From the Oldest City to the City of Lights (Week 2 in Lux)

This week we basically visited everywhere. From the US Embassy to Champagne, France to Paris to Trier, Germany all in between classes, I don’t think I ever stopped. My blisters have blisters within them. The nonstop pace allowed for one heck of a week though.

In Trier, Germany, we visited the Porta Nigra. Which is not a port with shipments from Nigeria but one of two gates left from the Roman Empire. Like the real Roman Empire from like 10 BC. Like before Christ, BC. nbd.

DSC_0065

The gate’s in Trier, Germany which is only about 40 minutes outside Luxembourg City. We watched Fast and Furious VI (in German) on the bus. Trier is the oldest town on Germany (a few other town apparently claim that title as well but Trier says they were just war camps so.. Trier wins). It was definitely cool seeing all history but because it is so old there wasn’t much left from the Roman Empire. Apparently, the Middle Ages didn’t appreciate history as much as we do because they just took stones from the old buildings to reuse in new buildings. The gate only remains because a hermit who became a saint lived there then they turned it into a church to honor him. When Napoleon conquered the town, he liked Roman stuff but not church’s so he returned the building to its original gate form. (Wow! These were really educational paragraphs. Go me!..?)

DSC_0084

One of my favorite parts of Trier was the market place from the Middle Ages. The people didn’t like the archbishop cause apparently he was a jerk so they built the statues pictured to the right. The one on the left is open and friendly looking over the market while the other on the right faces the bishop’s church and holds a sword to show the people were willing to take up arms to defend their market.

DSC_0088

This is the market church. The entrance is super small and the steeple was under construction so there wasn’t much to see though ironically there were some nuns standing out front (or I guess unironically because a church is where one expects to see nuns). A donor continuously gave money to make the steeple higher and higher till it was taller than the bishops church on the other side of the square. The bishop could not be shown up so he made one of his two towers taller but couldn’t afford to increase the height of both. The bishop also responded to the shade thrown at him by building a fountain with monkeys which represent the citizen’s sinful behavior.

DSC_0458The Eiffel Tower was not my favorite in Paris but the Louvre made the entire trip. Wow, is that museum beautiful. We only had time to visit the outside (and the mall beneath–there was a Starbucks) but the outside was all I needed to stand slack jawed.

DSC_0474
The lock bridge was another of my favorites in Paris. The locks combined are like 40 tons or so (like 15 elephants) which makes it super bad for the bridge. The city will actually take the bridge down June 1st (tomorrow). The wire will be completely replaced with glass panels.

Oh, we also visited a really old monastery in Trier. Here’s a tomb with two above ground graves right in front of the children’s church.

DSC_0045

I can’t believe I’ve hit my second week in Luxembourg/Europe. Abroad is even better than I could have dreamed. The culture’s so laid back and doesn’t need to stuff 100 things into one day. Eating takes 2 hours a meal and that’s A-Okay with everyone (stinks a little when in a rush but worth it). Everyone also speaks like 3 languages a piece (2 fluent and 1 conversationally). I can’t wait to visit Paris later this week. Luxembourg is definitely number one on my list of favorite places this trip (though, it could be because I’m living here and get to experience everything).

Tomorrow begins the second session of my four week program. The previous two had 33 students and this has only 10. I believe it will be a much more intimate and very different experience and I can’t wait to get it going.

As always, there’s more photos available on my Flickr.

-Taylor

Advertisements