It's the end of August and the evenings are getting darker. The summery heatwave is gone and finally we have some cooler days and nights. Actually we had quite a strong summer storm last week. Some winds blowing about 100km/hour were measured near the dutch coastline. Two days in a row my son came home soaking wet after school. He doesn't want to wear rain clothes when cycling(a typical teenager).
It has been a different year so far, but many nice memories were also made in these insecure times.
We were mostly at home, but I'm glad we could make a few small trips. Like in many European countries the corona virus cases are increasing also in the Netherlands after the summer holidays. We just try to follow all the rules and stay healthy. It is important that the kids could go back to school and have some social contacts and normal lessons there. At the schools of my kids they only use masks if the teacher wants, at some other schools it is obligated to use a mask at least in crowded hallways. The schools can make their own decisions on some issues, but for example the ventilation should be checked and updated to modern regulations. It is a problem in some older buildings. You can't keep the doors and windows open during the colder months.
As a family we just follow our weekly plans and avoid big crowds of people. We keep it simple at home and try to enjoy the beauty of our daily routines. We are not stopping living and planning, now it's time to dream and find some new ideas for the future. The virus is among us and we can't just totally stop the spreading of it. There has to be a some sort of balance between keeping the life going on and controlling the corona spread. I don't think the total isolation and spreading the fear is a good thing. I am not anymore following the news about this issue on daily basis. The way media is talking about this is just taking my energy down. The news and the journalism are important, but our time is overwhelming with all the details, scenarios and speculations. I'm just focusing on our well being as a family right now.
Two weeks ago we drove to Germany for a weekend with my husband. We visited a very old, actually the oldest German town Trier. We drove nonstop from Amsterdam via Maastricht and Belgium to Trier. It takes about 4 hours and driving through the first flat dutch scenery followed by the beautiful, hilly views of Ardennen (Belgium)...there is so much great nature to see. It's not possible to stop in Belgium at the moment because of the corona rules.
Trier is an old Roman town. Surprisingly it existed already before the Rome in Italy. There are very many interesting ruins and museums to visit and to learn about the Roman culture. Trier is easy to discover by foot. Just perfect size for a quiet weekend trip. It is also a student town and there is an international vibe when walking on the streets.
We found many nice terraces and restaurants to visit. You have to wear a mask when entering to restaurant, but the mask can be taken off after you are seated on a table. Also at the Hotel everything was organized well. People are wearing masks in the public areas of the hotel and the breakfast buffet was clever with individually served small portions (breads, fruits, yoghurts, cheese and meats, veggies already set on small individual boards of bowls- ready to take to table).
Porta Nigra is the north gate of the town and it used to be a part of the old, more than 6km long city wall around Trier(build around 160-200 after Christ). It was made from a white sandstone which got black over the time, because of the small micro-organisms on the stone. Since the Middle ages it's known as a black gate (Porta Nigra). At one point the whole gate was a part of a new building, a church. The roman gate was hidden and also protected behind these new construction for centuries. During the French rule (1794-1814) Napoleon arranged for the excavation of the ancient building. The extensive conservation work took place between 1969-1973. As a visitor you can go and climb to all 3 floors of the gate, learn about the history and admire the panoramic views.
The weather was great the whole weekend and we decided to stay more outdoors. One afternoon we walked to the ruins of roman amphitheatre nearby our hotel. The roman arena was build around 160-200 after Christ. It is estimated there was about 20 000 seats for the audience to watch the animal fights, gladiator shows, religious gatherings and musical happenings in Roman times. Now you can hardly see any seats. The curves of the arena are covered with grass and earth. You can see better the old stone structures under the arena and around it. It is an interesting place to visit and surrounded with nice views.
In the last morning we walked to a hill nearby our hotel and admired the views above the vineyards and over the Mosel valley. It was a beautiful morning and worth to walk there. A last look over the green hills and some fresh air before it got hot in the sun.
Thank you for the wonderful trip my partner. It was so relaxed and interesting. Autumn can come now. I have some new plans for me for the next half a hear. I will tell about them in my next post and update the info about my healthy lifestyle changes as well.
...Best September wishes...
We definitely have to go back to Trier. We did not have time to see all the nice places. Maybe next year!
A great place to sit along the Mosel river in a garden like terrace. You can also eat inside during the colder months. We only had drinks, but the food looked delicious.
More Traditional and elegant place with super good food and attentive service. Modern and fine tuned portions. Fine dining in relaxed athmospere.
Great, modern, fresh vegetarian dishes. Young&urban style with ecological ideas. Funky interior.
For a late night or a afternoon drinks:
A sandy beach on a rooftop of a shopping centre with a bar. Nice place to chill and enjoy the sky and the silhouette of Trier.