Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bitburg and Trier

This morning we slept in, or rather I did and Jim waited patiently for me to wake up. Traveling is tiring, especially without the support of a tour. After foraging for breakfast, and witnessing a cloud burst of extraordinary proportions, we decided to drive up to Bitburg. It's on Jim's list of Cold War stuff to look at. The farther north we went, the nicer the weather was.
Germany is heavily invested in wind and solar power. However, we've noticed in the rural areas they heat with wood. These people have serious wood piles.

Bitburg was the home of the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing. It was one of several US fighter bases west of the Rhine. It was returned to the Germans in the early 90s.
Here is the control tower.

A hard shelter. They weren't camouflaged the way the Russian shelters were.

We think this might be an old Ryan drone.

One of the old buildings.

This guy is thinking about telecommunications.

There are a bunch of barracks that are identified by people's names. There is the Marilyn Monroe, the Chuck Yeager and the Bob White. Bob White went on to be a NASA pilot and flew the X-15.

Then it was back to Trier and sight seeing. The internet has crashed twice on me, so there's going to be brief text so I can get this up before it totally dies. This is the Liebfrauenkirche. It's old, there was a plaque listing all of the priests who had led the church, the first one died in 250.

Looking from the front to the back wall.

There is some sort of relic behind this wall. You can't go in. It's unfortunate because it looked pretty spectacular in there.

Carving. Lots and lots of carved stone.

The ceiling of the back wall. More carving.

This is the Basilica. It dates from Roman times. It was painstakingly restored in the 1800s and was quite the church (Protestant). Then there was firebombing in Trier in 1944 and it was completely destroyed. Most of the explanatory material was in German so I don't have a lot of detail.

We do have to wonder why a Baroque residence from the mid-1700s was glued to the back of the Basilica. No data.

Then it was off to see more Roman ruins. We walked out along an old Roman wall to the amphitheater.

The baths.

OK, I'm going to publish now while I can. Tomorrow we think we're going to Aachen. There is a really big church there.

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