Yesterday, 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 (does BC still mean before Christ cause I know they were talking about it being something different. If anyone actually cares, please leave a comment correcting me). nbd.
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!..?)
Aside from the gate, there’s also a wall and Constantine’s Basilica left from Roman times. The basilica used to just be a huge building holding Constantine’s throne to show how boss the Holy Roman Empire was. The Basilica’s now a Protestant church but that’s all I know about it because I may or may not have dozed a bit when we were allowed to sit in the pews (sorry, Professor Taylor).
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.
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 with this fountain. If you look behind the woman statues, there are monkeys which represent the citizen’s sinful behavior.
Today, we visited the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg which was amazing. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed but the information session was fascinating. Luxembourg ambassadors have a fairly easy time because Lux is a huge (rich) ally (they voted with us 112/113 times on the UN Security Council). I thought for a little while (like five minutes today) maybe I want to join the foreign service and work for U.S Embassies but then I remembered politics sucks. And as with any government job, everything’s about how much you can pay and who you know. I don’t like that game.
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.
I can’t believe I’ve hit double digits on number of days 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).
I hope everyone’s day was wonderful!!
Lesson of the day: Do not just assume because no one follows you immediately to get food, they will not follow and fill the entire restaurant. Even tho, you only have 20 minutes before the next bus and there were ten other restaurants around.
Words of the day: Since, yesterday I was in Germany the words are German rather than the regularly scheduled French. I’m not certain I ever told you but the words of the day are in German.
Ich ne ba day – I love you in German
Porta Nigra = Black Gate
nbd = no big deal