Trip to the western edge of eastern Europe: Chapter 9 – …and back again

We took our bus from Paris at 11pm and reached Aachen at 5am. After getting home, popping more painkillers and sleeping till 2pm, we finally got up and started to go about the last leg of the journey – seeing Aachen.  Mercifully it stopped raining at around 4, giving us enough time to see the city.

We started with the Lindt factory – the largest outside of Switzerland – where I bought tonnes of chocolates. Then we headed to the city centre and bought souvenirs and Enthu gave me his famous walking tour of Aachen.

Aachen is a little town (the westernmost in Germany) with a long and glorious history. This small spa town was chosen by Charlemagne as his seat and the Holy Roman Empire was ruled from this humble town for 300 odd years. A number of the cathedrals in the city as well as the old Rathaus are lovely heritage structures – some of them were destroyed in World War II raids, but the Germans having kept meticulous detailed records of everything, could construct almost everything identically again.

The Aachen cathedral is particularly beautiful and fascinating. The original structure built by Charlemagne over 1200 years was a small octagonal church which has been embellished over the years to create a large complex structure. This cathedral also holds the tomb of Charlemagne and several artefacts from medieval Christendom.

The last item on the agenda was to go to the point where the borders of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands intersect – Drei Lander punkt. A short hike through the forest and over the hills, we came to the small pillar at the centre of a pie chart which breaks up the land around into the 3 countries. Also interestingly, barely 50 metres from this location is the highest point in the Netherlands (just 322m above sea level!)

We walked back[1] the few kilometres to the city and headed to Zu Hause – a local pub which a huge collection of whisky. A few drinks later – we headed back to Enthu’s place. Some packing later we were off to the Train Station to catch my train to the Dusseldorf airport to fly back.

The flight was smooth and everything went off okay this time (both bags reached).

Back in India, I t over the most important order of business post any international flight[2],  took my taxi to Gupta-Korni’s place and started dealing with the depression of going to work the next day.

 

 

[1] So much for our initial plan of “Aaj toh chill lete”

[2] Buying exotic alcohol from the Duty Free Shop

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