Sunday, January 27, 2013

Trier and Luxembourg

I have arrived in Germany the beautiful! I spent all of Friday settling into my apartment, getting my military and teaching documents in order with officials, and meeting all of the Ansbach Middle/High School (AMHS) staff. Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and helpful, and I feel at home and welcomed into the community of Ansbach.

I spent Saturday adventuring in Trier and Luxembourg. My roommate Casey and I were up at 4am and soon out the door to catch our bus. As the day dawned we watched the German countryside fly past outside our windows: charming villages, frozen vineyards, and mysterious forests all dusted with fresh snow. Steaming coffee in hand, I felt like I was in a magical land.

Trier, the oldest city in Germany, was our first stop. The beautiful city rests on the banks of the Moselle in a charming valley between vine-covered hills in the Mosel wind region. We spent the morning exploring the charming narrow streets, eating delicious sandwiches and pastries from the warm bakeries, and seeing the historic sights of the city. We explored Karl Marx’s house, Porta Nigra, the ancient Dom church, and the beautifully excavated Roman Baths, among other things. After a few chilly hours we were on to our next destination: Luxembourg!

The Luxembourg American Cemetery Memorial was our next stop. The haunting graveyard hosts the remains of General Patton, who is buried in an honored place at the near the graveyard entrance. The fallen soldiers are stretch out behind the fallen General, and the endless grave posts remind visitors of the men’s valiance and sacrifice.

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, was our next and final stop. The city center is perched picturesquely on steep, high cliffs which drop dramatically into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and P├ętrusse rivers. Grand and bridges and viaducts straddle the gorges to deliver visitors and locals into the thriving city center. The last of the day I spent exploring the complex layout of the city, shopping, and sampling local foods. I was buying a beautiful art piece from a street vendor on a music-filled avenue when a heavy snow began to fall and the last of the sun faded. It was nice to climb onto the cozy bus for the long haul back into Ansbach.

I feel lucky to have had such an exciting weekend and a great start to my time in Germany!

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