Sunday, December 9, 2012

Aachen to Monschau to Trier

This morning at breakfast we chatted with a couple from Wales, UK.  They are also here in Germany visiting Christmas markets.  They told us about the market in the village of Monschau.  Monschau is near the route we are taking to Trier, the next city in our destination, on our way to Bavaria or the southern part of Germany. We are really ‘winging it’ from now on, as we will not be stopping to see anyone we know.

It was -1 degree Celsius this morning and at one point today the car read -6 degrees.  Tonight it was +3 as we walked around Trier.  It is cold, so we are simply bundling up!  We are glad we have shoes/boots with tread as the cobble stone are extremely slick.     
Entering Monschau


Lunch in Monschau
After walking around the markets in Aachen to take day time photos, we started toward Monschau.  Outside of Aachen there was more snow again.  We were on roads traveled only by locals.  It was a beautiful drive.  As we neared Monschau, we realized this is a little village down in a gorge. It is built into the rocks along the gorge wall and the river runs through the middle of the village.  At the top of the gorge there is a fortress like castle.  Cute, Cute, Cute!  OLD, OLD, OLD!!  The place was full of visitors including busses full of people who were being shuttled into the town from cars parked 5 km away.  We were extremely fortunate to be the last car allowed into the village parking area.  This is a special little village, and by the contents in the shops, it has been discovered by tourist!  We are marking Monschau as a place we would like to visit when we return to Europe in the summer.   Actually their Christmas market was not fabulous, but it was the charm of the village itself that will bring us back.  By now it was 3:30 and we had one and a half hours to drive to Trier.  This morning we made on-line hotel reservation in Trier so we had to drive that far. 

On the road to Trier

Sunset in Gremany

Trier is considered the oldest city in Germany.  It was part of the Roman Empire years ago.  We visited Trier many years ago as it is also along the beautiful Mosel River.  As we entered Trier, the traffic once again was jammed!  Buses full of people were arriving!  Oh my, will we be able to move around the Christmas market on a Saturday evening?

Our hotel is about 2 blocks from the old city gate – great location, and it is very nice – newly redone.  The Christmas market is just beyond the gate in the pedestrian streets and plazas.  They consider it one market in two different plazas.  Most cities refer to each plaza as a different market.  In reality each market may have its own theme and decorations, whereas in Trier it was all one market.  The first plaza was nice, but the second plaza was lovely.  For dinner we had a yeast dumpling ball with vanilla sauce, topped with cherry sauce, plus an onion and ham flamkucken.  The flamkucken tonight was not as good as the one we had 2 nights ago.  Then we saw a Rotaract stand selling beverages.  Rotoactors are college students in the Rotary organization.  

Entering Trier City Center

Trier Christmas Market

Yeast Dumpling

By the time we returned to the hotel we were cold! Tomorrow morning we will return to the market for daytime photos, especially of the lovely old buildings, and then we will drive northeast along the Mosel River to at least as far as Bernkastle-Kues.  This too is a town that keeps drawing us back! (at least 6 times that we can remember)  Seeing these villages in the winter, especially with the snow, is a different perspective than in the summer which was the time when we usually saw them. 

I was going to say, “It was another great day in Germany”, but I must add, we were just across in border into Belgium two different times, due to the ‘back roads’ we were on!  From Trier, Luxemburg is only 20 km to the west, and we understand the petro (auto gas) is cheaper there, but I don’t think we’ll go that way.

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