Pilgrimage to Luxembourg Log -- Saturday


Saturday, 7/27/1996

Today we made acquaintance with Frederick Rilling's fellows (well, one of them, at least) at the J. P. Pescatore Foundation old folks' home. The Pescatore "residence pour personnes agée" is quite easy to get to—it's right at the culmination of Avenue Pescatore—and has extremely lovely grounds. You get to see some of its attractions when Gustav visits Frederick there in "My Fair Vampire," but what you can't see is that it overlooks a huge expanse of the old city and trees, and that it's right near the famous Suicide Bridge … er, that is, the Red Bridge. The Red Bridge is very red and very modern, and, according to my Luxembourg Guide, they had to install special transparent sides a few years back because so many people were jumping over the edge, taking advantage of the bridge's height and drama to commit suicide. [I suspect it was mostly Hotel Sofitel waiters, but I'm getting ahead of myself by mentioning that… the Sofitel doesn't come into the picture until Monday.]

The old folks' home is a beautiful place, and Dean took lots of photos of the building, the grounds, and the views. The Pescatores must have some very talented landscapers; I nearly fainted with ecstasy while inhaling the roses that climb all over the ironworks fence. A Japanese tourist was also there, and asked Dean (in English) to take his photograph in front of the building. It must be awfully odd for the Japanese tourists to speak to the Luxembourgians, both parties trying to communicate in what is to them a second language! Anyway, the best part of the visit was that we got to see an actual old folk! He was sitting on a bench in the shade, wearing a blue striped suit and a fedora, no doubt quite entertained by us. We waved to him as we drove away, and he waved back.

After we left Frederick Rillings' stomping grounds, we came back to the hotel to find my sunglasses, which I thought I'd forgotten (actually, they were in the car the whole time). It's horribly sunny again today, and I have a huge sunburn from yesterday! Since I almost never go outside ordinarily, all this walking around in the sunlight makes me wish for some of that "high-powered sun screen" that Dr Benedict supposedly invented for Lucard. I must say, getting a sunburn on a vampire pilgrimage is rather ironic.

Once my sunglasses were safely slipping down my nose, we drove to good old Knuedler once again, and parked in our favourite underground garage. There was a light blue car like Gustav's parked nearby, and I scribbled down the model. It's a 2CV6 Club Citroen. Once above ground, we had a fun time walking around City Centre, visiting various sites. The bandstand was still all set up in La Place d'armes square, and the band was there again, along with some truly odd tourist-y marvels, such as a guy with a unicycle (he never seemed to actually ride it, though), cartoonish portrait sketchers, and a weird antique (?) fleamarket that filled the area where the outdoor cafes were laid out last night. We browsed among the fleamarket's wares, but the only interesting items were some Luxembourgian beer glasses like the kind restaurants use, with the brewery logos on them. Unfortunately, there weren't any Mousel glasses, but, now curious about what exactly the "five beers of Luxembourg" are, we did make note of the brands that were represented: Clausen, Simon and Diekirch.

At the tourist office, I showed my identifying expert photos of the church where Max took the Cross of the Magyars to be blessed, Magnus St. John-Smythe's vampire gun development place, and the Heisenburg Collection. She didn't recognize any of them, and thought the Heisenburg Collection was in Germany because it said "Heisenburg" on the sign. I tried to tell her that it wasn't a real sign—that the photo was taken from a TV show and that she should look at the building instead—but I don't think she really understood what I was talking about. So, I guess none of those places are in Luxembourg City. I did get two nice brochures about Vianden (site of Lucard's castle), though.

We bought Belgian waffles outside Kaempff-Kohler—this time, with cream—and tons more postcards and film, then walked to the Casino building where the Franz Liszt memorial plaque is displayed. Liszt gave his last concert there before his death. Of course, I found the whole Liszt/Geordie Johnson/Lucard/Magyar/Luxembourg tie-in quite amusing (Geordie Johnson played Liszt in the Liszt's Rhapsody film), and so I had Dean photograph the sign and my fingers. …Well, Sarah T. will get it, at least. Alas, as you can see, my fingers are as long as neither Liszt's nor Mr Johnson's. I also had Dean take a photo of the Memorial of Remembrance on the Boulevard F.-D. Roosevelt. This monument is in memory of the Luxembourg soldiers who fell in World War I. It was partially destroyed by the Nazis during WWII, but the Luxembourgers were able to rescue a few fragments, and rebuilt the memorial as a symbol of their newly won freedom. It's a very tall monument, with a obelisk on top of which the "Gëlle Fra" ("Golden Lady") stands, but I like the two green soldiers at the base of the memorial best. Am I completely mad, or do they bare a remarkable resemblance to the figures in Lucard's Great Hall painting…? [New: Check out the painting page to find out.]

The rest of the day, during which we discover Klaus' crypt, will be continued on a new page, as there are lots of images.


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