Saturday, April 11, 2009

Five weeks at Aachen

Here are some of my favourite pictures from my visit to Aachen and the stay of five weeks there. I uploaded the pictures in chronological order and ended up having them in the reverse chronological order. It should not really matter to you as you can see them as individual pictures. I have provided a brief description of each. Here you go!

This is the statue of Gänseliesel. One of the symbols of the city of Göttingen. The city is also called the city of science (Stadt der Wissenschaft) to which title, Aachen also lays a claim. Gänseliesel - loosely translated as Liesel with geese is called the most kissed girl in the world because the tradition in Göttingen is that a new doctorate from the university has to kiss this girl!

Visiting Göttingen was a long standing ambition of mine because of the seated man in the picture of the sculpture above - Gauss - a man who needs no introduction. The standing man is Weber. I felt that it is "blasphemous" that someone has placed a can of coke or red bull in Gauss' hand! I tried in vain to dislodge it before taking the picture. It originally held a (representation of) a copper wire, now lost. The locals call this statue, "It is not fair, you should let me sit too" or some such thing!

This is the grave of Gauss. Next to it is the grave of another great scientist Gmelin.

I call this picture the Bidige (The second day of the lunar fortnight) Chandra (Moon) from Göttingen. I happened to be there on the day after Yugadi (one of the many Hindu New Years days) and the clear sky after a very rainy day was too tempting not to shoot this.

This is another symbol of Göttingen. The towers of this church St. Johns Church are dissimilar. Viewed in brilliant evening sun after the very rainy day. It is the oldetst of the Göttingen churches - originally built in the 15th century. (I have not found out the reason why the towers are dissimilar, yet)

During my stay in Aachen, I stayed in an apartment in Burtscheid. Burtscheid was once a separate village and is now a part of Aachen. The picture of the church of St. Johann (John the Baptist), was shot from the window of the drawing room of my apartment.

A sunset in Aachen. I was returning home after shopping for some food and this was what I saw, from Eupener Straße. One end of this road, meets Weisshausstraße and at the junction is was my office.

The first time I saw frost. A rainy day, followed by a very clear night, the temperature dropped, the dew froze and . .

This is a wall made of trimmed trees. This was in a place called Kalterherberg (Cold Hostel - literally). Trees are planted very close to each other and repeatedly trimmed to make walls out of them. You can see doors and windows cut in them too, Very popular in the region.

A statue on the streetside, in Burtscheid.

Moonrise seen from a small alley called Soldatengässchen (Soldiers' alley) on the way from my office to my apartment.

Fresh overnight snow. I had only seen fallen snow - like this and far thicker too earlier. But never - falling snow. Aachen provided me an opportunity. It was raining - at about 9:30 in the morning and I looked up from my monitor and it was snowing. Got out of the office to the car park in the basement and shot some stills and shot clips too.

This is an interesting device. You can see such contraptions at the doors of many old houses. It is for scraping caked mud off your shoes when you return home on a rainy day. Perhaps nowadays this is no longer of any use in cities - with excellent roads and pavements.

A piece of streetside art on a street in Aachen. This was perhaps erected during an equestrian meet held in Aachen years ago. The horse looks as if it is in a cage but there is no gap between the horse and the vertical bars.

Near the Soldatengässchen mentioned above, is a Kindergarten. Quite a few posters were hung on its fence - all with the same message. The inscription reads "This is no toilet of dogs" to ward off dog walkers using the fence for the mentioned purpose. Looked effective too. Graphic graphics, apparently made by the students of the Kidnergarten!

The drawing room of my apartment and the window from which I shot the church of St. Johann. So this was home for five weeks full of learning.

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