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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Interlaken to Basel to Köhn to Aachen

We are off to Aachen, Germany to attend the wedding of Max and Käthi.

Took the 8:35am train from Interlaken West to Basel. We have a 45 minute layover there before we switched onto the German train from Basel to Köhn (Cologne). After a 12 minute wait in Köhn, we take the regional train to Aachen. Well.......that was the original schedule!!!

It was a hazy, hot, and extremely humid morning when we left Interlaken. So thankful the train is air conditioned.

The major stops from Interlaken to Basel are Spiez, Thun, Bern, and Olten. Our train had a 12 minute wait in Bern. Michael and I like seats that are across from each other. Michael doesn't mind riding backwards, as he reads. In Bern, the train pulls into the station. The driver then walks the length of the train to the other end of the train which now becomes the front of the train. So, Michael and I swap seats.

Can you guess which luggage is ours?

I already know the second car will be the quiet zone.

In Olten, the conductor signals to clear the tracks by turning his key in the box.

Olten is a cargo switching station.

If you enjoy Lindt chocolate, this is one of many factories throughout Switzerland.

Just before we arrived in Basel, Michael decided to check the schedule again for our onward journey to Köhn. It is a good thing he did as there is a problem. The train from Basel to Köhn is canceled due to bridge damage. And......of course, this new train we are taking is 7 minutes late leaving. Michael went to the information desk in Basel, and they switched us to a new train. We would have to get off in Freiburg but since the train we are taking now is 7 minutes late, we miss our connection. So, we will stay on the new train until Karlsruhe. Then, we switch to the train to Köhn. Yes, thank you for traveling on DB (Deutscher Bahn). The train is packed with people! Everyone has their train app


Michael has always loved these cookies! They are a specialty of Basel.

Miles of vineyards and fields of corn about 20 minutes outside of Basel. Here and there I see patches of sunflowers with their heads bowed down. With all the fields of corn, I don't see a single cow.

They made an announcement for those traveling to Köhn to switch in Freiburg to the train going to Köhn. They are holding the train! It was easy as the tracks were across from each other. As luck would have it, our original car #10 reservation was directly across from where we exited. Now we have a three hour ride to get to Köhn. Oh, this train is two minutes late, too.

We are traveling on ICE (intercity express) 108. All that means is we stop in major cities and not in every town and village we pass.

Nice to follow the map. Speed is 158km/h which is about 98 miles per hour.

Many solar farms along the tracks.

We were four minutes late getting into Karlsruhe. Many people getting on here. People looking for empty seats. It is best to have reservations on the German trains. People now surfing the train to find an empty seat. I can see some girls sitting on the ground by the exit.

Next stop is Mannheim. Speeding along at 200 km/h. Scenery is whizzing by. Up to 250km/h or 154 mph. Zipping along now! The only negative is I'm not facing forward. We are sitting backwards from the direction of travel.

Next stop: Frankfurt Airport in 30 minutes. More fields of corn, lettuce, leeks, and cabbage. Lots of industry, too. Just passed a large My Toys factory.

Not many cars on the roads in these small towns. Every once in awhile I see someone walking. Guess no one wants to be out in this heat.

They just announced we will be five minutes late arriving at the Frankfurt Airport. No…..we are stopped for some reason. We are now 18 minutes late arriving at the airport.

Surprised to see the Frankfurt Airport station is nonsmoking.

Köln is next. Unfortunately, the train only picks up 3 minutes. Landscape is quite different.

Seems like the wind turbine isn’t working today. A few kilometers further on, more wind turbines working.

We go through more short tunnels, too. Ears are constantly popping. Also, more natural tree barriers. Not much to see except for trees going by in a blur.

Missed our connection in Köhn by 3 minutes. Took the next one out to Aachen. Going backwards again but who cares at this point. Missed seeing the Köhn Dom (Cathedral). Maybe, I will see it on Sunday.

The Berlin Ostbf is going to be 35 minutes late. Another train is 45 minutes late. I keep hearing the word später (later) and a time with each announcement.

Finally on the train to Aachen. The app said it would be high occupancy. No kidding!

Tells you the arrival time in:





We are going to be 1 minute late arriving.

Max picked us up at the train station and took us to the hotel. We are staying at the Innside.

This hotel used to be a bunker years ago during WWII.

Walked around the center of Aachen.

City Hall

These are engineering students whom just graduated. They build a cart and go around to all the fountains in the city. Then, they have a toast at each fountain.

They were having a pole vaulting event by the Dom. The points earned at the competition could go toward points needed to make an Olympic team. There were participants from Germany, Saudi Arabia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States to name a few.

Had dinner with Max's and Käthi's parents at the Am Knipp.

The Am Knipp, which loosely translate to "at the foot of the mountain", is the oldest restaurant in Aachen, which has existed since 1698.

"Franz and Margarethe Ramrath ensured that the historical character of the restaurant was preserved during the reconstruction after the war in 1950, which guests still enjoy today.

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