After this tremendously stress-free flight I jumped off the plane in FRA International Airport – well-rested and ready for the culture shock I thought I would experience after one and a half years of abstinence from Europe. Wrong! It never hit me, I have to admit. I thought it would take me at least a few days to adjust to the small roads, small cars, small everything in Germany but I guess I had already prepared myself mentally towards this or perhaps New York is not too different from Europe after all. The first thing I got was a cheese/egg/lettuce/cucumber/ and tomato sandwich from a German bakery at the airport. So good! That was truly the one thing I missed the most: The healthy food you can find practically everywhere without even having to look very hard. Freshly baked pastries, tasty delights. Oh how hard it is to get this quality in flavor over here!
My mother picked me up on that day and we both voted for stopping in Koblenz on our two-and-a-half hour drive home. Even though the first of September usually means fall in Germany, the sun was shining quite warm on this day and the following days so I didn’t mind soaking up its last rays before I would be left in the cold, which I knew was coming. Now Koblenz is a city whose history reaches way back into the early 800 BC (and, believe it or not, this is not that old in terms of Europe). You can look up all the facts on wiki here, but what I want to tell you is that is about the only city that has two major rivers, the Rhine and the Moselle, flowing through it which both unite at a point or rather a “corner” in town called the Deutsches Eck. This spot along with its medieval Castle Burg Eltz has made this city so popular for school trips and educational excursions, as I recall my childhood time when our teachers wanted to drag us to Koblenz for an extended weekend.
Well, the city surely revealed its glamorous side when I stopped by as the Bundesgartenschau (in short: BUGA) was going on: The national flower show held once every two years from April to October. Supposedly Koblenz was hosting it in 2011 and we strolled past many colorful flower fields and creative designs laid out on the ways along the river Rhine. We hesitated to buy a ticket as we only had three hours before it closed for the day and I eventually decided against this but I am sure it must have been a great event to witness if you were to have at least half a day of time. If you are into these things, you should make a trip out there before it ends in October… Or come back next year!
Koblenz has many more things to offer, of course, and here are some great shots of random lovelies I’ve stumbled across on our walk:
We ended our “short” trip with an Italian meal at a random café laid out on the river and I really enjoyed my quattro-formaggio-pizza while Mom got an order of pasta flavored with a mushroom sauce. Both of us couldn’t eat up so we took our left-overs home.
The next day I was in for a night out in Trier with two of my close friends from high school. Trier is really nothing special to me anymore, as I’ve grown up in the area and had to endure long shopping trips, a few party nights and other random events you get to do between child- and adulthood. I know it well and that is probably why I fail to see and appreciate its beauty sometimes.
Trier is the oldest city in Germany. It has many Roman sites such as the Amphitheater, the Porta Nigra, which used to be white but has turned black over the course of centuries, the Roman baths and and and… The list goes on! Aside from Roman architecture you can take a good look at Christian buildings in forms of churches, domes, and cathedrals. It is quite beautiful, I suppose. And for historians it is a true treasure for so many different eras are covered beneath those cobble stone ways.
So that particular night my friends and I walked past the Dome, which happened to be shining brightly in the moonlight and I took a picture of this. We ended up going to three different bars at first, then an underground club in a basement, another bar, and taking a random tour with drunken guys, past the Karl Marx house, into a laid-off bar where only drunks hang out and eventually driving back home, only a car ride away.
The evening was fun for I got to see my friends again but I have to say that Trier’s nightlife was disappointingly empty on that particular night. This fact might be the main reason why I consider this city to be boring, for if you cannot have fun in the evening then it’s hard to get a hold of its flair during the day.
But please do not get a wrong impression, as I failed to mention the most important asset of this region:
For those of you who like to drink, Trier lies next to the Moselle, which is known for its great wines, and the towns and villages around it host wine fests throughout the entire summer until early September. So if you ever make it into this area, be sure to get a box or two of finest Moselle wine, it really is a great treat!