A few weeks ago I spend 4 lovely days in Trier, Germany with the love of my life, my husband of 13 years. Trier is a great city full of ancient history dating back to before Christ, and at the same time modern facilities and a vibrant city center. I LOVED the city and I can highly recommend it for a visit.
You can’t visit Trier and not notice the mark the Romans left on the city. The city was founded around the birth of Christ and grew out to a second Rome in the following centuries. It was an affluent city, the place to be!
The most famous of the city’s Roman heritage is perhaps the Porta Nigra, a building that has served different purposes over the millennia. In 200 AD it was a gate used to close and protect the city. In later years it became a church after the gate had served as a self-imposed prison for Simon, a monk who spend the last 5 years of his life in a small room with his only connection to the outside world a window through which a servant brought him food.
The Romans left many other marks on the city including the baths, basically a large indoor swimming pool and sauna, an arena for sports and theater entertainment, cathedrals, as well as remnants of the old city walls dating back to 300 AD. The city has an interesting mix of old and new, a building that’s more than a 1000 years old easily stands next to a modern building.
Churches, Saints and monasteries
One thing you really notice about Trier is that the city has many churches and just about every self-respecting building carries an image, statue or shrine of a saint. Simon, the monk who exiled himself in the Porta Nigra, inspired others and soon his self-imposed prison became a destination for pilgrims. This inevitably led to the city becoming a destination for people seeking inner peace, proven by the many churches and monasteries in the city center alone.
All the churches and monasteries we visited are lovely to look at, but there was one place that was special. A small courtyard squashed between two large and somewhat pompous cathedrals; the Kreuzgang. The courtyard is small and framed by corridors on all four sides which give access to the large cathedrals on both sides of the Kreuzgang. I could almost see the old monks from years gone by walking through the corridors, talking hushed among themselves, or rushing with their long robes ruffling at their feet because they are late for mass.
In this quiet place you can feel God’s presence. My God is not about big buildings, wealth or status. My God is about knowing each of His children by name and when it is quiet, then I hear His voice.
The snow globe
If you have read my travel posts before, you will know that I collect snow globes. And not just any snow globe, no, there are criteria for the snow globes I collect. The snow globe has to be round (so no ovals or other strange shapes), on its base it must have the name of the city or place we are visiting and finally it must have something relevant to the city inside.
As always I stalked the souvenir shops for a snow globe, and found one of the Porta Nigra that ticked all the boxes. My husband and I always joke, when I have the snow globe the holiday is successful and we can go home, even if it’s only day 1!
With my latest addition I now have an impressive 50 snow globes. I know, it’s hopelessly kitsch and totally ugly, but when you have so many globes from all over the world it kind of looks nice together.
Teenagers with ring binders
When sitting on a terrace having coffee (or wine, I don’t remember) my husband noticed something that seems very normal at first glance, but is very unusual when you think about it a bit more. He noticed that just about all the teenagers we saw had a ring binder with them. A binder is a very normal object, yes, but why do all these teenagers have one? And not just a small one, no, a large one neatly organized. I suspect this binder is an embodiment of the organized, German mentality that has brought the world so many high quality products.
Good wine, food and atmosphere
If you don’t like wine, a large part of what Trier is all about will pass you by. Trier is situated on the banks of the Mossel river and some of the best Rieslings in the world are grown and produced here. So you can’t really visit this city without going for a wine tasting. We had such a great time!
We visited a cellar where you could taste 4, 6 or 120(!) wines. We opted for 4, that’s more than enough for 2 o’clock in the after noon! We had a private wine tasting with a wonderful sommelier who explained to us the intricacies of the local wines, how the slate soil gives the wines a unique character and how the fermentation process influences the final taste. And this wine tasting was not take a sip and spit it out. No, this was drink half a glass. And the sommelier ended up pouring us 5 glasses, even though we paid for 4, so I was seriously feeling the wine after an hour or so. Off course we left with a few more bottles to enjoy for a special occasion and remember this wonderful experience.
By this time you must be thinking there is something wrong with me, nothing about yarn or crochet so far. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with me, I just kept the best for last.
I asked for tips on which store to visit in Trier, and you suggested Luftmasche as a local yarn store that is worth a visit. I gave my husband my best smile, and he endured the visit to this cute little store. Luftmasche carries mostly Lana yarns and I think I bought the most expensive and luxurious yarn in the store. I know, I’m a sucker for quality.
I bought 3 exquisite skeins of hand dyed Lana Pro Premium which is a blend of wool, polyamide, mohair and silk. I have to think what I am going to make with this. Any suggestions?
For those of you that live in Trier, you have a wonderful city. For the rest of you, if ever you are in the neighborhood, the city is well worth a visit.