Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Das Schloss Saarbrücken

[ The Saarbrücken Castle ]

Tuesday morning felt just like the last day of school you would have before summer vacation during grade school - a half day with not much to learn, and the end of the year waiting for you at the dismissal bell. Going to the Carl Duisburg Haus felt the same way, since it was also a half day, and you could only patiently wait until the day was done and the language school phase of the program was officially complete. Frau Bopp attempted to teach us the final chapter from our textbook, but everyones attention was elsewhere. We all had to do speeches in the class in German, however, for one of the program directors of the CDC explaining our plans for university and our anticipated volunteer work that we must complete while being here in Germany. Once that was done the only thing left in the day was our final gathering which was going to be a tour of the Saarbrücken castle museum as a group later in the afternoon.

[ A picture of the castle at night that I took a while back ]

During my lunch break I went and bought some flowers for the dining table at the Weber house, stopped back home quickly to drop them off while no one was home, and then headed back into town to meet up with everyone at the Schloss.

I am glad that we were able to go to the castle together as a group, because it had been something that I had been meaning to see the entire time I had been here in Saarbrücken. I had already been to the castle once earlier this year but this was the first time I was checking out the connected museum. I really didn't know what to expect, but once inside, I was really surprised. The museum went underground since it was a tour of the excavation of the old castle ruins that were built over several times, including the old wall and the labrynth of tunnels that seemed to go through it. It really reminded me of a similar set up in Turku, Finland that had the museum go underground as well. With all the musty tunnels and stone barricade walls, the underground would have been a great set up for laser tag!

[ all the stones had markings since the worker that constructed the slab was responsible for its usage in the castle wall - if it was bad, they knew who to find... wow... early German efficiency! ]

The other Americans and myself had a fun time seeing the different armor and tools used to construct and protect the castle many years ago, and were impressed with how hands on the history was in the museum. Another cool thing was a room with film being projected that dated back more than a century ago with landmarks that we passed by everyday, except the people were wearing cloaks and tophats, and there was no shisha bar across the street from the Rathaus.

[ Teilnahmebestätigung ! An entire university year of German language instruction in 2 months. phew...]

After the museum [ we really could only learn as much as we tried to translate the German signs on the wall ] the entire group met together at the cafe nearby so that we could all have cafe und kuchen together for the last time and receive our certificates of completion of our course! It is a bit of an awkward feeling because in less than 24 hours all of us would be in another city and also without the crutch of fluent English speaking American friends to share life with everyday. At least all of us have a little more proficiency in German to find us the bus stop when we need it.