Whilst we could have opted for a nice quiet time at home before our building work starts next week, somewhere just before Christmas – when half term seemed far far away, the call of the mountains was too great, and we decided to drive down through Europe to Bayern for a quick ski trip, with an overnight stop in Trier.
I will admit to not knowing all that much about Trier until um, about an hour before we arrived (when I had a quick read up!), but if you haven’t heard of it before, and historic towns are your thing, you might want to put it on your map…
Welcome to the oldest city in Germany…
As a former Roman Capital, the place is crammed full of amazing ancient things, including this massive ancient Roman Gate – Porta Nigra. There were actually four gates once upon a time, but as the gigantic bricks are held together with iron cramps rather than mortar, the other three succumbed to stone masons and other opportunists over the years. This one truly has religion as its saviour as it only survived thanks to two tiny churches taking up residence inside (they are no longer there by the way), and this impressive gate was pretty much left alone thanks to them…
Our hotel (Hotel Porta Nigra funnily enough) was thankfully easy to find, as it wasn’t easy to get into. We arrived at 7 when reception closes at 6pm, and as there was no way of finding out how to get inside initially, I wondered whether we would be sleeping in the car that evening.
Thankfully though, after working out there was a hidden key safe, and somewhere in Mr R’s inbox there was also a (also hidden – in his spam folder!) code, we dumped our stuff and headed out.
Helping other people typically pays off in terms of karma if nothing else, but after helping another couple solve the hotel key safe puzzle, they repaid us with a brilliant tip that the Weinstube Kesselstatt was a great place for dinner…
The Kesselstatt (which isn’t hard to find, it happens to be opposite the oldest Cathedral in Germany) was built on top of a Roman Glassworks, so the cellars are atmospheric to say the least even if they “only” date back to the 17th century. Wine was produced here up until 1980 when it was decided that they needed a lot more space, but the ancient wine press is still in situ in the restaurant, and it’s a great place to sample some of the local Rheinland wine. I can also confirm the schnitzel is good…
Happy and full we headed back, with a mission to get an early night so we could head out and explore a little more in the morning before heading to the mountains…
Trier greeted us with a beautifully foggy start to the day, which made for some interesting photograph taking…
In this next set of pictures, you might notice the recurring theme of The 14 Year Old striding ahead as if she’s on some kind of mission….
What you can see is a child who spent much of her formative years in Bayern, where everything is typically shut on a Sunday – but if you are lucky enough there might be a bakery open. Here she is on a Sunday pretzel search.. She was successful (thankfully – you really don’t mess with her when she’s hangry!!), and as well as pretzels we found some pretty amazing cinnamon Franzbrötchen, worth any length walk in any kind of weather…
The Three Year old was content in pushing his own pushchair (which was interesting in the fog, given that it was so thick in parts that you couldn’t see much in front of you at all!), but we had a lovely atmospheric wander through this ancient city, that we definitely need to come back and explore a little more (there’s a fully intact Roman Basilica, built by Emporor Constantine in the 4th Century, and now a Catholic Church), a huge amphitheatre still used for various performances from time to time, and the relic of a giant Roman Bath as well as lots of Germanic medieval finery to inspect.
Not far from the Luxemborg border, Trier is a really lovely place to visit in it’s own right, but you must definitely stop even if you are just passing through…
Next stop The Mountains…
Nicky@Go Live Young says
I knew nothing about Trier before reading your post! It looks like a beautiful place, well worth a visit #CulturedKids
It is 100% worth a visit! Thanks Nicky! :)
Lauren (Where the Wild Kids Wander) says
Love your photographs. What a beautiful town! The food looked amazing as well.
Thanks so much Lauren! :)
Vyki from Museum Mum says
Trier looks so beautiful with that atmospheric fog. And the lure of fresh cinnamon pastries would get my teen marching ahead too! One for the wishlist #CulturedKids
Thank you, we were lucky to see it like that! :) x
Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays says
I love Trier. When I was an au pair, back in the mists of time, the family used to go there to buy cheese (don’t ask me why!). It was always my favourite shopping trip.
PS I like quite like the cone!
Thanks Catherine! :) x
Nancy | MapandFamily says
I would have been with your daughter – marching ahead looking for pastries! Funnily enough i was reading about Trier at the weekend and your post has really made me want to visit now.
I would really recommend it, it’s so lovely! Thanks Nancy! :)
Wow I hadn’t realised it was this old! Looks like a great starting point #culturedkids
Thanks Leona! :)
Baby Loves Travel says
I like the look of the family apartment and the city – we occasionally stop over in Germany, so might make this our stop one year #CulturedKids
Trier is a really great stop off, but I would love to see it in it’s own right and explore it a little more extensively next time. There’s so much to see! Thanks for commenting. :)
Very interesting post. I love the determination of a 14 year old and little one who pushed his push chair. You had a great time. I am glad you found the key, I have had such moments of wondering of what the next move should be if we don’t get in. Enjoyed reading this post.
Thanks so much Usha! :)
Eva Katona says
I didn’t know Trier is the oldest town of Germany! Looks very dramatic in the foggy weather.
Apparently it is, but I have seen a lot of claims about the oldest breweries in Germany too, so who can really know for sure! :D
Scarlett Roitman says
Germany’s oldest city – how fascinating. Trier looks so atmospheric, and cosy, in that fog, #CULTUREDKIDS
Thanks so much Scarlett!
What a lovely surprise to end up in such a quaint and atmospheric town. Love the fog photos, and I must say I’m very in touch with the hangry teen situation. Thankfully you got into your room. What a good reminder to check the spam folder. #farawayfiles
Thanks Hilary. I have never been so grateful to a Spam folder! :D
Such a cute little place, I actually love visiting a place and knowing hardly anything about it. It’s always a pleasant surprise! It would be a great stop with a combined trip to Luxembourg… another place on my list to visit.
Me too. Makes it really exciting to explore. We stopped off in Aachen on the way back, that was lovely too! Thank you! x
Afshan Nasim says
It looks so oldie worldie, and reminds me a lot like Prague. I am loving your pictures and can see the charm. I hope the skiing went well too!
Thank you Afshan! I can see that too! :)
Rebecca | AAUBlog says
wow this looks really great. The architecture there, especially the cathedral, is so stunning!
Thanks Rebecca. Lots of loveliness all round! :)
Sarah Bailey says
Wow what a beautiful looking place to go and visit! The buildings are stunning, so much history in the area. I would love to go and explore myself and see it all up close.
I would really recommend it Sarah, it’s so picturesque :)
Kacie Morgan says
I’d love to go here. It must be so enchanting to visit Germany’s oldest city! I love the detail in that archway too, stunning.
Thanks so much Kacie! :)