Today we are planning on the fly and if you’ve traveled with us you know that’s not what we typically do. Our target is the city of Maastricht in the Netherlands, but we’re ahead of schedule and there’s no real rush to get there. We did some quick research and opted for the scenic versus fast route so we can take our time driving through the Ardennes region. This region in Luxembourg is filled with dense forests, steep-sided valleys carved by swift-flowing rivers – sounds like the perfect Sunday drive.
The country of Luxembourg covers about 998 square miles and the entire country population is about 512,000. It was only an hour’s drive so it was before 10 a.m. when we rolled into Vianden, a fairytale-atmosphere village nestled in the valley along Our river.
This last minute plan turned into one of our favorite spots so far!
Vianden is what we consider a classic European village: the streets are very narrow cobblestone with buildings at the edge meeting the last row of stones, flowers bursting with color in boxes hanging from windows and lining yards and streets, a castle, Chateau de Vianden, sits atop the mountain keeping eye on the village below, and a walkway along the river that flows through town.
Early on Sunday morning this village of about 1,500 residents was just coming to life and there was a peacefulness that added to its charm. We walked back streets where we could hear dishes clanking, people tended their gardens and walked their dogs, it was like peering through a curtain at life in Vianden.
Yes, we admit this type of exploration is more to our liking than touring museums and churches. We toured the castle and took a chairlift to the highest point, overlooking the village. We sat on an outside deck and enjoyed a drink and the expansive view, marveling at how much we enjoyed this last minute addition to our trek.