New vegetarian restaurant in Trier – Bistro Viva

Trier might be Germany’s oldest town, but it’s certainly not the most vegetarian-friendly one. That’s why I was glad when I found out that a second vegetarian restaurant has opened in this city of 107000 people.

Located in the “Biomarkt Grotzfeld” health food store, “Bistro Viva” opened on March 31, 2014. It has about 40 seats with 15 located at the counter.

Vegetarian Restaurant Trier

Lunch is served from 11h30 to 15h00 from Monday to Saturday with breakfast available earlier and cake and sandwiches later.

The lunch menu changes every day, but you’ll generally have the choice between a soup (also available as a starter), a dish with lots of salad and a salad-less dish. Vegans will find something to eat too, though they might have to ask.

If you think this all sounds very similar to Trier’s other vegetarian restaurant “Oh! Bio Mio”, you’re right. It’s no coincidence, since the chef used to work at there until October 2013. One of the former waitresses also joined him at his new job.

Located at Saarstraße 10, the restaurant is outside the pedestrian zone, but still very accessible by foot (about 1km from Trier’s iconic Hauptmarkt or 1.6km from the Porta Nigra). If you’re arriving by car, you’ll be glad to hear free parking is available just outside the door (for customers only). This map shows the entrance to the parking lot.

Vegetarian Restaurant Trier

For further information, please visit the restaurant’s website (only available in German).

Update March 8: You can now find it on, too.


Saving Luxembourg

Things are not running smoothly in Luxembourg at the moment. Here’s what happened in the past few weeks alone:

  • Banking secrecy is history as Luxembourg has finally agreed to automatically exchange account information with authorities in other countries.
  • A landfill landslide buried some trees and an entire road, which is bad enough for such a small country, but to make matters worse the construction sector is having a hard time finding alternative sites to dispose of soil and rubble.
  • Despite ongoing criticism, the tram project is still going ahead.

It might still be too early to say that Luxembourg’s new government is failing, but it sure looks like it could use a hand. Some citizens are already trying to help, like the two engineers who presented the latest alternative to the tram a few weeks ago. It’s a cable car and yes, its five huge pylons would probably destroy the city, too, but at least these people are trying to solve one of Luxembourg’s major problems instead of just complaining.

It would certainly be easy to make fun of this idea. I mean, is there any mode of transportation that hasn’t been suggested yet? Since nobody liked my Lux-MRT, how about artificial canals and gondolas? However, now’s not the time to be silly. So I recently spent a few minutes thinking about these issues and can now happily announce that I’ve solved them.

To understand how Luxembourg can be saved, let’s take a trip to Rio. Have a look at the cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain:
Cable car Sugarloaf Mountain

Notice how it doesn’t need pylons because of the height difference between sea level and the top of the mountain? Of course, the situation in Luxembourg is quite different and it won’t really be possible to build such an impressive monolith on Kirchberg plateau. We could, however, use all the construction waste that has nowhere to go to elevate the station at Kirchberg far above the level of the train station. This would greatly reduce the number of pylons required for the cable car.

“But what about all the buildings on Kirchberg? What about the banks? Won’t they be buried under a giant mountain of rubble?” Well yes, but here’s the thing: with banking secrecy gone, we won’t really be needing them anymore. Whatever remains of the financial sector can certainly be relocated back to Boulevard Royal.

“But who would want to use the cable car then?” Tourists, of course, just like in Rio. They’ll all want to visit Luxembourg to see the world’s largest man-made mountain. Austria abolished banking secrecy, too, but at least they still have the Alps. It’s only fair that we divert some of their tourists to Luxembourg.  Just think of all the Dutch people! You can almost hear them packing their caravans already.

There you go, I just solved all of Luxembourg’s recent problems in one fell swoop. Come back again next week to find out how we can save the European Union.


Get started with cryptocurrencies (and get free dogecoins)

Official Dogecoin logoDogecoin is a cryptocurrency inspired by an internet meme featuring a Shiba Inu and I’m giving away 100 Ɖ each to the first ten people who leave their Dogecoin receive address as a reply below.

Wait, what?

All right, you could head over to Wikipedia and read a bit about cryptocurrencies and Dogecoin. If you prefer “learning by doing”, just go to and get a wallet.


Because Dogecoin is a fun1 way to get started with cryptocurrencies and has a great community over at r/dogecoin. Also because it’s Friday and the sun is shining and I need a new post on my blog.

1 It even uses Comic Sans!


Chan (Zen) and daily life – public lectures in Luxembourg and Trier

Chán monk and chief teacher of Dharma Drum Mountain Ven. Guo Yuan will be giving several public lectures during the next days:

  • Sunday, March 23 from 16:00 to 17:30 in Trier. Languages: Chinese and English. Location: ESG, Im Treff 19, 54296 Trier. Flyer (PDF).
  • Monday, March 24 from 18:30 to 20:00 in Luxembourg City. Languages: English with French translation. Location: Franciscaines de la Miséricorde, 50 avenue Gaston Diderich, 1420 Luxembourg. Flyer (PDF).

Attendance is free, registration is not required.

There will also be lectures in Chinese in Luxembourg on Sunday and Monday, you can download the flyer here.

To find out more about Chán and Dharma Drum Mountain, visit (where you can download Chan Magazine which contains transcripts of similar lectures) or

Update Monday March 24, additional info for the talk in Lux.: You can park your car on the premises. Use the main entrance to get into the building. There’s another door behind it which is usually locked, so you might have to wait a minute for a friendly nun to let you in. The way to the room is indicated with the flyer posted above.

The talk itself is mostly going to consist of several stories with very little “Buddhist jargon”. (if it’s similar to the one in Trier yesterday). Spoiler: You can read one of the stories in this picture. Guo Yuan Fa Shi is going to give a brief explanation of each story. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions in the end. You may also be asked to close your eyes and think of nothing for a minute, but that’s pretty much it as far as audience participation is concerned.

Finally, the organizer (Mrs. Lin) is going to thank everyone and remind you of the donation box sitting by the exit, although nobody’s going to shame you into donating (I’ve seen far more heavy-handed methods employed by other charities). You can also get some books and pamphlets for free!


Maps of Luxembourg (updated)

It’s been a while since I last wrote about maps of Luxembourg. Here’s what’s changed since 2010/2011:

The usual suspects

Google Maps is now more closely integrated with Google Earth, which has new 3D models of the buildings in Luxembourg city. Be sure to check out the Cargo Center at the airport, Google’s algorithm is hilariously bad at 3D-ifying planes.

It doesn’t seem that Microsoft’s Bing Maps has changed much, but its multiple angles in “bird’s eye” view often look better than Google’s 3D models.

OpenStreetMap is still your best option for hiking and biking trails. BTW, if you want to have access to offline maps on your android phone, I highly recommend an app called OsmAnd.

Lesser known maps of Luxembourg

GR-Atlas visualizes a range of topics from the greater region and has received a few updates, e.g. a map of former and still active breweries in the Greater Region (found on combines aerial images with topographic or street maps and lets you add dozens of layers, covering a wide range of topics. Its “natural hazards” layers can help you avoid expensive mistakes when buying or renting a home (or office, I sure wouldn’t want my small warehouse to be flooded). If you like Sim City, you’ll love this map! is Luxembourg city’s urban information map. Identify buildings by their house number, visualize bus routes, find the nearest Hot City hotspot and much more.

New:, a joint project of the City’s History Museum and the National Archives, superimposes historical maps (and photos) on the current map of Luxembourg city (found on reddit).

Do you know other interesting maps of Luxembourg? Please leave a comment!