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Clare
Clare

Day 2: Metz

The original aim of going to Luxembourg was to explore more of Luxembourg. But when I started planning the itinerary for the trip, I soon found that that was going to be rather difficult. This weekend seems to be a weekend of engineering works on the railways in Luxembourg, with a complex system of buses replacing trains on the key routes north from Luxembourg City. North is the direction that the more scenic parts of Luxembourg seem to be located in, with the south of the country being more industrial, so this presented a bit of a problem. Eventually we decided that, rather than subject ourselves to the misery of the rail replacement buses, it would be more sensible to cross the border into France. Thankfully, the trains towards France still seemed to be running this weekend :) 

After making the most of the breakfast buffet in the hotel, we set off to catch the tram to Luxembourg's main station. It turns out there's a tram stop just across the road from our hotel and that took us straight to the train station in around 20 minutes. 

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The tram was free, which was brilliant :) You do have to pay for public transport once you cross the border, but it seems pretty reasonably priced. The return train tickets to Metz - which was our destination for today - were only €16 each and I was able to buy them with an app on my phone. The journey wasn't direct, so first of all we had a short train ride to a place called Bettembourg, not far from the French border, and from there we had a journey of around an hour to Metz.

First impressions when we stepped out of the train stations in Metz were positive.

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The train station itself was an attractive building.

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There were a lot of police sitting outside it in vans, for reasons that weren't clear. It seemed like quite a sleepy town, not one that gave the impression of having a lot of trouble.

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We walked from the station into the centre of town. 

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Before too long we found ourselves outside the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, which is one of those that's so enormous it's difficult to fit it all in one picture.

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There was a pretty square outside the cathedral, with lots of little palm trees.

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This building was the town hall.

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As you can see, it was quite a grey day again today. But Metz was still a really pretty place :) 

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As we walked away from the cathedral, we had a slightly better view of it.

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We were walking towards the river Moselle, which flows through the town.

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On an island in the middle of the river is Temple Neuf, a protestant church.

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It was built in the early 20th century, at which point Metz was part of Germany.

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There was a nice path along the river here and we were able to stroll along it for quite a long way.

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At one point we passed through this garden with a little pond. Metz seems to be quite a green city.

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The walk along the river obviously wasn't a circular one, so we had to be careful not to go to far. After a while we turned around and headed back towards the town centre.

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We found that in a square not far from the church there was a beautiful display of plants and flowers.

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There were fountains too...

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...and a good view back towards the cathedral :) 

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We'd worked up an appetite by this point so we began walking back into the centre of town to find somewhere for a late lunch.

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The majority of the restaurants seemed to be concentrated in the area around the cathedral.

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We found a nice place to eat where I had a turkey schnitzel and chips, while Tim had a slightly more French meal of tartiflette. Then there was just time for another quick look at the view, before it was time to jump on a train back towards Luxembourg. It's a shame we haven't been able to see more of Luxembourg, but Metz has certainly been a good substitute today :) 

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