Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Trier, Germany


Trier is may be the oldest city in Germany founded before 16 BC.

Trier is a funky little town on the banks of the Moselle River with serious Roman influence. It’s about an hour from Kaiserslautern, making it perfect day trip material.

Our first stop was the Porta Nigra, which means black gate. It is a large Roman city gate receiving its name from the darkened color of its stone.

Excuse me, sir! 
That's better.
It was built in grey sandstone around 200 AD and was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier. Today it is in remarkable condition and is open to visitors. So you know we got all up in that gate for photo-ops and selfies.

Duh! Selfie in the Black Gate.
By the time were done exploring the Porta Nigra it was raining like crazy, so what are two lushes to do? Oh, go to a wine bar, that’s what.

I read about Oechsle in my Germany guidebook. It’s a wine and fish house, but has an entire second level dedicated to wine tastings. It was a great experience! We had two options. Taste 6 different wines for 7€ or try as many wines as we want (they have 120) for 15€.

It seems obvious what we chose but you’d be wrong today. We decided to be #responsibleadults and just try 6 different wines. Our guide, Nicolas Philips, asked us what kind of wines we liked and then took us around the store grabbing bottles he thought we would like.

We then sat at this awesome little table while he presented us with each wine giving us a little background about the family that grows the grapes and the exact region it came from.

My favorite was Sekt St. Laurentius mostly because it was champagne and because its presidential champagne. Nicolas said that the President of Germany serves this champagne to all his important guests and that if I drink it, I will become a princess. So, obviously we bought a bottle.

After we paid for the wine, Dan went to the little boys room while I chatted with Nicolas. Upon telling him where in Germany we live, he leaned it and whispered, “If you decide to take a bath with that champagne, remember to give me a call.”
Caught completely off guard, I assured him, that yes!! I would indeed let him know if that happened. Then I thought: I would need more than 1 bottle for a bath. Why would I bathe with champagne? If I did decide to do that, why would I want him with me? Would he bring me more champagne to fill up the bath? Why does he want to take a champagne bath with me? Is it because I’m a princess now? I’m so confused.

*  *  *
From there, we got sightsee-y.

Konstantin Basilika used to be Constantine’s throne hall and is now a Protestant church. Its huge and truly mind-blowing considering that it was built by the Romans. (I quoted that out of my Lonely Planet guidebook, I had no idea its size should be surprising.)

Photo Credit to this blog because I didn't take a picture of it. I clearly wasn't as impressed as I should have been...
Kurfürstliches Palais is one of the most beautiful late Baroque palaces in the world. And I would agree. Mostly because I’m like a raccoon and attracted to shiny things- and this palace was sparkling!

Palastgarten is a long garden connecting the Basilika to the Kaiserthermen. It’s great for picnics and sunbathing during the summertime. But now that it’s certainly fall time, it was a bit muddy and flooded. BUT LOOK AT THIS LEAF WE FOUND.  

Kaiserthermen are the Imperial Baths. Baths were the ancient Roman equivalent of a community center. I guess the bathing process was long, so conversation was necessary. Many Romans would be like, “yo, neighbors, let’s have that dinner party while we bathe.” And politicians would be like, “yo, fellow people of this bathhouse, look how ‘just like you’ I am, please join my cause.” I think those Romans and I would get along. They believed that good health came from bathing, eating, massages, and exercise.

It was once part of the caldarium, giving a Forum in Rome feel.
Trier Cathedral and Church of our Lady are two churches sitting right next to one another. The Cathedral is fortress-like and mostly Roman-esque with some Gothic and baroque embellishments. Church of our Lady is one of Germany’s earliest Gothic churches.

Trier, I did not think you would be as cool as you were, well done old German town, well done.
This obviously happened. 

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