Photos of Mainberg Castle Taken During World War II

The following pictures 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.

The river you see on the left to the church tower is the Main River.

Mainberg Castle and the village

This is one of Leroy F. O’Dell’s friends (name unknown). It seems they were having some fun by putting a helmet on the statue’s head.

I’m glad Susan P. decided to share her father’s photos with my readers, and the Historical Society of Mainberg Castle.

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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A Night at Zeilitzheim Castle

There are about 25.000 castles and fortresses in Germany. Nobody knows for sure how many there actually are, so the Deutsche Burgenvereiniung (German Castle Association) has decided to do a final count and registration. They expect to have the final results in about ten years’ time.

A week ago, we spent the night in one of these 25.000 castles. Going back to one’s hometown requires accommodation, and over the past few years, we have tried out several places – mostly inns in villages around the northern Franconia area.

This time, we chose Schloss Zeilitzheim (we had spent a night there about 10 years ago). As it was the case back then – we liked the pavilion, the park, and breakfast the best.

We had booked the Kardinalszimmer (sleeps four people) to accommodate all of us.

We enjoyed sitting on the bench looking out over the park.

 

The castle interior is a museum with its artifacts, showcases in the hallway, and authentic furniture.

I can highly recommend this castle hotel to anyone who just wants to get away for a day or two (or more). Buy a bottle of wine from the owner’s Weingut (winery) and sneak off to the pavilion at night. My husband and I sat there under a starry sky, and had a quiet conversation while sipping our wine. Recommended: Bring a flash light or a candle.

If you like really warm rooms, then I’d suggest you go there during the warmer season. This is a true castle, so in early spring, the rooms/radiators do not heat up so quickly. For me, it was perfect though.

On the road in the USA – northern Maine

We had a three-hour drive ahead of us from Bar Harbor, ME to Sussex in New Brunswick, Canada.

Along the way, we did not pass much, except for trees, trees, and a car or two occasionally.

Somewhere in northern Maine

Somewhere in northern Maine

We had lukewarm water bottles on us and when we saw this general store, we decided to get some cold drinks on this hot day. Stretching your legs once in a while is a good idea anyway. This store sat in the middle of nowhere and the lady behind the counter told me she enjoyed this extreme heat as they don’t get it very often.

General Store

The store was a bit of everything – it sold groceries, cold drink, handmade items, and had a workshop in the corner as well.

Should have bought these wind chimes, but in the name of traveling light, I decided to take a photo instead.

wind chimes for rednecks

wind chimes for rednecks

As it is summer break, there is an abundance of school buses parked around the U.S.A.

school bus

This one seems to be parked only during the break. If it were completely retired, then the display “School Bus” and signal lamps would have to be removed.

Retired school buses are often bought by churches, resorts, or camps. Some private enthusiasts (a.k.a Skoolies) like to convert them into recreational vehicles (RVs).

Some old buses are used as farming vehicles as well.

La Bastide Clairance in Northern Basque Country

As suggested by the Eyewitness guide and other brochures, we visited this quaint village of La Bastide Clairance, northeast of Biarritz.

It is a very clean and quiet village, meant for tourism, photography, and a feel-good ambience. There is a small information center,  cafés and restaurants, some artisan shops, a forge museum, and much more.

around the market square

Based on what we saw, two to three hours are enough for walking around and stopping for a cup of coffee. Found some nice kitchen utensils in one of the shops right at the market square. For some reason, I always buy them in France, while on holiday.

La Bastide Clairance

Yes, there is some up and down walking as in most of the towns in Basque country. This little grandmother is not real, just an eye-catcher.

La Bastide Clairance

The tourism center also lets visitors see what the old Basque style classroom looked like.

Old classroom in La Bastide Clairance

We bought some sweet chili paste and powder. Most souvenirs carry the image, the name, the flavor, or the taste of the local sweet chili plant. The only thing we have not found yet – seeds to take back to grow our own.

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