Franconian Switzerland in the Heart of Germany

Franconian Switzerland, located in northern Bavaria, can be reached by car from Frankfurt in three hours. In the summer, I imagine, it is overrun by tour buses, but we went there in late November, which made it perfect for us: few people, quiet, and no lines anywhere.

When you first enter the small town of Gössweinstein, you see its castle on top of the hill. The same castle, Burg Gößweinstein, is said to have possibly been the inspiration for Richard Wagner’s opera, Parsifal.

Gößweinstein Castle

We were there in late November, and it was quite foggy at times.

November fog in Franconian Switzerland

But nature also displayed its colors.

November Nature

This shepherd and his herd were a rare sight to see.

A shepherd and his flock

We also visited the town of Pottenstein.


We spent most of our first day in Pottenstein, and the first sight next to the church was the Scharfrichter Museum (Executioner Museum). I was tempted to pay it a visit, but my husband didn’t want to. Instead, he dragged me to an antique shop across the road.

In Pottenstein, we also had lunch at a place we will never forget. I will not mention its name, though.

The restaurant floor was dirty, and the waitress immediately told us of her chore of sharpening the knives in the kitchen. She had just previously bought a Wetzstein (whetstone) on sale, and it was not working properly for her… She was going on and on about these dull knives, and how the owner could not dispose of them, because they had belonged to his dead wife. There were moments I thought either we are on Candid Camera, or next time the waitress comes out of the kitchen, she will appear as the witch from Hansel & Gretel.

Of course, I imagined another scenery too, from having read so many mystery and crime novels.

She was also the cook with black dirt under each fingernail. She talked to herself, or the knives, loudly in the kitchen. I really had doubts what kind of food we would get, but I did not mention this to my husband (he told me afterwards he had thought the same).

We promised each other not to leave one sitting alone at the table, not even for going to the loo. We ate very quickly, and agreed, that if that ever happened again, we would pay for our meal WITHOUT touching any of it. And we would leave immediately.

We finished our meal (decent actually, and we detected no other flavor…), and paid right away. The waitress kept talking and talking on our way out, and my husband just closed the door behind us in her mid-sentence.

We both took a deep breath when we stepped outside. This lunch-scare is starting to become a family joke, such as when the question comes up, where we should go for dinner next… 🙂

Frosty and Foggy November Day in Franconia, Germany

When I saw my friend’s frosty photos on Facebook earlier today, I was so enchanted by them, that I completely overlooked the initial posting date of 10 November 2021. Nevertheless, I immediately asked for her permission to post them here, and so… a big thanks goes to the photographer, Christine Seger.

I love frost, the fall season, and Franconia – which also happens to be my hometown area in northern Bavaria.

This was taken from the village of Stammheim towards the village of Wipfeld.

View onto Wipfeld in Lower Franconia

The Main River, the color of the vineyards, the wafts of wog, blue skies and quite a few contrails… where the latter is the only man-made phenomenon.

The Main River in November 2021

I wish I could be there right now with some typical mulled wine (German: der Glühwein).

Frog and Frost in Lower Franconia

Early frost covers the ground.

Soon, I will get to visit there again.

“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.” – Wendy Wunder

U.S. Army Halloween Parties at Mainberg Castle in the 1980s and 1990s

The Mainberg Castle historian, Thomas Horling, is looking for any information, photos, and keepsakes, relating to Halloween parties held by the U.S. Army back in the time of the late 1980s up to early 2000.

If you have anything to share, this would be great.

You can do so here in the comments, or write directly to Mr. Horling at:

Mainberg Castle near Schweinfurt

German-American Volksmarch Commemorative Plates from the 1970s/1980s

As I have reached the age of downsizing, I take more frequent trips down to the basement. We have been in one location for the past 27 years, but I swear, some of the current basement finds must have sneaked in at night. I have no idea how they ended up here.

Yes, the reference Hambach (in green) to my hometown village is clear.

Spvgg stands for Sportvereinigung (game association)

Before these plates move on, I want to share these period pieces with you.

German-American Volksmarch 1978
German-American Volksmarch 1979
German-American Volksmarch 1980

Maasholm, a Fishing Village on the German Baltic Sea

The second week of our summer holidays, we spent in Maasholm, a small fishing village on the German side of the Baltic Sea. We had been here once before in 2014, and enjoyed what it had to offer: quaint accommodations, a supermarket, some restaurants, many walk ways, and plenty of rest in our comfortable renovated farm house on Main Street.

We drove for about 2 1/2 hours from Sydals, Denmark, to Maasholm. In the evening, we took a stroll around the coast as usual.

An upcycled fishing boat makes for a nice place to sit, especially out of the cold wind in the evening.

Maasholm on the shore
Maasholm Port with rainbow

Tüünlüüd, this street name gets me every time. Four ‘U’s with Umlaut!


Eating well is another reason for spending time at the coast.

This is our vacation rental on Maasholm Main Street. Despite its location on main street, there is hardly any traffic noise, and off season, there are only few people to wander around as well. That’s me sitting on the bench.

As usual, my favorite spot is the one hidden away. This is for my quiet time.

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