Knowing How to Enjoy Life in spite of New COVID restrictions in Germany, April 2021

Today, further restrictions have begun for schools, doing sports, and the placement of a curfew from 10pm – 5am. None of them affect me. Even if they did, it is quite easy for me to adjust my life style accordingly. That’s what I learned from living in foreign countries for almost ten years.

Since the COVID situation is not getting any better, I have opted for ‘Outdoor Isolation’, which means we have picnics (restaurants are still closed for indoor and outdoor dining) as often as we can. This way, we are isolated from others, but not from sight. It is nice to see ordinary people passing by without a mask.

Today, we went to the Maasgrund Pond in Oberursel, where we have not been since our kids were in primary/elementary school.

Maasgrund Pond in Oberursel

What’s this swimming in the water..? This is a nutria (or: coypu), a native from Louisiana, USA.

It fetched something in the water to eat it on the bank.

After our picnic of British Tea sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers, and white wine (not for the driver), we took a stroll around the pond.

We can see St. Ursula Church in the background. It was a beautiful sunny late afternoon.

A new initiative to save the bees is taking place in Oberursel. The yellow vending machine sells bee food for 50 cents. On the left, there is a container collecting the empty capsules for recycling.

Oberursel has many half-timbered houses, but this one is a half-timbered villa.

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)

 

On the Road in Canada – Sussex, New Brunswick

Along the way to Sussex, after leaving Bar Harbor, we visited Acadia National Park in Maine and the fee for the car pass was USD 20.

As there were also many other tourists, it was difficult at times to find a place to park along the road. We drove through the park in one hour and then headed on to our final destination, Sussex in Kings County, New Brunswick, in Canada.

Sussex, New Brunswick

Along the road outside of Sussex, New Brunswick

My friend, who became unable to host us last minute, had booked us into the Pine Cone Inn. This is a small motel on the outskirts of Sussex, with views over the dairy country.

Pine Cone Inn, Sussex

Pine Cone Inn, Sussex

The innkeepers, a Korean couple, were most accommodating by letting me do laundry there, which is not part of their service. They also provided us with some snacks, again, just out of kindness.

Korean dinner in Canada

Korean dinner in Canada

My Korean friends had dropped off the Kimbab ahead of us. The innkeepers supplied the Ramion. We were well taken care of.

The room was small, but clean. The fee at CAN 67 for a room for four people is quite reasonable. If you are looking for simple accommodation, then this is the place to stay.

The area is beautiful. Next door, there is a club with a swimming pool, and from what I have been told, guests at the Pine Cone Inn have permission to use it.

Because Sussex straddles the Kennebecasis River, 70 km northeast of Saint John, it is not only a major dairy producer in the province, but also a haven for mosquitoes and black flies.

The black flies loved me and bit me more than ten times. I ended up going to the emergency room in Sussex, just to rule out anything worse than what it looked like.

welts and sores caused by black fly bites

welts and sores caused by black fly bites

The bites were located close to the ear, nape, and scalp. The trip to the ER cost me C$ 574 plus the C$ 36 for the prescription of antibiotics.

The doctor told me, “They are getting worse every year.” Mind you, I was the only one bitten out of four. I did spend more time outdoors than the others, but other guests did not have any black fly bites either. They especially liked me, for whatever reason.

After the hospital visit, we then proceeded on our road trip. Our next stop was Hopewell Rock, a famous sight around the area.

Usuki Stone Buddhas – a National Treasure

Here we are visiting the Stone Buddhas in Usuki (more about this National Treasure at Kyushu Tourist Information).

Usuki Stone Buddhas

Usuki Stone Buddha park surroundings

Cherry blossom petals were everywhere near the end of the hanami season.

Stairs in Usuki

Bamboo forest in Usuki

Wandering crabs in Usuki

While watching our step going up the stairs, we also noticed quite a few river crabs working their way down.

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