Guten Tag Xangaland!
What a lovely month it has been! There is so much to tell you and so much to show you and so I must apologize for a tremendously long post for today!
Emily got in safe and sound and we wasted no time! One of the very first things that we did was take her to the Manderscheid Castles! Along the way we stopped at a little playground carved entirely out of logs! The had a train, a jungle gym, a Teepee, picnic tables and a bunch of other odds and ends… Of course we couldn’t resist playing around!
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East and Juliet is the sun. Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon.”
I sure have missed Mine Emily!
“A lifetime’s not too long to live as friends…”
A TeePee in Germany? Strange but hey why not?!
Walking through a winter wonderland… (We’re really just trying to walk off the car sickness, there isn’t a straight road in all of Germany!)
After our brief visit we finally arrived at the Manderscheid Castles
Emily’s first castles!
It just looks like a postcard!
Ryan and Emily at the base of the larger of the two castles.
We had a lovely time together exploring a winter castle…
The next full day off we drove into Phillipsheim to take our first train ride here in Germany. We chose to go to Trier to explore all the Roman ruins there. Trier is the oldest city in Germany dating back over 3000 years. They say that every time they begin to dig in the city… to build or just to renovate they uncover new ruins.
Emily and me on our very first train ride in Germany… We’re on our way to see Trier!
A street corner just outside of the Bahnhoff in Trier.
A fountain in Trier
These trees are everywhere here. What a perfect day to see Trier… on the morning of the only snow this winter!
Emily and I standing outside of the Porta Nigra in Trier… It was completed in 16BC and is a truly awe inspiring sight!
Emily, Ryan, and I in front of the Porta Nigra.
The stairway into the Porta Nigra.
The inside of the Porta Nigra or Black Gate which used to bar the entrance to the city of Trier in the times of Roman rule.
The hallways in the upper floors of the Porta Nigra.
Ryan and Emily in the Porta Nigra.
A Trier city street.
Ryan and I looking at the architecture of this place that stood 16 years before our savior was born.
The Dom in Trier.
The main square of Trier.
The market cross in Trier that was erected when the Porta Nigra was finished. It is said to be the exact center of the city to this day.
McDonalds… Only in Germany! 🙂
The Dom courtyards…
The Dom courtyards and the back of the Dom.
The roof line of the Dom.
A small prayer chapel off the courtyard.
The Dom towers.
The Doorway of the Dom.
These next two pictures are from the Basilica in Trier. It is also known as the Emperors Supplicant Hall. In this Bay it is said that Constantine sat on his throne. As you can see it is a very long building… If you were in need of any favors from the Emperor you were required to crawl from the back of the building to the very front to ask your favor from him.
Can you imagine how much that would hurt?
This building was built onto the back of the Supplicant Hall in the 14th century. It is the Princes’ palace. The upcoming kings of the region lived here until they ascended to the throne.
The palace gardens.
The garden walk.
Ryan and I on the walk.
This is the Roman Bath in Trier… When the began to excavate the site they found the largest and first central heating system in the known world. There are something like 6 miles of tunnels that the hot water from the natural hot springs flowed through to keep the bath warm.
The architecture of the place is simply amazing.
These are the arches of the main structure.
We had a wonderful time… walking through history.
It staggers the mind to think that these bricks were laid over 2000 years ago.
The gateways to the Bath.
Don’t I make it look easy? My arms were jelly by the time he took the picture!
One of the underground chambers…
One of the entrances from long ago… now gated from the streets…
Ryan and I in the forum of the bath…
Me kneeling in one of the wells for the bath.
After we finished touring the Bath we walked the two miles to the Roman Colosseum. It was built by Constantine and was primarily a gladiator colosseum. The acoustics in it are famous. You can stand at the very top and clearly hear someone speaking soft and low at the bottom.
The two large openings you see are the staircases that the gladiators came up from… And here is the underground holding area.
After a very long day walking the streets of Trier Emily, Ryan, and I boarded a train and headed back home.
The next day we piled into the car and drove to Luxembourg. Luxembourg was once fortified by a wall surrounding it and it is said that if you walk the Wensal Walk you can see a thousand years of Luxembourg history in just a few moments.
The archery turrets still stand along the Luxembourg wall.
This is the Luxembourg Dom on the main square. It was a beautiful day!
Ryan and I overlooking the valley the wall encircles.
The Wensal Walk valley. It’s breathtaking.
The Guard houses on the wall.
Me overlooking the valley… The bridge behind me dates back 700 years and is now a train bridge.
Sunset on the Wensal Walk.
About 50 years ago they were excavating this valley and found a moat that once surrounded the wall… Then they hit the small lake and realized that the moat still functions… and so today 1000 years later the city of Luxembourg is surrounded in part by a moat.
This is the Neumunster Abby situated beside the newly restored moat.
Ryan and I in front of the Neumunster Abby.
Emily overlooking the valley.
The top of the wall.
Emily looking down on the moat at sunset in Luxembourg… What a beautiful day!
Ryan and I overlooking the other side of Luxembourg.
It was a beautiful day in Luxembourg city but when we piled back into the car we decided that we were not yet done playing tourist for the day. We had been told by our friends Dirk and Nichole (who run the hotel we regularly eat at) that we had to see Castle Vienden in northern Luxembourg if we were going to go into that fine country. So with not much daylight left we decided to go see one last castle before Emily’s time with us was complete.
It was NOT a mistake.
This is Castle Vienden… the second most famous castle in this area of Europe.
It has been fully restored and is open for tours. I have heard that it is simply awe inspiring to see.
We couldn’t see the inside since we arrived after it closed so we had to settle for pictures of the outside!
Isn’t it just breathtaking?
After a very long day of playing tourist we decided to have dinner with Dirk and Nichole one last time before Emily had to leave.
Here is Emily in the main dinning room of the Landhaus Beihl.
I have asked Dirk over and over what those little skulls are, I can only assume some kind of local deer, since all he ever says is “Jackalopes of course!”
This is Emily posing with her new found friend Nichole! Nichole says to excuse her appearance… She is not only the owner of the hotel but the only chef (and boy can she cook) She had also been cooking all day for the party she was throwing the next day for her grandfather’s 90th birthday!
It was a lovely visit with my best friend and we have so many things to hold close to our hearts! I’m so glad that she could come and that I could share some of this part of the world I now call home with her…
After a lovely visit with Emily I in turn boarded a plane and flew back to the states to visit with my family and help my baby sister plan for her wedding. I had a lovely time and I have tons of pictures but I can’t share any of them since most of them involve the church they will wed in, her dress, my dress, hairdos and the like…. I’ll save those things for the wedding pictures after that trip!
But one bright and shining moment for me was meeting my nephew Malaki! I did get a few pictures of me with him!
Isn’t he a doll?
Sigh… I just love him….
And so here I sit again visiting you from The Land of Fairy Tales. I have so much to catch up on and before we know it Ryan and I will once again be on a plane and heading home for the wedding. I will be coming around to visit all of you shortly. Just know that even if I don’t comment on everything I have been trying desperately to keep up with all of you and I do miss you all desperately!
Until we speak again…