The D&O Diary finished its European itinerary last week with a visit to Frankfurt for an event there, followed by a weekend stopover in Luxembourg before heading home. The pleasant weather I enjoyed earlier in the week in Switzerland abandoned me in Frankfurt, where it rained, but the nice weather reappeared just in time for my weekend visit in Luxembourg. As the pictures below reflect, the pleasant spring weather was just about ideal for my first ever visit to Luxembourg.
I traveled to Frankfurt to participate as a speaker and panelist at the 11th Annual Global Investor Loss Recovery Conference. I would like to thank Alexander Reus and his DRRT colleagues for inviting me to be a part of this event again this year (for, I think, the fifth consecutive year.) As consistently has been the case in the past, no one learned more at this event than I did. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet and to talk to the other attendees, who literally traveled to the event from all over the world. My congratulations to everyone at DRRT for another excellent event.
I participated in three different sessions at the Frankfurt event.
On Friday, I was off by train to Luxembourg. From Frankfurt the train travelled west along the Main River toward Mainz, and then north along the Rhine River to Koblenz. In Koblenz, I changed trains and headed west along the Mosel River until the train eventually headed off to the Northwest toward Luxembourg. It was a particularly scenic train journey.
Luxembourg is such an interesting place. It is of course the capital of the small duchy and country of the same name. The country is quite small, only half the size of Rhode Island. Luxembourg City is compact but topographically complicated, with a population of just over 115,000.
Luxembourg is also a historically complicated country. The former County of Luxembourg has variously been part of Burgundy, Spain, France, Austria, Netherlands, France (again), and Prussia, before finally becoming independent in the 19th century. The complicated history is still visible in the fortress remnants and battlements that still bristle along the city’s ridgelines and that tower over the steep valleys surrounding the upper city. Many of the fortifications were dismantled by treaty in 1867 but enough still remain in and around the city to bring home what a formidable bastion the city once was.
Despite (or perhaps because of) its rugged terrain, Luxembourg is a surprisingly interesting place in which to just walk around and explore. The steep hills afford a variety of overlooks and viewpoints providing spectacular panoramas of the battlements and surrounding territory.
On a warm early spring day, the Vallée de la Petruse at the base of the upper city was a particularly pleasant place to stroll around. The peaceful woods were filled with birdsong and flowering trees.
Luxembourg is a uniquely European place, a place where French and German appear to spoken interchangeably and where everyone also speaks English. I participated in several conversations that started in French, somehow shifted to German, and ended up in English. In the end, the language question was really not an issue because just about everyone could tell I was an American (I have had this experience before) and spoke English to me.
Luxembourg may not be as glamorous as, say, Paris or Vienna, or as steeped in history as, say, Rome or even London, but it has its own interesting history and it definitely has charm and character and is worth a visit. It may be one of the best cities in the world just to walk around in. Hiking through the battlements is terrific, but it would be worth visiting Luxembourg just to stroll through the Vallée and listen to the birdsong. What a great place.
More Pictures of Luxembourg: