Saturday, September 30th, 2000 Luxembourg
I asked Letty to phone Fussen for us regarding arriving between 6 and 8 PM on Sunday. Added caffeine to my coffee, thanks to having purchased Nestles Instant Coffee at our trip to the store in Brugge, and fixed sandwiches at breakfast. By 10 am we were on our way to Bingen and the Autobahn. While in Bingen we saw a Catholic Church and found that it has a 9:30 mass on Sunday so we will be stopping tomorrow on our way to Fussen.
Rain started about noon but we continued on the road to Luxembourg. It is a very small country between France and Germany. Arrived about 1 pm. Realized we’d need different money. I asked the people walking past us and finally a good Samaritan gave us enough in Luxembourg coins for twenty minutes on a parking meter in exchange for DM. Then we walked to the Gare (Train Station). Found a machine and got the smallest amount possible and that was 3,000 Lux equal to about $75. Needed money for parking and to go to the toilet!!! But the toilette attendant wouldn’t take 1,000 bill, but agreed to take DM for the toilette!! (me thinks DM would have worked most everywhere!) The flies that were painted on the urinals in the men’s bathroom fascinated Jim! He said they looked very real! He also said that this was the first time it had cost him $75 to go the bathroom!! Then we went to information and found where we could exchange the three 1,000 bills. The machine gave us 450 francs francs and balance in Lux change. So confusing! But we’re going back to France and will be able to use it. Asked someone on the street and they said that Luxembourg required people to accept the French franc, except for machines for parking, etc. Drove over to the City Centre and into a parking garage.
It was starting to rain harder as we left the parking garage but we found several interesting statutes, buildings and plazas. Then we found the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was very old. Picked up a postcard and headed back to the car after taking several photos from the outside in the rain! Also stopped at a kitchen store to purchase a cheese grater, which we think will take the dead bugs out of the sand from D-Day beach that we collected to give to a good friend as a gift. It’s in a plastic bag in the trunk of the car! Thought we’d put enough coins into the parking meter, but when we attempted to leave, the attendant said we hadn’t paid. What we thought was change was actually all of our money being returned! Crazy new currency was a mystery to us. The attendant took a 10-franc piece and paid our fee, which was about 40 Lux, and we were on our way. Ate our sandwiches and headed back into Germany! Used the balance of the change for two Dove Ice Cream treats at a stop on the Autobahn just before crossing the boarder!
Then we stopped at Trier. A large town near the boarder, it was once a capital of the area when this was part of the Roman Empire. They were having a street fare and we got to watch some German maiden’s dancing in costume. Still raining, but that didn’t seem to stop them. Everyone was drinking wine and beer as they watched. We found the birthplace of Karl Marx, the founder of Communism, the Basilica, which was build during the Roman times and used by Constantine. It is the largest intact Roman structure outside of Rome. It is 100 feet tall and 200 feet long. Has been used as a church since 1856. The Cathedral or Dom was built in 326 by Constantine. The Treasury has the Robe of Christ and a nail from the crucifixion. Both are very rarely displayed. Also there is a glass building surrounding the Roman Baths which have recently been excavated very near the Basilica. Another Roman structure that was very impressive is called Porta Nigra, the only remaining gate into the city. It was saved because at one time it was made into a church. Back on the road before 6 pm..... it rained during our whole stay in Trier.
Back to Bacharach by 8 pm and a light dinner of soup, cheese and wine at Kurpfalzische Munze, a popular local Café. It’s nearly 11 pm and Jim is sound asleep. Time to put this to bed. A very good day. Saw lots of interesting things.