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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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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Adventures of Fitness Alcoholics in One of the Baltic Capitals

Cruise ship in the port of Tallinn, one of the Baltic capitals.

Cruise ship in the port of Tallinn, Estonia.

Scene one: Early spring. Carcassonne, France.

A couple of alcoholics wanted to find a cognac in the supermarkets of the city of Carcassonne. They were nearly dead after a whole day of storming the ruins of the Cathar castle, Peyrepertuse, in the mountains of Pyrinees. Cold and tired, they needed medicinal help—a good French cognac. The first supermarket. There was no cognac. The second—also none. “Darling, are you sure we are in France, the only country where cognac is produced?”

The third supermarket. There were a couple of kinds of cognac, but they were cheap and unknown. The alcoholics bought one and tried it. Bad idea. The cognac was awful. How is it possible not to find a good cognac in France?!

Scene two: Autumn. Tallinn, Estonia.

The same two alcoholics (my wife and I) wanted to buy some fruit and cheese in Tallinn’s supermarket. Supermarkets in Estonia are almost the same as in France, but with one big difference—they have dozens of kinds of cognac on their shelves. In that moment, these travel bloggers/alcoholics recalled how they searched unsuccessfully for a cognac in Carcassonne, France. It seems as if France exports all its cognac.
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