I found Instagram very helpful when planning my trip to the Saarland in 2018. One image in particular had that THAT-I-HAVE-TO-SEE effect, and it brought me serendipitously to Mettlach. I don’t think the hotel was accustomed to having people to stay for 5 nights because I was upgraded. I couldn’t believe it as I – a single traveller – opened the door to a bona-fide suite: hallway, living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 balconies, 3 televisions – all to myself!

I stretched out, relaxed and then went for a wander around the town. This has to be the cheekiest advertising I’ve ever seen. Before you get overexcited, look at the small print!

When I moved back to the UK in 1989, I decided it was time to have a proper keepsake and so I bought a dinner service, made by Villeroy and Boch, whose world headquarters sits in Mettlach on the banks of the Saar. The building contains a museum and I was looking forward to see my table service – now 30 years old and discontinued – on display in its home town (although it was probably manufactured in Luxembourg). It wasn’t on show at all, but there were some very interesting creations. (My service is the one bottom right.)

At the world headquarters of Villeroy and Boch

The centre of Mettlach is very pretty with great factory outlet shopping. Even though it is off the beaten track when you look at the map, it has its own brewery just opposite the hotel (enough said), and is on the main train route from Saarbrücken. It is also only 7km by bus or boat from the sight I came to see.

During this GLM X scrapbook tour, we have spotted a number of rivers, some prettier than others. The Saar in and around Mettlach is exceptional as it is surrounded by forest.There is a 16.1 km circular hiking trail through the forest if you have the stamina. Or a less strenuous tree-top trail with a viewing post to the sight I came to see. I’m going to end this scrapbook entry and the GLM X tour of Germany with the view that took my breathe away. Has Germany ever looked more stunning?

The Saar Loop near Mettlach

Recommended reading from the Saarland

I have only managed to track down one English translation of an author born in Saarland (Sulzbach), and I will review it tomorrow.

Arno Strobel (born Saarbrücken) has published many thrillers, none of which have been translated into English. The one exception is the novel he co-authored with Austrian author, Ursula Archer. Strangers is reviewed here,