Day 2. 36km. Schimmert – Aachen.

Posted: September 14, 2014 in Cycling, Germany, Netherlands
Tags: , , ,

The pressure and stress of the last week was released like air escaping from a balloon. A short ride through familiar territory with Ed and Frank to Aachen before a relaxing in the beautiful thermal baths in Aachen.

Ed and Matthew at the highest point in the Netherlands. 322m

Ed and Matthew at the highest point in the Netherlands. 322m

Relaxing in the thermal baths in Aachen, I slipped in and out of consciousness. Lying in the pool, the dome high above my head, which changed colours from blue, to green, to yellow, to red. The pattern of the waves was overlaid, putting me into a trance. In the hot bath I lay, what seemed like hours, in a kind of eternal dream. The light shining from below refracted around my hand, forming a red tinge on the top of my hand, and a blue tinge on the bottom. I felt the stress dissipate. I felt at one with the universe.

Frank Thiele, a cycling friend and colleague from my time in Aachen had cycled to Schimmert to return to Aachen with Ed and me. Ed was on an old bike from his grandfather with 3 gears and the saddle way too low. And, after a few kilometres, only one brake.

Farewell at Schimmert

Farewell at Schimmert

We passed the castle where I was a witness at Ed and Judith’s wedding many moons ago.

Ed's wedding castle

Ed’s wedding castle

And we made our way up to the Vaalse berg – the highest point in the Netherlands. What better place to part ways than at the border – the border with Germany and Belgium?

Then it was downhill with Frank into Aachen, through my playground for 12 years – the Aachen forest.

Aachen Forest

Aachen Forest

And passed the old Philips Research labs in Aachen.

Old Philips Lab in Aachen

Old Philips Lab in Aachen

Looking through the familiar gate, nothing seems to have changed. But, much has changed. That was a different time – my time in Aachen. A fun time that has, with other eras in my life, been banished to being fond memories.

Thanks very much Frank and Danielle for letting me stay at their place. It was great catching up!


  1. Seeing that you are in Aachen right now, I have a suggestion for the next part: take the Vennbahn to Troisvierges in Luxembourg. I did it about 3 weeks ago and it is a fantastic bicycle path all the way (125km). Succes with whatever path you go!

    • Hey Marc. Yes, the Vennbahnweg is beautiful. When I lived here, it just went to Kornieliemünster. Now it goes a lot further..
      I am going to Köln and Bonn next to visit friends, so, the Vennbahnweg will have to be next time. Thanks for the tip though! 🙂

  2. Jonathan Melger says:

    Hey Matthew veel plezier in Keulen, ik vond het erg leuk dat je bij Ellen en Hub was. ik hoop je nog eens te zien
    Jonathan Melger

  3. dvanderzwaan says:

    zo jij kan relaxt en met een hoofd vol herinneringen aan de volgende dag beginnen. maar als jij iedere dag zo doorbrengt doe je er veel langer dan 2 jaar over. (grapje) heerlijk hoor als je zo kan genieten. groetjes Trudi

    • Inderdaad. Normaal kom ik in een middag van Eindhoven naar Aken. Die komende paar dagen worden ook niet zo moeilijk – veel vrienden bezoeken. Morgen ben ik in Köln en dinsdag in Bonn. Vanaf Bonn ga ik iets langer op een dag fietsen.. 🙂

  4. Miep says:

    Hi Matthew, ik lees net je eerste reisverhalen en wat een geweldige start van je trip heb je al in the pocket. Zet ‘m op en ik blijf je volgen 🙂

    • Heeeeey, Miep! Dankjewel!! 🙂 Het was een leuke begin van een lang een spannend avontuur! Ik heb er wel zin in!
      Groetjes uit Aken (een paar honderd meter van het oude Philips Research lab).

  5. Hans van der Linden says:

    jammer dat alles Engels is geschreven maar naa twee jaar je te volgen moet ik inmiddels wel engels kunnen. Ik heb er nu behoorlijk moeite mee want ik heb nooit Engels geleerd. Ik zal je volgen tot het einde. Respect.

    • Hoi Hans. Dankjewel voor je bericht. Leuk om van je te horen. Ik schrijf in het Engels in de hoop dat veel mensen, ook in het buitenland iets kunnen begrijpen. Engels is ook mijn moedertaal. 🙂
      Groeten uit zonnige Aken. 🙂

  6. deltathecat says:

    Aachen holds a lot of memories.

  7. valerievolk says:

    OK Matthew, this may actually be one blog that I do read … What a WOW departure on Day 1. I’m looking forward to your stories at Christmas-time. All the best for the grand expedition.

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