Aachen

by

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Checked out of the hotel after breakfast, walked to the Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof through a cool, gray morning. Claimed my reserved tickets from the automat after fiddling around a while. You get the tickets by entering an identifier number; okay, that’s fine. I had a confirmation number — nope. Well, there was an order number — no. And then there were distinct numbers for the two legs of my journey. Those worked. I’m glad; I was just about to run off the end of the integers I knew about.

Short hop from Darmstadt to Frankfurt Hbf, where I had time to wander a little before boarding the ICE train to Aachen.

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How often do you suppose a train overruns the end of the track?

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… at speeds of less than 15 kph? I’d like to see their test bed.

By the time we reached Aachen, the sun had come out, and it was a cool, pleasant day. Pulled up GPS and the local map on my iPhone and found the hotel. Deviated slightly from the shortest route to get there, but it’s okay. Dropped my things and went out to explore the town.

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First thing (well, the first thing I photographed) was a vocal rehearsal in a church. Nice. I especially liked the passage where one of the men in the back row (off the picture to the right) whistled the background accompaniment.

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Cherries for sale, and enthusiastic customers. Busy town, people out enjoying, shopping. Setting up stands for craft or flea markets later on, planning some live music.

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Marktplatz, though it isn’t full of Markt today. The Rathaus fronts one side of it.

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The view from the Rathaus.

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Dom in the background, a whimsical fountain in the foreground.

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I didn’t see any indication that there is a story to be told. Just whimsy, I guess.

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Continuing the wander, I came to the Elisenbrunnen, a sulphur spring and spa. Been here forever, I understand; several signs about the world’s rich and famous who deigned to spend time here.

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The space in front of the Brunnen, and a little girl who knows exactly what it’s all good for.

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More wandering. Nice town; I like this.

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Not yet performing, just getting ready.

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Beautiful things for your dog. This Foto dedicated to Eve.

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Further along, a Doctors without Frontiers stand, and next to it, Engineers without Frontiers. Unfortunately, their schtick seemed to be growing beans to save water, in comparison to raising beef and pork and things of higher value. A bit disappointing: engineers ought to be able to compare values. But they also had flyers about helping with earthquake remedies or prevention in places like Nepal.

Back to the hotel for a short crash, then out for … dare I admit it? After wandering out to the Pont Tor, near the Technische Hochschule, I returned to the Marktplatz and had fajitas at Sausalito’s. I like all cuisines, and it has been a while since I had Mex. Especially since they had Dunkelweizen, which is not at all Mex.

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Late sun on the Rathaus as I left the restaurant. Just after shooting this, I bumped into a colleague, with his wife. They were going around enjoying the choral festival that’s happening in half a dozen churches this evening. Small world, ties into the rehearsal I heard earlier today. Nice.

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