Our busking teachers had told us the best places to busk is “wherever the money is.” That made sense. Donna saw a jewelry store on a corner with a big window full of sparkly diamonds and luxurious jewelry. “There’s our spot!” She proclaimed. She was right! Being on a corner, we were catching foot traffic from several directions, and the tips were good! I was starting to get the hang of playing with the people as they passed. It was like fishing. If I could catch their interest for a minute, they would drop some money in the guitar case. It was good to move around, so we didn’t wear out our welcome from the shops, but we landed back in that spot several times while in town.
The Kockelscheuer campgrounds supplied water and electricity hookups for the luxurious recreation vehicles camping around us. Even though we had little to no need for electricity, the water tap made the cooking and washing considerably more convenient. Another key point were the community showers and toilet house, a welcome convenience after a long day of playing the streets and exploring the city.
In contrast to this mobile community of huge RVs, being one of the few tent campers felt a little strange. Nonetheless, the three-person dome tent was quite comfortable with the inflatable mattress pads under our sleeping bags. We had arranged our enormous backpacks and “Miss Guitara” onto one side, taking the space that would have been the “third person” of the tent. A net attached to the roof organized the smaller items, and small windchimes hung from the corner. Donna’s teddy bear quietly sat between our pillows, watching as we planned our next moves.
“Hello!” someone called from outside the tent. “We thought that might be you guys! We are camping here, too.” I poked my head out of the tent to find it was our new friends and busking teachers.
“Hey! Great! You’re here, too!” I said, excited that we should meet again.
“We have a spot a little further back in the campgrounds. Come on by for a glass of wine and bring your guitar.” So, we grabbed our hip packs and guitar, closed the tent, and followed them back to their site.
Wine and song
They asked how the busking went. I told our new friends of our adventures in the valley playing on the various bridges. They were anxious to play my song, “Smash Your TV,” so I wrote down the words and played it together several times. It was a rowdy rendition that I’m surprised we didn’t get any complaints from the RV people! A bottle of wine wasn’t the only thing passed around as we sat around the small fire, playing, singing, and exchanging stories well into the night. Eventually making our way back to our tent, we crawled in and prepared for bed. We were exhausted as we snuggled in and fell into a deep sleep which was more akin to passing out.
Casemates du Bock
The following day we woke well rested and refreshed. While making breakfast on our tiny camping stove, we read all about Luxembourg in our guidebook and decided this was the day we would be tourists and explore the city. One location that looked particularly interesting was the Casemates du Bock, a honeycomb of tunnels running under the ruins of the old fortress that protected the city for centuries.
The remaining Casemates are 10 kilometers longer than the seven open to tourists. One didn’t have to travel the entire seven kilometers to get a feeling of the massive subterranean city. This city had survived centuries of onslaught by the Burgundians, Habsburgs, Spaniards, Prussians, and French armies as they vied for victory over one of Western Europe’s most strategic strongholds. The underground passages and galleries snaked around the rocky cliffs above the River Alzette.
As we walked through the tunnels, evidence of the inhabitants’ daily life revealed itself. A well 47 meters (155 feet) deep supplied the installation with fresh water. A small room with a place to sleep chiseled out of the stone and places to build fires and cook the meals. There were small alcoves where shops to purchase or trade goods thrived in these underground passages. While war raged outside, life carried on as it must.
Café by the River
After a full day of exploring, we decided it was time to get a little something to eat and found a lovely little café by the river. What a beautiful valley it had become. Looking up at the Casements, we could easily understand why it was an impossible task to conquer this fortification. The setting sun disappeared. After the café, we walked to catch the bus back to the campground but found that we had missed it. The schedule in the evening was less often than the daily schedule, so we decided that instead of waiting, we would start walking. We were almost back to the campgrounds as the bus passed us, so we walked on. “Home again” we climbed into the tent and slept soundly until the morning.
Read more about the Casemates du Bock
Video Stereogram, VR 3D https://youtu.be/y6y0HoOKovo
Video Anaglyph (red/blue) 3D https://youtu.be/CIr1RE98QpI