Happy Holidays and New Years!

For the first time in a long time we went on a family trip to Europe. We had been to Germany before, but it was our first time visiting in winter. The weather was rainy, which was expected, but what wasn’t expected was how green the landscape was.

We started the trip in Trier. According to Rick Steves’ guidebook and our hosts, since the townspeople and the bishop didn’t get along, when the city assembly building was built two knights were built to guard it. The one with the visor down is ready to do battle with the bishop, while the one with the visor up is welcoming the townspeople. After we explored the square we went to one of the palaces in the area.

The two knights.

The two knights.

The garden near the palace featured a fountain shaped like a fish and a pond that provided water for geese.  Much to the angst of the geese crows were also in the area. All the geese wanted to do was take a drink, but the crows kept on infringing on their space. So, the disgruntled geese did all they could do and angrily chased the crows away. It worked, but in typical crow fashion the chase only worked for a few seconds.

The fish fountain.

The fish fountain.

The goose was glaring at the crows.

The goose was glaring at the crows.

By the time we arrived back to the square, the light had faded. Christmas had been the day before, but the lights were still on, trees, and decorations still up. Amazingly, the shops were still open. It made for a nice walk as we meandered back to the cars.

One of the many decorations on each street.

One of the many decorations on each street.

More decorations.

More decorations.

The next day, we visited an historic Gladiator Amphitheater. We were able to walk into the old doors in order to access the stairs to where the people sat. The seats were no longer there, but the views remained. Like much of the area around the Mosel River, there were vineyards surrounding the amphitheater. The amphitheater almost seemed out of place. I was looking forward to seeing castles in the area and the next day I got my wish.

One of the doors, now no longer usable, that led to the seats.

One of the doors, now no longer usable, that led to the seats.

The view from the seats.

The view from the seats.

After a short walk, we reached Burg Eltz. It was closed, but it was still fun to be Rick Steves’ favorite castle in all of Europe. If the inside was as impressive as the outside, I could see why it was a favorite.

A view of Berg Eltz.

A view of Berg Eltz.

Next, we went back to the vineyards to some ruins. It seemed fitting to see them amongst the vines.

Vines and ruins.

Vines and ruins.

A close up of one of the vines.

A close up of one of the vines.

One of the last things we did was take a walk down memory lane. We explored where the Rhine River and the Mosel River meet. It was interesting to see the difference in color of the two rivers. Even far down the Rhine we could still see where the Mosel was converging. It made for a good end to a fantastic trip.

A view of the Rhine (foreground) and Mosel rivers.

A view of the Rhine (foreground) and Mosel rivers.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s