Film about Life in Oberursel

Thinking about moving to Oberursel? Then have a look at this film published by the city of Oberursel. If you lived here once and miss it, you will enjoy it as well. I’ve lived here for 22 years, and call this my home.

Click here for the movie:

Oberursel and St. Ursula Church

The Current State of Mainberg Castle

A stateside reader, who plans on visiting Mainberg Castle this summer, inquired about its current state and whether the castle would be open to the public.

Based on various sources in the media, the castle is in urgent need of repair and restoration. The current owner, the real estate agent Ms. Renate Ludwig, bought the castle in 2005. She and her initial partners were in the process of running a restaurant there, until fire safety regulations deemed the castle not safe enough.

Now the castle is for sale on the internet, but there is no private investor to be found.

Price: € 3.850.000 €
Lot size: 15.646 m² (168.400 ft²)
Floor space: 4.716 m²  (50.700 ft²), 50 rooms

Interested? Then view: Mainberg Castle for Sale

 In November 2017, the State of Bavaria authorized public funds of euro 700.000 to provide immediate help as the castle has been classified to be in danger of collapse.

At first, a team of experts checked to see if the deterioration stemmed from the underground tunnel, which was built during the Sachs Family reign during WWII. Their results further stated, that the tunnel itself would  not be the main cause of a possible impending collapse. Wear and tear of a 700-year-old castle does run its course.

In 1915, the industrial tycoon Ernst Sachs bought the castle. Then from 1954 – 1960, the castle was owned by Wilhelm Heger, until it had to be auctioned off. The city of Schweinfurt bought it then and in 1982, it changed hands again. This time, the castle was owned Gerhard Eichhorn & heirs, until the current owner bought it in 2005.

Efforts are made to save the castle from its ruin. I wish the state funds would have been available sooner.

The current renovation is supposed to be finished by the summer 2018. Since we are in Germany, please add another two years for completion.

Askren Manor, Schweinfurt in December 2017

While visiting family around the Schweinfurt area, we passed by Askren Manor housing today. This has turned into a ghost town.

An article from the Main-Post Newspaper from February 2017 had stated that 28 of the 34 apartment buildings would be demolished by the spring of 2018.  The design for the new German housing development includes room for 1600 residents.

We passed on the east side of Askren Manor (up ahead is the John-F-Kennedy-Ring), where nothing had been touched yet.

Once the plans for this new housing development have been carried out, there will be room for about 1600 new residents.

Food Fare in Tallinn, Estonia

Every morning, we had breakfast at the Café Rukis situated around the corner from our hotel Vana Wiru in Old Tallinn.

Café Rukis, Tallinn

On the first morning, we enjoyed their Klassikaline Kahe Muna Panniomlett, a very light and fluffy omelette, made for a very hungry patron.

Panniomlett at Rukis Cafe, Tallinn

For dinner, we had another real Estonian dish at the Christmas market: Sauerkraut and pork knuckle. Yes, this is Estonian fare (the Germans occupied the region once).

If you thought that kind of food was too German, have a look at this plate.

The very best dinner, a light one, I had at the restaurant FARM, located in the Hotel Vana Wiru. Listed under appetizer, the dish Kitse Kohupiima Korvike (a goat cheese tart) was the best meal I’ve had in a long time.

Kitse Kohupiima Korvike


My last and notable breakfast was these curd cheese cakes served with cream, and berry sauce. This was delicious.  I looked up its name online:

Kohupiimapannkoogid ehk Sornikud Hapukoore Ja Värskete Marjadega

Kohupiimapannkoogid ehk Sornikud Hapukoore Ja Värskete Marjadega

Our last meal in Tallinn was the vegetarian Soup of the Day in a little eatery. This was heavily seasoned with dill and/or lovage.

We enjoyed the Estonian food, and fortunate for us, everyone in the service industry speaks English. 🙂

What to Do in Helsinki, Finland in November

The first notable thing we saw after getting off the Tallink Silja ferry at Helsinki, while walking from the West Harbor towards downtown Helsinki, was this statue. A bit grotesque, but I’m no art critique either.

This Bad Bad Boy is 8.5 meters in height, and his face shows surprise and shock, as if caught while urinating. It was part of the Mutatis Mutandis exhibition, which finished in October 2016, and since then, the statue has been moved to the city’s West Harbor (just outside the building housing of the Helsinki Computer and Game Console Museum). The artist Tommi Toija created this Bad Bad Boy statue.

In its new location away from the port, we walked about 5-10 minutes before we spotted him.  Again, I’m no artist, and I’m glad I don’t make my living from writing art critiques.

Bad Bad Boy in Helsinki

A more pleasant sight were these colorful seals, with a herring in their mouths.

Seals at the West Harbor Helsinki

More art and modern design is presented here. This is a wall of hundreds of tiny plaques, which you find walking from the West Harbor to the eastern shore of Jätkäsaari. The art project is called Horisontti, and bears the names of donors to the Keep the Baltic Sea Clean campaign.

After what seemed an endless walk trying to find the old part of Helsinki (good luck), or the modern downtown shopping area, we struck on the Stockmann department store. It was a nice warm place after a good 25-minute walk, especially being around the port area of Helsinki in November.

Stockmann shop window in Helsinki

Next, we looked for one of the Christmas markets. We found one in front of this white Lutheran church (construction was 1830- 1852).

Lutheran church in Helsinki

At the Christmas market, my friend and I shared a reindeer kebab. I had my share with all the extras a kebab can have – chili peppers, red onions, and sauce. The taste of game and the meat texture will make this a unique experience, and …remain unique.

We took another stroll through the lit streets of Helsinki.

Speaking of lit – most pubs were full by 5pm on Saturday. We could not leave Helsinki without having a pint, so we had it sitting outside.

Helsinki is a cool place to visit for a day – there are some good museums (which we didn’t go to) to visit, but we were more interested in shopping for souvenirs, its people, and the local culture.