Saturday, October 14th, 2006
Our first full day in Aachen, Germany. So before leaving we made an executive decision not to get a HI card (Hostelling International), which gives a discount at some hostels. Jugendgästehaus , the hostel in Aachen is the first hostel which required the card... not having it cost an extra 5 euros each, per night -- so far no regrets on our decision. Also the free breakfast turned out to be a very sweet deal so the extra 5 euros was nothing. We did manage to make a huge mistake at breakfast when we thought that this white, yogurt-looking mixture was yogurt and loaded our plates with it (I had even put fruit jam in it to make a fruit yogurt) and then discovered that it was in fact sour cream. So we had this huge portion of sour cream and nothing to eat it with (cereal? - no, toast? - no), when we handed out plates in we had to look down at the floor and walk away in a hurry to show our shameful wastefulness.
On our walk into town we discovered that our hostel was right beside a farmer's field that was full of cows. They were not impressed to see us but that didn't prevent us from trying to communicate with them only to be snubbed for grain. While we were walking a woman in a car stopped across the road from us and was gesturing like crazy and speaking fast German and pointing at us. We had no idea what was going on but after going in for a closer look at the hand gestures we discovered that we had dropped our jackets about 100 metres behind us near the streetlight. That was very kind of her to tell us, Germans are friendly.
We soon discovered that Aachen was pretty dead on Saturday mornings, there were very few people around. However we did stumble upon a nice and affordable chocolate store and picked up some interesting treats like spicy, chili flavoured chocolate. We also went and visited the Cathedral which was massive and had beautifully painted ceilings. We then wandered through the ritzy streets in the central part of the city and discovered some fun statues and fountains along the way. One fountain consisted of a bunch of toys/dolls and had live musicians beside it playing the accordion, another one was of a man with a rooster in his pants.
We ate dinner at a pub called "Labyrinth" and had our most memorable meal of the entire trip. It was called the "grosse grille platten" and it was huge and delicious, lots of grilled meat. The server laughed at us when we ordered it for only two people and we thought he was crazy, how big could it possibly be? And then when he brought it to the table we were amazed! We ate for two days afterwards, so yummy. We also tried beer at the pub and mine was the girliest beer you can ever imagine, it was called "bannannen vien" which had pureed banana mixed with beer and I got to drink it with a straw. It's very good for a non-beer drinker, I loved it. Tyler's beer was called "Drexler" and he enjoyed it but I bet he would have liked it more with a little banana in it.
-Jenny and Tyler, beer connosieurs