Day 8: Trier to Aachen
What a terrible day in terms of weather. It was raining when I left Trier and it didn’t really stop all day!
In the rain, I didn’t like the idea of the 30 minute walk in to the centre of Trier, so I made a quick getaway and headed for the German border with Luxembourg, at Schengen.
Schengen is quite a small town so it was only a short stop, enough time to visit the European Museum which is all about the history of the border-free area within the EU, the Schengen Area.
A short drive from Schengen took me to Luxembourg City. I parked for free in one of the city’s P+R car parks, from where it was just a 15 minute bus ride to the city centre. It had more or less stopped raining by this stage so I was able to have a good walk round, take some photos, and find something for lunch.
Luxembourg is a relatively small city but quite an important centre for the region. There was quite a mixture of languages there – aside from German there was a lot of French, and also the local language Luxembourgish which has influences from both French and German and is quite weird to listen to!
I seemed to get on OK speaking German with the replies coming in French. My French is pretty much non existant beyond “Bonjour” and “Au revoir”! I couldn’t really understand what they were saying, but I got the food they ordered, so that’s the important thing!
With time getting on, by 15:30 I was ready to return to the car. It was raining again, so my original plan to stop briefly at the 3-Border Point of Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany – was halted. I chose instead to drive straight up to my overnight point in Aachen: The Western most city in Germany and the closest location in Germany to the UK.
The route there took me part way through the French speaking region of Belgium, although thankfully I didn’t have to put French language radio on: The Belgischer Rundfunk (BRF) stations which broadcast in German were available in this region, not far from Eupen, Belgium’s German speaking capital.
Once checked in to the hotel in Aachen I got the bus in to the city centre to wander around the Altstadt, before finding somewhere to eat. Just by chance I found my way to a Greek restaurant. So having encountered French, German, Luxembourgish and Flemish during my international drive earlier in the day, I now was able to speak Greek as well.I had the best souvlaki I’ve had in a long time!
After dinner, I returned to the hotel for a good night’s sleep. I’ve got a long drive ahead now: Several hours to get to Ypres.
My original plan was to stop on the way in Maastricht – but I’m going to leave that for another time. Instead, I’m going to go back to Brühl to visit the bits I missed earlier in the week.It does mean driving in the wrong direction for a while, but if I start early enough that shouldn’t be a problem.
So after an international drive – Germany, Luxembourg, France for a few km, back in to Luxembourg, back in to Germany, Belgium, and finally back in to Germany – My German road trip is almost over, and I will soon be leaving Germany 🙁
Hopefully I can do it all over again soon!
Today’s Mileage: 196 Miles
Accumulative Mileage: 1243.7 Miles