A rather international group (what else, this *is* Luxembourg! represented: England, France, Finland, Lithuania, Malta and Slovenia) of new friends decided to join in on the local fun in Veianen (Luxembourgish for the town otherwise known as Vianden), which incidentally celebrates its 700 years of existance in 2008. Coming from Slovenia (no, not Slovakia) myself, allow me to appreciate the beauty of a language spoken by no more than some 300,000 people.

above: Eldoradio’s nutcracking contest

My first thought upon arrival was that these things are the same anywhere you go. Adriaan, this is the Lux version of Bohinj’s cow ball minus the cows and plus the nuts. And nuts there were! I did expect to see walnut liquer (nothing beats the walnut brandy made by the Amazons and good old Franc, though!) and saw countless supplies of “Nëssdrëpp” and the sweeter “Nësslikör”, even the apparently recent yet popular addition of the white “Nëss-Crème-Likör”. Just as expected were walnut cookies and cakes (Nësskouch), but I would not have thought of “Nësspâté”, “Nëssbrutt”, “Nësstoort”, “Nësseeken” or  “Nëss-Raclette”. Feel free to guess what these are. Should be easy enough. Of and the walnut wine tasted and smelled deliciously interesting even if not very wine-like.

Apparently, the stronger liquer  of 30% alcohol content is perfect for use with sparkling wine. A  nëss royal, so to speak? A bottle is waiting in the cupboard to put the recommendation to a test.

Vianden is a picturesque village where every other house seems to be either a guesthouse or a restaurant. With the possible exception of the castle, which dominates the area. Once upon a time, one of these houses hosted Victor Hugo as well.

The castle, which was completely restored in 1977 is well worth a visit.

What is it that all these OctoberFest type festivals around Europe have in common? Fun-loving Europeans!

And their friends from other parts of Europe.

And possibly cappuccinos? Nah… more fun-loving people!

Lo and behold,  Nëssdrëpp, Nësslikör, Nësskouch and Nëss-Crème-Likör.

And more of the above.

Crepes are always a crowd-pleaser. And do somehow seem local.

Which was more difficult to imagine in the above case of what was advertised as “home-made paella”.

Now waffles, on the other hand, were a different matter altogether.

Nothing beats a strong orator voice in attracting customers, eh?

Gosh, the chesnut stand made me think of and miss the best town in the world.

The local band. Gotta love the outfits. Not so much the music, possibly.

As the day progressed, people were getting exceedingly… cheerful? This lady was chucking walnuts at us just out of the goodness of her heart, as inspired by the walnut wine. Thanks!

Kiddo, I so know what you’re thinking…

No, that’s not the way adults should be behaving. But cut them some slack, it’s the nut festival afterall.

Pretty of what?

I think we decided to leave just in time.