I’ve been daydreaming more than usual lately, because I haven’t really done that much travelling in the past ten months. Right now, I am thinking of Saarbrücken, a German city I studied in for a year, a city that will forever remain somewhere special for me.
And the reasons are not what most people think: yes, I did have a relationship there, and yes I did also backpacked my way around Europe, but my thoughts of Saarbrücken are more about the way my life has changed than the experiences.
Saarbrücken is significant because it was my first ‘big trip’ and during that year, not only did I experience independence and learned a new language, I discovered my inner dromomaniac. I found new goals for my life, I planted the seeds as a blogger, and I learned that there is a bigger world out there to be explored and cherished.
It isn’t Germany’s most exciting city, it doesn’t get the loving from tourists like Berlin and Munich and it isn’t as romantic as Freiburg or Regensburg, but for me, Saarbrücken is perfect.
The landscape is plain and lifestyle is simple, which are the draw cards for me. The Saar river flows quietly between the new and old Saarbrücken, where I used to take afternoon walks along its banks passing the Saarkran and the rowing club, with a drink at the biergarten with my friends at the end of the day. A sunny day was spent mostly in a cafe at the plaza, and Sunday mornings with brunch at our favourite cafe somewhere in the back street.
Its proximity to France means there are regular transports to various nearby places, where it was possible to spend the weekend in Luxembourg, Trier (one of the old Roman capitals), Frankfurt, Metz (France) and Strasbourg (France).
Shopping was made more fun for the ability to hop on a bus to the French border. We would head to the border French supermarket for items that are less available and more expensive in Germany. A trip took 20 mins there and 20 mins back, the reward was a good selection of cheese and a cheap but good bottle of wine to last the week.
Life was simple, as it was for most students and to date I still think I would move back there sometime.
A quick search on Saarbrücken shows that the city has grown. There are now more hotels than before, and more upmarket cafes and restaurants. Recent photos also show an increase number of modern building erected since my last visit.
It would be interesting to go back again I think, to see if my perception changes. For now, I’d like to keep it in that special place in my memory where I can visit over and over again.