Spending the Night at a Castle in Franconia – Northern Bavaria

With an out-of-town family member in tow, we visited my hometown area Franconia for a short visit on our four-day weekend in late May. We spent the night at Schloss Zeilitzheim (Zeilitzheim Castle).

We wanted to do something special for my Parisian brother-in-law, so we dragged him off to a castle for the night. We checked into the Zeilitzheim Castle in the afternoon, and got to spend some time there before heading off to visit with my side of the family at a beer garden in another village north of the Main River.

Schlosspark Zeilitzheim

It is a fairly big garden, which needs a lot of tender care. Alexander, the castle owner, is also the gardener. That’s where we found him when we arrived – clipping the hedges.

We enjoyed sitting in the inner courtyard with a bottle of wine in the late evening.

The next morning, a hot one at 27C for June standards, was spent lounging in the park.

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Sights to see around Kitakyushu, Japan

Some of you might know that I once lived in Japan for three years. That was in the early to mid-1990s. Besides having many fond memories and souvenirs of all kinds (including our son, who was born there), I also have some good friends there.

My friend, Yoshiko Harada, sent me these lovely photos today, and so the credits for the following photos go to her .

She attended the 6th Oktoberfest (held in April and May) in Kitakyushu earlier in the day. The timing for this month-long event is perfect: spring temperatures are very pleasant in Japan, and the rainy season is till a few weeks away.

Where: Fukuoka Prefecture, Kitakyushu City, Kokura Kita-ku, Jyonai, Katsuyama Park
When: 4th of April until the 8th of May
Opening times: 11:00am until 21:00pm

Prost! (German) Kampai! (Japanese)

Oktoberfest Kokura Kita-ku, Jyonai, Katsuyama Park

For more natural beauty around Kitakyushu, visit the Kawachi Wisteria Gardens (Wisteria is ‘Fuji’ in Japanese).
Tickets for the Fuji Garden can be bought at 7-Eleven or Family Mart stores.

Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu

Visit https://kawachi-fujien.com/ for more information.

Last, but not least, there is the Kokura Castle. I don’t think I have ever seen in such beautiful darkness.

Kokura Castle in Kitakyushu

One Week in Josselin, France

After having spent our first holiday week in the coastal town of Cancale, we drove on to our next rental home in Josselin (about a two-hour drive from the coast).

Josselin is closer to the Atlantic coast, so during that week, we also took a day trip to Carnac (about 1:20 hr).

The highlight of Josselin is the castle, but there are also many other attractions: restaurants, the canal, bike rental, pubs where we watched a couple of the World cup games, you hear a lot of English (due to the many British tourists), etc.

Unfortunately, some of the town center stores are no longer occupied. There are quite a few ‘For Sale’ signs in the windows of both shops and real estate agencies.

Josselin Castle and the Aust River

We took a tour of the castle (available only in French), and also got extra tickets for its puppet museum. That was quite interesting.

Josselin Castle – the garden front

Almost every day, we walked along the canal. We saw plenty of fish in the water, dragon flies hovering, birds trying to catch fish, boats passing by, and … not so many tourists (we were there from 7 – 14 July).

Canal promenade

We also watched a canal worker work the dam manually. She had to use quite a bit of muscle strength to work this machinery, and also had to take quite a few trips back and forth –  to let two boats up the canal.

Wherever we walked, the streets and walk ways were clean and decorated with flowers.

When we booked the place for a week, the rental owner suggested to stay an extra day to enjoy their annual Medieval Festival on 14 July. No thanks. When the crowds move in, I move out.

We saw some of the early activities on Friday evening, and we enjoyed the preparations they had taken, such stringing flag lines across, etc. We pulled out Saturday morning just in time before the masses of tourists would arrive.

I like Josselin, when it is a quiet little town.

Mainberg Castle in Germany in the 1940s

These photos were contributed by Susan Panioli and her sister Lorraine O’Dell, the daughters of Veteran Leroy F. O’Dell, who served with the 313th Infantry and the 79th Division during WWII in France, Germany, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia.

Leroy F. O’Dell

Susan believes the photos were taken of Mainberg Castle by her father sometime between September 1944 and May 1946. Leroy was also wounded during the war and received the Purple Heart. He’s now 93 years of age (born 16 May, 1925), and is living in a nursing home in upstate NY, USA.


I’m in the process of finding someone who can identify and verify the location of these photos.

Edited on 14 June 2018: I just got word from the expert himself – these photos were indeed taken at Mainberg Castle. (Source: Thomas Horling, Mainberg Castle Historian)

 

Postcards of Mainberg Castle

Ever since I started doing research for a blog reader about Mainberg Castle in northern Bavaria, I have become very interested in the topic myself, and started buying historical postcards.

Mainberg Castle in 1914

 

Mainberg Castle around 1930

 

Mainberg Castle in 1946

 

Mainberg Castle in the 1920/1930

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