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Day #4: Trier and Reims

Today was our last day in Germany, as we’re headed to France to primarily spend a few days in Paris (with a quick stopover in Reims).

Heidelberg to Reims is about a 4 hour drive; so, we scouted some not-so-out-of-the-way options to break up the trip and settled on Trier, Germany en route. It’s the oldest city in Germany and boasts its best Roman ruins. Highlights of which include…

Its gigantic city gate (Porta Nigra):

A huge throne room/ basilica (now a Lutheran church):

Roman baths:

The town also a marvelous Cathedral (which dates back to the founding of St. Peter’s in Rome):

I was especially partial though to the smaller Church of Our Lady next door:

The town itself is also just very pleasant, despite (nor because of) its being the home of Karl Marx. 😂

For lunch, we grabbed some frites and frikadellen (a sort of Germanic hamburger), which were much more akin to the family recipe unlike the version that I had last summer in Denmark.

After lunch, we had a pleasant 2.5 hour drive to Reims, France via Luxembourg and Belgium. Coming in from the north, Reims appeared to be surrounded by farm land, but we saw little to no grape vines (despite Reims being one of the two major Champagne towns — as it happens, the vineyards are largely south of the city). Initially, we were a bit underwhelmed by Reims — the city seemed looked deserted on a Sunday and the area around our hotel appeared clean and safe but rather unspectacular.

As it happens though, the center of town (literally just “on the other side of the tracks” from our hotel) was charming.

Since it was later in the day already, we focused on finding a location for food. After surveying our options (many restaurants were closed due to it being Sunday), we opted for crepes which were surprisingly good for a shop that was “super hero” themed.

We also picked up some local pastries:

NB: In Trier, we stumbled upon one of the single most impressive collections of cats I’d ever seen in one place — seemingly randomly in the bottom of a parking garage. It turned out there was an exotic car rental business in the building, but my word what a fleet of automobiles!

NB #2: Since little, Emerson has taken an interest in lighting candles in remembrance. On this trip, especially being in Lutheran churches, she choose to light candles in memory of Pop, which I found touching.

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