Aachen

Aachen is a lovely little town close to the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands. It’s quiet and calm, with many cafes, cobblestone streets and gentle hills. We spent two nights there, and were not yelled at by any of the hotel staff. I think that earns us an extra life or a health pack or something. The room was adorable, and it even had a “real” bed that did not hurt to sleep on. So far, everything that we’ve slept in has been two twin beds pushed together.

We visited a few of the tourist attractions in town, including the Newspaper Museum. Did you know that Paul Julius Reuters (as in Reuters, the global news agency) lived in Aachen? Maybe you did, but shush. This is my time to share things. The telegraph line from Berlin didn’t extend all the way to Belgium, so he used homing pigeons to transfer news over that gap. Take *that*, technology. We visited another museum that I’ll post about separately. There’s not that much to say, since we’re not sure what it was a museum of, but maybe the photos will do enough to convey the creepiness and the strange smells.

The Rathaus in Aachen is gorgeous but, alas, we couldn’t go inside during any of our time there.

I keep having to be reminded that the blue flag with a circle of stars (on the far left above) stands for the European Union, rather than some country that I can’t conjure the name of.

Aachen has a lot of quirky statues and other art around town. I don’t have an explanation for a lot of it.

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We also visited Aachen Cathedral, which was built by Charlemagne over a millennium ago and was one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s truly stunning on the inside, and some might even call it breaktaking*. I, however, took no pictures. It was stuffed with tourists, and there is no way that my Canon Powershot would have done justice to the millions of mosaic tiles.

For more info about the Cathedral, and some photos: http://aachendom.de/index323-0.aspx

And for a slightly different take of what Aachen has to offer: we encountered an American store…of some kind. It had a name like American Supply, or American Surplus, or American ‘Merika, or something else entirely stupid.

We would have picked up a bag of bullets to remind us of home sweet home, but who wants to carry those all the way to the train station? Next time, creepy war things. Next time.

*I personally reserve the adjective “breathtaking” for things have actually taken my breath away. Namely, driving on the cliffs of Point Reyes National Seashore. And also this.

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