Our second trip to Germany in 2018 began in the Saarland

I was planning on writing up one blog post for our trip to Germany, but when I started to narrow down photos to share I realized I  have way too many to share at once, so it’s going to be spread out in 3 or 4 separate posts over the next week instead, while I also work on my preparations for my workshops at Craft Napa coming up in January.

By the way, I still have some spaces in my 2-day Paint and Printapalooza class, where you can learn to make your own beautiful hand-printed fabric.

On November 17th, Phil and flew to Frankfurt from San Francisco (11 hours) then took a bus to Saarbrucken (2 hours west) where we were picked up by our friends Thilo and Birgit Schueller.

The next day Birgit and Thilo drove us to Trier, Germany a former Roman city on the Moselle river.

Trier was founded by Celts in the late 4th century BC, it was taken over by the Romans in 15 BC where it was a favorite home of several Roman Emperors with Constantine using it as his capital.

Porta Nigra (above) is the 2000 year old Roman gate to the city, and the largest Roman gate north of the Alps. It was built without mortar, the stones are stacked and held together with iron pegs.

As we walked away from the gate into the market area the center of the pedestrian walk way was filled with the temporary buildings that house the Christmas market that would open in the next week.

This lovely building is the Dreikoenigenhaus or the ‘House of the Three Magi’, built around 1230 as a Romanesque tower house, and owned by a wealthy family. It had the main door on the second level that could only be reached by ladder, so it could be pulled up to prevent unwelcome guests. Now it has a lovely coffee shop on the first level.

Further down the street I saw St. Nicolas represented by a statue set in a wall and then in a shop window made of LEGOs.

Across from his sleigh stood the magnificent Dom St. Peters Cathedral.

At 1700 years of age, St. Peters is the oldest cathedral in Germany, although the Vikings destroyed a good part of it in 882. Rebuilding started in 993 and was completed in 1270, but then it was bombed in WWll and underwent reconstruction from 1960-1974.

After you walk in and turn to your left you see this elaborate ceiling.

The black and white floral painting on the bottom of the organ pipes look very modern.

A smaller chapel was in the lower level with simple graphic patterns painted on the ceiling and lovely simple stained glass windows.

Now oddly enough there is a second cathedral right next door to the Dom called The church of Our Lady built in 1235 that is the oldest Gothic cathedral in Germany.

This church has columns painted with images of Christ and various saints, gorgeous floral patterned ceilings and the most wonderful geometrically designed, stained glass windows,

and beautifully painted walls.

I’m in awe of the work that went into building these churches, the book Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett went through my mind often as I walked down the aisles marveling at the architectural details. It might be time to read that book again.

This old Roman sculpture of monks transporting casks of wine stood across from the church in the spot where I took the photo above of the outside of the church.

I love these decorative vintage paperback books. It was very cold (mid 30’s) and damp outside which called for a walk down the street to get a spiked hot chocolate and a piece of black forrest cake.


As I walked past all these old buildings, I was constantly taken with the designs of the doors and the elaborate handles and hardware. 

In Trier there are numerous ruins from the old Roman city, this site has been enclosed by a modern structure of steel and glass right in the middle of a shopping area.


The ruins of the Roman Imperial baths cover a staggering 452,000 square feet, it was the second largest bath complex in the Roman Empire with wellness centers, beauty parlors, numerous pools and restaurants.

The grounds had an elaborate two story subterranean complex of pipes, furnaces and slave galleys to keep the water at a perfect 120° F.

These narrow corridors have about a 20 foot ceiling height.

The size and complexity of this bath house structure is still seriously impressive almost 2000 years later.

Next, Birgit and Thilo drove us further up the Moselle river to the town of Bernkastel, where an old castle sits high up on a cliff overlooking the river. Unfortunately it was too dark to get a good photo of the castle overhead, but we walked into the village to get some dinner and saw this adorable little crooked house, leaning to the left on the way.  

So this was just our first day in Germany, according to the health app on my phone, we walked 5 1/2 miles and 12 flights of stairs. 🙂 More to come soon!

Keep creating,


I’d love to spark your creativity at one of these upcoming events:


January 16-20 Craft Napa: 2 day Paint and Printapalooza (Open),
Collage, Paint, Create! (Sold out),
Make an Impression! (Open)

I heard there’s been some cancellations for Craft Napa due to recent events, so some workshops that were closed may now have openings. 

January 30 Valley Quilt Guild, Marysville, CA Lecture

March 11, 12 CT Piecemakers Quilt Guild, Trumbull, CT
Blessings in the Wind Prayer Flags

March 21, 22 Narragansett Bay Quilters Association, RI
Tea & Ephemera

May 17-18 Meissners, Santa Rosa, TBA

June 6, 7 Palmer Divide Quilters, Monument, CO
Tea & Ephemera


IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.


5 Responses to “Our second trip to Germany in 2018 began in the Saarland”

  1. Ruby Koch AZ says:

    Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing these photos of your journey with us! <3

  3. Bev White says:

    A privilege to go with you on this beautiful tour
    You must have taken notes! Lots to admire and remember!

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