14 December 2013

Earl had a business trip during his birthday, so I went along to keep him company. This also meant that we only had two full days for sightseeing.

On our first day, we decided to start with the 10 AM Mass over at the 1037 year old Mainz Cathedral (St. Martin's Cathedral). We knew that the entire service was going to be in German and we wouldn't be able to understand anything, but I really wanted to see what a German Mass was like. And you know what? I'm so glad we went as it turned out to be the highlight of the day!

For a regular Sunday Mass, we were surprised that it was rather formal. There was a man dressed in some form of livery and holding a metal staff who headed the entrance procession. He was followed by the altar boys and the priests (there were three who concelebrated that day). I wanted to take a picture, but wasn't sure how well the ones around us would react.

Then there was the choir which had around 30 members, and I only have one word to describe their singing - heavenly! Every time they sang, I was smiling. Though there was a pipe organ that wasn't exactly in sync with the choir, but they mostly sang without background music so needless to say, I was happy during the entire Mass.

Right outside the cathedral was the Christmas Market which opens at 11 AM so the timing was perfect. There were so many things I wanted to buy, but since all of them consisted of food items, I decided that I'll sample everything during our next trip as my stomach had other priorities (there was a restaurant I wanted to try and if I ate already, I would not have any appetite left for lunch).

We went to the market again later that day just to see what it looked like at night. If it was festive during daytime, more so at night with all the lights. There were also more people, so if you want to shop in relative peace, do so in the morning.

The lady you see in the picture is at the Gutenberg Museum giving a presentation on how the first printing press worked. Unfortunately, it was in German so we could only guess at was she was saying by watching what she was doing. The same lady also gives a tour of the museum and was kind enough to offer comments in English if we joined the tour. I thanked her, but declined as we already rented an English audio guide (3.50 €).

The audio guide helped, but both Earl and I found the place to be rather boring. Maybe printing presses just aren't our thing. We did get to see the Gutenberg Bible, though we don't have pictures as taking photographs is prohibited in the entire museum except for the presentation.

Tickets cost 5.00 € per person.

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