Kirk Liemohn is a Principal Software Engineer at ThreeWill. He has spent nearly a decade helping clients transform and migrate their content from one platform to another (typically to Microsoft 365) with a focus on the more complex scenarios. Prior to his transformation focus, Kirk led several key SharePoint integrations at ThreeWill including Jive, Polycom, and Confluence.
At ThreeWill, we have embraced online meetings and the use of Microsoft Teams to collaborate with our clients. This typically means that we can meet remotely without the need for in-person meetings. However, nothing beats meeting with clients face-to-face. While most of our clients are in the Southeast United States, we do have several international clients, especially with our Jive Migration service offering. This gave me the opportunity to travel to Luxembourg for two weeks last January (as it did for a co-worker of mine – Kristi Webb – last December).
I really enjoyed my time in Luxembourg and getting to know several individuals that work for our client. Unlike here in the US, I think everyone I met was from a country other than Luxembourg. Most still live outside of Luxembourg and commute in. The diversity was stunning. Thankfully, everyone was friendly and patient with my lack of knowledge in speaking French (not many speak Luxembourgish).
During the week, we were working nose to the grindstone trying to get around some proxy issues related to accessing their Jive environment. But I thought it would be fun to share just a little of what I was able to do over the two weekends I had off…
I was able to share the first weekend with my wife and younger daughter where we saw a couple of castles (Bourscheid above and Vianden below). The weather was rough (mid-30s Fahrenheit and rainy), but we made the best of it. If you are traveling there, I would say that Vianden is definitely a place to visit.
There is a lot to see in the city of Luxembourg as well, such as the city center on top of a steep rocky outcrop surrounded by two rivers. In there you will find the Notre-Dame de Luxembourg (below), the Luxembourg royal residences, shops, restaurants, and more.
In the valley around the city, you will find the Grund neighborhood, many walking paths, and an elevator to the city center (below).
We were even able to make a day trip to Trier, Germany on my first weekend and I made a solo day trip to Metz, France on my second weekend (below). Both trips are about 1 hour by train.
One great thing about being a tourist in Luxembourg is that public transportation is free within the entire country. However, the food prices probably make up the difference.
Even with the public transportation, it was a hike from the bus stop to the Luxembourg American Cemetery. This was a big highlight of my trip. The sense of gratitude that you get by reading the historical markers and reading the guest book, was humbling.
On a lighter note, I’m a simple man, and this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life:
Finally, I’d like to leave you with a poem. We were able to get past our proxy issues, but it did involve some long hours, banging of heads, and gnashing of teeth. It is best summed up by a poem, courtesy of ChatGPT:
A proxy is like a wall,
A barrier between you and all
The sites you wish to see,
It blocks and slows and won’t set you free.
It hides your IP and location,
But at a steep and costly imposition.
It filters and censors with glee,
Leaving you with a limited degree.
A proxy is like a prison,
Trapping you in a digital version.
It limits your access and control,
Leaving you feeling trapped and droll.
So beware of the proxy’s might,
It may seem like a savior, but it’s not quite.
It will hinder more than it will aid,
Leaving you feeling trapped and dismayed.
I reached for the switch, with purpose and might,
And flipped it with a flick and a sense of delight.
The proxy’s lights went out and with a final sigh,
And freedom was mine, under the starry sky.