Hiking report

Weekend trip to Saarbrücken

When I first saw the summer promotion of the local trains, with which all people having a monthly ticket can travel anywhere in Germany, I directly thought of offering a weekend trip nearby. There was hardly anything I could find, except for this one in Saarbrücken. It wasn’t quite nearby but I still thought it could be interesting to students for example. Anyway, the place looked perfect, so I didn’t want to change the plan either.

As I had expected, there weren’t many people who have been to Saarland before. And accordingly the 10 spots I prepared were full almost immediately after I published it. Glad to see every time so many people interested.

While my plan was indeed to make people go there by train, we in reality got 4 cars in total. As I anyway don’t have any monthly ticket, I simply decided to join Jana’s car, together with Zaman.

Our trip started at 2:30pm. Just as every other Friday evening, there were traffic jams everywhere, although I should maybe also say that compared to some other Fridays we might have been quite lucky this time, as we could arrive in Saarbrücken by 6pm. Frankly, it was a nightmare to find a parking slot. In the end, we decided to leave the car in the nearest parking area, where it cost 16€ a day. How can such a small city demand that much money for parking.

Just like in the recent hiking trips, we stayed in a private apartment in the city center. We were hosted by an Argentinian guy, who explained me how things work in the house. Super cool house with a super cool host this time! Especially we got a nice North American style living room (i.e. living room and kitchen together). We can almost think of renting this place for cooking sessions as well.

There was a Netto right in front of the apartment, so we got food and everything there. This time, just like last time in Dinant, we decided to share only the dinner and bring breakfast and drinks ourselves. This strategy worked out fairly well this time as well.

Gopi, who was looking forward to cooking for all of us in the evening was arriving quite late, so Zaman and I decided to prepare some food ourselves. I’m a kind of person who doesn’t take a risk, so I prepared normal salad. Zaman in the meantime started preparing something Bengali (?) only with stuff from Netto. This is globalisation.

The last group arrived around 10pm. As it turned out, they all already had dinner (because it was simply late). Well, just as always, we had prepared too much food anyway. Great job.

Just like last time, I brought my guitar with me. Unfortunately it was not quite a hit like last time. Well, at least I had fun on my own 😀

It was already close to midnight when we went to bed. I slept in the living room (because essentially I can sleep anywhere).

There’s nearly no need to say when to start the hike whenever we have a weekend trip. Apparently we always naturally get ready around 9am. The fact that there was only one shower didn’t particularly affect this starting time either.

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Since our place was in the middle of Saarbrücken and it wasn’t easy to start hiking from there, we took a tram up to the southern tip of the city. There was a tram every 15 min so we could simply go to the stop and wait for the one coming. Well, actually it came so quickly that I didn’t even have time to buy a ticket…

When I was planning the hike a few weeks ago, I was initially thinking about rather going towards the north of the city, where it looked very green. By looking at the area more in detail, I realised that it was even “too” green, meaning we would have been in the forest pretty much all the time. In order to avoid this, I decided to go towards France, where there were more fields.

In the German part, there was still quite a lot of forest. Actually we were going along the civilisation, but at the same time it was wild. There were some places which were forbidden to cross. We did it anyway (because we didn’t realise that it was closed until we reached the end).

Just like everywhere, there was pretty much no border indication when we crossed the border. The one above shows Zaman on the German side while I was taking the photo from the French side. Actually the border was not exactly along the street either, so that the left side was slowly going to France.

This area was probably part of Germany historically. It looked more German than French, well, a bit unfortunately, because we were somewhat still looking forward to going to France for the first time in this group.

Right after we entered France, we tried to have a break in a restaurant, which was closed. We anyway had a break there for some time. Then we walked through until we reached Grosbliederstroff. This was one city I really wanted to see, because it lies on the river Saar, and one side of the city was French and the other side was German. Even though the German side had more restaurants, we intentionally stayed on the French side and had “lunch” in a bakery.

We crossed the border, which was the river this time, again and entered the nature again. This time, we had first a long trail in the forest, then we had a huge field, after which we had another forest. Frankly, compared to the fact that the north of Saarbrücken is very much a total forestal area, there was an amazing mixture of forests and fields here.

We had a short break in the middle of nowhere. For some reason I was quite tired and had to have power nap several times. Well, maybe on such a lovely day it was just the natural reaction to lie down and chill.

We got back to the train station sometime before 6pm and we directly went back to the apartment. Compared to other hikes on the weekend trips we’ve had so far this year, this one was actually fairly short, but regarding the fact that there was only one shower it was good that we did it this way.

When we were done with the shower (which took more than an hour), we went to a nearby Italian restaurant, after which we were roaming around in the city center. While the others were telling me that the city looked down and out, to me it appeared really lively. Maybe because I’m used to the ugly scenes in Düsseldorf that the streets are sometimes filled with drunk people.

We had another drink in the city center, along the river. Then most of the people went back to the house while some of us stayed there and had another drink. Anyway by midnight we were back in the house and we all went to bed. It was the most modest Saturday evening we’ve had in the last weekend trips we’ve had.

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Next day, I was still deeply asleep when most of the people were having breakfast right next to where I was sleeping. It’s amazing to know that I can sleep so tight when there are other people doing other random stuff right there.

To be honest, it is generally quite easy to make a plan for Saturday – after all it’s a hiking weekend so it suffices to hike. On Sunday, on the other hand, things become more tricky, because often we are deprived of sleep and have little energy left after a long hike, and also we usually have had some alcohol in the previous evening. So with limited resources what can we do? This time, just like nearly every time, Zaman came. up with a nice idea: visiting a nearby local monument. So this time we had this weird wooden construction at the city of Mettlach, which was around half an hour away from Saarbrücken, which we thought would be a good idea. Frankly, I wasn’t so sure about the monument itself, but it looked anyway like a good walk from the train station to the site, so why not enjoying yet another hike?

The fact that the hike started from the train station was mostly because I was expecting the people to go there by train. With 4 cars, however, we could all go there by car, so in principle there was no need to start there. As it turned out, Mettlach was a famous city for tableware, and we could see some fancy buildings just for walking around there.

The hike was along the river Saar again. We were essentially in the forest that I had avoided when we were at Saarbrücken, but since we were along the river, we could have nice views every now and then. While there were some benches and other installations, there were not so many people on the way. We had a calm hike in the beautiful nature.

The weather was unstable throughout the day, and it rained heavily a few times throughout the day. However, it somehow occurred only whenever we had some shelter, like when we had the break at the monument I talked about above. There, there was something like a beer garden and we could totally avoid the rain. Besides I could get good French fries :D.

The fee for the monument was 11€. It was mainly to see what’s called Saarschleife (Saar loop). While some of us were interested to go there, others (including me) found it too expensive for just a good view, so we decided to split and I belonged to the group that simply wandered around.

Actually even though the view may not have been quite as impressive as from the monument, we could anyway have a great view from the point that we reached while wandering around. It very much looked like Mosel. I’m quite sure that I wouldn’t be able to see the difference if someone shows me two photos showing this one and the Mosel.

After this point, we joined the group that went to the monument and walked back to Mettlach, which was basically the end of our weekend trip. The way back to Düsseldorf was about half an hour shorter than the outward journey. Well, one way or other, it wasn’t anyway not that exhausting.

For me, this one was the first weekend trip where we stayed in a holiday house that I consider as pure success, as there were always some problems in the other two trips we’ve had so far (St. Aldegund and Dinant). The things we learned in the previous trips, such as cleaning and grocery shopping, largely improved the quality of this one, at leat in my impression.

This was at the same time the first trip where we travelled all by car. While there’s as much uncertainty with the train as with the car, I have to say it is probably still less stressful to travel by train, especially for someone like me who can be very productive on the train journeys. This time it was quite okay, but I don’t think we can manage a longer distance in the future.

It was probably the second time after Liège that we stayed in the middle of a relatively large city. There was apparently a noise problem in the night, as the street right in front of the apartment was busy in the night. I don’t really know how to solve this problem, but maybe there should be some sort of warning before the journey.

I still cannot quite figure out how it was possible, but the apartment cost only 40€ per person. The grocery stuff amounted to 5€ per person, which was actually slightly unfair because it partially included the price of the wine (while I had previously said that the drinks are not included). But to be honest, I don’t really think anyone would have cared about whether it’s 4€ or 5€, as the total amount was only 45€. This was probably the cheapest trip we’ve had so far.

Since there are still some spots that we didn’t visit in Saarland this time and the apartment was excellent, I can totally imagine another trip there in the future. Let’s see what comes out of it.

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