Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cheese Town: Alkmaar

Alkmaar is the cheese town of the Netherlands where the famous kaasmarkt [cheese market] is held every Friday mornings, 10AM to 12Noon, from the 1st half of May until the 1st half of September, every year.

The kaasdragers [cheese carriers] in action by the Waagplein town square in Alkmaar. Those cheese rounds can be used as weapons, they are heavy!

The cheese carriers carry not just the cheese but the kids too!

The cheese market is an Alkmaar tradition since 1593 and is the prime tourist attraction of the city. About 100,000 tourists every year come to witness the cheese trading show in the Waagplein square.

So last Friday, my last day of vacation freedom, I went - even though the weather was having a strike. It didn’t cooperate with my little travel plan. It was raining the whole day. In fact the rain never stopped... until today, lol!

Autumn came too early.

The cheese museum called Waaggebouw [Weigh house]; an old Dutch woman dressed in a traditional dress selling the small versions of the yellow cheeses; and more cheeses, loved the spiced one in the middle.

There was really nothing interesting worth applauding that happened in Alkmaar, except during the cheese exposition in the square.

I had to squeeze myself into the throngs of crowds and the sea of umbrellas towards the forefront where the iron railings were standing as security borders. I just need to get a closer angle of the cheese carriers and their wheel-sized yellow roll of cheese. That’s all I want, a souvenir foto of this celebrated Dutch tradition, when all of a sudden all sorts of smell enveloped me --- pungent mind blowing body odors, overpowering *hatching* armpits and acerbic bad breaths. They all smelled like decaying meat. Eww, I almost stopped breathing, HELP!!!

*grimaces* really yuk!
I felt dizzy there for several seconds.

After I snatched a few fotos, I quickly tore myself away, away from the stinky crowd. I desperately want to breathe again. There was one lady though who smelled nice, so I stuck my nose near her hair, ha-ha.

Can you say the pictures of the cheese carriers above were worth the hassle?

A charming section of the town center... some terraces (soon they are to be filled when the sun shines), a canal and of course, a canal bridge, and the medieval Dutch houses completing the whole backdrop (and a bike peek too on the lower left side of the foto).

This is the langestraat I think, the main street filled with many shops and where the stadhuis [city hall] is also located. The second foto is the pretty stairs to the entrance of the Alkmaar city hall.

Temperature watch outside: 13C

Tags: Alkmaar Municipality (click Kaasmarkt), Cheese Museum, North Holland Tourism (Alkmaar is part of the North Holland provinces)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Expatica Article: They just don't fit

“Being a size 34-36 with a 158-centimeter figure stretch, is surely a problem in giant populated Dutch land. I rarely find jeans, or any pants for that matter, that fits the length of my lower limbs. If they are short pants, they would look like I’m wearing the Bermuda length. If they are Bermuda short pants, they would look like I'm wearing Capri pants. If they are Capri pants, they would look like full-length pants on me. Only thing is, the cut doesn't look right.

Such trouble, these pants just do not fit me - lengthwise!

Buying jeans in this country, for midgets like me, is down right demoralising. These are the times when I desperately wish to be at least 5 centimetres longer.”

To continue reading the article, please click: Expatica: They just don’t fit or click the Dutched Pinay logo on the side bar just below the chatbox.

Tags: Expatica Main, Expatica Netherlands, Netherlands Expat Blog

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Luxemburg Ville

Sunday, 13th of August, was my last jaunt of this Rhine-Mosel-Lux trip. The original plan was a trip to the Rhine and Mosel, but since my trail ends up in Trier and I will be passing through Luxemburg (also spelled as Luxembourg) on my way back to the Netherlands anyway, I might as well include the little country in my trip agenda.

Anywho --- The highway I was driving on was sitting on top of a lushly mountainous valley that spans through the periphery of Germany and Luxemburg. I saw the immigration port of entry booth, now completely abandoned. Suddenly, car plates with the letter L dots the highways. Ah, I am near to the civilization of Luxemburg land.

>>>Fast facts: Did you know that the European Schengen Treaty (freedom of EU citizens and residents to travel within the EU member countries) was executed in Luxemburg itself, in a small town called Schengen by the German and French triangular edge near the Mosel River in the south of the country?<<<

Luxemburg is an inland country bordered by Belgium, Germany and France. Its capital city, Luxemburg Ville is perched celestially above the Petrusse Valley and the Alzette River. For more information, here is Luxemburg City Tourist Office: LCTO

Since I could not find the Kopstal exit going to the direction of my hotel, I headed off to the city center instead. I noticed that the roads were partly old with patches here and there. They badly need maintenance. For a country with citizens hailed as the richest in Europe based on buying power per capita (see this old blog entry: Buying Power), I was not at all impressed.

I think I got used to the Dutch obsession of maintenance.

It’s the same as going to Belgium and Germany by train. You’d be in for a surprise. Having traveled excessively by trains in Holland, I thought the German and Belgian railway stations were lagged behind. Belgium, say, for 20 years, in safety and maintenance. Even the UK railway stations cannot come close to the spic ‘n span and well maintained Dutch railway stations.

Uh, I again digress...

Anyway, as I have said in my earlier travel review, my time in Luxemburg was awful. To read about how upsetting the turn of events were, please check this out: Nightmare on Vacation Street

In this entry though, I will talk about some of the things that I did and how I survived a Sunday afternoon, another night and a drippy Monday morning with a heavy heart in Luxemburg Ville.

1st foto: Grand Duchy of Luxemburg Palace, the young guard is wearing a beret, he is cute he-he. I wanted to take a close-up foto of him but I got shy; 2nd foto: a quaint alley; 3rd foto: a pretty and small bay window.

Me in a graded alley leading towards the massive stone wall fortifications of the city, the legendary Petrusse and Bock Casemates. Check out the interesting arch too... And these are the cafe-bars right across the alley (its 11AM when I took the foto so it looks like a ghost building), where Dutchman visits often when he is in Luxemburg.

Relieved to receive an SMS from the Dutchman stating he has already wired enough money to my debit account, I quickly created a visual plan on my mind on how to hold out the rest of the day. At this point, I still am very angry at myself because my Luxemburg plans were in total disarray. I was looking forward to visit Vianden, Echternach, Bourscheid, Esch-sur-Sure and Clervaux and now I can’t! So darn stupid of me! *slaps myself a 100x*

Since I have the whole day and evening at my disposal, and taking into consideration that Luxemburg Ville is small, I can take things in slow stride.

I followed the narrow alley with the interesting arch towards the Casemate walls that extends throughout the city and this is the view that met me, breathtaking Petrusse Valley and Alzette River.

Beautiful views of Luxemburg from the Casemate walls.

First on my list was to look for a hotel to stay. I have time on my hands to search for reasonably priced hotels, and sure enough, I found one. The hotel was at the back of one of Luxemburg’s most expensive hotels, Grand Hotel Cravat. The funny thing is, Cravat is the hotel the Dutchman usually stays with when he is in Luxemburg for business. Of course, he is not paying from his personal pocket, his company does. But yours truly, the Dutched Pinay will just have to settle for a cheapo hotel right at its back, lol.

The afternoon and evening went so unhurried, like a turtle crawling languidly to its finish line. After the nightmarish events, I just want the sun to go down real fast so I can sleep over what had happened, wake up to a brand new day, go to the police station, pay and reclaim the car and be on my way back to Holland. That’s all I want.


It is during these situations when you desperately want to be home...

1st foto: see those houses? They are literally carved as one with the rocks! 2nd foto: Due to the sieges of the city fortifications in the past, the Grund, located by the Petrusse Valley, once lead a very tumultous past. Now, with the handful lively English bars, it is a nice place to hang out in the evenings. Helaas, it was quiet on Sundays. The Dutchman says, the Luxemburgians go out on Wednesday nights, which is rather strange as it is the middle of the week.

We had to take a 10-minute break somewhere in the Petrusse Valley.

I took the mini train ride which was equipped with great audio effects. The train’s rickety-sounding body trotted along the banks of the Petrusse Valley, the audio narrating about Luxemburg’s grand and turbulent past. After the informative and impassioned (yeah the audio monologue was that dramatic) 1-hour mini train ride, I decided to take a long relaxing walk along the Liberty Avenue. The stretch resembled like Paris to me and I’d like to think that Luxemburg is a mini version of Paris too. Later, after dinner, I hung out in Place d’ Armes and sat down in a bench beside two 40ish-looking gays, while watching a symphony orchestra concert.

The music was delightful to my ears and to my still agitated system. BUT, waaah, I prefer to be at home! The whole damn orchestra act too, made me miss home and the Dutchman more. *sniffs*

That night while sipping my glass of white wine in a restaurant across the square, I thought --- I could have been home sitting in the sofa right now, wrapped in Dutchman’s arms, while he lectures me of my faults. The lecturing part quickly flew out though, out of the windows of my selective mind.

Place d’ Armes and the symphony orchestra playing on the theater stage. The 2nd foto shows the busy cafes surrounding the square.

It was really my intention to become tipsy so when I am back in my humble hotel, I will, in no time, be under the covers. The most unexpected thing that night was the bed itself: it was surprisingly very comfortable! What a consolation ha-ha, it was the best bed that I have ever slept in with, in my entire Rhine-Mosel-Lux trip! At the least, I had a great nights sleep, I was very well rested.

The next morning I was half-awakened by rhythmic sounds: tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tick, and tock-tock. I first thought... perhaps, someone upstairs is up early and could be wearing high heels while running around getting ready in her hotel room. But the sound didn’t stop. By this time, I was already almost 100% awake. I realized that the tick-tock sounds were coming from the open window. It seems to be raining outside? Could it be that the rain drops were responsible for the melodious clang?

I suddenly jumped out of bed and ran to the windows --- Shit, bad start of the day, it is really raining.

My plan was to walk from the hotel (which is located in the center) to the police station. The journey will take me at least 10 minutes, but now, I can’t walk soaked under the pouring rain, right?! Ugh.

After breakfast was served, I checked out. Time watch: its a few minutes before 8AM.

Outside the small hotel, the city of Luxemburg begins to wake up on a wringing-wet Monday morning. Despite the downpour, there were many men and women walking with their umbrellas in the streets to their work places. The cars begin to fill up the roads too.
More of Luxemburg: Touristy directional signs in the city center and the cafe facing the Clairefontaine square in a quiet section of the city where the waitress accidentally threw the wine glass on my lap... yeah, an added insult to injury, eh? I think the waitress apologized a dozen times.
>>>More fast facts: Did you know that due to the strong financial economy of Luxemburg, many Belgians, Germans and French cross the borders everyday to work in the city? These on-the-road expats benefit from high salaries and less taxation. How lucky!<<<

I need not look further for a taxi. There were two taxi cabs parked across, by the entrance to the Grand Hotel Cravat. When I inspected the cabs, there were no chauffeurs in it though. It seems that the cars were just parked there the whole night and the chauffeurs were gone some place else, perhaps, still sleeping in their cots?

While anxiously searching and waiting for another taxi to pass by, a silver-colored sedan swiftly parked in front of me. A bit plump-looking old lady with a concerned look spread across her face emerged out of the auto. She walked up to me and spoke softly, in Lëtzebuergesch [Luxemburgish, the national language, I believe is a mixture of French and German]. I said I only speak English. She quickly switched to English, “What are you looking for, Madame?”
I thought – I must look old, she called me Madame. “Oh, I am waiting for a taxi. The taxi cabs right down there have no chauffeurs in them.”

“Let me check…” she said walking quickly towards the cabs and inspecting them. She came back and reported, “Yes, you are right, there are no chauffeurs. Have you asked the reception inside the hotel for help?”

“No, I did not.” --- Well she thought I was booked in Grand Hotel Cravat, lol, I wish.

And, more pictures of Luxemburg, taken at the Place de la Constitution. Pretty colorful gardens displaying a row of Luxemburg flags. The 2nd foto is the insignia of the country, the Grand Duke Adolphe Bridge built in 1903.

The Grand Duke Adolphe Bridge leads to the Liberty Avenue that is festooned with exquisite looking buildings. The whole setting just reminds me of Paris.

She right away went inside and asked the reception about the whereabouts of the taxi chauffeurs. The two reception guys who were busy doing a tête-à-tête replied sarcastically, “We don’t know, the hotel is not responsible for them. We are not their keepers!” - I don’t know how I managed to understood Luxemburgish but I knew 100% that’s what they said.

The old lady, still very much concerned, asked me where I am going. I told her I need to be at the police station to reclaim my car that was towed yesterday Sunday by the police. She then told me, “I can help you. I can bring you to the police station. Just wait here, I will be back. I just need to go inside the hotel to pick up a child.”
Oh my, I don’t know if I can turn down such mercy! Just when I needed help, an angel came to my rescue.

I waited outside and after a few minutes, she came out of the hotel doors with a little girl in her hand. She said, she is to baby sit the little girl, whose mother is working in Grand Hotel Cravat, for the day.

This is the funny man roaming around the streets of Luxemburg Ville. He is dressed in a blue cross & white flag with a gladiator-viking-like red mask and hat. In his hands, he has two flags, a huge European Union flag and a small Greek flag. I think he is a looney, lol. He kept screaming undecipherable phrases, perhaps Greek? Well, the public loved him though. He was an amusement.

During the ride to the police station, the old plumpish lady with silver-like curly tousled up hair told me that I may have to get the car from another place, maybe somewhere near the airport, where they normally keep impounded vehicles. She volunteered, “I can wait for you while you pay in the police station and bring you to your car.”

At this point, I was saying to myself --- This is too good to be true. To meet noble people who readily helps a foreign stranger in a crisis, is like gambling. In addition, I am a skeptic bitch at times and even though the old lady was quite forthcoming and thinking only for my behalf, I could not help but ask the big question: W-H-Y? If it was a man, I would definitely not take the free ride. If it was a woman who doesn’t look decent enough, I would not too. I always trust my reliable doubting Thomas instinct.

After paying the exorbitant charges *painfully sobs, hu-hu-hu*, I asked the police where the car was stored and how am I going to get there. “We will bring you to your car. Its part of what you have paid.” the police said.

I excused myself and quickly dashed under the rain to the car where the old lady and the little girl were waiting. I told her that the police will bring me to my car, and, paused for a few seconds (for drama effects, lol) before I let out my thank you - my deep gratitude for helping this petite Madame in distress.

I didn’t really know how to stress out my gratefulness, so while she was backing up the car, I was tempted to ask her name. But, I did not. I just waved my hand - Goodbye.

Some things in life just need to end up the way it is, I guess.

Tags: Koblenz, Stolzenfels Castle and Boppard, Tries-Karden, Burg Eltz, Muden and Cochem, Traben-Trarbach, Bernkastel-Kues and Trier

P.S. Do check this very informative expatriate site, Expat Interviews. Click on it please. Cheers!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Traben-Trarbach, Bernkastel-Kues and Trier

Since the sun is out in the Mosel, Saturday seemed like it will be the best weather day so far for this holiday trip. I really hope so! I was looking forward to a nice, if not, perfect weekend wrap-up in Germany, before I proceed to my final stop-over, little Luxemburg.

The snaky drive in Mosel: from Cochem to Traben-Trarbach to Bernkastel-Kues and then to Trier. The other foto is a breathtaking panoramic view of the Mosel by a river bend from the vineyard terraces that I found on the net. Foto credits to

During the drive from Cochem to Traben-Trarbach, I immensely enjoyed (I am not exaggerating) the beautiful scenery... the river, the vineyard valleys and the pretty villages, they were all amazing. I also find the zigzagged stretch from Cochem down to Trier prettier than the Koblenz to Cochem route.

I desperately wanted to stop by a river bend, climb up the vineyard valleys and take a picture of the panoramic curvilinear river junction, the vineyards hovering on top, and the charming villages huddled together beneath. But, I couldn’t get the timing right. The highways were a 70-kilometer per hour speed and there were almost no parking places by the roadside bend. Moreover, I was not courageous enough to park by the roadside because it is supposed to be forbidden, right?

Well, this is one of my regrets after leaving the Mosel River valleys of Germany --- not being able to take a personal panoramic picture of the river bend from atop. Maybe next time, but in the meantime, enjoy the panoramic view of the foto I found on the net above.

First stop: Traben-Trarbach

I didn’t plan to stay long in Traben-Trarbach. All I wanted to do was to see the funky designed fable-like bridge gate that connects both towns, Traben and Trarbach.

The 1898 Traben-Trarbach Bridge in Art Nouveau style... it looks like one of the gateways of Disneyland is lost in Germany! And a souvenir foto in this pretty place on the bridge with the fairy-tale like buildings at my back.

This is the tranquil view from the bridge in Traben side overlooking Trarbach. Trarbach was having a fair by the river banks but I didn’t bother to find out what the fair was all about.

After my pictorial with the bridge (thank you technology for the personal timer assistant functionality in digital cameras haha), I went for a leisurely walk, in the Trarbach part of the town.
The sister towns I heard are the second largest wine trading center of Europe in the past, after Bordeaux (in France).

It was past lunchtime already but my schedule says I will have my light lunch in Bernkastel-Kues. Lunch by the way in Europe means from 12 noon to 3PM, so in that respect, I still have a wide leeway.

Second stop: Bernkastel-Kues

When I arrived in Bernkastel-Kues, the sun was totally out. Hallelujah!!! She was shining in her great glory, and her dazzling rays were giving warmth to earthlings like me. Ah, that made me cheery. The way the weather is going, it seems that I will definitely have a perfect afternoon and evening.

Bernkastel-Kues, like Cochem is... so, so, so darn pretty!
Compared to low-profile Kues, the Bernkastel part was very lively, it could easily be the busiest town in the Mosel River valley with Cochem as a runner-up. There was also a biker’s parade that day and they passed through in both towns.

And what else, the place was spot on, it was swarming with keyed up tourists who can’t stop gaping their mouths wide open while staring at the exquisite buildings. The town is simply gorgeous! Somehow, this Bernkastel experience felt like I just dreamily stepped into a warp zone, deep inside a lost child’s world. It makes you wonder if those half-timbered houses were real or were they just playhouses made in paper and cardboard sticks?

OK question: Why is Germany sooo underrated?

How can you not fall in love with this place?

For my light lunch, I settled for something indigenous this time, a thin elongated Bratwurst smeared with mustard in a tiny bun. Ah, my first ever German food treat for this trip.

I have also been eyeing those touristy mini choo-choo trains that roam around bringing tourists from point A tourist spot to point B tourist spot with curiosity, so I thought, why not try it this time? Since I still have to do Trier and I am only here for the afternoon, this could be the fastest way for me to get to see all the main places.

More pretty fotos, interesting fountains and whatnots, of Bernkastel-Kues.

It appeared that the mini train chauffeur was a laid-back young Italian who was fluent in English. He spoke though with so much passion about his native country, Italy.

The vehicle has two cabin cars. The first cabin was for English speakers and non-Deutsch speakers, while the second cabin is for the Deutsch speakers. The Germans themselves travel a lot within their own country. Of course, I slipped inside the first cabin, and it was filled with 50ish to 60ish American couples coming from different states. The couple across me said they were from Wisconsin. And the woman told me it was much better weather in Germany, hear this: better weather in Germany because it rains during summer than, in humid and hot Wisconsin. I told her it can rain the whole summer in Holland but I do not think she understands the depth of a summer gone cold.

I think world travelers have one common stereotype to label traveling Americans: they can be noisy, and it doesn’t really matter which age group, although the younger ones tend to be really loud.

But, t
he nice thing with Americans is, they are warm and ultra friendly, than say, the reserved and sometimes snobbish Europeans, and let me add, aloof in groups Asians. Americans readily chat up, giving voluntary information and assistance to others, however, the downside to this is many Americans just can’t stop talking.

From the Kues vineyard valley side, the mini train stopped for a few minutes here to let us enjoy the lovely scenery.

I guess you can pretty much imagine the cabin car I was in. It was a party, ha-ha. While we waited for the chauffeur, I overheard one couple say that they were once invited to a house of a Dutch couple in Holland who were wearing wooden shoes at home! Oh my dear, ha-ha. If I was not on the telephone with someone, I would have joined the camaraderie.

This is our Italian chauffeur.

This reminded me of the van trip in Phuket, Thailand, more than 5 years ago.
We were driving from Patong, the capital of Phuket Island to the harbor---we are going to take the boat to Koh Samui Island. Our van was a Mercedes L-300 type and most of the passengers inside were European tourists. The odd ones in the mix was me, the only Asian tourist and the American (older) couple.

During the entire almost 3-hour ride, the American man just couldn’t stop yakking. I don’t know where he got his energy from, but in a way he became our unofficial tourist guide. He was all the time pointing out the window, giving detailed descriptions and explanations to his girlfriend of the places we just passed by. As well as I think everyone in the van knew about his life story in Arkansas, lol. OK, he might be a nice guy and he obviously has been to Thailand many times but can he at least exercise some sensitivity and civility to spare us from listening to his monologues?

Anyway, I hope no American feathers out there were ruffled by this short story. Other nationalities have their own equally interesting and irritating traits as well, so hey, nothing personal in there okay.

Third and the last stop: Trier
After my enjoyable Alice-in-Wonderland-like Bernkastel-Kues stop-over, I proceeded to Trier, the capital city of the Mosel River valley and the oldest city of Germany (more than 2000 years old).

The Porta Nigra (Black Gate), the insignia of Trier is one of the remaining and in-tact gates built by the Romans in circa 180 A.D. The foto on the right is what you will see on the left side of the Porta Nigra, a row of pretty buildings, many are hotels and café-restaurants.

And of course, my trip will not be complete without a personal souvenir of the celebrated Porta Nigra.

My heart sunk a little bit when I saw the busy highways in Trier... gone were the charming villages, gone were the river bends, gone were the vineyard valleys and gone were the cozy provincial ambience. They were replaced with urbanization. I felt my fantasy-filled fairy-tale-like vacation crumbled, it has just come to a halt.

At any rate, Trier was founded during the reign of the Roman emperor, Ceasar Augustus, in the Celtic Treveri. The city was baptized with the name, Augusta Treverorum and later it was shortened to Treveri and today, it became Trier.

The city was already an important Roman metropolis during the Merovingian times, circa 5th century (note: the juicy Jesus conspiracy, the Merovingian clan is said to be from Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene’s bloodline). Then Trier became more powerful and was appointed as the Archdiocese during Charlemagne’s supremacy. The Archbishops of Trier controlled many areas of Germany and northern France and they even became the spiritual prince electors of emperors.

But just like nature’s cycle, the city went down into turbulent times in history --- besiegement, destruction, new rulers, new edicts, revolutions, secularization, the Reformation, new doctrines and then, new bishops took place.

This is the market square of Trier and the striking old buildings guarding it.

The Trier of today is an unperturbed attractive university city, a shopping mecca that attracts shoppers from Luxemburg, France and Germany, and, a tourist and culture magnet that still boasts of the many evident traces of its glorious, illustrious and tumultuous past.

Here are more fotos of Trier’s market square.

Check out the foto with the fruit stall on the left. Notice the white tent at the back of it? That is a wine stall selling some refreshing alcoholic beverages from the Mosel-Sauer-Ruwer wine growing regions of Germany. I got tired from my city exploration, so I opted to relax a little bit with a glass of wine.

I ordered a Classic Riesling (because it was on top of the list, ah, how easy, he-he), and when I was about to pay, a 50ish gentleman standing beside me spoke in Deutsch to me. I did not really understood what he said so I gave him a blank expression face and a little smile. He smiled back, he understood I do not speak Deutsch and said--The glass of wine is on me. Oh wow, I found myself softly exclaiming in surprise--Thank you!

The older gentleman was from Trier and the lady he was with, who probably was about the same age as he, was from Bonn. I don’t think they were husband and wife, perhaps boyfriend and girlfriend, or friends, maybe even relatives. We chit-chatted a little bit, in Deutsch-Dutch-English fashion mix about Trier, Bonn and Ludwig van Beethoven having a Dutch name (the “van” is a Dutch thing). It was a fun convo with all the mix languages. Then they had to leave and we exchanged goodbyes.

Now, I do not mind meeting nice strangers like them!

And, more impressions of Trier city center: the elaborately designed gateway to the St. Gangolf Church; an ornate fountain in the market square; and a quaint alley called Judengasse leading to another square.

There were more sights I’ve wanted to see in Trier, i.e., visit the Roman ruins, check out the Coat of Treves, and many more... but I feared getting to my hotel in Luxemburg after dark. I still have to search for it and being unfamiliar with the place, I know it will take time finding it.

Anywho, my impressions of Trier... the city for me wasn’t really that top. I guess my expectations were wrong to begin with. I had expected a low-keyed Trier, something like a much bigger Cochem or Bernkastel-Kues so to speak. Instead, the Trier that greeted me was a large modern conurbation, lots of highways and tall modern buildings.

Aside from the Riesling treat from the old gentleman in the wine tent, this shrimp salad for my Trier dinner was the best I have tasted in my entire Rhine-Mosel-Lux trip, making at least my stop-over in Trier worthwhile.

In a way, I felt relieved that all hotels were fully booked in Trier on a Saturday evening. This was primarily the reason why I had to book in Luxemburg instead. The hotel internet booking I normally use ( only showed 1 hotel in Trier available on a Saturday evening, and the price was, let us just say, on the very expensive side.

The old gentleman who bought me the glass of Riesling said there was some important race event that weekend. Or, perhaps, people just flock to Trier on a Saturday? I am not a budget-backpacker-hostel type of traveler but I also I have my own personal limits when it comes to comforts.

I left Trier with a not so satisfied heart. Maybe deep down, I am less of a city girl than I ever thought.

Other entries on this vacation: Nightmare on Vacation Street, Koblenz, Stolzenfels Castle and Boppard, Tries-Karden, Burg Eltz, Muden and Cochem, Luxemburg Ville

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