Before leaving the states we visited some family and friends to tell them we were moving. Ryan’s grandfather, although excited for us, was very sad. We told him over breakfast and he left feeling pretty down but about an hour later he called and asked if we would come to his place for lunch. When we arrived, he took us out to the recreation room where had laid out newspaper clippings, photographs, maps, photocopies from the library and books. He asked us to show him where we would be living on one of the maps. We pointed out the Mainz & Wiesbaden area, which happened to be pretty close to a town called Trier. It’s the oldest known city in Germany and also just happens to be where Ryan’s Great Grandparents were born and raised. We spent the afternoon looking at tattered old black and white photographs that Grandpa Fox has tried to so hard to maintain. We read the articles and listened as Ryan’s Grandpa told us the story of how his parents arrived in the states, his father’s thick German accent, how his father made his own beer (or bier in German). By the end of the afternoon Grandpa Fox was much happier for us and made us promise to make Trier our first road trip and that we did!
Thanksgiving weekend was a four-day weekend of course so we thought it would be perfect to visit Trier. The only problem was that it was raining in Trier. We didn’t see very much of the city; the cold November cut our trip short. First we walked through the Christmas market a bit but the rain increased so we headed into the cathedral. The Dom St. Peter in the marktplatz (market place) at the center of town is the oldest church in Germany. It was built in Roman times, 326AD by Constantine. The remaining church is only a quarter of the size of the original but still houses the Robe of Christ. The Robe was said to be worn by Christ during the crucifixion. This church still receives religious pilgrims.
We also saw the Porta Nigra, which means Black Gate. It is the oldest defensive structure in Germany (180AD)