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MUDEC Méinden Fall 2021 #4
MUDEC Méinden Fall 2021 #4
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MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Fall 2021 #4

September 20, 2021

Spotlight on Travel

Editor's Note: This week, our newsletter interns write about their travels as they continue to enjoy Discovery Tours and begin to explore Europe independently.

A Sparkling Discovery Tour to the Champagne Region

by Maddie Kelley, MUDEC newsletter intern
Yet another weekend was spent taking advantage of the amazing Discovery Tours, thanks to MUDEC alumni. This time we spent two and a half hours heading down to Ay, France. Ay is known for being a little village full of "champagne houses".
Obviously we wanted the full tour of one of the largest champagne houses in the area. The Ayala champagne house was founded all the way back in 1860 by Edmond de Ayala and is still running smoothly today. The 35 acres of vineyards make for a lot of champagne to sell.
All 15 of the students were able to walk through some of the most important parts of the house. We started by going down a spiral staircase that seemed to never end. As it got colder and colder, we got further and further underground. We made it to the wine and champagne cellar, which was 75 feet underground and a total of 1.6 miles long. Our tour guide Arthur did a great job of explaining the processes and reasoning for the champagne to stay so far underground for so many years.
As we made it back up from the cellar, taking an elevator this time, we were shown the beautiful rooftop patio that was created to help with business events. It was an incredible view and pictures were just not able to do it justice. It overlooked multiple vineyards and the little village of Ay as well.
We wrapped it up by walking through the fancy tasting room that is available to groups when they purchase the tasting at the end of their walking tour. Arthur explained all the differences in the types of champagne they produced and even what meals would go best with each flavor. Our group had such a fun time.
After our wonderful tour through the Champagne region and one of the prettiest houses, the 15 of us headed back to the bus for a nice ride to Reims. The great part about these Discovery Tours is having an activity planned, but then also having the freedom to explore a city on our own afterwards.
Just like in Trier, Germany last weekend, my friends and I spent the next few hours walking around and sightseeing. We stopped at a sandwich shop for a quick lunch and just enjoyed the nice weather. We walked around in the Cathedral of Reims while just staring and admiring the huge stained glass windows. Each church or cathedral we walk through just seems to amaze me even more.
Along with the beautiful cathedral, Reims has a huge park full of playgrounds, trampolines, picnic tables, and fountains. We walked through the park, sat at the tables and enjoyed the fact that we got to spend the day in France.
The time went too fast, and soon it was time to get back on the bus. A few students stayed to enjoy Paris that night, and the rest of us got comfortable making the two and a half hour journey back to our Luxembourg Château.
Ayala winery Maddie and friends on a stone staircase

A First-Time Visitor's Guide to Paris

by Hannah Horsington, MUDEC newsletter intern
Hannah and friends at the Eiffel Tower
This past weekend, I participated in the Discovery Tour to the Champagne Region of France, but decided to take the trip one step further and continue on to Paris! I’ve been dreaming of visiting Paris my whole life, and it was the one place that was a non-negotiable visit for me while studying in Luxembourg. But no matter how many travel guides I read, YouTube videos I watched, or advice I got from other travelers, I still wasn’t entirely prepared for what my Paris adventure would look like.
In case any other future MUDECers are planning a trip to Paris, or anyone just wants some advice on how to navigate the city, here are a few tips and tricks I learned that helped me make the most of my experience:
  1. Pay the extra money for the elevators at the Eiffel Tower.
    Walking around outside the Eiffel Tower is completely free, and is still a great way to experience it, but there’s a cheap way to take your visit to the next level! I would definitely recommend purchasing tickets for the Eiffel Tower tour, which takes you up in the tower and features some amazing views of the city that truly took my breath away. My main piece of advice: purchase the tickets that allow you to go to the summit and give you access to the elevators. There are a TON of stairs between the ground and the second level, and if you’re even remotely afraid of heights, I wouldn’t try it. The extra few dollars to ride in the elevator were definitely worth it!
  2. Learn how to say “no”.
    There are a lot of vendors selling cheap Paris souvenirs all over the city, particularly around the Eiffel Tower. In this super touristy area, you can’t walk 15 feet without someone trying to get your attention or asking you to buy something. This is easy to ignore, but sometimes sellers will walk alongside you or try to block your path in an attempt to get you to buy something. The most effective thing you can do is learn to say a hard “no”, and they’ll eventually go away. Don’t feel bad about asserting yourself.
  3. Research restaurants ahead of time.
    We learned the hard way that many of the cafés and restaurants in the neighborhood we stayed in (right near the Eiffel Tower) either required reservations or were incredibly expensive. The one cheaper restaurant we were able to find near our hotel turned out to be American-themed. While this was great, we were hoping to eat Parisian food. Some quick research of the restaurants around your hotel ahead of time will help you find somewhere more authentic!
  4. Go to the service counter to buy Metro tickets.
    The Paris Metro was perhaps one of the most daunting aspects of our trip. Finding the station wasn’t bad, but buying tickets is where we ran into trouble. The ticket machines have an English option, but even that was hard to understand, and we had no idea which of the 10 different ticket types to buy. We eventually learned that the easiest thing to do is simply ask at the service desk for the number of tickets you need! The ticket they’ll give you is less than €2 and is good for as many transfers/rides as you need until you leave the station. The best part: once you get through the difficulty of buying a ticket, the Metro is really easy to navigate!
  5. Plan to go back!
    I was only able to spend about one day in Paris, and I saw just a fraction of what the city has to offer. Paris is only a two-hour train ride from Luxembourg City, making it one of the easiest locations for students to visit while at MUDEC. Take advantage of this! Paris has so much to offer, so I plan to go back at least one more time this semester!
View of the city from the Eiffel tower Eiffel tower in distance, with Seine and canopied booths A narrow street in Paris

Visiting Stuttgart

by Meta Hoge, MUDEC newsletter intern
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit Stuttgart, Germany. One of the girls in the group has a friend living outside of Stuttgart, so the rest of us decided to tag along.
We left MUDEC after lunch on Friday afternoon and began the seven-hour journey. From Luxembourg City, we took a bus to Saarbrücken and then had a series of train changes to arrive in Stuttgart by 8 p.m. We got a quick bite to eat and then went to our lodging in Esslingen am Neckar, which was about a 20-minute drive away, to rest up for the next day.
Our first destination on Saturday was Fernsehturm Stuttgart, which is the world’s first TV tower. We got to go up to the top and see the amazing views of the forest and city below. There was a wrap-around café at the top, so we were able to eat lunch there and enjoy the view.
After lunch, we headed further into Stuttgart and spent the afternoon enjoying some shopping and seeing the sights of the city. For dinner, we went to a nice restaurant called Wirtshaus Lautenschlager and all ordered schnitzel. I got pork schnitzel and it was delicious.
On Sunday we slept in and then explored Esslingen am Neckar a little. All the historic buildings are so beautiful, and the streets look like something out of a movie. We ate lunch at a cafe and then began the journey back to Luxembourg.
I really enjoyed this trip because Stuttgart would otherwise not have been on my list of places to visit. Having a local resident show us around made the experience really enjoyable. The trip was very fun and I hope to go back to Stuttgart in the future.
View of countryside in Stuttgart tower in Stuttgart CHarming buildings in Stuttgart

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