This August I made a trip to Saar-Hunsrück Naturpark – Saarschleife – Trier – Meeting my cousin from the VG Orchester Saarburg-Kell (as well as the mayor of the city of Saarburg and the president of the VG Orchester Saarburg-Kell)
9 August – setting off
I got to hitch a ride to Trier with the Thielen-del Pozo family!
I was very excited because, not only would I visit the oldest city in Germany, but I would also have the opportunity to visit the Keltenring in the Saar Hunsrück Nationalpark, have a trip on the Saar and more importantly – I was to meet my cousin from the VG Orchestra Saarburg Kell that was invited to play at the opening ceremony of the German Semester and in the end was represented by Kristina Malburg !
We thought that due to Corona there would not be much traffic on the North-South route through Europe - but hey, no! I had to once again go over the scenic Gotthardpass instead of through the tunnel, past Basel, Strassburg and finally via Saarbrücken to Kell am See, a small village about 20 km from Trier.
10 August –Saar-Hunrueck Naturpark
What weather – it seemed hotter and more humid than in Italy! Not really my favourite garden gnome kind of weather!
The plan to go hiking in the Saar-Hunsrück Naturpark was therefore shifted to late afternoon. Konrad Funk met us at one of the three entrances to the park and gave us a little private tour!
Konrad seems to know just about everything in the park – flora, fauna, rock and history. He is a walking book.
We walked to a point where we could have a view of the Nonnweiler Reservoir, climbed the Keltenring and saw the windpark in the distance. Past and future at one glance.
I would have loved to have spent more time on the Keltenring – you know, gnomes and rocks go well together! I was happy though that someone carried me, otherwise we would have had to have pitched up a tent for the night!
Climbing rocks. Happy that someone carried me
I got a good look at the impressive stone ring and could also admire artist impressions of Celtic stone work.
11 August - …zzzzzZ…ZZZ…Zzzzz
12 August - Saar
Ahoy Ars Vivendi! We are off over the hills to the river Saar to start a boat trip and see the Saarschleife.
With Captain “Edgar”, 1st officer “Karin” and a lazy crew only interested in sightseeing and drinking, we started our journey early morning to the slightly hidden but very picturesque yacht harbour of WSC Saarburg.
I was a bit nervous – I cannot swim and, literally, sink like a stone! But the sight of Saarburg, the city and the castle enabled me to forget my worries.
Anyway, the Saar is a very quiet river, no waves, no fears. Pretty green at the moment… with the warm weather, algae are all around. We passed Mettlach, home to the famous Villeroy&Boch porcellain, before we reached the Saarschleife.
Although gnomes generally feel better in the mountains, I loved the trip – in particular when entering these locks! We pass two of them - the impressive doors of the lock at Serrig (14.5 m difference) reminded me of the gates of Moria. Whack!
Sailing along – in the background the Saarburg! So pitturesque.
The “Saarschleife”. From the tower in the background one can see the Saarschleife (loop) and both arms of the river … and that is where we turned back.
We reached our turning point at the Saarschleife. In the background the observation tower.,
Back in the pitturesque harbour of Saarburg!
14 August - Trier
Today we headed off to visit Trier, the oldest city of Germany with its prominent landmark – the Porta Nigra.
Trier – or Augusta Treverorum - was the residence of the Roman Emperor in the 4th century and with a population of 80 000 inhabitants (today it has around 115 000) was the largest Roman city north of the Alps at the time.
With several baths, an amphitheatre for games, bridges crossing the river, Trier must have been an impressive sight at the time.
Here I am at the Porta Nigra, the famous Roman gate of Trier
Trier is not only famous because it is the oldest city, but also because it has a famous son : Karl Marx. In 2017 the city celebrated his 200th birthday and an impressive Karl Marx statue was offered to the city by China.
Sitting at the feet of Karl Marx! Could not resist taking a rest and reading his famous book that changed history…
I bought his famous book and read a few pages in the shade at his feet before visiting the High Cathedral of Saint Peter, the oldest church in Germany - and the Market place with the original market cross.
The market square of Trier is the most central and biggest square in the city and traditionally an important place – the right to hold markets was important in the Middle Ages, indicated by the market cross to my right.
The church tower you see on the left belongs to St Gangolf – the second oldest church in Trier dating back to 13th century. When in the 16th century one of the towers became higher than that of the main cathedral, the bishop took action and made sure that the tower of the High Church of St Peters was raised.
Today I am visiting my cousin in the VG Orchestra Saarburg Kell. The Orchestra was supposed to play at the opening of the German Semester but due to Covid-19, only a very small delegation could accompany Kristina Malburg, the Saxophonist to play the anthems.
My trip ended with the honour of being invited to dinner by the mayor of Saarburg, Jürgen Dixius, together with the President and Vice President of the VG Orchestra Saarburg Kell (Erwin Berens and Karlheinz Barthel), the Vice President of the organisational committee of the German Semester Ispra 2020 as well as Karin and Edgar Thielen (who participated in the small delegation of the orchestra visiting Ispra) and Carlos del Pozo – who kindly gave me a lift to Trier and surroundings.
Here I am at dinner with the president of the VG Orchestra Saarbug Kell, my cousin Heinz Musica and a really good beer, discussing local politics.
Saying thank you to Mayor Jürgen Dixius for the invitation and his enthusiasm and support to the idea of the VG Orchestra Kell playing at the Opening of the German Semester Ispra 2020.