Found it

18 June – I’ll never forget 18 June 2012. I got what I came for on this trip to Europe, and in coming to Poland. With a new clue as to the whereabouts of the castle that I’d wanted to see since I was a young kid, we set out. We crept along in our hire car in the area we thought it would be. I asked an old lady in her garden for help. Fortunately, she spoke rusty German. She showed me exactly where to go, pointing into dense bushland, covered by a canopy of tall trees that created darkness within. I moved inwards into very thick scrub, wrestling with thin tree branches and vines by the thousand. The ground under me was undulated and invisible, covered in fallen branches and undergrowth. I didn’t know where I was treading, but I kept moving anyway. With each step, I slid, cracked twigs, brushed against bushes, got scratched, and was stung by the odd stingy nettle, but I didn’t care. (I wore shorts and thongs, utterly the wrong footwear, but I had decided that if I’d worn sensible clothing, I’d have found nothing.) Jean didn’t follow, and I wasn’t surprised. Then, ahead of me, behind a curtain of natural greenery, I detected the outline of something large and man-made. “There’s something here!”, I called to Jean, who still didn’t follow. As I moved closer, it was like one’s first sighting of Titanic, an outline appearing of something lost and buried, now found.

The castle, what’s left of it, has been completely re-claimed by nature. It’s obscured by bush in most of the 60 photos I took. The back entrance is obvious, as is the tower which once supported a flag pole. You can also make out what were the rooms to the right of the front entrance. As I suspected, there was a cellar here, and an entrance to it in the back stair-well. The castle is on a hill, possibly the uppermost part of Ubocze (formerly Schosdorf), the front facing south-west. I did my best to pace out its length and breadth while negotiating undulations, vines and bushes.

It’s a pity this ruin is buried in the bush, reclaimed by nature, and almost forgotten. For now, I’m very glad to have seen it finally after all these years.

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