Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm on my way from misery to Luxembourg today...

With apologies to the Proclaimers, and a few days too late... but I liked the line, and don't see why I shouldn't use it, just because I'm in Mumbai!

I somehow managed to get virtually everything done before I left for Luxembourg and, despite a few alarms, I reached my hotel safely on Saturday evening whilst my luggage enjoyed Saturday night in Frankfurt. Not a great start...

Luxembourg was surprisingly pleasant though, and quite easy to get around. So I went drinking in Wiltz (an eminently drinkable riesling for the record), castle exploring in Vianden and hiking in the Ardennes south of Clervaux. It's a very pretty place and well worth an explore.

Politics in Luxembourg is normally pretty dull but the latest French financial scandal (Chirac and De Villepin's apparent attempt to smear Sarkozy) has its heart in the Grand Duchy, as Clearstream, the financial institution alleged to

have been used as the conduit for passing on slush money, is Luxembourg based. The locals are worried about the implications for banking secrecy, especially given that the country's wealth is closely linked to its ability to attract bank deposits from rich French and German residents - not always with an aim towards evading tax...

And now I'm in Mumbai, visiting my family for a few days before the next stop on the 2006 Valladares world tour, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

More news as it comes in!

1 comment:

Tony Ferguson said...

Would love to hear about Vietnam as we are thinking about going there one day. We go to Thailand a lot and love the country and the people