Sunday, August 8:

We went by subway to Hans and Wolf's for brunch. They met us at the station so that they could guide us to their new home, in the same complex where Hans used to live, but in a different building. It's on the ground floor with a nice patio and garden, plus they have a view of the lake. We had a nice brunch, then Jim, a friend who we had previously met, came over to see us.

At about 5 we all left together. We headed back to John's and Hans and Wolf headed to a concert. We had dinner with John and then walked around the area for a while. We even found the concert that Hans and Wolf went to... but it was too crowded, so we moved on. As we walked we realized that we pretty well had covered Amsterdam over the past few days. It was time to head out to new adventures.

Jim, Hans and Wolf Another shot on the patio Close up of Wolf as we wait for the subway Hans as we wait for the subway Monday, August 9: -  - We left John's at about 8 o'clock, walked a few blocks, then caught the tram to Alamo Rental Car. They had our reservation all set, but didn't have the car we had requested... a full size with automatic and air conditioning. The girl asked, 'Do you really need an automatic?' I said yes. A few minutes later our car was ready... much bigger and better than what we had asked for.. a Volvo S60. It was a nice car, it was comfortable and handled well, but we're sure it drank a lot more gas than a smaller car would have. We had no trouble with it for the entire trip. -  - We headed for Germany.  Steffen said it would take about 2 and a half hours to get to Aachen and he'd have lunch ready when we arrived. We were right on schedule when we drove up to Steffen's front door. -  - After lunch (pasta) and a quick visit, Steffen dropped us off in downtown Aachen on his way back to work. We spent the afternoon looking around the city, including a nice walk in one of the city parks. -  - Steffen met us at 5.  We had dinner and looked around the city some more.  We then took a drive to a park where the borders of Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium meet, then took a look at their controversial city hospital followed by a night time view of the city.
Beautiful meeting room in Aachen's rathaus (town hall), a 14th century building A closer view of the wall mural Looking out at the town square from inside the rathaus Central town square of Aachen Leaving the rathaus and heading for the cathedral
The rathaus and the cathedral are at opposite ends of this court yard Aachen's Cathedral founded by Charlemagne in the year 800 The great chandelier in Aachen's Cathedral, 13 feet 9 inches in diameter, is suspended from the - ceiling by an 88 foot long chain.  The chandelier has 16 turrets to symbolize Holy Jerusalem. The stained glass windows of the cathedral We leave the cathedral and head for the shopping district

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