Purple, green, and yellow lights sparkle in reflection on the rain-soaked cobblestone. We arrive in a group, but a sudden downpour sends everyone scattering. Everyone but me, of course, so despite the diminutive heart the oldest city in Germany, I quickly find myself alone in Trier.
It is a beautiful city to explore. Across from the Cathedral of Trier, men begin work on stalls for the Christmas market. I wander past them to the giant doors. I hold no love for Catholicism itself, but still, there is an allure to the divine. The cathedral itself is ominously beautiful. Gargoyles hang from the outcroppings, and old saints stare down in stony judgment.
Inside, the silence is as heavy as the stone it echoes across. Gregorian chants ebb and flow faintly, like dark currents through the quiet. The sun begins to fall outside, adding to the somberness of the moment. A single rose lies drying on a slab behind the central Christ in the West Choir, where nearly fifty marble angels hang in centuries old still-life.
Across the cathedral, another statue stands in a corner – an intricately carved grim reaper, a scythe of marble as sweeping as any blade made for harvesting wheat. I feel no need to offer prayer, but I do feel one to listen.
Back outside, the sun drops more quickly. I pick my way through the Roman gardens and then meander down a few more dark side streets. The chill sets in as the wet air works its way past my scarf and into my inner layers, though to be honest, it’s not even really that cold.
The old Roman gate, the Porta Nigra, looms in the dark. I pick my way through the shadows, past a couple making out in the darkening corners of the arch, and then suddenly I am back in the square.
Headphones in, I snag a beer and a brat for the walk. I’ll finish the night in a tiny bar, still isolated from the group, but that’s an entirely different story for another time.
As always, get out. Explore your world.
I hope the pictures below do some of this justice.