All of our girls have traveled to Trier, Germany, before us so we had some idea in advance of what to expect especially about the Roman history, the Porte Nigre, the churches, the old amphitheater and the sister city connections between Fort Worth and Trier. But we didn’t fully comprehend the travel delights of these last few days near our journey end. We saved the best for last — the beauty of the Mosel Valley, the charm of the city center, and the luck and wonder of seeing the city through the eyes of a three generation Trier family — the Masfelders.
We have known Melina for 15 years but never met her parents, Claudia and Friedhelm, until this trip. Claudia and I talked once by telephone before she let go of Melina for a trip to Texas, sponsored by Kids Who Care, when Melina was just 15 years old. C1 traveled to Trier, alone, when she was only thirteen or so and she had a grand time. I think Trier is her favorite travel spot of all. The Masfelders took her to Paris for the first time during that trip. Melina and C1 have traveled back and forth several times and so have C2 and C3 with Fort Worth Sister Cities exchanges. A family friendship forged that we treasure. We hope that Claudia and Friedhelm will come to the US and make a stop in the fort as one of their travel destinations. We would love to show them Cowtown.
The first night in Tier we dined at the Masfelder’s favorite local cafe and bar and sampled fried chicken wings, Bavarian fries and salad Trier-style. The wings were not greasy, a little peppery, and reminded me slightly of some asian-influenced wings I have sampled once before. The fries were chubby, twice-fried and crisp and the salad was light and crunchy with shredded carrots and cabbage mixed with fresh greens. We met the 72 year old, red-headed women proprietor and learned that her husband was our chef. The cafe was filled with locals enjoying Bitburger beer
or the local drink called Viez. This local favorite has the alcohol content of beer but with a soft, sour apple taste to it. Tier folks serve it in white pots at a cool temperature. I quite liked it. Not as much as the perfection of the Reislings sampled later but I understood the pleasure of the cuppa Viez especially at this time and place.
RM and I spent two full days exploring the city by foot. We sat in the market center in the sun and watched the tourists and the locals intertwine. A very tall, thin man fast walked by in a superman outfit, sans cape, beside a dapper gentleman in the finery of a coat and tie and red beret. I sipped my kaffee and soaked in the scene.
The vistas over the Mosel valley were breathtaking and I don’t still understand how the grape tenders are able to hang onto the side of the hill as they work to prune and shape the vines for this year’s harvest.
The second night we visited a local wine producer, friends of the Masfelders, and experienced a behind-the-scenes tour of the wine making process as well as how snaupps and Viez are produced. Mostly white wines are produced in this valley due to tradition and local regulations. These wines are not exported so RM and I bought a few bottles to bring back to the states as special souvenirs. I want to buy a bottle of Viez today as we do our final shopping.
We will have dinner tonight in the suburb of Pluwig at the Masfelder’s home with Claufia, Friedhelm, Melina, Jennifer, and cat. Can’t think of a better ending to our adventures in Deutchland. Truly a Trier experience to treasure a lifetime.
Safe travels and we will be home soon, too soon!