George and I have been traveling a lot lately. We went to Bruges, Belgium a couple weeks ago to celebrate his birthday and we just got home on Monday from his sister’s wedding in Chicago. But before we left for the States, we took a road trip to Luxembourg and Germany with a couple friends. We chose Luxembourg because it was the only place within driving distance that none of us had really been before. George spent about an hour there one summer, but everything was still pretty new to him.
We got on the road right after work on Friday and went through the Euro Tunnel to get to France. In all, we drove through five countries and it only took us about 7 hours to get to our hotel! The next time we drive that far, I think I’d like to stay longer than a weekend. But I’m still glad we went. The autumn colors were perfect and I am so happy the timing worked out this well.
Our first hotel was right off the main square in Luxembourg City, so when we woke up in the morning, there was a huge market taking over the square. We walked through the market for a bit and then set off to exlpore the city.
The only real attractions in Luxembourg City are the old town, or the Grund, and the casemates of the old fort. But the views from the top of the casemates were amazing and we really enjoyed just walking around the town.
On our way back from the fort to get some food, we passed by another market with more antiques and vintage items. It was mainly china and glassware, but it’s always fun to see what types of things are popular in another country.
After lunch, we hung out at a coffee shop while planning what to do next. We weren’t sure how much there would be to do in Luxembourg, so we booked our next night in Trier, Germany, which was about a 40 minute drive away. On the way there, we stopped at a big grocery store to pick up some tax-free items before crossing the border and we actually spent a good amount of time there. We even found some Rivella, which is a Swiss soft drink made with milk whey. George first tried it while living in Germany and has been looking for it ever since.
By the time we got to Trier it was already dusk, so we checked into our hotel and tried to figure out where we should go for dinner. We ended up sitting outside at a wine bar with a bottle of Riesling from a local vineyard and some cheese. The Mosel River Valley around Trier is well known for their wine and especially Riesling!
Trier is also known for being the oldest city in Germany and one of the capitals of Rome under the Tetrarchy. Constantine ruled from here and called the city Augusta Treverorum. So the next day, we tried to hit all the big Roman sites in Trier, including the Imperial Baths and the Porta Nigra, the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps.
I love Roman history, so I definitely enjoyed all of those. However, my favorite place we went in Trier is the Kurfürstliches Schloss or Electoral Palace. Behind this palace, is actually Constantine’s Basilica which was closed at the time. But I loved the contrast of the bright pink palace with all the fall colors.
Unfortunately, we had to leave Trier at around 4 pm in order to make our train back to the UK. However, on our way out of town we decided to drive along the Mosel River for a while and I’m so glad we did.
Both sides of the river were lined with vineyards.
We drove along the Mosel until we reached a big bend in the river, which turned out to be a great place to stop for photos. Afterwards, we made our way north out of Germany. We were able to get through Germany so quickly because of the Autobahn. It was great, but the rest of our drive home was completely dark.