Home / Paul Schonenberg, Women Leaders and Little New York in Luxembourg

Paul Schonenberg, Women Leaders and Little New York in Luxembourg

Our guest today is Paul Schonenberg, originally from the US. Moved to Luxembourg more than 30 years ago. Paul is the president of the AMCHAM ( American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg), he has been running the organization since 1998. And I would say that Paul is the most famous American in Luxembourg. Paul, nice to see you.

Paul Schonenberg: Nice to be here.

Tetyana: Paul, you moved to Luxembourg 31 years ago, and I know when you were offered a position in Luxembourg, your first question was “where is it?”Right? Could you tell us about your first impressions, and why did you agree to come here?

Paul Schonenberg: Okay, well, I was at the Pentagon, and was getting to the end of my assignment, and the air force was thinking about sending me to North Dakota. And the job would have been an interesting job, but it would have been in North Dakota. And I’m a city kid from New York, and I wasn’t overly excited about going to North Dakota, so I thought, well, maybe I should look around and see if I could find some other more international location. Being from New York, I’m used to being multicultural and being international. 

And I thought, well, finishing out my career, I’d like to be in some place where I’m comfortable and in an international, multicultural, multilingual environment. And I ended up having a proposal from the undersecretary of defense for security assistance policy, who was responsible for, among other things, for the US involvement in the NATO base out in Capellen (Luxembourg). And there were some issues that he wanted to address. And he said, well, you’d be a perfect fit for that assignment at the time, it’s true. I said, oh, well, thank you, sir. That’s very kind. Where’s Luxembourg?

But he invited me to come over to a board meeting, which I did. And that was a lot of fun because I wasn’t particularly important. Everybody was being really nice to the undersecretary, and I was the colonel carrying the undersecretary’s bag. So I got to spend time with the people who are on cigarette breaks and coffee breaks outside and just listen. And by the time I had been there for a week doing that kind of stuff and just kind of being friendly and wandering around, I knew who all the good people were and who all the bad people were.

And I came back about four months later as the senior American assigned to the NATO base. So that was a good first start. And I have to admit, when I first came to Luxembourg, it was kind of like, well, there are still horses on the streets, and you can forget about finding a movie to go to on a Sunday afternoon. You might be able to find a restaurant that’s open Sunday, midday, after church. But it was very different than it is now. But to be honest, the weather in Luxembourg is more or less the same as the weather in New York, and New York has 50% of its population being international people, and Luxembourg has 50% of its people being international.

Tetyana: Luxembourg is almost like New York. Right? That’s what you’re trying to say?

Paul: What I meant many times to people, I said, you know, Luxembourg is kind of like a little New York, but on a more compact scale. But it still has the richness of a multicultural, multilingual heritage. It’s got great restaurants and okay, New York probably has 10,000 restaurants, but you don’t need 10,000 restaurants. Luxembourg has 300 restaurants. Hey, 300 is enough. So anyway, I’m settled in, and I’m very happy in Luxembourg, and it has changed a lot, but it ended up being a great place to come, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed.

Tetyana: That’s true. I know that once you moved to Luxembourg, you got a very famous neighbor. Right?

Paul Schonenberg: That’s kind of an interesting story. Because of the position that I had responsibility to do a certain amount of entertaining, so I got the opportunity to have a better house than I would have been entitled to if I had to pay the rent myself. And I had a neighbor who was a Luxembourger in a much bigger house than mine, and he was friendly. As a New Yorker, we respect people’s privacy, so we don’t overly try and push ourselves on other people. But we were friendly and gracious to each other, and that was fine, and we had good relations, and he had a big dog, and I like dogs.

Tetyana: But can you tell us who he was?

Paul Schonenberg: It was Mr. Juncker. 

Tetyana: Former prime minister 

Paul Schonenberg: Yeah, our former prime minister. And I have to admit that I had the pleasure of having him, probably as the first Luxembourger that I met. And it’s really kind of amazing. Again, one of the wonderful things about a little place like Luxembourg is that you can make acquaintances like that here, which you wouldn’t be able to make in most countries in the world. I’m certainly not going to say that I’m his best friend, but I’ve had a friendly relationship with him for many years, and I think that’s kind of cool.

Tetyana: Do you still have contact with him?

Paul Schonenberg: Not so much, because I ended up when I left NATO and moved into town and bought a house in town, then I did that, although when he was Prime Minister, I would see him from time to time for different things. But then he obviously was way too busy when he was in Brussels to have fun for me, and I’m much too polite to have bothered him. So I’m sure if I saw him again, we would have a friendly greeting with each other, but life goes on sometimes too.

Frustrated US couples in Luxembourg

Tetyana: Paul, we know each other, I think, like 14 years up till now, right? And always. I remember that you were talking about this topic that worried you a lot, is about working permits for accompanying spouses. And I would say it was your recent victory that this law has been passed, the law that eases access to the labor market for accompanying spouses. Why was this topic so important for you?

Paul Schonenberg:  For a couple of reasons. First off, Luxembourg needs to have well experienced international people coming in. This is a great country. It happens to be small, it has smart people in it, but it has a huge international business environment that is much bigger than you would naturally have. And the business environment is too big to be supported by the local school system. So you have to bring highly experienced senior people in here in order to go ahead and make it work and have team leaders and everything else. 

And in today’s modern world, if you bring a senior executive in, there’s a pretty good chance that the senior executive will have a partner or a spouse, whether it be the same sex or the opposite sex. They’ll be a couple somehow or other, and there’s a pretty good chance that there’ll be children involved too.

And at a certain point in time, the rules in Luxembourg developed to the point where, okay, the first person comes in, they get a work permit because they’re doing this big important thing, and then the accompanying spouse who wants to be with the person that they love wants to come along too. But the rules for giving work permits were not easy. Technically, you had to go back to the home country to go ahead and to apply. Well, if you have a husband or a spouse and two kids who are in local schools, you’re not going to go back to Toronto to go ahead and to be applying for a job. It just wasn’t practical. 

And as a result, we gradually ended up having more and more accompanying spouses that were really frustrated because it was extremely difficult for them to get a local job. And they’re well educated, and Luxembourg is expensive. They want to contribute to going ahead and paying the bills and everything else like that. And also they want the intellectual stimulation of being involved professionally with their career.

So from our point of view, one, if you don’t keep the accompanying spouse happy, then sooner or later there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll say, sweetheart, I love you a lot, but I want to go back to the big shopping center in the sky and get my job back and get my career going again. When you want this, the kids and I will be wherever we will be, and we’ll be happy to see you… 

It becomes difficult to keep good people in Luxembourg if they’re not able to work. So that certainly was part of it. And then the other thing is, Luxembourg has a shortage of highly skilled people and these people are here and they want to work. And really it was a structural barrier. So in my view it was a, for lack of a better way of saying it was an unintended case of serious discrimination against women. 

A “flashmob” in the Luxembourgish Parliament

We ended up having, I think, close to 3000 women from outside Europe who wanted to set up their own companies, wanted to work, wanted to do this and that, and were just very frustrated about not being able to. So I admit that we lobbied hard for it, but I don’t consider it a success for me. I consider it a success and a wise decision for the country.

I think the Chamber of Deputies did the right thing. And I have to admit we had fun because on the day that they were discussing it in the Chamber of Deputies, I invited twelve women leaders to come with me to go to the Chamber of Deputies and watch the discussion and the debate in the gallery. They accepted. And I said, okay, we’re going to do that. Afterwards we’ll walk across the street to the chocolate shop and I buy you all dessert to celebrate.

And so we all came and it was nice. And when were downstairs and were going through, were joking and we said that were an American flash mob and were coming to go ahead and do a flash mob for this, to make sure that the law is passed. But we were joking, weren’t serious about it. And then at a certain point in time, the secretary to the head of the Chamber of Deputies came over and said, mr. Schohnenberg, just want you to know we have all the votes that we can pass this and everything will be fine.

Tetyana: No flash mob, please!

Paul Schonenberg: He actually did say, but if you all will respect the decorum of the group and everything. And I said, oh, okay, great, and everything was fine. And I didn’t really give it a second thought until and then when they were finished and the vote was passed and I have to admit I was extremely pleased, every single person from the Chamber of Deputies who were in the room voted yes. And I really think that was a very wise decision on their part. And I think that was a compliment and an appreciation for the international community at the same time. So I thought that was great. But then after that was over, we quietly got out to walk out. And when we opened the door from the gallery to walk out. There were eight policemen standing there. And then we realized maybe they thought we were going to do a flesh mob.

But it was a good experience. And I have to admit, going to the chocolate shop afterwards was a great way to celebrate after it was over. 

Tetyana: I can notice it’s a very emotional topic for you because you are clapping the table.

Paul Schonenberg: Yeah, sorry about that. I’m sorry for making the noise, but I think that this was an important thing. And also, too, now I’ll admit to being an old dinosaur, but women are really important. And I think that this was an unintended act of discrimination against women that needed to be corrected, and I’m really glad that it’s been corrected.

Tetyana: Great! You also told me that everything you learned about management,

or the most part of it, you learned from your mom, right?

Paul Schonenberg: Yeah.

Tetyana: This is also quite unusual for a man to confess that, well,  to tell something like that.

Paul Schonenberg: Well, my mother was my mentor, in a way. My father was a fighter pilot and then a very successful businessman. My dad was great. When I was a Boy Scout, my dad would take a sleeping bag and he’d go out with us on weekends, too. And I know most of the time he was wearing really nice suits, but he still did all the things that he did his best to be a good father, and he was very successful with that. And also at least once a year, he took me into New York and took me to his private club to have Eggs Benedict. My dad was good and a very kind and a very successful man, but my mother was absolutely incredible. 

And in my hometown, there was a Woman’s Advancement Club. I think for that generation at that time, women at a certain level didn’t have such an easy time going ahead and working and weren’t really supposed to work. They were supposed to do good deeds. 

So my mother was the head of the Women’s Advancement Club in the town that I grew up in, and she kind of ran it by playing bridge every Thursday with a certain group of women and they decided everything and then told their husbands, and their husbands did their part too. But no, she was very good and this was a successful organization. So from observing and watching her. And we were a family where every night we sat around the kitchen table and ate your evening meal, but at the same time of eating your evening meal, we talked about politics and we talked about business and we talked about this and we talked about that.

So I had successful parents, but my mother was really good at running nonprofit organizations, and I learned how to do that from her. And then when I ended up joining the AirForce, I ended up being the president of the junior offices Council.

I worked for NATO for a few years, and then I retired, and I got a senior NATO position as the head of the logistics for the NATO AWACS program. And I did that for a few years, and then I decided I wanted to be a real civilian with a real civilian job. So I ended up becoming a head of human resources for Clearstream. And when I went to work for Clearstream, so now I’m in Luxembourg, and now I’m no longer in the military, and now I’m in a civilian job. And I thought, well, you know, if you’re successful, you should give something back. Let me look and see if I can find some association that I can volunteer for. And there was a three year old small American chamber of commerce, so I sent them my CV and offered to help. And they said that they’d be happy for me to do some things.

And I have to admit, I apparently did such a bad job the first year that the next year they elected me the chairman. That’s obviously and ever since I’ve been reelected every five years. But getting the rules right and figuring out how to do that, I have to give credit to the lessons I learned from my mother.

How Luxembourg may develop in the future

Tetyana: Paul, I know that you have some concerns, but also suggestions and ideas about the way Luxembourg might develop in the future. Could you share them with us, please? 

Paul Schonenberg: Okay. I think Luxembourg is a wonderful place, and it has had a great run, and it’s been very successful. But success is not always forever. And I will admit that I was disappointed a few years at the referendum when they declined to give the international community the possibility of full participation in national elections.

They were allowed to vote in the communal elections. But to be honest, most international people are not as linked to their communes as most Luxembourgers are. For many Luxembourgers, that has a historical background, that’s where their grandparents came from, that’s where they first went to school, maybe met their first know. So they are very focused on communes. But for a lot of international people, the commune just happens to be where they could find an apartment to rent or a house to buy.

Many of the international people are inclined to be involved international organizations like AMCHAM, like the British Chamber of Commerce, and other things like that at the national level. So I think there’s a big interest and there are big contributions that the international community that’s here is loyal to the country. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t like being here, and we want it to continue to do well and be prosperous and successful.

But most of the decisions that we’re interested in, like, can your spouse work, those are decisions which are made at the national level rather than the local level. Sure, that it’s wonderful if somebody wants to play in the community orchestra or do this or do that, but I honestly think most international people are more interested at things at the national level. So I think I’m concerned about the same things that the business community is. 

Luxembourg is an attractive place to live and to work. There are lots of good things that happen here. They’ve done wonderful things with an international school, making sure that they have English language classes that people can take and things like that.

But we have to be careful that we control the budget and that we control taxes and we control this and we control that. And I sometimes have the feeling that since the international community is not necessarily involved until they get second citizenship

I think that, international business issues perhaps could use a little bit more attention for the good of the country, not to give favors to international companies or to do anything that’s contrary to the best interests of Luxembourg. But actually for Luxembourg’s own best interest.

It needs to make sure that it’s an attractive location for the right international companies to come and pay taxes so that the government has the money to do all these things that they want to do for the good of the population. 

That’s a short version. 

Lessons learned

Tetyana: But looking back at your professional life, you worked at Pentagon, NATO, Clearstream. Could you share with us several main lessons you learned? 

Paul Schonenberg: I think the biggest lesson is never give up. Never ever give up! Life is not easy. I suppose that’s a lesson you need to learn too. Regardless of whether you come from a privileged background or a less privileged background, life is not easy. There are bumps along the road. Sometimes things happen that you’re upset about or disappointed about. Sometimes you don’t think that you’re treated fairly. You need to understand that’s the way it is, it’s not going to be a bed of roses and life will be what you make of it, right? So if life will be what you make of it, then you need to wake up in the morning and say, well, don’t know if it’s going to rain today, don’t know if the sun is going to shine, but I’m going to get on with it. I’m going to be the best person that I can be today, and I’m going to do everything I can today to make the world a better place to accomplish the things that I want to accomplish. 

And then the last thing that you say before you walk out the door is, “And I will never give up. I will keep trying and never ever give up”. And there’s a pretty good chance if you do things that way, you’ll make it. 

Tetyana: Are there some other lessons?

Paul Schonenberg: Other lessons? Well, one of the biggest decisions you have to make. And one of the best things that you can ever do is to find the right partner to go ahead and share your life with. I have lots of friends who have gotten divorced at least once and they have taken a long time to go ahead and to learn that lesson.

Life is better shared if you have a partner to go ahead and share it with. And and that’s an extremely important decision. I do some voluntary coaching and mentoring and one of the things that I say to women when I coach and mentor them is I said it’s important for a guy to find the right partner, but it’s important for you ladies to find the right partner too. It is still, for the moment, a bit harder being a woman who is successful in a professional environment. 

And I’m aware of that and okay, we do the best we can trying to illuminate barriers and opportunities. But to this, even more than it’s important for men to have the right partner for them, it’s even more important for women to find the right and partner for them. And they need to find someone who will be supportive of them and respectful of them and their aspirations and what they want to go ahead and do.

Okay, we got that taken care of. Then continue to learn.

Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new. Do not ever stop learning!

Do not ever stop reading books, movies are great to go to, talking to people is a lot of fun, and yes, you should do that too. But it’s important to keep growing. So lifelong learning becomes should be internalized as a continuous activity to make you better and also to keep young and keep you relevant. 

So I would encourage people to do that. And we’re only given one body to go ahead and to live with. So you better keep it healthy, you better exercise it, and you better keep it healthy if you want to live a long life. I could give a lot more, but how’s that? Is that enough for the moment? 

Tetyana: Well, if you wish, you can continue. 

Paul Schonenberg: I don’t know, let’s see where else we go. But then we can come back. If we have time, we can come back and I’ll see what else I can come up with. 

Why people stay in Luxembourg

Tetyana: Paul, you know, there is such phenomenon that people come to Luxembourg, they first would like to stay two years and then they just don’t want to leave. Why do you think this happened? 

Paul Schonenberg: Well, Luxembourg is a pretty cool place. I mean, I guess that’s probably the simple answer. But there is one thing that I want to add to that is when people come to Luxembourg, they many times get themselves involved with an ethnic cultural silo. And that’s great because the silo of your own countrymen are a good place to start. They know you. You share a common language, you share a common culture. That silo is a good safety net to help you settle in and figure out where to go to get this, where to go to get to that, who to see about this, who to see about that. So that silo is very important, and I encourage you to find your silo and spend some time with it. But don’t spend the rest of your life living in the Silo, because next to your silo, there’s another Silo that’s a bit different with another language and another culture and different food and different experiences. 

And Luxembourg will not be optimal for you as an experience if you just stay in the first silo that you got into when you came to the country, you should get out and you should walk across the street and try the other silo out, and then another silo and another silo. Luxembourg is multicultural and multilingual. And if you get yourself wrapped up in the multicultural multilingualism of it all, it’ll be a much richer experience.

And then that brings us to the Luxembourgers. The Luxembourgers are really very nice and they’re very friendly and they’re very welcoming and they give us foreigners a wonderful opportunity to be here. But they also are a little bit shy. You don’t immediately get invited into your Luxembourg neighbor’s kitchen. It actually will take a number of years before perhaps you get beyond saying hello to them over the fence. And my experience, having been here for quite some time is I made Luxembourgish acquaintances and that was fine and stuff like that. 

And then after I had been here for ten years, suddenly my Luxembourgish acquaintances became closer connected and I started getting invited to more stuff. And I asked several of them in a quiet, peaceful sort of way, hey, what happened? Did I learn something? Did I do something different? How come all of a sudden I’m being invited to the North of the country when you all are going up there to visit your relatives graves and then go all to go to a nice restaurant to have dinner together? How come I’m getting invited to that? How come I’m getting invited to the big pile of wood where you’re burning out Christmas and getting rid of the winter season? I said, you know, you have to remember I’m an American from the United States. In the South. We had the Ku Klux Klan. The first time I was invited to the know, I’m invited by Luxembourgish friends to go on a dark night down a country road and suddenly there’s a big crowd of Luxembourgers in the middle of a forest and they’re burning a big bonfire. 

That reminds me of the Ku Klux Klan that I had heard about. I’d never gone to one, but that’s what you know, so it was a much richer experience. And I said, how come? And they said, well, at a certain point in time earlier in our lives, we’ve had different American and international friends and we thought were doing fine. And then all of a sudden one day they said, oops, we’re leaving and going to Chicago, or we’re leaving and going Tokyo, or we’re leaving and going someplace.

And we’re used, my Luxembourgish friend said that they were used to having long term friendships and deeper friendships, whereas for many of us, we’re used to perhaps a little bit more shallow friendships. And then we put the friendship on a shelf and send a Christmas card. And they said, we waited until we figured out that ten years you seemed like you were okay, but we wanted to see if you were going to stay before were willing to make a certain level of investment. 

And I have to say I am honored and very pleased with and very proud to have the Luxembourgish friendships that I have, and they are deeper friendships. And I really feel it in my heart how lucky I am to have those friendships. But it took me ten years to go ahead and to get here. But it was worth the wait. 

Tetyana: What advice can you give to people who just moved to Luxembourg? 

Paul Schonenberg: First off all, make sure you get settled in and take care of your job and do that kind of stuff, because at the end of the day, those of us who are here, we’re here for the money. That’s the first reason. So make sure you get everything settled in with your colleagues and your jobs and take care of that kind of stuff.

And after that, my suggestion would be that you get out and you get about and you start meeting people. If you just stay working in the office and doing things like that, nah, you’re not going to get the benefit of everything there is to do in this country. So I will admit for AMCHAM, I’m extremely proud of our demographics. We are not just an American club. We are 30% American, 20% Luxembourgish, and 50% people from all over the planet. So I have tried to make AMCHAM a melting pot organization. 

And since AMCHAM is now the biggest private chamber in the country, apparently we’ve succeeded pretty well of doing that. But I also like the British Chamber of Commerce, and I go to their things, and I’m affiliated with the Chinese chamber of commerce, and I go to Romanian things for the Romanian chamber of Commerce. I think we all should get out and we should mix and mingle and do stuff. And I have to admit that the Schuberfour (biggest funfair In Luxembourg) is not completely my thing, but I do manage to go every year because it’s one of the things that we do in Luxembourg. So get out and move around and get involved and go to different things and also get a bicycle or a walk in the countryside and let. Your feet, do your walking for you, and do it with a smile on your face and say hello to people. 

And while you’re at it, start learning some other languages. Know it’s true that you can survive in Luxembourg just speaking English, as you can survive in Luxembourg just speaking Portuguese and just speaking certain other languages, but then you’re stuck on your stovepipe if you want to do it right. So I would say that I’m conversationally fluent in French and German, and I know how to say the 50 most important words in Luxembourgish.

I apologize a little bit for not getting on with it. Quicker to go ahead and learn Luxembourgish, but Luxembourgish is a bit of a hard language, and to be honest, most of my Luxembourgish friends prefer practicing their English with me, so they don’t necessarily give me so much of a chance because they like having the practice speaking English. So I’m working at Luxembourgish and I’ve taken a 50 hours course, and I understand Luxembourgish reasonably well, but I think I made the right choice by working on my French first and then working on my German. 

And if you go into a shop in town and you’re looking to buy stuff, the odds are that the people who are going to behind the counter are going to be French speaking or German speaking more than they’re going to be Luxembourg. It’ll be the Luxembourger who owns the store, but the salespeople will be Francophone or Germanaphone. So for practical reasons, maybe those are a little bit quicker languages that you need to learn and then practice your languages.

And being involved in a multilingual life, when I go out on weekends sometimes with friends and go have a pizza, go to movie, go do this afterwards when we’re having the pizza, one side of the table, they’re speaking French, on the other side of the table, they’re speaking German. There’s a few words of Dutch in there too. It’s multilingual and multicultural, and that’s great. That’s also part of the process. 

Tetyana: Do you have some Live Hacks for those who just arrived? 

Paul Schonenberg: Live Hacks. Live Hacks… Go to www.amcham.lu. That’s our website. Oh, and by the way, every Thursday morning at 9.30, we publish about a ten page free digital newsletter. And you don’t have to be an AMCHAM member, you just have to send an email to Ann at amcham.lu and give your email address because for GDPR reasons, we can’t send anything out without having permission.

But we’ll give you a free digital newsletter every week on Thursday telling you what’s going on in English, and we’ll help with that. And I also would say that the Romanian Chamber of Commerce is really dynamic and vibrant and alive, and they’re a lot of fun and they’re a good crowd, and the British Chamber of Commerce is easy access and a lot of fun, and French Chamber of Commerce is a little bit quiet. 

Tetyana: There is also Italian Chamber. A member of Italian Chamber as well.

Paul Schonenberg: I agree. But yeah, there are some websites and things like that. And ask your friends, all of the friends that you will meet, ask them what they use as resources. Get a good doctor. That’s important, too, I found pretty fairly when I moved to I love Howald. I live in Howald, and I love the Hesparage commune. And when I go into the commune and you can get things and you can pay by mail. I don’t do that. Every time I have a bill to pay at the commune, I physically go to the commune, and I walk up to the lady behind the counter, and I say, excusez-moi, je ne parle pas très bien français. And she says, oh, you can speak in English.

And then, okay, I ask where I need to go, but then I meet people at the commune, too. And I just figured out the other day, because I’m over 65 now, my neighbor told me, oh, you’re over 65, you can get your garden work done for €10 an hour in a subsidized program from the commune if you’re over 65. So I said, oh, okay. So I went to the commune. I said, excuse me, oh, that’s in another building. Okay, had to go over to the same thing, go into the other building, excusez-moi, je ne parle pas très bien français…

They’re now going to come and start cutting my grass and trimming my trees for €10 an hour. That forced me to go ahead and do the conversation in French, but I survived the conversation in French. My French was good enough. So it works. 

Tetyana: Do you know some hidden gems, some places to visit that are not that. 

Paul Schonenberg: So I live in Howald, and I figured out at a certain point in time that I can ride my bicycle, or I can walk down to Hesparage. And at Hesparange, there’s a church right at the corner that has kind of a funky little fountain in the summertime. And if you just go past that and go across the bridge, and this, by the way, it’s a bridge that an American tank fell off of at the end of the second World War, and two soldiers were killed, and there’s a memorial for the tank and the soldiers who were killed.

But anyway, you go across at that bridge, and then you can turn to the left, looks like a residential street. You walk down that residential street, and at the end of the street there is what used to be the railroad track coming from Esch all the way into the city, and it now has been paved. And you can rollerblade, you can bicycle, and you can walk. 

Tetyana: Well, that’s great. 

Paul Schonenberg: And you can walk from there all the way into the city. So I have a tendency at least once a week to go ahead and do that, mostly by bicycle, but sometimes walking. And my drill is I ride a bicycle into town, take the elevator up by the Ministry of Justice and then go the rest of the way past the statue of the Grand Duchess and then into the main square, and then I go to McDonald’s and I have a milkshake and that’s kind of fun. But if you’re looking, there are a lot you can get a green book that has all of the walking paths and Bicycling Pass in Luxembourg, and I think you should because there are cool places to go. But I particularly happen to like this little gem.

Tetyana: And where do you bring your friends? What do you show them when they come to visit you? 

Paul Schonenberg Well, so I take them into town, and then I take them to the palace, and then we walk down into the Grund, and then from the Grund you can turn to the left and you can end up walking around a little bit and walk beyond the river. And then in the next little village, which name slips my mind for the moment, you can take an elevator all the way back up to the top. That’s a great walk. And it actually is pretty cool getting that elevator ride, free elevator ride going on up, and then from there you walk back into town. So I automatically go ahead and do that. And then I take people on the ride up to Vianden Castle and then take the little funicular ride up to the mountain. Up the mountain. It’s a little bit too much of a walk to walk all the way up. 

It’s fine to walk down and I’m happy to walk down, but I’ll take the funicular on up to go ahead and do that. And I happen to think that Vianden is just a stunningly beautiful castle then depending upon the time and stuff like that, yeah, by all means go down to the Moselle, take the short boat ride with Marie Therese is my favorite of the big river boat cruises to go ahead and do. And if you can figure out how to do it with bicycles going along the Moselle and along the vineyards, there is fun. And if it happens to be the end of the wine season, well, then all of the vineyards down at the Moselle are busily selling wine and it’s great to go in for wine tastings and do that. And then it’s a whole another conversation. But I have my favorite restaurants too. 

Tetyana: We’ll keep it for the next time. 

Paul Schonenberg: Yeah, we can keep that for the next time. 

Tetyana: Well, thank you very much for the interview. 

Paul Schonenberg: Thank you so much for having me. This has been fun. I’ve enjoyed it!

Tetyana: Thank you for being with us today. Our guest was amazing, unforgettable and highly regarded Paul Schonenberg. 

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