Sunday, July 25, 2010

En route to Luxembourg

For the last few weeks, Mitch and I have been planning to take a road trip to Luxembourg. We decided that yesterday would be the ideal time to make our way down to this little country after dropping a friend at Eindhoven airport but our day didn't quite go to plan...

A couple of hours into our journey, the road signs changed from Dutch to French and we realised we must have crossed the border into Belgium. A few minutes later, Mitch suddenly realises - ummmm, do we need passports to go to Luxembourg? Coming from Australia, I associate all overseas holidays with hopping on a plane and therefore always requiring a passport. Although we've been over here since March and this isn't the first time we've lived in Europe, I still tend to forget that this isn't just one big country and when going on a road trip, my passport is the last thing on my mind - hence why it was still safely tucked away in the cupboard at home.

Considering the lack of border control over here, I figured that our Dutch identity cards should be sufficient and we kept on going, only to realise a few moments later that Mitch had forgotten his wallet and so had no ID on him whatsoever. By this point in time, I was distracted and had missed the Luxembourg exit off the motorway, it was raining and miserable outside, and we had spotted a Carrefour (French supermarket). The thought of French wine and croissants was just a little too appealing and we decided to postpone our Luxembourg adventure for another weekend...

Carrefour: although I consider myself more of an Auchan girl, it's still quite a decent supermarket. Like Auchan, Carrefour is also a 'hypermarket' - having grown up on Coles and Woolies supermarkets, it is unbelievably huge (in France, it's employees wear roller skates to scoot up and down the lengthy aisles) and you can outfit your entire house (not to mention the camping equipment, pet section, books etc) from one store.

I've posted before about my love for supermarkets in foreign countries and the Belgian version of this French supermarket giant was no disappointment. Mitch and I grabbed a wheelie basket and an hour later, we were still wandering up and down the aisles...

I was overly excited to find items that I haven't been able to find ANYWHERE in Nijmegen (after much, much searching) - it's amazing how finding simple things like measuring cups and almond meal can really make your day... And the wine selection - ohhhhhhh, we were in Cote du Rhone heaven :-)

After having a bit of a giggle at being able to say bonjour and merci and au revoir again to the checkout operator, we were on our way back to the Netherlands but once again became distracted - this time by the cheap price of diesel. Deciding it would be an ideal time to fill up our little red car, we were both pleasantly surprised to discover just how much French can be remembered when the situation arises... The pumps at the petrol station weren't working and Mitch had to go in and talk to the cashier who spoke only French to figure out what the issue was - I was so proud of my boy who was able to break out into basic French no worries (considering all I can remember is merci and au revoir), after a few years of no practice! Turns out we had to pre-pay for the petrol inside before filling up - random....

With a boot full of brioche and a tank full of diesel, we were on our way and decided to go visit the very south Dutch city of Maastricht. My travel to do list in the Netherlands is huge despite the size of the country and since being here, we've barely crossed anything off the list - it just seems to keep growing... Despite not getting to visit Luxembourg, it actually ended up being a really nice day, getting to explore another part of this flat little country we're calling home.

We spent the day wandering around the city centre, through the small markets, down all the pretty little streets, into many, many shops, along the river and enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the town square.

And my personal highlight of the day - discovering the nijntje store. Better known as 'Miffy' in English, this strange little white rabbit is a favourite of mine and I spent way too much time in the store, stocking up on a few gifts here and there, it really is just too cute...


  1. Sounds like quite a day!! I must say Laylah would be very jealous you got to see so much Miffy!! It is one of her face shows!!

  2. Hi there Lu! Sometimes the days that don't quite go to plan are the most fun! The huge supermarket sounds great, Maastricht and the Miffy sounds like fun too!

    I hope your well!

    Love Martine

  3. Hey Lu,
    Glad it turned into a good day, it's always exciting to find new places to go to.
    Passport's mean big plane rides to me too, certainly not a car ride.
    Happy exploring,

  4. Definitely - plans are great, but sometimes you've just got to go with the flow and enjoy the moment! Although I must start remembering my passport from now on...

    I didn't know there was a Miffy show - I must check out out the TV guide and add it to my day time tv list!!! My next goal is to visit the Dick Bruna museum in Utrecht - now that will be Miffy galore...


Thanks for reading, your comments make my day :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails