In the afternoon, after the baths in Baden-Baden, we drove west a couple hours to Speyer, an old walled city on the Rhine River. It turned out that there was a two-week long music festival going on and all the hotels in town were booked. We know this because we stopped at ten of them and they all said, “Nein,” in response to my question, “Haben Sie ein Zimmer frei?” I am getting very good at asking if the hotels have any available rooms – and understanding when they tell me that they don’t.

We gave it one last shot before giving up and heading out of town as the sun set, this time telephoning a hotel just across the Rhine from the main part of the old city, and they had one room left. We rushed over there, checked in, had dinner and a couple pilsners and called it an early night, deciding to get up earlier to see the town.

Speyer is known for its Cathedral, built in the middle of the 10th century. This year marks its 950th anniversary. It is massive.

Here’s Dale standing at the front door.

And this is what it looks like from inside:

After walking in, I turned around to look up at the organ. We wished we could be in the cathedral when the organ is played. There’s someone up there – see if you can find him, it will give you an idea of how big this organ is.

We walked up towards the alter and turned around to take a picture back towards the front door.

The place was really awe-inspiring. You almost had to sit down to catch your breath after looking up.

Next, we went underneath the alter to the tombs where the Salient emperors were buried; this was the last family to rule before the Treaty of Worms, which resulted in more power being transferred by the royal family to the catholic church in the 1100s.

We ended our tour by going outside and around to the east side.

Then finishing up on the north side. Truly amazing that most of this building was built almost a thousand years ago!

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