2. Jul, 2016

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FRIDAY 01-07-16

I don't think either of us had a terribly good night, maybe it was the absolute peace and quiet, well quiet until about 04:45 when the birds started chirping.

We had already decided to make do with just a wash this morning, the reason being that although we have a fresh water tap next to the motorhome, and ample LPG onboard to heat it, what we don't have provided is the means to dump our grey (sinks and shower) water, nor empty the loo. As we are here for two nights we'll have a shower tomorrow morning and then look to dump our waste water elsewhere having dragged it a round with us for miles.

More sickly chocolate muesli for breakfast. Yesterday I vowed that this morning, having poured it, I'd then use tweezers to pick out all of the chocolate bits, but when it came to it, I just couldn't be bothered.

Once scrubbed and fed we headed for the local bus stop in to Trier town, the one big difference being we were now both wearing trousers and shoes as the weather felt cooler.

The regular bus service took us to 'Porta Negra' in town for €2 each, not as cheap as France, but a fair price.

Porta Negra is the surviving one of two town gates built in the Middle Ages and named after the colour of its weathered stone. It is the world's best preserved Roman gate, and Germany's oldest defensive structure. I got my photographs taken just in time before a large tour group stood in everybody else's way whilst being spoon-fed with the history of the structure.

A short walk away bought us to the town's main square, Hauptmarkt, a nice spot containing St Peter's Fountain. That was another few clicks of the camera before entering Dom St Peter Cathedral, incorporating the remains of an older 4th century church. Quite nice inside, made lighter by having clear glass windows as opposed to stained glass designs, which, although decorative, I think makes churches dark and spooky. The Chef went forward for a closer look at the architecture and artefacts. The cathedral claims to have the Holy Robe, the tunic of Christ. The Chef came back to report that there was a chest up at the front but nothing could be seen inside it. I wasn't in the least bit surprised and always take such claims with a very large pinch of salt.

What has been most noticeable here in Germany is the lack of Japanese tourists. Back in Switzerland especially, and again in the south of France, Japanese tourists with their 'Selfie Stick's' have been everywhere. When they get home and show family and friends their holiday pictures, they must be saying things like "I see you combed your hair differently that day - so what's that behind you?"

We found the river and the Roman Bridge nearby. Well not entirely all Roman, all that now survives are the 2nd century pylons, the arches were built on top of them in 1717-1718. Still hats off to the Romans, they're still there and supporting far more weight from today's traffic than they would ever have been designed for. So what did the Romans ever do for us?

On the way back we came across the remains of some Roman Baths before eventually finding the home of Karl Marx. Given the size of the house, this man didn't develop his philosophy of life from the poverty of the gutter. Looks like he was another champagne socialist.

We splashed out on some lunch - fish & chips, but not exactly as we know them. The chips were fine, served in a cornet-shaped paper container, but my fish was a few bits of battered fishcake with a sauce poured over it. As I had the last of the fish The Chef got the first helping from a fresh batch, and I think hers was better, they looked like bits of battered fish. Still it only came to €8 so that wasn't too bad. It was served up to us by an American chap whose home was near Lake Tahoe in California. He told us he didn't know what he was doing here, and no, sadly, neither did I.

One loaf of bread from the bakers and we were ready to head back 'home'.

When we got back it was feet up for a while before enjoying a nice hot drink. We have a new neighbour, Brits, who have just travelled down the route we're heading up on, so with a few helpful tips from them we'll be better prepared when we set off tomorrow.

This evening I noticed that somehow we've used one hell of a lot of water since we've been parked up here, to such an extent that I needed to use the adapted watering can to load more onboard ready for our shower in the morning, and naughty though it was, get rid of some of our grey water. It is so fortunate that right next to our motorhome are some grapevines that probably needed watering, and that's where the grey water went.

So if perhaps next year a wine expert spits out their sample of German Riesling wine, exclaiming that it tastes like liquid soap and shower gel - that's someone who knows their wine!