Sunday, December 4, 2016

Whirlwind Road Trip Part II: Saying Hi to Charlemagne

A little over an hour from Bonn is the town of Aachen, which is where Charlemagne lived, ruled, died, and where his remains lie within the the Aachen Cathedral. Aachen is not a large city and probably not anywhere I would be able to go if I were coming to Europe for a weeklong trip from the States, but is exactly the type of place I love having time to explore now.

Since Charlemagne's kind of a big deal in history, we made this the first stop on our road trip.  
Within the cathedral, looking into the "Choir" and towards the golden box containing Charlemagne's remains

The ceiling of the original octagonal chapel within the Cathedral.

Looking into the original octagonal chapel, which was constructed under Charlemagne beginning in 793. The columns on the 2nd level were removed during French occupation under Napoleon and taken to the Louvre. Most of them were later returned but some still remain there.

The mosaic ceilings in the walkway surrounding the octagonal chapel.

The mosaics were incredible.

Brandtley wanted me to take his picture in front of the Cathedral.  He's the orange dot. :)

A better picture of the front of the Cathedral.

I really didn't research the city much other than the Cathedral and was so enamored by Aachen's beauty.  

I don't know what these houses are.  I just thought they were so pretty.

The Aachen Christmas Market wasn't on our list of "To-do" but we enjoyed wandering through it for hours.  It was enchanting to walk through the decorated streets and suddenly round a corner to see a statue of Charlemagne in front of a magnificent building like the Rathaus below.

Another view of a different wing of the Rathaus

Aachen Christmas Market with beautiful buildings surrounding it.

After wandering for a few hours, we ducked into a cafe.  This has always been one of our favorite things to do in Europe and I'm so happy that it is something our entire family can enjoy - even Brandtley! I realized recently that since plain milk is naturally gluten free with very low risk of cross contamination, it is easy to order steamed milk for the kids, even speaking in German (!). So while Matthew & I enjoy our Caffe Latte Macchiatos, the kids can have warm milk!  

This cafe asked if we would like honig (honey) and I said yes, though wasn't sure how they would add it. When it was served, each boy received a glass mug of steamed milk topped by a little saucer which carried a small jar of honey! I didn't think to document this with a picture until half of the honey-milk was gone, but here's what it looked like:

The kids now ask to stop for coffee as a treat instead of stopping for candy or baked goods, which is fine by me!! 


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