I have to admit! Saarbrucken was not on my intended map of places to visit. This place is an inspired visit from two wonderful people that I met. Now, it is, for me, considered a regular place for me to come! If you have read my blog, you realize I am a simple traveler (travel, accommodations, etc)…I’m looking for opulence of cultural experience not the other…

It is lovely to awake in the morning, have a cup of coffee and a light breakfast, put on the good walking shoes…and, set out!! Open mind, no clear intention, no expectation, just the question…simple curiosity…

A little wet here and there, but such a fresh clean day!! A wondering body with a meandering mind…with time to stop and observe and pay attention to what it feels like. What does it mean to me? The quaint areas, the open spaces, the bicycle lanes, the inter-mixing of uses….

To just stop for a bit and become aware of the feeling, in architecture/city planning there is a notable dynamic of how the built environment influences what takes places….also, in essence the overall feeling. There is something to note besides being in a new place, but also how the structures and their placement fit in with the culture I am absorbing. Not attempting to show everything or discuss all, just a few points. Each person has their own interpretation or non! πŸ™‚

But, of course….there is lunch…and all the way in Saarbrucken, who am I eating with…no-one but the fabulous LL Cool J (black american cultural influence all the way over here – we really need to redefine what is happening)…I’ll stop short here…this is not just your regular fast food gyro – a little salty…but…pfew…yes…I think Anthony Bourdain would love it…I look for this place every time πŸ™‚

Moving along through this part of the day, crossing over the river…we get to what they call the oldtown….these are mostly historical sites. I am not posting the names, per se, however a simple search will provide them for you. During this section, I actually saw a good friend who is quite familiar with the area and explained a lot of the history and significance of it….and of course…these images if you take a moment…all speak volumes for themselves…especially with their context…

Now of a particular point!! As I was roaming around…I heard some drums, radio’s, and some chanting taking place. Out of curiosity, I stopped to observe what was going on. And, found myself smack dab in the middle of geo-political dynamics. If you recall during this time, the conflict in Syria was spreading which involved the Kurds, Syrians, and Turks. This little small area in Germany has a pretty diverse population in that regard and little known to me the tensions involving these groups in their homeland, of course were reflected here…hence the protest…!! Good idea to be aware of the geo-politics when on the abroad πŸ™‚ ….

As you can see, the civility of the moment descended quickly. Some of the men in the protest saw women dressed in their traditional garments and recognized what group they were from. They instantly began to attack them. That is when the police stepped in. Of course I’m standing right there!! The police officer YELLS at me in German…i’m fairly worldly but I don’t speak German. But, I do speak…’Uh Oh, this doesn’t sound good’…as they approached me….another officer stepped in and asked what I was doing…in english…I held up my dance shoes…since I was walking to the dance venue for the day…and became part of the escort….up and out of there…’ that was a hairy situation…But, I will say…the German Police were very professional!! Some might say, an interesting contrast to what is going on in certain parts of the United States today. Not condemning all officers, but there is a notable difference in policing in most places overseas!!!!! Just sayin..anyway…that was malik watkins live from the protest front…. πŸ™‚

But, of course for me, I have to give a shout out to my peeps!! Who provided me the inspiration to come explore, learn, and study along this area of the French/German border corridor…

TANGOKOMBINAT – Melina Sedo – Detlef Engel & Company

And as the day goes on, I must say SAARBRUCKEN at Night….I absolutely love…!!!! My own personal dynamic maybe, but there is a certain ambiance…aura…onda…that just makes the night walk….feel so right…maybe you can feel it too…this part of the world…I would of never known….it’s good for me….do you see Jimi Hendrix?….and don’t forget the snack πŸ™‚

Saarbrucken, we are going to get to know each other very well…. ❀

Admittedly, before my introduction to dancing….Alemania and Saarbrucken were no where even conceivably on my map of places to visit. Such is the beauty of life!! Let it flow…and it will allow you to flow… Saarbrucken is just a few miles from the border with France; thus, even just by location…it is an interesting mix of various European cultures. Without digging too deep into all the history, much of it derives from the river…and all that is associated with rivers – Saar!!

With a tidbit of breakfast, usually something I only do in this style when I am adventuring…I am heading out into my day, along the river…I still feel the good fortune…new places, experiences, and adventure. If you read my blog, then you know I have very little concern about the residences where I stay. I travel for the experience and less about the resort. Not diminishing the resort life, I just have my own preferences…and as much as I love to travel…simple and inexpensive…goes a long way….especially when combined with the value of a mighty fine grocery store πŸ™‚

Lately, I’ve been introduced to the writings of Alain de Botton. In the description of his book, ‘The Art of Travel’, he talks about how,

“few things are as exciting as the idea of traveling…But the reality of travel seldom matches our daydreams. The tragi-comic disappointments are well-known: the disorientation, the mid-afternoon despair, the lethargy before ancient ruins. And yet, the reasons behind such disappointments are rarely explored.”

While I respect that this dynamic exists for many, it is not my reality. As I recall sitting by this river…and, I am a water person…

In all my travels, I’ve never had the experience of my travels not matching my day-dreams. Even as I sit here…it is easy to contemplate the historical concept of cities built by rivers. It is easy to wonder about the lives that have traversed…where are they now, their descendants, what will the flow of the river bring. But, it also makes me think of the many lives I’ve come across. The young man making faces at me laughing in the market in Surabaya, those standing outside the slave castles in Ghana, the rubber tree cultivators in the plantations in Liberia, the cooks at the residences in Haiti, my friends in Buenos Aires…ahhh…so many…and even more…these rivers…So, for me, it is not a matter of the experience matching the day dreams…I imagine it goes back to my own personal goals regarding traveling…whenever I travel….I always find them πŸ™‚

Walking along the river ‘Saar’ and behind the ‘Congress’ center….is the ‘Buergerpark’ and ‘Saarterrassn’ business park basically located on the sit of the former ‘Burbacher Hutte’ iron and steel works industrial site…

One of my personal favorites is the mix of the old with the new – the ability to allow the story to remain and how the evolution of space tells the stories. Posted by the river, it is a great place to roam towards and to just sit…

However, wherever I go…I am most infatuated with culture and the human story. Here, so far from my own physical abode, what are the stories of these – those who contemplate, who reflect, who find peace by the pools, those who live on the water….and how these lives cross each other and demonstrate their affections for on another….

Recently, a friend asked me…’what is my favorite place?’…in truth, I don’t really have a favorite. In fact, when you dig down into it and find what I am looking for…are these places all that different. On the surface, there are the expressions that makes it to appear that variability rules the day. However, looking at these last pictures…brings to mind those common elements of the symphonies of our lives…and how are we doing with our part…

Back to around the town….

Finding Saarbrucken, Germany

February 10, 2021

One of the many blessings I have in my life is exposure to some wonderful teachers…of many things!! A blessing within such is that along with the knowledge they imparted was not an ego of arrogance. If anything, each lesson included a lesson in humility…of which I believe I did provide fertile ground. Why am I saying this? Well!! It would be easy to expound on my skill and excellence in travel…however, part of the beauty, although it doesn’t feel like it at the time, of travel..is to get lost!! And, my citizens of the world…this is one of those trips where I got LOST- For TRUE!!!! πŸ™‚

Wrong turn, twist, missed the stop…whatever…LOST is LOST….The middle of the night…in Alemania, NO, I don’t ‘Deutsch Sprechen’!!!!! But, what I do have is curiosity and humility…so I ask…and wonder…and behold…guidance came forth! πŸ™‚ Was there some fear…eh, not that something would happen to me…more along the lines of frustration that I did not plan more effectively…and that my trip was delayed…all the same…todavia, plenty of beauty…and plenty to learn!!!

And all of that…the flight, the time, the small seat on the plane, hanging in Paris, the train, getting lost…y finalmente, I arrive… in Saarbrucken, Germany…to see and meet new friends at the Festivalito Con Amigos (Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel)…

As I mentioned earlier, there was a Tanda awaiting me…and I awaiting it…specific laws on sharing photo’s in Germany. Since I plan on passing through there regularly…I’ll need to be mindful of them. Shout out to a wonderful spirit ‘Thorsten Janes’ (photo credit of me)…Lost or not, it was more than worth the trip…yes, all those hours for a few days of an experience that – for those of you that know…you know…something worth finding out about πŸ™‚

Ciertamente – Maravilloso!!!! πŸ™‚