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Day 3 - Trier and Frankie's birthday

Well, it’s 6 in the morning; let’s just say that was the quickest six
hours ever! Today is going to be a long day too, we are going to have a
quick breakfast I think then get to Trier. Once there we are meeting
with the Bishop of Trier and attending a Mass, apparently we are also
going to be watching a play called Rachel, which sounds familiar. Just
looking forward to the coach rides to be honest; at least we can try and
get some sleep then too. I think I can finally hear people starting to
get up; I was first by the sound of it...

07.24: just got on the coach, freezing my **** off! Also forgot to put
on the official World Youth Day t-shirt; which sucks, but anyway someone
has brought some Peter Kay videos to watch on the trip, woo! Ok, just
found out our video player does not even work. We are on coach now;
scenery is very nice, vineyards everywhere. Just bought another t-shirt,
what a waste of €10. Our coach driver, Lee likes bugging everybody in
the morning; usually by rubbing it in that he's had a good time or
bacon. Already getting sick of sausages, got another week yet too...
Going to try and get some sleep now...

Could not get to sleep, and we have stopped for some reason; apparently
someone wants to get on or something....never mind, who cares? We’re off

Ok we have just arrived in Trier; we are rushing to the Cathedral, Mass
starts in five minutes!!!!

We’ve made it and all I can say is WOW!!! Huge, more like a castle than
a Cathedral. Beautiful sculptures and statues everywhere, there are
people from all over the world here; England, Nigeria, Italy, Japan,
Korea, France, Spain, Ireland and loads of others. Everywhere I look
there are flags. Mass is about to start; signing off for now....

WELL, that Mass was amazing, twenty two Bishops and loads upon loads of
Priests, including our very own Fathers Andrew and Simon. The Trier
bishop said his homily in six different languages!!! Amazing! The Mass
was long and we were all stood up, but the atmosphere and full band made
the Mass fly by. VERY good music and service.

When Mass finished a Massive procession took place; leading us all round
the tunic wore by Jesus in the tomb or at least part of it. Preserved in
a beautiful room adorned with solid rock sculptures reached by a solid
black marble stair case leading upwards to the arch. Inside a glass case
the tunic lies preserved in a beautifully decorated box with brass
fittings. The reflection of the ornate roof on the glass was beautiful.
As we left the room I could glimpse a view of the entire Cathedral,
straight down the middle, very impressive.

The Cathedral itself is the oldest in Germany dating from the third
century. It has a massive organ raised up on a side wall at a dazzling
height, and a second less spectacular organ resides at the back of the
Cathedral near the tunic room. Every pillar in the Cathedral had a grand
and ornate sculpture, very impressive. As we left the Cathedral I caught
a glimpse of the rear dome roof, at nearly 100ft high its beauty was
beyond words, a photograph could not do this building justice.

As I finally left the Cathedral we were provided with a free hot meal
consisting of chicken, rice and a spiced sauce. It was very nice and the
service was very efficient; serving nearly 2000 people in a matter of

It is now free time till 16.30 when we are to go and watch the play in
the Trier arena, all 2000+ of us. I have grouped up with Craig and his
host family who were going to show us around, which was very kind. We
first set of for town but then decided to go to the Cathedral café for
cake and coffee, finding it took us through a beautiful courtyard with
the graves of past Bishops. When we arrived at the café we found it
fairly empty, it was well out of the way across a car park..... Then
another act of kindness; Craig’s host family bought us all cake and
coffee, all seven of us, which was nice. The sun was shining brightly
and the birds where singing; very peaceful and picturesque. Anyway we
decided to go to the Basilica of St. Eucharius and St. Matthias.

The bus to the Basilica was not for two hours, so we wandered round
Trier for a while, we played giant Jenga and walked on stilts, not to
mention cutting full body silhouettes and decorating them. The bus was
free to all world youth day folks like us. We got on the bus and arrived
shortly at the Basilica, we were welcomed in by the Brothers of the
Basilica. They introduced us to the tomb of St. Mattias (an apostle) and
then split us into groups according to language. I joined the English
group whilst Craig’s hosts went on the German tour. The tour started
with a large aerial photograph with commentary relating to parish
boundaries and Basilica evolution over the last 100 years. Apparently
the Basilica was owned by the French and was disbanded, and was sold to
a rich family which starting splitting the Basilica in half, destroying
lots of stonework. The Basilica was eventually re-bought under German
rule. The land which the family had used for agriculture was given up
for building houses for the needy. The damage has been partially
repaired since; however during the war the Brothers where caused to
leave again; few returned. The Basilica merged with another Basilica
under one Abbot to survive. The tour also covered the Brothers daily
routine including getting up at 5.30!!!!! We then saw a library with
many ancient texts stretching back 1500 years; one had been restored and
was very impressive. Once the tour had finished we just caught the bus
in time back to town.

The bus was very lively, just an ordinary public bus yet everyone
started singing, amazing. We arrived back in Trier central; anyway; this
then left us with one hour to get to the arena which was two miles away!
We had to walk our legs off! But we made it with time to spare. We
passed the famous black gate, which has gone black over the many years
due to rain; it’s constructed of sandstone for some bizarre reason. We
arrived at the arena absolutely knackered, 2 miles in 45 minutes in the
baking sun, but the arena was an ice ring and had great cooling systems,
obviously they had got rid of the ice and put seats down. The show
'Rachel' was very good although I had no idea what was going on as it
was all in German. However the music and dancing was excellent...the
show went on much later than expected so we ran for the coach which is
where I wrote most of today's diary, sorry for discrepancies in past
tense. So we are once again on the journey back home, hopefully I can
get some sleep now.

Ok, got no sleep....every bugger started a good old sing along on the
coach. Once we arrived we joined the parish festival, very good, more
beer and food.... And yes more bloody sausages. It is a very friendly
community, we spent some time talking to our host families, they kindly
bought us a beer; the generosity around here is amazing as well as the

The music guy has just played the Benny hill theme tune, it was
hilarious to see Old German people ball-room dancing to it however
Father Simon and some woman running around in true Benny Style, it was
very funny….

01.04: We just got in. The party really livened up once someone asked
for YMCA to be played (I hate it personally but hey it got people's up
with the help of the strong German lager). All the music was coming from
one guy who was playing most of these tunes from memory as well as
singing all the lyrics. We get a little lie-in tomorrow as Sunday is a
relatively free day. Although I think we may be going wine tasting if my
basic understanding of German is remotely accurate. Jürgen called it
wine proofing.
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