Noviomago (Neumagen)


Watching a water plane take off beside us, we started to travel back in time. Past last century residences we eventually arrive in Noviomago at 150 AD, at the time of the Romans.


Here in Neumagen archeologists found residual walls and foundations of a late- antique Roman fort. The foundations were mostly gravestones which were decorated by reliefs and inscriptions. The reliefs show scenes of daily life such as a  "wine ship” laden with wooden barrels, a Roman lady having her hair done, the collection of lease moneys and the “Happy Helmsman” leaning against a barrel of wine. Apparently, during festivities Roman togas make a reappearance here and a modern replica of the old wine ship takes people on a historic rowing tour with wine on board, of course!

At dinner time the grape covered courtyard of a winery attracted our attention. The place was very busy with happy sounds and clinking glasses coming from all corners.  As all the tables were taken, the friendly cellar owner, Ralph, asked us to join people at another table with the words: “nobody bites here!”.



We tasted some of the cellar's wine and watched Ralph cook the so called “Schwenksteaks”, marinated pork steaks barbecued on a swinging grid. The steaks were delicious and so popular that several times Ralph had to let himself into the closed butcher shop across the road to fetch more. We learned that this is an arrangement of trust between the butcher and himself. 

In some marinas on the Rhein and the Mosel exists a similar understanding of trust: a metal box at the gate contains marina and washroom keys and printed envelopes for registration details and mooring fees. On leaving one simply puts the envelope with the money into a provided letterbox and returns the key to its place.  

Today we are heading to Trier. From there we will hire a car to visit my family again and to celebrate a special birthday of my brother, Thomas.

More about what the Romans got up to in Trier when we return in a weeks time.

© Austin Robinson 2019