Leaving Luxembourg

I didn’t think this time would come so soon.  Nico and I have left Luxembourg to begin the next chapter of our adventure back in the US.  For the next few months, I am in San Francisco attending Metis, a data science bootcamp.  We’re both super excited for what comes next, but will never forget the hospitality we experienced in Luxembourg.  This tiny country welcomed us in with jobs, social security, and many new friends.  It gave me the chance to experience a new way of living and provided a home base to explore a diverse continent.

I loved living in Luxembourg and getting to know the area, the people, and the culture.  I’ll definitely miss the quiet and calm evenings, having both a city and a forest within a quick walk, the beautiful winter lights and Christmas markets with steaming gluhwein, the summer Schueberfouer and delicious, greasy gromperekichelcher, the warm, kind, and multilingual people, the beautiful nature and climbing areas, the ease of traveling to a different country, and most of all, all the amazing friends that I’ve made.  I’ll even miss the insane bus drivers, the struggle of finding a restaurant that’s open on Sunday evenings, and the challenge of communicating with a combination of hand signals and Google Translate.  The only thing I won’t miss is our loud neighborhood rooster yelling all day starting at 5:00 am.

This year, I’ll be posting about my data science projects, some recommendations for Luxembourg, and the remaining backlog of trips I went on last year.  Now however, I’d like to share a smattering of other things and places I visited around Europe the last two years that won’t have their own dedicated post.

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Switzerland – 48 Hours in Lugano

There were some good US to Europe flight deals in April earlier this year, so we had several friends spending time across the pond.  We met up with Lauren and Steve in Lugano for a couple days while they were doing the Switzerland leg of their trip.  Although Nico had lived in Switzerland for a year, we had never made it down to the Italian area of the country.



How to Get There

Although there is a small airport, it’s much simpler to get to Lugano from another major city.  We came from Zurich, which took 2 hours by train, because we were there for a day seeing some of Nico’s former classmates.  I went back the same way, but Nico took the train 60-90 minutes out to Milan for a work trip.

The moment the train passed into Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland, the vibe changed.  Switzerland has four official languages: German is the majority and spoken in the central part of the country, French is spoken in the west, Italian is spoken in the south, and Romansh is spoken in a small pocket in the southeast.  Although the Swiss are very proud of being Swiss and have their own distinct culture, the different linguistic regions maintain some strong cultural ties to the countries bordering it that share the same language.  Put in simpler terms and from an outsider’s point of view, the train car’s ambient volume increased and overall atmosphere became more chaotic the further south we traveled 😁






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