We made the short drive to Germany without a problem and before long we were pulling into Trier, our Sunday destination. Trier is an ancient city and is home to many Roman ruins; this was our primary reason for visiting.
Our hostel was pretty quiet. There was a outdoorsy / rustic feel to the place, with raw wooden doors and dark green paint everywhere. I liked the aesthetic. Entering our room there was a considerable mess next to one of the guy’s beds. It turns out that he had been living there for a few months, and would continue to do so while he worked on an internship in Luxembourg. His daily commute was only about 40 minutes but it was strange to think of people crossing a country border for their trip to work. He told us a little about the town and gave some recommendations for what we should see. We thanked him and left to go get some dinner at a nearby place.
We decided on a cheap burrito place. I knew it wouldn’t be great authentic Mexican, so I took a chance and got a burrito with a “peppermint” sauce on it, and chicken. It was alright, the sauce made for an interesting combination of flavors. Thankfully, they also had hot sauce which I took full advantage of.
We strolled a bit through the streets, though nothing was too crowded and most stores were closing down. I got a little dessert from a place and we stopped in a store as it was closing to grab a postcard, as we knew shops would be closed tomorrow. I found a mask which I thought was hilarious – a picture of Donald Trump labelled “horror mask”. My travel companion liked Donald Trump and so he wasn’t as amused as I was. After a long day of exploring, we didn’t stay out too late. We worked our way back to the hostel and turned in for the night.
The next day, we grabbed breakfast at the hostel and were on our way before 9AM. We first went up to a view overlooking the city, per our roommate’s suggestion from the previous night. We took the long way around by mistake, and ended up wandering through some narrow streets in a heavily forested area on the hillside. Eventually we found the school he referred to and were rewarded with a nice overlook of the churches and historic buildings across the river. We stopped to take a few pictures, enjoy the breeze, and by mid-morning we were back in town.
Our first stop in the city was the most famous landmark, the Porta Nigra. This gatehouse is the remaining structure of the ancient city wall which protected the city. We didn’t pay for the entry but were still able to walk right up through the gate. The building was impressive and was the largest Roman structure I had seen outside of Italy. It reminded me of Rome in the way that the ancient structure was seamlessly blended into the modern landscape – a wide plaza gave tourists a view, but many people passed through the gate just going about their business.
We continued on through a pretty town square and reached the main cathedral. It looked pretty different than other cathedrals we had seen, and I liked the differences. We circled around the outside but didn’t see any open visitor entrances – we assumed it was closed off for Sunday morning service.
Exiting the church, we took a detour to check out the ruins of some Roman baths on our way to the last stop. The site was under work for preservation, but we got to see more arches and columns just by walking around. We didn’t stay long but rather made our way to our last stop, the Karl Marx house. The site of the philosopher’s birth, the house now serves as a museum to communism as an idea and the ramifications it has had. I enjoyed seeing the exhibits and think that it’ll be a good way to frame my upcoming trip to Berlin.
We didn’t spend too long in Trier, and were on the road back home by mid-afternoon. While I hate to leave places without fully exploring them, there’s something to be said for a little time to relax as well. For now though, I’ve got to get packing for this week’s adventure.
Best wishes and safe travels everyone,