May 1, 2022: Luxembourg Run. Luxembourg is a stunning city, one of the most beautiful we have seen anywhere. And this morning, the sun is dodging clouds while the flowers shine a light all their own. It is a perfect day for a run!
Where is Luxembourg? At only ~50×30 miles, this tiny land-locked country nestles between Germany, France, and Belgium. While people have occupied the region for over 35,000 years, it has existed as a modern independent state only since 1867. Much of the country is rural, with over 100 castles, moderate farmland, and forests.
Luxembourg City straddles a dramatic gorge created by the modest Alzette River. The Romans founded the first modern city here in the 1st century. Of course they did: the Romans were everywhere! About 300 years after the Rome fell, Charlemagne, the founder of France, claimed this as part of his vast domain. In the centuries to follow, the European powers of Prussia (Germany), France, Belgium, and Spain fought for and held this strategic crossroads about every 20 years. At one time, it was so fortified it was called “the Gibraltar of the North.”
A peace treaty between the powers led to dismantling the fortifications and Luxembourg independence. They adopted a policy of neutrality – only to be occupied again by Germany in WW1 and WW2. After, the country abandoned the “neutrality” policy and helped found NATO and the EU. They believed, based on centuries of harsh experience, “united we stand.”
Luxembourg native Robert Schulman is on a path to Roman Catholic sainthood for his efforts to bring peace through a united Europe. We will learn more of him, we hope, in our next city: Brussels.
The Luxembourg Run
OK, enough history. It only provides context for the beautiful photos from the run. Luxembourg architecture is a mix of historical German and French. Banking makes this a wealthy city, so historical buildings are all well maintained. The parks are this runner’s dream.
I ran from our hotel down into the gorge and along the canal of the Pétrusse River. As it joined the Alzette, I followed along, admiring the towering arched bridges overhead.
I found the most delightful sight at the end of the Alzette path: the ascenseur panoramique du Pfaffenthal. Joy of joys, it is a public elevator that took this tired runner back to the top of the gorge! From there, it was a gentle downhill through the municipal park to the hotel. Days like today are why I love running.
Hats off to Great Runs for inspiring some of my “great runs,” from Sarajevo to Alexandria, to Vienna to London, and Lyon to Luxembourg. Keep ’em coming!