In May 2015 the annual VirtualTourist EuroMeet took place in Aachen (Germany), with excursions to nearby Maastricht (Netherlands), and Liège (Belgium).
For VT member and local resident Valentina, who did a great job of organizing the entire meeting, it was not easy to find restaurants that could accommodate a large group such as ours, particularly because some other big events were going on in Aachen on the same weekend, for instance an obnoxious “Oldtimers Rally” that brought hundreds of obsolete motor vehicles and their proud owners to the center of the city.
But in the end Valentina found us two very nice and friendly restaurants for our dinners, both “golden” and both facing the front entrance of the City Hall, with only a Starbucks between them.
Our first VT dinner of the EuroMeet 2015 was held at a traditional old-timey restaurant called Zum goldenen Einhorn, meaning ‘To the Golden Unicorn’.
Forty VirtualTourist members and ten guests were signed up for this dinner. “The people behind the places” was one of the trademarks, at that time, of the now-defunct website virtualtourist.com.
Our restaurant for the second VT dinner in Aachen was called The Golden Swan, just two doors down from The Golden Unicorn.
Forty VirtualTourist members and nine guests were signed up for this dinner, so we practically took over the entire ground floor of the restaurant. (There are also two upper floors which are used for more sedate gatherings.)
The food was served rather chaotically, which suited the occasion very well, and was mostly quite tasty — something for everybody, in any case, and in more-than-adequate quantities.
The Golden Swan claims to have been in business since the year 1438, so I’m sure our boisterous meeting was nothing out of the ordinary for them.
Although the VirtualTourist meetings were (and still are) organized independently by the members, we did sometimes have visitors from the website’s head office (as long as there was such a thing) in El Segundo, California. In this case it was Kimberly, who at the time was VT’s Head of PR, Marketing & Community Relations. Despite what the photo looks like, she actually had no trouble making herself heard.
(Yes, that’s Claus in the lower left-hand corner of the photo.)
My photos in this post are from 2015. I revised the text in 2019.