April 3, 2021

Luxembourg - Corona Times - Émaischen

 After what it feels like an year of lockdown, Easter is again here and it will be another lonely one as we are not allowed to travel, well not without a PCR test and a lot, but a lot of trouble, and we were not smart enough to make an effort to have our parents over (vaccinated and all, because at this Romania is doing very well and most if not all the people I still know there are vaccinated already). Granted, as we are Orthodox it does not feel like it is Easter, but we have the holiday. Weird, but do move on.

So a tradition very dear to my heart is Émaischen which happens on Easter Monday in a town called Nospelt and in later years on the streets surrounding the Marche-aux-Poissons area in Luxembourg city. It is a market selling clay whistles in the shape of birds called Péckvillcher. It is said that those little whistles were made by the potters in the Nospelt area after a day's work with the remaining clay from making pots or whatever the potters were making. More about this tradition and in well formulated ideas you can read here

For us, as I've told you we do not celebrate the Catholic Easter, Émaischen was a reason to move out of the house, meet our friends and enjoy a market. Well, in Corona Times this is not possible anymore, but the potters in Nospelt thought of ingenious ways to still sell their clay whistles. I've read you can order one online and drive in Nospelt to pick it up on Easter Monday, but also there is a Pop-up Store in the centre of Luxembourg, on Grand Rue nr. 40 where for two days, yesterday and today, you can go and pick up your Péckvillcher.

Why would I buy a dust collecting figurine I will never use, you ask? Because it is tradition and because we need to keep sane and because those potters need to make a living and because we need normal human interactions, we need the stories and if you have kids, because they will love to blow your brains out once they figured out how to use them.

Last year, Ilinca's first Easter, we were all over the place with a small child and a pandemic and the Péckvillcher were on our last brain cell, but this year that Ilinca is a bit bigger and we can communicate better it was great that in this pandemic way we still could have our Émaischen. We went to Grand Rue 40 and she picked her own clay whistle and I've picked one and we made it fun and the sellers were delighted to tell us more about the tradition and about the birds and about their craft. 

So if you read this on April 3rd, please go to Grand Rue 40 and buy a clay whistle. I think it brings good luck to hear it sing on Easter Monday.

As usual I am more active on Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu and Happy Easter, friends! 

March 26, 2021

Luxembourg - The Daffodil Forest in 2021

Two years ago when we first went to see Via Botanica, which starts in Lellingen, Luxembourg, I was certain we will revisit it after many more years as we have forests closer to us, equally as beautiful, maybe not with daffodils, but forests.

Two years on and a global pandemic (is this a pleonasm I wonder?) and we are revisiting anything we find in Luxembourg and around, because what else is there to do, where else to go? 

Turns out that everyone in Luxembourg had the same idea, on the same weekend, which was not a sunny one and the trail Via Botanica was more crowded than a shopping-mall. Two years ago we maybe met five people on the 8 long km trail, this year they were in the hundreds :( That is what you get when you cancel all the traditions and all the fairs and events in the city. People will still congregate and even in plain air, it will still become a crowd.

I am one of the people who followed the rules and, more importantly, agreed with them, but come one Luxyland get going with vaccinations, stop being so paranoiac and trust your people, organise well your events and get people the chance to get to a normal life.

Pandemic parenthesis closed, it did me a lot of good to go to that forest and enjoy the scenery and be with friends. Luna loved it more than us, I think, and Ilinca looked at everything and was curious, she fell asleep at some point, but stood awake at the daffodils part of the trail.

I will leave you with some pictures and so you know you maybe have two more weekends of daffodils in bloom in 2021.

OMG look at my face!!! and it wasn't because Luna is heavy :D 
That is what a couch potato looks like when it decides to walk for 8 km :D

Bonus: this was the sunset on that day. The picture is taken from the moving car, but you can see the beauty, can you?
That is it folks. As usual you can find me more on Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu

March 14, 2021

Luxembourg - Places to see this Spring

Ok boys and girls I am down. My social life is non existent, my routine is working and bringing then taking back my daughter from creche, the weather is a bit horrible after a week or so of hope for Spring, so my moral is so low that all I feel doing is sit in my pyjama and dream of better times. I say that has to end before I go cuckoo. As usual what helps me is looking back at all the adventures we did in Luxembourg and if it helped me to go take a shower, for sure it will help you too. So here it goes:

Via Botanica - The Daffodil Forest

I feel you can "visit" Via Botanica right about now as I've seen all the daffodils already in bloom in the city, just please behave and leave some flowers for others to see and enjoy.

I am so sick and tired of all the cool traditions being cancelled this year just because they cannot serve food or drinks, as if I personally would go to Nospelt or to the Ceramic Market in Luxembourg for the food. But it is what it is, Emaichen is cancelled this year too, so on the Easter Monday all there is left to do, is go and search for the peckvillecher you bought in 2019 and blow it. 

I've been meaning to do that since September, but I don't know what I'm waiting for. So basically, Kirchberg area is almost deserted on the weekend. There is some activity around Mudam, by the way if it is open go visit it, and the Philharmonie, but the rest I imagine it is empty, so you can social distance all you want there. Also in Kirchberg there are a lot of nice sculptures made by famous or not so famous contemporary artists. I particularly liked the Knotted Gun. Just click on the link and you will see why.  

Gringlay is a new addition to my liked areas of Luxembourg, in the sense I've discovered it in Autumn, but it is a nice walk with a beautiful finish. Of course you can continue the trail and report back to me where it leads to :) but even if you walk just up to the viewpoint, it is still something.  

Weather allowing as the trail was a bit muddy even when we went on it. But the whole Mullerthal Region is nice and worth a visit. It is nature, there are rock formation, a spring and a waterfall or two...what more do you want?

I see now that the common feature of all I'm suggesting is nature and walking outside, so on a day like today please search if the Cloche d'Or is open, but on any other day with a bit of sun and no rain, visit the Moselle Area. It is one of my favourite during Summer, but Spring will do just fine. Drive if you don't feel like biking and stop for picturesque pictures along the river in all the nice wine producing towns. No one will know if you leave with your boot filled with bottles :)

That is a bit later, but you can save the link and return to it all Spring. Cause what is Spring if not hope? Hope you will enjoy some blooms and fill your heart and soul with beauty. Go to a forest, they come back to life right about now, take a breath of fresh air even from your window, and already life will begin to colour.

A cheecky self promotion and a promise to dust off my Insta and this blog and find some time in my busy "sit and do nothing" schedule to actually follow my advice. Today is Bretzel Sunday or Bretzelsonndag so if you don't see a pretzel on my Insta by evening, it is a sign I've had a huge fight with my husband as I understand this year is the year he has to give me a pretzel :) don't know why, I just want one.

What no picture? I better go and find one. In the meantime, pop on Instagram as there are all the cool things happening. You will find me @mademoiselle.ralu

January 13, 2021

Luxembourg - Corona Times - Christmas lights in the city

Christmas is long gone now, but as I haven't written anything here yet, I thought to show you some of the pictures from Luxembourg City. Because of Corona Times, this year the Christmas Markets in Luxembourg were canceled and rules were imposed as to the number of people a family is allowed to meed inside during the holidays, so for us Christmas was a bit sad this year.

Normally, by Christmas Time we would have already made our way to Romania to see family and friends and sometimes they would come to us during the Holiday season, we would go once or twice to the Christmas Markets and spend the New Years Celebrations with our friends. This year we were not allowed to receive in the house more than two people from outside the household. So as we are now three, we had to stay home or see our friends in open spaces where a gathering of up to 10 people was legal.

So that was exactly what we did. We've met our friends before Christmas and between Christmas and New Years and we had walks in the forests and went to see the lights in the city centre and that was it. 

Because the markets were closed, the authorities tried to at least decorate nicely the city with a few instagramable spots. The one with the tree at the Gelle Fra was all over social media. The huge Christmas Tree was usually in the middle of the Christmas Market, now it stood alone. The did another big tree in front of Cercle Cite as they would normally do and of course the lovely stars were hanged on the trees near the Cathedral and the blue artificial tree was placed near the City Hall and also the square Knuedler was nicely decorated with lights on all the trees. Those are the spots in the photos.

I hope these pictures brought you a smile and that the new year has found you healthy and happy and that you are safe. As for Corona Times the end is in sight so hold on tight! As usual I am on Instagram if you need me @mademoiselle.ralu 

December 8, 2020

Corona Times - Ornaments for Christmas 2020

 I don't know about you, but for me 2020 was not that bad. Yes there was a lockdown, yes we cannot travel as we used to, yes covid is very serious and people have died and yes it was a depressing year. But, it is the year Ilinca was born, the first year of her life and for that one thing for me 2020 is a great year.

So much so I have nothing against Corona themed Christmas ornaments. Working in communication meant that since September if not earlier we cooked up the Christmas strategy for this year and we adapted it to reflect the events of this year. Let's face it, our life has changed dramatically and we spend a lot of time at home, with our family, in cozy clothes, dreaming of the vaccine and a vacation. So even if you want this year forgotten, here are some small tokens to hang up in the tree, or give to your co-workers once you are back in the office cafeteria :)

Forgot to say they are all on Etsy, my partner in crime when Amazon was not enough :)
As usual I am more active on Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu drop a line there if you want to talk.