Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trier, Germany June 13, 2009

So here we are, 4 days from going to Rome and I never even submitted our last couple of days just seem to go by so fast. So I apologize for not keeping this updated as much as I have been wanting to...can someone add a couple more hours to each day?

Trier is only about 1 hour away from home. Trier (pronounced Tree-air) is the oldest city in Germany, so there is a lot of history. But beyond the "boring" history, as the kids like to say, we were able to actually see a lot of cool stuff (something else they said about this trip). Our first stop was the Porta Nigra ~ The Black Arch. It was the entrance into the old city. In some places around Trier you can still see original walls from Roman times. We went to the top and had a great view of what is now the marketplace of Trier. The staircase was windy, narrow and steep, and Emilee and Dominick both insisted on being big girls and boys....needless to say that made mommy and daddy very nervous. There were a lot of stone carvings of Roman leaders in the walls.

Our next stop was a bus tour. We toured all around Trier and were able to get on and off the bus at the "tourist" areas. We accidentally got off too early and stopped at a viewing area. We debated whether to walk down to the amphitheater that we could see, but had to walk down about 1/2 mile down a busy, windy and steep hill...or wait 30 minutes for another bus. We could have walked, but were unsure where another bus stop would be and if we could get picked up again. So we waited for another bus and got off at the right stop this time.

The amphitheater had most of its original structure...exlcluding the seating that had eroded over time. We went into the areas where they kept the animals and the was very hot outside, so it was a cool relief to go underground. In the picture below, you can see the kids in one of the cells...pretending to be some ferrocious lions!! Dominick and Emilee had fun running around here, besides there were not too many places where they could get lost, and we were confined within a wall. While we were there looking around, they were practicing for a show that was going to be put on later on that was fun to watch the "prisoner" run around with his javelin.

We got back on the bus, and ended up going back to the start place. We knew where everything was, and it was all within walking distance now, so we were done with the bus. We walked downtown Trier to the Trier Dom. This is a huge, beautiful Catholic church where Jesus' robe is. It was not on display, however, because they only display it every 30 years (to minimize wear and tear). The next time it will be on display is April 13-May 13, 2012 (we might still be here!!) The gown is in a case made of glass behind a big golden gate. We were able to kneel in front of the gate and get a glimpse of the case. I don't think a lot of people realized what was behind the gate because they glanced in there and then just left. Also in this church there supposedly is a pillar that the devil himself tried to destroy, but we never found it. It was very emotional for all of us, but especially me (probably because of my pregnancy hormones).

After we left the church we went to Trier Basilika. There was a wedding going on, so we couldn't go inside. This use to be a throne room for Emperor Constantine ~ it is the only remaining brick Roman structure in Trier. Next to the Basilika was the "bubble-gum pink" Kurfurstliches Palas ~ a former residence for archbishops and electors of Trier, but now holds governement offices. I remember this pink building as a little girl and have a picture of it still. Beyond the gardens of the Basilika was our last stop of the day ~ The Kaiserthermen.

The Kaiserthermen were imperial baths where the Romans came for their baths and "spa" treatments. There were underground passages that use to be the sewer network for the city. It was a huge maze and the kids all enjoyed the freedom to roam around. It was very cool underground, and a welcome relief from the heat above ground. We let Jakob "lead" the way...and he kept going in circles. We actually "lost" Dominick one time because he went around a corner and we didn't see him right away.

We took a lot of pictures and enjoyed ourselves. The kids behaved themselves and had a good time, so we all treated ourselves to some yummy ice cream. We also bought some cherries and Johannes berries from the farmers market ~ yum yum. We ended up putting the Johannes berries into a smoothie. Thom says the Johannes berries are like smaller, tarter cranberries.

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