I saw people smoking marijuana around Aachen. Perhaps part of the reason being the location to the Netherlands and also people don't make a big deal out of small things. I remember growing up in the US, of course everyone trys or sees others trying marijuana. In general, the memories i have of my teenage and early 20's people smoked looking for the high using enitrely all marijuana for the cigarette. While I was in Germany most people mixed a bit with tabacco. I noticed many people rolled their own cigarettes and no one ever was "high". It was a relaxed situation and normal. I was told it is illegal and if caught the police can punish them for the offense. Yet. no one was alarmed and most people even smoked while walking down the streets.
MayDay or Labor Day. In Rhineland, May 1 is also celebrated by the delivery of a tree covered in streamers to the house of a girl the night before. The tree is typically from a love interest, though a tree wrapped only in white streamers is a sign of dislike. On leap years, it is the responsibility of the females to place the maypole, though the males are still allowed and encouraged to do so.
My Experience, I only saw these trees in Aachen. There were a few not many. I saw one outside the apartment of a friend, she told me that the tree belonged to the up stairs couple. The boyfriend supposedly is placing a tree each year for his girlfriend "steffi".
Aachener Printen, a type of gingerbread, is made from a variety of ingredients including cinnamon, aniseed, clove, cardamom, coriander, allspice and ginger. Originally sweetened with honey, nowadays Printen are sweetened with the syrup from sugar beets because honey became temporarily unavailable when Napoleon issued a trade embargo, banning all trade with the main supplier of honey, the USA. The tradition of sweetening with sugar beets was kept even after Napoleon was defeated and the French occupation lifted.
There are many stores selling this local specialty in Aachen's city center. These gingerbread treats are especially popular during the Christmas season.
Site of Annual CHIO Equestrian Tournament
Every year, Aachen is the site of the CHIO Equestrian Tournament. During this tournament, equestrians compete in the five disciplines of jumping, dressage, four-in-hand diving, eventing, and vaulting. More information about this equestrian tournament can be found in the website link included with this tip.
For this annual event, the hotels in Aachen and the surrounding area are booked months in advance. Therefore, unless you are attending the tournament, you probably want to schedule your trip to Aachen at another time.
Because of this important event in the equestrian world, Aachen is sometimes referred to as the "City of Horses". The city promotes this moniker by having statues of horses throughout the city.
The "Klenkes", the raised small finger of one hand, is the symbol with which the people reportedly greet one another abroad. This special greeting is in memory of the former needle industry which was based in Aachen. During the final quality control process, which was carried out by children, the needles were inspected by rolling them over with the small finger. The faulty, unusable needes were rejected. In 1970, the Aachen artist Hubert Löneke created a sculpture to memorialize this special Aachen greeting.
Try the Aachener Printen, crispy local biscuits made in many bakeries around town so there is no way you can miss them. To me they aren't that special in taste but they are just so Aachen. There is even a museum about their making in one old town bakery.
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
We could hardly have missed them. They were placed in front of many locations in the Old Town. We even saw one in front of the Registry Office in Monschau. Some looked real, others were fanciful. The fine knick-knack stores carried ceramic versions for sale (and other animals). There were some outdoor figures that were of other animals too and in one place there was a square with a modern statue (not temporary) of a horse and trainer (?). We assumed that much of this was in the spirit of the CHIO (International Equestrian competitions).
- Family Travel
There are several so called Konditoreien who sell the local speciality called "Aachener Printen".
Molasses, flour, powdered and candied sugar as well as choice exotic spices lend this confectionery
its unique flavor.
It's a specific taste! In Holland I would refer the taste to "Peperkoek" Don't ask me for an english translation. I have no idea!
Saturday Night Life
11 bands playing in 11 pubs and clubs and once you have bought your ticket (9 Euro) you can enjoy all kinds of music played by (mostly) local bands.
You discover some new locations, hear great music and have a lot of fun. Some pubs are quite small so make sure you're there early if you really want to listen to a certain band.
Find out about dates and playlist for the next Saturday Night Life in Aachen on www.klenkes.de
- Study Abroad
I was told tipping is not a...
I was told tipping is not a practice here or maybe not encouraged?.
Update! I do tip no matter if it is a practice or not!
People are friendly here.
I consider this as a University Town. Diversity is around here.
Raise little finger!
The symbol of a raised little finger is a sign of recognition in Aachen. This gesture was formerly used in releasing damaged needles in the needle industry tghat Aachen was also renowned for. Hubert Löneke portrayed this gesture in bronze with his "Klenkes"sculpture at Holzgraben.
The bronze figure out- side shows a girl with a large piece of gingerbread. This "printe" is a trademark of the local bakers and you will find it in the shops everywhere. So try some of the local Aachen bread its delicious :-)
The people of Aachen have their own sign of recognition, "Klenkes", the little finger raised up, which was once used in releasing damaged needles in the needle industry. Hubert Löneke portrayed this gesture in bronze with his »Klenkes« sculpture at Holzgraben.
do not have a picture of this. but the guide told us about this.
Xmas Market Food
It's good! From toffee covered almonds, to reibekuchen (small hash brown potato pancake) often eaten with applesause. Usually about 3 for E1.50
Backfisch (deep-fried battered whitefish) with remoulade (creamy dill sauce) on a bun. Pigs hocks, Mushrooms, Baked potatoes...
and of course wurst, wurst and more wurst :-)
The Xmas Markets (Weinachtsmarkt) are both good and bad. the bad side is the latge tour groups that arrive. Groups of begian school children on a day out to English shoppers- Aachen being the last stop on the tourist bus route back to UK. But if you can avoid the weekend it can be fun experience
The good side is the variety of wares for sale. In particular I liked the ceramic houses that you put a tea-light candle in, the wooden biscuit moulds and of course the printen
The markets are held in front of and behind the town hall. If you don't know where to go just follow all the day trippers walking there from the train station ;-)
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