The original intro to this post read like this:
“I couldn’t come up with a better title, honestly. I guess I’m still a bit down the drain from the trip and the bit of work I had during the last days. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine and socially available/acceptable again in no time, I just didn’t sleep that much lately. It’s funny what four days permanently surrounded by colleagues/fellow students/archaeology nerds who really don’t have any other interests will do to your bullshit tolerance level.
Anyway, I took a few *cough*oversixhundred*cough* photos for you to look at while my soul catches up with my body and I adjust to being at my comfortably people-free flat.”
I’m better now, several weeks later, much better, and I finally managed to sort through all the pictures. I usually don’t talk much about my major at uni here (or uni in general), but the field trip was really extraordinarily nice, so it deserves a mention.
The field trip was set for four days at the very beginning of our holidays. We started out in the early morning by train when it was still dark outside, but gladly I’m far more of a morning person than most of the other students who came along so I didn’t find it too hard. They did quite the job renovating the central station, so the waiting hall wasn’t too ugly to stay in, too. I really like those starburst lights.
Our first stop was Cologne, and every time I see it in person I wonder how the Cologne Cathedral must have looked for a person from the middle ages, someone who wasn’t used to skyscrapers and modern city skylines.
We were far too early for the appointment with our professor, though, which resulted in hordes of students invading the local donut and Lego shops. Time got by, finally, and we went to the Romano-Germanic Museum. The RGM is a charming 70s style building, a bit dusty perhaps, but with an amazing array of artifacts.
These are only my favourite pieces of their exhibition, the museum is huge and has a lot more to offer, of course. We then stopped by an excavation in the middle of the city where we were shown not only progress but also the subterranean walls of a praetorial palace.
We went back to the Cathedral afterward, and inside, to see the clerical treasure beneath and two late roman/medieval grave inventories.
We left Cologne in the late afternoon for our next and longest destination: Xanten.
Xanten is an adorable little town close to the Dutch border. There are old windmills practically everywhere. The one above was set in the town walls and there was a little organic food shop inside (ooh, I love the smell of those).
I definitely want to go there again, just to do a little more sightseeing. Siegfried, hero of the Song of the Nibelungs, was allegedly born here, and they are rather proud of that. I’m more interested in the windmills and the cute brick houses, though.
We practically walked everywhere, starting with the way from the train station to our hostel. Being from a town settled snugly between steep hills, the flatland made these walks incredibly easy and pleasant.
Our main reason to visit Xanten was this: The Archeological Park (APX for short). It’s amazing, really, but it deserves a post of its own, so I’ll end this one here. I hope you’re having a great weekend!