Hermann Göring’s Castle, Mauterndorf

 
Mauterndorf Castle. Lungau, Salzburg, Austria.

Every old castle would like to have its own ghost. You are boring without a ghost or dramatic history. The castle of Mauterndorf in Austria was not lucky. It never resisted a cruel siege and never had an imprisoned princess or mysterious lady. There was no murder or suicide inside its walls, and its owners were not famous people, except for one—Hermann Göring, Reichsmarschall of Nazi Germany. “OK. Why not?” the castle thought. “Let him be my ghost. By the way, I am almost 800 years old, and in such a ripe old age, it’s a shame not to have a ghost. What will tourists think about me?”

As usual, we decided to visit Mauterndorf Castle in the low season, in winter, to explore it without witnesses, and were right to do that. We enjoyed its Medieval atmosphere in solitude. Mauterndorf is a museum. It is inhabited by wax figures of Medieval traders, musicians, bishops, and knights. They come alive at night and share their daily impressions of the visitors to their castle.

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What to Visit: Naples in Italy or Naples in Florida?

 

Sappho. Frescoe. Naples Archaeological Museum, Italy.

Sappho. Frescoe. Naples Archaeological Museum, Italy.

So, you are going to Naples? The first thing you will know preparing for your journey is that there are at least two Naples in the world: one is in the south of Italy, another is in Florida, U.S.A. Sun, sea, and palm trees are the things these cities have in common, but nothing more. Naples in Florida is a respectable resort for millionaires, Naples in Italy is another matter completely.

There are many unkind tales and anecdotes about the latter. From the Italians themselves, you can hear absolutely anything and everything about Naples. For example, “Africa begins south of Tuscany,” or “a day for the Neapolitan was wasted if he could not cheat someone.” Northern Italians don’t forget that Camorra, one of the oldest and largest criminal organizations in Italy dating back to the 16th century, originated in the region of Campania and its capital, Naples.

People talk about visitors to Naples: if you spent a week in the motherland of the best pizza and were not offended or robbed, you will be able to survive in any other city of the world. Of course, we went to Italy for two reasons: Italian Naples is much closer to us, and what is most important, in Naples, Florida, you will not find a totally unique Naples National Archaeological Museum. However, we did not want to push our luck and reserved only 48 hours for this visit of Italian Naples.

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A Dreamboat of Photographers—Alcazar of Segovia

 

Alcazar of Segovia, Spain.

Alcazar of Segovia, Spain.

Alcazar of Segovia (alcazar means fortress or castle in Arabic) is a very talented and skillful photo model. It does not need your directions what pose to take, where to place the hands, how to hold its head, and in what direction to look. You raise your camera, and it immediately presents one of its numerous and always beautiful angles. This castle is able to deal with light, virtually attracting it to its side. Whether it is sunrise or sunset, cloudy or clear blue sky, Alcazar of Segovia always appears before you in the best light.

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