SJ on the Move

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


On Sunday we took a train ride to the town of Aachen. Like just about everywhere we have visited, Aachen was once one of the most important cities in all of Europe as Aachen was the capital of Charlemagne's kingdom.

90% of Aachen is completely forgetable, as the city was heavily damaged in WWII. However, it does have a very small old section of town that is very quaint. There is the old Rathaus (city hall) that is built where Charlemagne's palace once stood, as well as the cathedral that Charlemagne built.

The cathedral is free, but they ask anyone who takes pictures to pay 2 Euros. The sign was next to a collection box, so I assumed that you just paid the 2 Euros into the collection box - the honor system. After I had paid my 2 Euros, I saw that there was a guy running around the cathedral collecting money and giving people blue wrist bands, to prove that they had purchased the right to take pictures. Well, I didn't feel like trying to explain that I had already paid, and I also didn't feel like coughing up another 2 Euros to take pictures, so I had to take my pictures on the sly.

Thankfully I "got away with it", as I did a few other tourists get chased down and thrown in the dungeon for taking pictures without the appropriate papers. Okay, I made that part up. However, they did seem rather militant about making sure people paid for taking pictures. That, and about every 5 minutes or so, he would let out a big "Shushhhhhhh!" to encourage people to be quiet. It was somewhat amusing, because it was a really, really loud "shush" that he managed to hold for about a minute. Pretty impressive.


Post a Comment

<< Home