This wonderful day in Germany was another day to remember. We went to a beautiful cathedral (yeah, I know they are all over the place in Europe) to go to a Roman Catholic Mass and also to go there to hear the famous Limburg Boys Choirs that are known worldwide. Unfortunately, they were not there! BUT, the service that they were supposed to sing at provided for me an eye-opening view of a Roman Catholic mass. WOW. Needless to say but maybe not, this mass was uh well…spoken in German…because of course…we were in Germany! Silly me. Why would I think it was spoken in English?
The thing about this German Roman Catholic Mass was I felt like I was in a big huge beautiful smoking room at a very old religious building. There was more incense burned during that service than I’ve seen and burned all my LIFE! Even a person with a serious marijuana problem that covers them self in incense before they walk out the door would have possibly passed out. Trying to get the incense out of my clothes was almost as bad as getting cigarette smoke smells out. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I ever wore the outfit I was wearing again after that. It was truly incredible. All of us Americans were in that Mass for over 1 ½ hours. The place got so filled with smoke I thought at that point we might as well cut off our hair too. Hair absorbed the smell almost more than my clothes. Since I didn’t understand a word the priest was saying I just spent my time trying to look at all the people and the beautiful cathedral…even though the incense smoke contorted my view.
After the smelly smoky church mass, we were allowed out and even though I didn’t see it, I’m certain when the doors opened to that cathedral, it had to have been an amazing thing to watch all of us walk out as smoke from the incense followed us outside the beautiful cathedral doors. And since we all must have smelled like that incense…well…I don’t’ know what to say. I think I was running out at that point but I’m most certain God forgave me.
With 2 more hours in Limburg on a very cold Sunday morning, my daughter Michelle, and I found a small little restaurant and drank hot tea with several of the folks in our group. We made sure to use the WC (Water Closet which of course is another term for restroom or better yet – toilet!) while we were there. Even if it did cost! We discovered during our time in Germany that unless you are in your own home or hotel room … every WC costs money. It cost about 50 pfennig to pee in Germany in 1997. Everything’s a business I guess! The bathrooms were always clean though and they cleaned after each person, so I guess that’s what we were paying for. The WC was downstairs and we each made our turn after one of us scoped it out to find out the cost.
Our bus driver took us back to Koblenz on the autobahn. WOW. I could not believe how fast one can drive on the autobahn. It was FAST – maybe 145 KM or in American terms: 90 MPH! I will never forget it but I have to say it was quite fun. And best of all we got back to Koblenz without a scrape on us so there is something to say for speed.
We all had the afternoon off and Michelle and I went to the football field (soccer for you Americans) with our family Budka to see their son, Marvin play. It was so very cold that day but we stood strong as we didn’t want to seem like wimpy Americans. One of Michelle’s friends (Adrian) that came over with his father (Walter) on the trip was at the soccer fields with their family they had been staying with. After the game the 2 families took us to another castle, Schloss Stolzenfels.
Stolzenfels castle is a few miles south of Koblenz and it rises above the Rhine Valley. It was a romantic looking castle and the original castle was built in 1250 to impose “Rhine tolls” for boats that were transporting goods. In the late 1600’s though it was almost
completely destroyed by the French during the Nine Years War, but fortunately was rebuilt by one of the King Friedrich’s of Prussia in the 1800 and he had it rebuild for a residence. This castle was absolutely beautiful and it also had a great view of the Rhine and Mosel rivers merged together but flowing against each other. Truly amazing.