Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 2 - Saarbrücken

Waking up today full of energy and excitement after our 30+ hour day yesterday traveling and exploring Heidelberg, we enjoyed a nice German breakfast at the B&B hotel in Saarbrücken. After drinking some needed caffeine we departed the hotel and journeyed to the city center. We worshipped on the steps of a thought to be ancient church, which actually turned out to be the city hall of Saarbrücken. After taking some time to reflect in our journal at the city hall, we went to the Basilica of St. John, a catholic chapel full of ornate gold covered objects. Before midday mass was started, we went outside and were led in a Lectio Divina service directly outside the church walls. While reflecting on the words of Matthew (the Disciple, not the youth minister), we listened to the bells and organ inside the Basilica. We then broke out into small groups and reflected on the word that stuck out to us on a more personal level. After the experience at the Basilica, we were divided into two groups and were given 5 hours to embrace Saarbrücken, a task that seemed very daunting at the beginning but turned out to be a great time.  While taking in baguettes, pizza, and the ethnic variety of Subway, we enjoyed one of the groups favorite past times during our spiritual journey, people watching. Following our leisurely lunch, we headed across the river and came upon a 15th century underground castle that was excavated a century ago. We took in the unusual sight of dungeons, watch towers, and holes in the walls from cannonballs all under 50 ft of German soil. We then ventured into a 12th century church turned museum because it was destroyed in the 15th century, rebuilt, and then destroyed during World War II. We looked at relics from the church while being commanded at (in German) by an interesting lady who said it was forbidden to wear backpacks the correct way and touch anything inside. While taking in the museum, I even found myself in a competitive and uncomfortable staring contest with an old, weathered German man, who I later came to find out was yelling at the Museum lady later because some American kid was starring at him. Following this awkward confrontation with the locals, we went to a protestant church that was very light and different then the Catholic Church seen earlier. Before heading back to the meeting point of the two groups, we walked upon St. Jakobs Church, which surprisingly showed the shell of St. James, a symbol of a stopping place for pilgrims across the world.  We then met the other group, dined at a nice restaurant, and enjoyed some Curry Wurst. After dinner, we slowly made our way back to the hotel, discussed the day as a whole to the group, and are now being told to rap up the writing because it is 10:30 and we desperately need some shut eye.

Adam Calvin 

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