Luxembourg City ©Solange Hando
Luxembourg? Little country, big attractions and it all starts in the capital, split right across the centre by a deep ravine carved by the small river Alzette and the even smaller Pétrusse.
On such a strategic location, massive defences have been built over the centuries, on the rocky cliffs either side of the gorge, including one of the longest and most intricate networks of tunnels, the perfect place to get lost if you wander off on your own,
At the eastern end of the ravine, the Grund, or lower town, nestles along the river Alzette at the foot of the cliffs. The former Neumunster Abbey is now a cultural centre and there are some lovely walks along the water lined with weeping willows and pocket-sized vineyards. It's hard to believe you are in the city.
Meanwhile on the clifftop, the old upper town enjoys world heritage status, just like the fortifications, with a mix of old lanes and grand buildings such as the cathedral or the ducal palace.
Luxembourg is the world's last Grand Duchy and the people are extremely fond of their Duke and Duchess, present or past. On Clairefontaine Square, the statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte (1919-1964) is as inspiring as the victorious Golden Lady rising on the obelisk above the gorge near the cathedral.
You could ramble for hours around streets and squares but at the bottom of the ravine, minutes from the centre, you can escape away from it all among grassy slopes and flowering trees in the narrow but beautifully landscaped valley of the Pétrusse.
The trail goes on for miles from one end of town to the other, through a lush green haven filled with bird song and past an old chapel tucked in the rock near a miraculous spring.
But on the Kirchberg plateau, close to the airport, it's a different story with the state-of-the arts financial, cultural and European districts. There you will find the celebrated Mudam museum of modern art, the innovative Philharmonie concert hall and European institutions.
At the crossroads of Belgium, Germany and France, Luxembourg has always been a shining light of the EU and remains so to this day. People are trilingual by the time they leave primary school and in a Duchy totalling 47% immigrants, the capital attracts over 120,000 commuters from across the borders every day. Everyone is welcome and appreciated. Small? True, but like big Canada, open minded and forward looking.