We are in Trier, which is not too far from the Luxembourg border. We borrowed Adi's old Volvo with the right side steering wheel (he brought it from England) and took a drive. Trier was one of the northernmost outposts of the Roman Empire. The gate above is called the Porta Nigra, and was the northern gate to the city. It was built around 200 C.E. Our hotel is just across the street from it, so we have a nice view. We'll be in the area for a few days wandering around. Karl Marx was born here.
Girl in front of the Konstantine Basilika, built by the emperor Constantine in 310. He was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, transforming it from an outlaw religion to the "official" religion of the Roman Empire. It's kind of mind-blowing to place my hands on stones that were cut almost 2000 years ago, and were seen by Roman Emperors. When I used to teach baptism classes, I would sometimes talk about Constantine (to a room full of blank stares). I always liked that story.
Trier was a place I used to come to fairly regularly when I was stationed in Germany during my Air Force days. It is about 30 minutes from the town I lived in--Bitburg. We used to pile into John Nettle's old BMW and come down here to buy record albums at a great little record store. It had everything. I still have a bunch of the albums I bought here.
Back in the old days, on our way to Trier, we would stop in the forests and wander around the old WW II concrete bunkers that were scattered around. This was the area where the Battle of the Bulge was fought. I'm not sure if they are still there, but will look for them on our way to Bitburg on Friday. Tomorrow we will head into Luxembourg and look around. We're not looking for anything in particular, although Malida has found out there is a Thai restaurant in Luxembourg City, so that's where we will have lunch. Apparently the Thai restaurant dates back to the time of the Emperor Constantine. He and King Rama V used to have papaya salad there.
It's interesting to be back in a place from my own history. I wasn't interested in Rome back then--just interested in getting stoned and buying albums to listen to while stoned. Sometimes I wish I could go back and tell my 19-year-old self about what I was missing. Who knows. Maybe my 19-year-old self will come and visit me one night and tell me to mellow out.