While commuting to work have you ever been tempted by any path leading in another direction and wondered where it leads to? I certainly have! And I’ve enjoyed the occasions when I have finally explored those areas!
I started my recent holiday with the idea of spending the first few days at home, in Aachen (Germany), before picking a destination in Germany for hiking/cycling. It was way too hot for many of the activities I had in mind for my first days off; instead I read up more about daytrips I could do around Aachen and prepared a list of local areas on my exploration wish list! 🙂 In the end I realised there were sufficient places to visit around here, so I stayed here!
“Connecting the dots” in Aachen
I honestly really enjoyed “connecting the dots” in Aachen – exploring areas in between places I already knew! Sometimes this simply involved streets parallel to where I had been before, other times it was larger areas in/around Aachen I had never visited!
- I recommend Aachen Tourist Service’ hiking & cycling recommendations webpage as well as the corresponding Städteregion Aachen mobile app: the bike trails section was very useful for me. You can filter trails by difficulty/ distance/climb, you can view the route on a map, download .gpx tracks, etc.
- The “Aachen Fahrradsommer” webpage was also a great resource: every year a different thematic bike round tour is signposted during Summer. The above-mentioned page provides information about the Aachen bike Summer routes from 1995 to 2020!! The signposts are still up for the 2020 edition, but for past routes you can download the .gpx tracks.
5 ice cream tips in Aachen with an exotic touch
Another highlight of my bike trips around Aachen was obviously the ice cream breaks! 🙂 Ice cream is an essential part of Summer holidays for me! Some of the ice cream made me and my tastebuds travel, while staying close to home! 😀
1.Bakdash Syrian ice cream at Zaytouna
I had never heard of bakdash before seeing it on the menu of Zaytouna. I went to Zaytouna with the intention of eating something savoury, but then I had to try the Bakdash ice cream for dessert! Bakdash is a Syrian ice cream made with mastic and sahlab.
It was very tasty and very pleasant to eat! As they point out in their menu, the texture is very different to classic Italian gelato: the texture reminded me of Turkish dondurma ice cream, and I believe they share common ingredients. The bakdash at Zaytouna has a well-balanced floral and pistachio taste. If you’ve never tried any frozen dessert like it before, you should definitely give it a try!
Zaytouna address: Pontstr. 2, D-52022 Aachen
2. Exotic popsicles at Karibik
When I travel outside of Europe, I love to try fruits and vegetables that are not common in Europe. I was very excited when a Colombian friend told me that Karibik Colombian restaurant sells exotic fruit popsicles during Summer! After seeing the list of flavours on their Facebook page, I couldn’t wait to test them! 🙂
Some of the flavours of popsicles on offer this Summer are: mango, lucuma, coconut, guava, green mango, tamarind, guanabanana (custard apple), lulo, passion fruit, peanut, dulce de leche,… I love a good popsicle, BUT what I don’t like is that you can only select one flavour! 🙂 That’s not easy when faced with such a tempting assortment of flavours! I would probably have chosen a guanabanana popsicle if I hadn’t already ordered it as a juice before dessert. We picked lucuma and green mango! Both were lovely and the green mango was particularly refreshing! I don’t know how long there will be popsicles at Karibik, so don’t wait too long! Besides the popsicles, I particularly recommend Karibik’s platter of mixed starters and the fried plantain banana!
Karibik address: Sandkaulstraße 5 , D-52062 Aachen
3. Refreshing ice lollies at Smooth
A big sign for “Ice cream from Aachen” along with an enormous popsicle is a clear message that it’s time to take a break! Several of the Aachen summer bike routes I mentioned above ride directly past Smooth.
Smooth is a lovely little café, located right next to the Westpark, that sells a nice selection of warm and cold drinks, homemade cakes, light food… and homemade popsicles during Summer!
The ice lolly flavours on offer this Summer: pure strawberry, strawberry-mint-lemon, mango-coconut-lemon, coffee-caramel-biscuit, peanut-caramel. The fruit popsicles have a high fruit content (mostly regional, organic/fair-trade) and are made without any additional water. You can pick either a small popsicle (or two!) or a large one.
My strawberry-mint-lemon popsicle was deliciously refreshing! I loved the intensity of the fruit. Although dentists will not approve the combination, I enjoyed my popsicle with an equally delicious chai latte, made with their own blend of tea and spices.
Smooth address: Lochnerstr. 57, D-52064 Aachen
4. Testing a new ice cream place at Aachen Ponttor, at Mei Choi
The last day of my holiday was luckily for me also the first day when Wei & Wei started selling their homemade ice cream at their restaurant Mei Choi. I was very happy I could directly test a few flavours with a friend!
You can peek into the ice cream lab at the back of the restaurant where Wei & Wei make the ice cream with fresh ingredients (without ice cream ready-mixes). They offer a good mix of dairy and vegan ice cream flavours, such as:
- Dairy: buttermilk-seabuckthorn, pistachio, earl grey tea, matcha tea, cucumber-dill, printen,…
- Non-dairy: dark chocolate, lemon-mint, strawberry-basil, green apple,…
If you’re not from Aachen, you might be wondering at this point what kind of flavour “Printen” is: Aachen Printen is a special gingerbread from Aachen made with cinnamon, coriander, aniseed, cardamom, allspice, cloves, etc. I love printen and I also love Wei & Wei’s printen ice cream! Since they have opened their ice cream counter, I have not only tried the printen ice cream, but also earl grey, strawberry-basil and cucumber-dill! They were all good! I look forward to stopping by again soon to test more flavours! 🙂
Mei Choi address: Pontstr. 168, D-52062 Aachen
I tried all of the above mentioned frozen treats during the past weeks of August, however I’d like to remind you of one more non-classic frozen dessert to try in Aachen:
>5. Korean milk snow ice at SuraLast year I told you about the Korean bingsu shaved milk ice I ate at Kaffeekännchen. This Korean restaurant changed name and address in December 2019: the food and desserts on offer has mostly remained the same. You can eat Korean bingsu with different toppings all year long at Sura, on Pontstrasse. I am a big fan of bingsu: the ingredients themselves are simple, but the highlight for me is the fine texture of the milk snow!
Sura Koreanisches Essen address: Pontstr. 11, D-52062 Aachen
Dear readers, if you want additional ice cream recommendations for Aachen, check my previous posts! If you enjoyed reading this post, please leave a comment here or on Travellers Scoops Facebook page .
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