Existing Member?

Adventures of a short vet

Exploring Aachen

GERMANY | Sunday, 10 July 2011 | Views [1135]

Despite oversleeping and running late I still managed to make the 11am train to Aachen, which is only an hour’s trip towards the border of Germany. I managed to navigate my way to my hotel (no hostels in Aachen and I stupidly forgot I knew someone who lived there) by following maps on bus stops. The hotel is a bit average but the people are lovely and I was stoked to have my own room for two nights. I dropped off my gear and made the 30min walk back into town where I had a great coffee at a little café near the main square, before wandering through the cobbled streets of the Old Town. There are a lot of chocolate shops given their close proximity to Belgium – Heath should be here!

The following day I headed into town via a “bush walk” which was really peaceful, where I followed the “walking tour” on the map, trying to find all the random fountains – I found the scary cat creature, a mobile puppet-type fountain, and the “chicken-thief” square. I also visited the church where the “devil’s thumb” is said to be caught in the wolf’s head mounting in the door. Legend had it that when the Aacheners’ building fund ran dry the devil offered an injection of fresh capital. In return, he demanded the soul of the first mortal to enter the cathedral after its dedication, but hadn’t reckoned on good old Aachen cunning. They caught a wolf and chased it into the cathedral before them. The devil grabbed it without looking and ripped its soul out. Noticing he’d been tricked, he slammed the cathedral door in a fit of rage with such force that his thumb was torn off – and this thumb, cathedral lore has it, can be felt to this very day in one of the two lions’ heads… – there is a metal thing in the wolf’s mouth but it doesn’t look like a thumb. The weather turned pretty crappy by the afternoon, with the wind and rain picking up, and there wasn’t much else to do in town other than sit in coffee shops so I soon headed back to the warmth of the hotel where I spent a lazy evening watching movies in German and almost understanding them.

Tags: aachen, cathedral, devils thumb, fountains

About drmitch

Dr Nick my travel companion

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Germany

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.