount of people outside siting, eating, talking and drinking at all times of the day. You would be suprised at the amount of people, men and women, that have a wine or beer with lunch and all throughout the day.

After lunch we jumped on another touristy thing, the big hop on hop off sightseeing bus. Since we are still in our first week here, we fiqured it was ok to still do tourist things since we are not locals just yet. The CitySightseeting Luxembourg bus is a long ride through the city centre and also some of the other close areas including Kirchberg where my office is located and the banking center of Luxembourg. The number of large bank buildings is pretty cool to see and they are popping up everyday it seems.

11 October, 2007

Arriving in Luxembourg

This is Molly turning her back to us when we arrived at the Lux airport. She arrived via a dumb waiter from the luggage area. She is in protest....
Sunday, October 7th was the departure day for my wife Paula, our cat Molly and I. We flew out of Philadelphia and were suprised when the flight took off on time and landed early. We flew on the German airline, Lufthansa, so I guess it is true that they are more efficient and organized. The biggest stress of the flight to Frankfurt and then our connecting flight to Luxembourg was the travel of our cat Molly as she was in the cargo hold during the flights. She was very good when we left her in Philadelphia and we didn´t get any word from the airline that she was bad on the flight so that was reassuring.

We arrived in Frankfurt on a large Airbus plane (without much leg room) and our connection to Luxembourg was on Luxair, the national airline of Luxembourg. The Luxair was a much smaller propellar plane that we had to board directly on the runway. We were taken to the plane in a shuttle bus and walked right out onto the runway and boarded up a set of small steps. The interesting part about boarding this plane was that they were still loading the plane with our luggage and before we got on the plane we saw an animal crate that looked very familiar. It turns out it was our cat Molly. She was sitting on the runway waiting to be loaded. They were very gentle with her and waited until most of the luggage had been boarded. I should have taken a picture of this as it was a bit funny to see. She was not crying so that reassured us that she was doing ok.

On the Luxair flight to Luxembourg we were in business class but that only meant that we sat in row 4, the seats all throughout the plane were the same. Two rows of seats with two seats in each row. There was a flight crew of 3 or 4 women for the small plane. We found out why that was shortly. Once we were in the air we were served a nice little breakfast that consisted of meats, cheese, crackers and a yogurt thing. We barely had time to finish our very small drinks when they collected the drinks and trays and then the plane began the decent to Luxembourg. It was amazing that they had a meal service for a 35 minute flight.

We landed on time and since the Luxembourg airport is not very large, we were quickly ready to pick up our bags and our cat. The bags came and there was no cat. After talking to an airport information attendant it sounded like Molly was going to come up on the regular baggage system which was a bit scary. She actually came up a few minutes later on a dumb waiter right near where we were standing. She was very happy to see as were we. She was in very good condition and allert, just a little wet from the water in her dish that must have spilled on her.

We were greeted at the airport by a fellow KPMG employee, Sami. He escorted us to our temporary flat in the heart of Luxembourg City. The flat we are currently in is very small and includes a bed that pulls out from the wall and an elevator in the building that barely fits 2 people and a few pieces of luggage. Very charming.

Molly is now staying at a cat hotel for the next few days until we are able to get a long term flat option where we can have her stay with us. The cat hotel is very interesting with all the cats staying in the same room together. They have a nice outside play area that is fenced in and includes a tree to climb on like the monkey cage at the zoo. We will be sure to post some pictures of her hotel when we can.

We are using this week to search out for permanent apartment (flat) options, register with the government here in Luxembourg, open bank accounts, consider leasing a car, and getting use to the city in general. There is alot of history here and alot of beautiful buildings and sites to take in and we plan to do at much of it as we can this week and over the next 2 years.