Sunday, October 11, 2015

That Time I Walked to Germany

Sonndeg, 11 Oktouber.

So ... I walked to Germany this weekend.

Before you mistake me for some kind of crazy ambitious athlete, let me clarify: this weekend, I walked across a bridge and crossed the border into Germany.

After exploring Larochette and Beaufort, Catherine and I were planning to call it a day. We were going to change buses in Echternach and head back to Luxembourg City. But even the best laid plans go awry! 

As you might remember, Echternach sits right smack dab on the Luxembourgish-German border. In fact, it is separated from the German town of Echternacherbrück only by a river: the Sûre (or Sauer, depending on the native language of the person you're asking). I knew that the two towns were linked by a bridge and that it was possible to "walk to Germany" merely by crossing that bridge. However, I hadn't had the time to make the walk during my first visit to Echternach. So when Catherine asked if there was anything we should check out during our "layover" in Echternach ... I had a plan. And off to Germany we went!

As it turns out, the bridge to Germany is only a short walk from downtown Echternach. You can walk through the center of town or follow the riverbank, like we did. Once we got there, a dramatic sign warned us that we were, in fact, leaving Echternach. About 200 feet later, another sign welcomed us to Echternacherbrück and to Germany.


Want to know the craziest thing about all of this? It was not until I was standing in Germany and looking up at the sign that I realized that Echternacherbrück is in Rheinland-Pfalz, the state we lived in when we first moved to Germany! It was my first time back in approximately fifteen years ... and it was a total accident.

As we had a bus to catch, there wasn't time to become reacquainted with the land of my childhood (which is just as well, because Echternacherbrück appears to be a particularly tiny town). Back to Luxembourg we went!

Only in Luxembourg, right?

PS. Curious about the relationship between the names "Echternach" and "Echternacherbrück"? Well, I don't have any real answers for you. But nonetheless, it's interesting to note that in German, eine Brücke means "a bridge" and that Echternacher is an adjective form of Echternach. So does Echternacherbrück literally mean "the Echternach-ish bridge"? Your guess is as good as mine!

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