Thursday, November 12, 2015

That Time I Crossed the Border to Buy Groceries

Donneschdeg, 12 November.

So ... I went grocery shopping in France today.

One of the biggest complaints of my European housemates is that buying groceries (and, heck, just about anything else) in Luxembourg is expeeeeensive. While I'm not convinced that Luxembourgish grocery stores are actually any more expensive than their American counterparts, their prices do appear to be significantly higher than in neighboring European countries.

There are less expensive supermarkets within Luxembourg, but all are quite a hike from where I live and many would be difficult to access without a car. (Looking at you, Cora...) However, there is a Lidl -- a discount German supermarket -- located just across the border in France in a tiny town called Audun-le-Tiche. A train runs between Esch-sur-Alzette and Audun-le-Tiche several times per day. The train takes five minutes to go between the two cities and there are no other stops. You don't even need a special ticket; because it's so close to the Luxembourgish border, I was able to use my national transport pass to go!

Before leaving Esch, I made a mental note to explore the station in Audun-le-Tiche so that I would know at which platform to find my train back home. Which would have been a totally logical plan, if the Audun-le-Tiche station didn't look like this...

That's right: not only is there only one platform, but there's also only one TRACK. The train arrives in Audun-le-Tiche, sits there for about twenty minutes, and then turns around and goes back to Esch! So much for getting lost in the vast metropolis of Audun-le-Tiche... 

Ultimately, I was not super impressed with Lidl. At the end of the day, it's not really the mecca that my roommates had described ... just a large discount grocery store that skimps on presentation and customer service in order to provide (marginally) cheaper groceries. Still, I have a feeling that I'll go back to Audun-le-Tiche in the future; in addition to the conveniently-located Lidl, the town has a few other French supermarkets that might make for good grocery shopping.

Lidl might not have been all it was cracked up to be ... but crossing the border to grocery shop? What a story!


  1. Love this! I remember Lidl and Cora! I sure wish we could get around as you do all using public transportation.

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