|The Moselle valley was lined with resorts on the Lux side and camping parks on the German side and vineyards on both|
|The Audi came home to the land of it's birth and finally found car parks that it could fit into with ease, the UK has very short and narrow spaces. We uncouth Aussies laughed every time we saw an exit sign on the German autobahns!|
|Staring at a book sale knowing there was no point in browsing. |
Left: towards tourist information and the Roman gate. Right: opposite end of the street towards the main market square.
|The last of the Roman walls and gates of Trier, from Medieval times called Porta Nigra (The black gate)|
Left: standing in the centre of the gate, iron portcullis used to be in the arches with internal wooden gates.
We found a Villeroy & Boch outlet store just across the road from the Black gate. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I always thought the company was Italian but discovered that the two families had their headquarters in Western Germany with close links to Lorraine and Luxembourg before they merged. Although the prices were excellent and the products elegant, we resisted temptation and left to explore the Hauptmarkt and look for lunch.
|The scent of spring flowers carried on the breeze made up for the light spray blown our way from the fountain.|
We saw so many florists in Germany and all with creative displays and affordable prices. These are just market stalls.
|The building on the left is the Dom(Cathedral), the one on the right is Liebfrauenkirche(Church of Our Lady)|
|Superb artistry in the Baroque stucco west dome ceiling.|
|The house Karl Marx was born in - now a Museum|
filled with documents from his life.
Although Worms is said to have been a center for farming and even markets since 5000BCE and a Roman garrison since 1CE claims for oldest city in Germany are argued against by others because of long periods of empty settlement. On the way back from Bavaria we stopped in Koln (Cologne) which is also on the list of oldest city. It grew to a major town in 19BCE at the crossroads of two busy trade routes, the River Rhine lent aid to the last leg of the land routes north from the Mediterranean and the from the East. Cologne celebrated it's 1900th anniversary in 1950. It seems to me the definition of 'city' and the accuracy of interpreted documents will always leave room for dispute in this competition and Trier would be wise to remove the absolutes of its claims in the tourist trivia.
HHhH by Laurent Binet, Grasser et Fasquelle 2009
English translation Sam Taylor, Vintage Books 2012
Historical Nonfiction - The author talks directly to the reader as he grapples with how to present his research - how far to storyise it. It's an interesting voice and certainly gives a clear picture of how history can be bent through the lense of retelling.
The title is an anacronym for a saying that did the rounds in Nazi circles - "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich" Heydrich was a forceful brute who made the Final Solution efficient after acknowledging the waste of ammunition in mass executions and the toll it was having on even his toughest stormtroopers. The Czechoslovakian WWII trauma is related through the eyes of two agents sent by the Czech control in London to assassinate the 'Blond Butcher'. There is no real happy ending. The author's understanding and sympathy for Czechoslovakia makes this area of conflict warmer than a mere listing of events.
"It's funny how, as soon as you take a close interest in a subject, everything seems to come back to it." Chapter 11
A suggestion is made that Heydrich has Jewish ancestry - lack of evidence leads to exoneration but Himmler is worried that rumour may make his prodigy a hindrance to his place in the Nazi hierarchy. Hitler's advice is -
"This man is extraordinarily gifted and extraordinarily dangerous. We would be stupid not to use him The Party needs men like him, and his talents will be particuarly useful in the future. What's more, he will be eternally grateful to us for having kept him and will obey us blindly." Chapter 33.
"It is noon. It has taken 800 SS stormtroopers nearly 8hrs to get the better of 7 men." Chapter 250