I’m not allowed to complain about the weather in Aachen anymore. (I spent June and July commenting on the overall lack of summer weather.) We have had a few days of temperatures in the upper 80s and into the 90s (30-35 Celsius). It’s hot. Thankfully, we have a few ways to cool off.
The best solution is spending the evening on our roof terrace. We get a beautiful breeze, and although we have electricity up there I prefer to light a couple of candles instead. The previous tenant left us a set of table & chairs with a tablecloth and cushions, so last night we took our dinner up to the roof. (We had grilled the night before, so we didn’t even have to cook: leftover grilled chicken, a fresh salad, the best rice ever …)
After we finished, we weren’t in a hurry to go back inside. Even though we have windows all over the apartment, it takes a while for it to cool down after hot days like these. So I ran down just for a moment to grab my iPhone and start the SkyView app. Our street is quiet and relatively dark, and as a result we can see plenty of stars. I pointed my phone at the sky and started looking for new constellations.
I had already found the Big Dipper, and just to the left was a large constellation named Bootes. You can find Bootes by following the arc of the Big Dipper handle until you see Arcturus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. Bootes is a herdsman or plowman—I learned to find him by looking for a big kite shape.
Next I discovered Aquila, an eagle that I had seen before but didn’t know how to find on my own. There is something exciting about using my phone to discover a constellation and then learning to see the same pattern in the stars with my own eyes.
I am fairly sure I can find both Bootes and Aquila on my own now—I guess that’s a good reason to spend another evening on the roof!