Elisabeth, Toulouse, France


Posted Mar 18, 2007, 6:34 pm
I like to think about this new life coming soon, with exciting journeys and new friends ... 

Posted Mar 18, 2007, 6:57 pm
I'm a sunny girl ... Since the first sunbeam I go to the sea for my daily sunbathing (it's good for my skin)

Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:10 pm
Here I am ... this is a picture by Harold (one of our last  moment of happiness). I proposed him to write something on the sand, I thought he would write Harold & Elisabeth for ever .. he wrote "Lost" !!!!
He told me it was about his favourite tv show, but ... I wonder!!?

Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:13 pm
Another picture with Harold (one of my favourite ...) At that time, I thought our love would last forever ...

Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:17 pm
Things began to change when I began to beat him hollow at board games ... (here with one of my favourite "Mako Pêche" : you have to fish the more fishes you can ...
and another, playing (and winning) at the Monopoly !!!! (look at all his mortgages!!! and his crestfallen mind ... even if he tried to hide it!)

Money money money ...

Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:27 pm
Here, having one of my last good meal before Harold put me on a diet ... According to him, I should be carefull with my figure... (He said I was a bit well-padded, but my mother always told me a pretty hippo should have a good appetite)

and then, drinking one of his fruit juice ... (what can we do when we're in love!!!)

Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:40 pm
Here is our first candlelit diner... It was so romantic!!!

Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:45 pm
I like to read and write romantic stories ... Here I was writing a passionate letter to Harold where I declared myself to him... 

Posted Mar 18, 2007, 9:01 pm
And now a selfportrait with her majesty Queen Elisabeth II ...

I wish I could meet her two corgies or at least visit Buckingham Palace, and all the royal places...

Well it seems my dream comes true : I'm now on my way to London !!! youhouuuuu ...
Grandmum Elisabeth, here I am !!!

Posted Mar 26, 2007, 8:51 pm
Did I tell you I've always wanted to become a "petit rat de l'opéra" ???? (I'm still training and everyday I'm doing 15 minutes of parallel bars with my tutu) (it's goodfor my suppleness!)

Posted Mar 27, 2007, 8:39 pm
Meanwhile .....

At ToyVoyagersCentral there is great excitement at the thought of the visit of such a glamorous new ToyVoyager (and one so very nearly related to royalty as well!!)

Several of our single male employees have been vying with each other for the first glance of such a lovely young lady ....


Posted Mar 27, 2007, 8:41 pm
In fact there have been heads trampled in the rush to catch that first glimpse ...

Posted Mar 28, 2007, 5:49 pm
Even the 'Tags and Orders' boys in the office who should - and usually do - know better were getting into a bit of a kerfuffle about the whole Elisabeth thing...  :)

Posted Mar 29, 2007, 11:11 am
Bert 'n' Ernie had lots of work to do, but had somehow managed to assign themselves 'Watching for the Postman Duties'.  They have been doing this all week.  Personally we think it is a bit of an excuse for a skive.

Posted Mar 29, 2007, 11:13 am
Great Joy!

The postman has arrived!!!!

But alas, no Elisabeth today ....  :(

Posted Apr 1, 2007, 8:38 pm
At last I have arrived!!

It is such a relief to finally get out of my Travelling Compartment (I'm still not convinced that I wasn't sent in a box) and stretch my lovely ballerina's limbs.


Posted Apr 1, 2007, 8:42 pm
I was overwhelmed by my welcome!

Every one of my fellow ToyVoyagers was excited to make my acquaintance:  it was most flattering!

Posted Apr 1, 2007, 8:45 pm
I was even more delighted when it appeared that someone had welcomed me by buying me a beautiful bouquet ... not so happy to find it was my hosts' fifth wedding anniversary and the flowers weren't for me at all ...


All this marital bliss makes me think wistfully of my Harold and 'what could have been' .....


Posted Apr 1, 2007, 8:50 pm
Still ... all is not lost.

My hosts saw my distress and introduced me to 'Yogi'.

My first thought was 'Surely they don't expect me to begin a relationship with a man who can contort himself into such a position?!'.

Then they explained .. it's meant to be lucky to rub the Yogi's head ... and perhaps (though it's probably a load of silly nonsense) if I join in this superstition, it will bring love into my life once more.

Farewell Harold my love, I look forward to pastures new!

Posted Apr 2, 2007, 9:55 am
So, I have been exploring ...

It's very definitely Spring here.  Lots of sunshine and Spring flowers ...

Posted Apr 2, 2007, 9:57 am
This is my favourite.

I think it brings out the colour of my fur ...  :rolleyes:

Posted Apr 4, 2007, 2:11 pm
I went on my first trip out to see the local sights.

Warwick Castle is Warwick's main claim to fame, and when you get there it's not difficult to see why ...

Posted Apr 4, 2007, 2:24 pm
The Castle was even flying the English flag in my honour..

I kept telling the staff that I was French, but to no avail.  ;)

Posted Apr 4, 2007, 2:48 pm
Some historical, royal, and random, facts you need to know about Warwick Castle:

It is believed that in 914AD, Ethelfleda, the daughter of King Alfred the Great, first built a castle here.

But most of the castle was built after the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century (so I'll go back and suggest they get a French flag after all!)

During the reigns of HenryVII and Henry VIII (1499 - 1547), and those of Elizabeth I and James I (1590 - 1604) it belonged to the Crown (the English/British monarchy).  It's amazing to think that I could have been walking where once King Henry VIII (and one of his many wives) might have stood!!!  And even better where my namesake, Good Queen Bess might have dallied .....!

Warwick Castle is now owned by the Tussauds Group (as in Madame Tussauds, obviously!)


Posted Apr 4, 2007, 2:56 pm
So we left the Castle behind and started to explore other areas of the town.

Here I am at Mill Street.  It has beautiful old timber-framed buildings.  The street winds down below the hill upon which stands the castle, so you can get fantastic views looking up at the ramparts and towers above you.

Posted Apr 5, 2007, 7:44 am
OK, here I am in the world famous Stratford-Upon-Avon.

If you're not sure why it's so great to be here, let me give you a teensy weensy clue...  ;)

Posted Apr 5, 2007, 7:58 am
Some of the buildings here are amazing!

This is Oken's House (once a Doll's Museum, now a Tea Shop)

Thomas Oken was a great benefactor to the town in the 16th Century.

Posted Apr 5, 2007, 8:00 am
My last visit of the day (and raising more than a few Spanish eyebrows - and smiles -  when I was posing for the photos!) to the Lord Leycester (say it "Lester") Hospital.

Posted Apr 5, 2007, 8:17 am
The Lord Leycester:  History, Royalty, Celebrity!

The Lord Leycester has a mediaeval hospital, Chapel, Master's House, and Guildhall amongst its many rooms.  There is also a Master's Garden and now it houses the Museum of the Queen's Own Hussars.

Building was started in the 14th Century by the 12th Earl of Warwick (though I suspect he didn't do a lot of it himself!) with the construction of the Chapel.  Other rooms and buildings were added later.

King Richard II gave a licence to create a Guild of St George there in 1383.  Guilds were dispersed by King Henry VIII in 1546, and in 1571 the 1st Earl of Leicester acquired the buildings and founded a hospital for old or injured soldiers there, with a royal charter from Elizabeth I (there she is again!).  The hospital was in used in this way until 1950 when it was restored and then re-opened in 1966 by the present Queen's (late) Mother.

More recently, it's been the setting for TV drama and films (hence the celebrity bit!).  There was great excitement when Doctor Who was filmed there not so long ago!

And did you know?  A banquet held in the Great Hall for King James I  put the town of Warwick into debt for 10 years ...  That would have been a good one to be at!


Posted Apr 5, 2007, 8:19 am
To end my lovely day out, I went for a leisurely stroll in St Nicholas' Park because the weather's so beautiful today .... The riverside walk follows the course of the River Avon (that eventually leads to Stratford) and from the far side of the park you see a marvellous skyline of Warwick Castle, St Nicholas' Church and the houses and buildings of the town.

PS In a few weeks the trees will, apparently, be laden with blossom (pink!) and make this view breathtaking. 

I will miss this  :(

But I am a ToyVoyager, and I love to travel!  :D

I'll be on my way to ChristinaB by then!!!    ;)

Posted Apr 6, 2007, 8:55 am
Here's the canal basin at Stratford, bustling with barges and people enjoying the spring sunshine ....

Posted Apr 6, 2007, 8:57 am
And some of the beautiful old buildings in the town ...

Posted Apr 6, 2007, 8:59 am
Stratford is so 'Olde Worlde' ... Even the Public Library is quaint!

Posted Apr 6, 2007, 9:04 am
Great Excitement!!!

I had just posed for this photo, when who should step out of 'The Shakespeare' but the lovely Imogen Stubbs!!! (very famous actress, married to director Trevor Nunn, I enclose a pic!)

I almost asked for a photo opportunity with her, but was too shy and awestruck :thinking:

She probably felt the same about me!


Posted Apr 6, 2007, 9:34 am
Obviously, you can't go to Stratford-Upon-Avon without noticing that they're pretty obsessed here with Shakespeare. 

A good percentage of shops and businesses are named after his plays or characters, so you have 'The Food of Love' and the 'As You Like It' cafes, 'Iago's' Jewellers, and the 'Hathaway' (his wife) Tearooms.

This is me with a statue of a jester, surrounded by quotations about Shakespeare's Fools ...

Posted Apr 8, 2007, 7:37 pm
And on my left ....

Continuing my guided tour of Stratford, here is the church where Shakespeare was baptised and buried.

Rumour has it that his body was buried 20 feet deep to prevent grave robbery.

His epitaph - which he probably wrote, being a poet and all -  reads:
    Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear,
    To dig the dust enclosed here.
    Blest be the man that spares these stones,
    But cursed be he that moves my bones.

Apparently 200,000 people visit this church every year.

But only one pink hippo!  ;)

Posted Apr 8, 2007, 7:55 pm
Nash's House is now a museum, through which you can go to see the remains of Shakespeare's last home, New Place.

Thomas Nashe was the husband of Shakespeare's grand-daughter, Elizabeth (good name, eh?) who inherited New Place from her mother (Susannah - married John Hall), and ended up married to the 'boy-next-door'.

New Place was Shakespeare's home from 1597 until his death in 1616. It was the second largest house in Stratford at the time but was demolished in 1759.  Here is the story of how it was ruined:

A vicar, Rev Francis Gastrell, acquired the house some years after Shakespeare's death.  He grew so annoyed
:mad: by visitors who wanted to see where the famous playwright had died that he cut down a mulberry tree in the garden of New Place:  it was said to have been planted by Shakespeare himself. :(

When local residents saw what Gastrell had done they smashed his windows!  In a final act before leaving Stratford for good Gastrell ordered New Place to be demolished and left nothing but a pile of rubble behind him when he left. :stare:

Apparently no-one called 'Gastrell' has ever been allowed to live in Stratford again! :o


Posted Apr 8, 2007, 8:09 pm
And here's where it all began!

Shakespeare was born here, probably on the 23rd April 1564.  (He also died on the 23rd April, in 1616, and it's St. George's Day too - lots of important English dates all on one day!)

He is regarded as England's finest poet and playwright.  He wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets (14 line poems), as well as many other poetic works. 

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is based here in Stratford-Upon-Avon and regularly perform his works, with casts boasting Britain's finest acting talent.

It was a bit difficult to get a good photo of his birthplace.  Lots and lots of people from all over the world lurk around waiting anxiously for other tourists to move out of the way for long enough to get a good pic.  Next time I visit I will come here at dawn, so I'll only have to shoo the birds away!

My photos are just quick snaps:  the people in the background had seen Isobel&Neil on television, so we had a bit of a chat with them and they listened to my travelling tales before moving on to take their own quick portraits!  ;)

Posted Apr 11, 2007, 8:58 pm
And finally the day has come to make my way to London!!!!

Obviously Isobel and Neil's main priority was to fulfil my wish of seeing Buckingham Palace (and if possible Her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family, some of whom I wish to kiss!)

They were also releasing some young ToyVoyager colleagues into the wild for a special Easter Release called 'Lions and Tigers and Bears and Things' (I never did meet the Things...) and so they travelled with me - by train - to the capital ...

You will note that I elected to navigate and so had full charge of the A-Z (some of these jungle animals a bit lacking in the map reading department)  ;)

Posted Apr 11, 2007, 9:10 pm
Here's where the train terminated in London. 

Marylebone Station.
Marylebone Tube.

I hope you enjoy my ten hour Whistle-Stop tour of England's (and Great Britain's) capital city.

Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a fast and furious ride!


Posted Apr 11, 2007, 9:13 pm
Ooooohhhhhh!!!! The train!!!! The train!!!!

I have never been on the tube before!

And here one comes now!

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 6:40 am
So I took the Bakerloo down to Green Park ...

Here's a quick snap of Baker Street (famous residence of Sherlock Holmes - the Street that is, not the tube station) before I saw the sign saying 'NO Flash Photography in Tube Stations Please'.

Whoops! :o

Quick!  Whistle and try to look innocent ...  :rolleyes:

Luckily it's early and there's no-one else about ...

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 6:44 am
One of my missions is to have tea somewhere luxurious ...

Fortunately we've come to the right place! 

Unfortunately it's still only breakfast time!

O Tea-At-The-Ritz!  One day I shall return!  :p

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 6:46 am
So we walked across Green Park.  Already the deckchairs were being put out as it was going to be a beautifully sunny day ...  :D

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 6:49 am
Finally!  I am here!

Buckingham Palace!

One day, I shall live here.  ;)

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 6:51 am
As the old song goes:

'They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace,
Elisbeth Hippo went down with Isobel&Neil ...'

Or something like that anyway.

But they weren't (changing that is)

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 6:53 am
And I couldn't resist showing you the view that Her Majesty Elizabeth has from her front room window (though she might have someone who has a look for her  ;))

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 6:57 am
It wasn't all fun, fun, fun and fulfilling my dearest wishes though.  Here's poor Ursula in St James' Park.  She'd been tree-climbing and  couldn't get down again.  We all offered to help, but she decided to stay there and take her chances on getting rescued.

Farewell Ursula.  Good Luck!

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 7:09 am
The Buckingham House Souvenir Shop was packed to the rafters with fabulous goodies for a Princess-in-Waiting.

Here's me trying on the other Elizabeth's crown for size.

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 7:11 am
We continued our walk to Victoria, and here is the beautiful Victoria Palace theatre, where Billy Elliot (the musical) is currently showing.

But you could read that for yourself  ;)

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 7:12 am
We'd been going for a couple of hours now, so it was definitely time for a pick-me-up.

Not much change from a fiver at Mr Starbucks' Coffee Establishment, I'm afraid.

Please note subtle product placement:  I'm trying to get noticed for their new ad campaign.

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 7:15 am
Look at this little tiny house!

It's The Albert (pub), in Victoria, and has scary tall skyscrapers looming over it.

But very cute.  And almost ToyVoyager-sized!

Posted Apr 12, 2007, 7:17 am
That's the funny thing about London.
You can be going along, getting a bit tired, getting fed up of the crowds, when suddenly you round a corner and - BAM! - you see something like this.

Westminster Abbey.

Posted Apr 13, 2007, 8:47 pm
OK Fact-Fans - Big Ben is the nick-name of the huge bell inside the clock tower, NOT the Tower itself (which is called 'The Palace of Westminster Clock Tower', or 'St Stephen's Tower' or 'The Tower of Big Ben') :cyclops:

Let's just call it Big Ben, shall we? ;)

Here is Big Ben, with another tower-clock thingy next to it.  And me, of course!

And Big Ben again!

Posted Apr 13, 2007, 10:14 pm
Looking out from under the shadow of Big Ben, the view is dominated by The London Eye (or Millenium Wheel).  Built in 1999, it is 135 metres (443 feet) high!

Posted Apr 13, 2007, 10:16 pm
Whoa!  :stare:

Big Ben is looming. 

He's spotted me! 

He's coming to get me! 

Quick, run!!!

Posted Apr 13, 2007, 10:20 pm
So I made a dash away from Big Ben - all that *looming* makes this little pink hippo feel nervous!

Luckily I managed to catch the no. 15 bus from Westminster ....

Posted Apr 13, 2007, 10:24 pm
Only to hop off again one minute later as Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column came into view ...

Posted Apr 13, 2007, 10:39 pm
Well I am certainly impressed.

Lord Nelson's statue atop 'Nelson's Column' to commemmorate the Battle of Trafalgar.  Lots and lots of people throng here.

So we decided to do a release.

Ishtar was left snuggled up with one of the four mighty lion statues that surround Nelson's Column.  A fine place to be released into the wild!

When I got to The National Gallery (bottom pic) a few moments later, I looked back and Ishtar had gone.  Good Luck Ishtar - enjoy your journey!

Posted Apr 13, 2007, 11:18 pm
Leicester Square:  at the heart of the West End/ TheatreLand.

This is where the public flock to see celebrities attend film premieres, and the starting point for many people's experience of London theatre (the 'cheap' ticket booth is here!). 

Surrounded by four cinemas, bars and restaurants, in the very centre of Leicester Square there is a small park, that now is home to a charming statue of Charlie Chaplin.

The Swiss centre (has a great clock) is at the far side of the Square in my pic.

Posted Apr 13, 2007, 11:28 pm
A short walk from Leicester Square and you arrive at Covent Garden.

Covent Garden was a wholesale fruit, flower and vegetable market until the early 1970s.  Now it attracts visitors who enjoy the great shopping, eating, drinking and entertainment on offer, as well as those who love culture - it is the home of the Royal Opera House.

Not great pics, but there were so many tourists and not much elbow room for a small pink hippo to get busy with the camera ...

You can just see a street entertainer trying to ride the most HUGE unicycle ever!  And the last pic is a 'living statue' (there were several, this one was the best and the scariest!)

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 9:08 am
ChinaTown is in the Soho area of London (around Gerrard Street) and is characterised by Chinese restaurants and businesses - not many people live here.

It's a really unexpected sight, the street decorations are lovely and very colourful!

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 9:23 am
We stopped to eat at a little Italian in Soho.

The food was delicious and so much of it!  Even this very hungry hippo was beaten by the calzone!

I honestly can say that it did look better than this in the flesh.  A little less like roadkill I mean. 

It's a good job that presentation isn't everything ...  ;)

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 9:29 am
So we continued our tour of the capital, a tad weary after far too much carbohydrate at one sitting ...

We decided to head off for coffee in Bloomsbury, and set off walking at a brisk pace.

This is Soho Square, with a conveniently placed bicycle to make a quick getaway should one need it! :)

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 9:36 am
Neil wanted to take Isobel to see The Reading Room at The British Museum, so that's where we headed off next.

Unfortunately the Reading Room was closed, awaiting the arrival of China's historic Terracotta Army later this year.  Ho hum.  :(

I hope they like reading when they get here, that's all I can say!

So here's the outside of The British Museum, beautiful building huh?    And me looking for good spots to release a couple of my fellow ToyVoyagers.

And the inside - how amazing the roof looks on a sunny day!


Posted Apr 14, 2007, 9:45 am
We continued our journey through Bloomsbury (has many artistic and literary connections - Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, even Bob marley for six months!), having a coffee and taking in the sights, like Russell Square.


Posted Apr 14, 2007, 7:21 pm
You can't go to London and not see St. Paul's Cathedral.

Apparently it's the fifth St. Paul's Cathedral on the site.  Designed by Sir Christopher Wren who is also buried here.  His epitaph:
"Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice"
(Reader, if you seek a monument, look around you)

Prince Charles and Lady Di were married at St. Paul's (breaking with tradition - most Royals favour Westminster Abbey) and lots of important events are held here.

Here it is looking particularly impressive in the afternoon sun.  And I look pretty good too!  ;)

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 8:12 pm
Getting tired now.  But up to Piccadilly Circus to take in some bustle and noise.  :p

The Street Entertainment a little more disappointing here.  Here we have a fine example of a rare native English species, the 'Half-Man, Half-Robot'.  Found only where tourists part easily with their sterling, the Half-Man, Half-Robot will only do his 'Robot-Thang' if you ply him with a steady flow of loose change.  Luckily for me, and him I suppose, some people seemed to like throwing coins at men who paint themselves silver then jerk about for a bit.

The next pic shows the famous lit-up signs of Piccadilly, and the last pic shows the statue of 'Eros' (apparently it's not really Eros,  LoveGod, but the 'Angel of Christian Charity' - a monument to Lord Shaftesbury). 

And then we're off to Harrods ('Rods' to those in the know) before they shut up shop for the night!

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 8:19 pm
HARRODS!  The Corner Shop of the Rich and Famous.

Harrods is fabulous.  Very expensive, very posh.  Prides itself on customer service and once turned Jason Donovan of 'Neighbours' fame away for wearing ripped jeans. 

We didn't go in because
(a) it was very very busy
(b) we could probably only have afforded a carrier bag anyway.


Posted Apr 14, 2007, 8:27 pm
After all the hustle and bustle of city streets, tourist attractions and posh shopping, I felt the need for some peace and quiet.

So, in spite of our weary feet and tired legs (we'd been walking most of the day and had probably covered at least seven or eight miles) we opted for a stroll through London's Parks again, and headed for Hyde Park.

Good choice!

It was still a beautiful warm day despite being late afternoon now, and many people were out enjoying the Spring weather, especially by, or on, The Serpentine (big lake). 

I also met an English squirrel. And here's the photographic evidence!

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 8:33 pm
Still in Hyde Park, I went to see The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

It cost £3.5million and is an oval stone fountain that is turbulent in parts and calm in others.  It's meant to represent Princess Diana's life.

I'm not sure what I think about it.  You have a look and make your own mind up. :thinking:

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 8:39 pm
Here is the famous statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens - the place he was meant to have lived before he went off to live in NeverLand.

Posted Apr 14, 2007, 8:50 pm
The Round Pond in Kensington Gardens and my new friend, Swan.

Swan-Fact of the Day:  all swans, including my new friend here, belong to the Queen (yes, that's right, my grandmama) under an ancient charter and are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Anyone killing or injuring swans faces a £5,000 fine or six months in prison.  Ha!  :mad:


Posted Apr 14, 2007, 8:57 pm
I wanted to end my London reports with a visit to another Palace (fitting for a Princess such as myself, don't you think?) and so here is Kensington Palace, a Royal Residence since the 17th Century, and where Princess Diana lived in the early years of her marriage to Prince Charles, and after her marriage until her death in 1997.

Posted Apr 23, 2007, 10:06 am

I just arrived here in Vienna about 1 hour ago and I had a very warm welcome here. Although it didn't take me long to get here I'm a bit tired nevertheless, so my host decided to let me relax today and start tomorrow with our sightseeing program. Thanks a lot to Isobel and Neil for the delicious chocolates you put in my box. They got to know me really well so they knew I wouldn't have survived the journey without any food... ;)

Well, I'm soooo curious to get to know Vienna and I'm looking forward to everything that is waiting for me here. Let you know more during the next days!

Love and hugs, Elisabeth

Posted Apr 28, 2007, 9:17 pm
I have just one more major task to complete before leaving Isobel&Neil - make sure that I keep up-to-date with my Travelling Notebook! 

I work hard - I write - I draw - I cut - glue - stick - ...

And finally it is done.  I am happy.

Posted Apr 28, 2007, 9:21 pm
Just the packing to do.  I sit and think of all my happy memories of my time on England, and look at my souvenirs of my trip.


But I am almost packed and ready for new adventures in Austria - I travel today - I'm so excited!


Posted May 3, 2007, 8:22 pm
Hi, it's empress Elisabeth here!! I'm having a wonderful time in Vienna! My hosts are really doing their best to make me feel great here! I've already visited many beautiful places and I must say, I really like this city. Somehow the spirit of my grand-grandmother Sissy is everywhere around at these nice old places. So have a look where I have already been:

First at all, this was the "highlight" of my stay in Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace:

You know, it was only the summer residence of the Habsburg family, but it is just wonderful!

Posted May 3, 2007, 9:47 pm
In winter the emperor and his family lived in the city at the "Hofburg". Nowadays it hosts some museums, the National Library, the Spanish Riding School and the President's Office. My host went to Sissy's appartments there but unfortunately it was forbitten to take photos inside. The horses you can see at one of the photos are called "Fiaker" and they are very typical, too, I was told.

Posted May 6, 2007, 10:34 am
Hi there!

I'm still enjoying my time here in Vienna alot! We did such a lot of sightseeing lately, that I'm really tired now. It always was perfectly sunny outside - so today we enjoy to relax on a rainy Sunday. But have a look now where I have already been to:

The first picture shows the Old Imperial Theatre, on the 2nd one you can see me in front of Danube Tower (we even went up there - by elevator of course - but unfortunately it was a bit foggy so we didn't have such a nice view), then there is Vienna's City Hall on the 3rd picture and on number 4 and 5 you can see me in the "Volksgarten", one of the most beautiful parks here.

Posted May 6, 2007, 10:41 am
And here are some more pics of me in Vienna. I've visited the house created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser (as you can see), I went on the Big Wheel, my host showed me St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Austrian Parliament. Very impressing buildings I must say. Somehow I always have the feeling of living in another century while walking through Vienna's center...

My host told me that there is another beautiful castle in Vienna which an empress like me absolutely has to visit: Belvedere. We gonna do this on Monday and then I think I'll be ready to travel to my next destination...

Posted May 14, 2007, 3:47 pm
Oh, what a wonderful day today! My host showed me the 2nd big castle here in Vienna: Belvedere! It's really beautiful and the garden is very nice, too, with many of these sculptures you can see on the photo.

Well, I think I've really seen alot of Vienna now and it's time to continue my journey now. So I gonna pack my luggage tomorrow and start the long way to Australia then!!

Good bye, Vienna!

Posted Jun 6, 2007, 9:15 am
Hello again,
After a very long journey I have arrived in Australia. And, can you believe how lucky I am - I have arrived just in time to celebrate the Queen's Birthday holiday on the weekend (the Queen being Queen Elizabeth of England of course, my famous relation!) Now I know some of you might be confused like I am, seeing as it is not really her birthday on Monday, but apparently it was King George's birthday that day, and instead of changing the date with every new monarch they just keep the same one regardless.
Anyway, seeing as it is a long weekend we're all off to visit Canberra to check out the sights there and visit some friends. We hope to not be too cold as Canberra is very close to Australia's snow fields!
Photos will follow of my arrival as soon as the camera batteries are recharged as some silly person left the camera on all night!!

Posted Jun 9, 2007, 3:49 am
Well, here are the photos of me in my new abode. I highly approve of my hosts decorating, what beautiful flowers. They match me perfectly!

As well as Kalli, Bec has Jama Bana staying with us. He must be a little jet lagged still from his journey as he just wouldn't stay upright, even with something to lean on! Most unrespectable! He must be unaware that it is 'not done' to recline while meeting royalty!

Sadly, the weather is shocking here and it has been decided to postpone our trip to Canberra until next weekend (hopefully!).


Our host is disappointed to as she hasn't seen her friends there for awhile. Here is a photo of our hosts backyard. It is slightly flooded and the gates had to be wedged closed at 5am as they kept swinging open in the strong winds.


We hope that the weather improves so we can do some sight seeing closer to home, but its great weather for playing board games! (If I could only choose which one to play!)


Posted Jun 10, 2007, 8:46 am
Bec decided to use the wet and horrible weather to get ahead in her school reports, so us toy voyagers were left to entertain ourselves for the afternoon.
First we played Monopoly and I did very well (I don't think the others had ever played before! ;))



Then JamaBana found a Banana's In Pyjamas Dominoes game, so of course he insisted that we play that!


If the weather is not too good tomorrow, I think I'll watch some DVD's. My host family members have a collection of my favourite type of movies, so it will be very hard to choose!

Posted Jun 11, 2007, 9:48 am
The weather has much improved so today we got to go sight-seeing. Kalli thought I might like to follow in the footsteps of a fellow Frenchman, so we went to La Perouse to lunch.

Here I am at Frenchman's Bay, where a French navigator called Comte de La Perouse moored his shipped in 1788.


La Perouse had orders to annexe any parts of 'New Holland' ie New South Wales / Australia that had not been claimed by England. Unfortunately he was a week too late, as the British 'First Fleet' had just arrived  and claimed the whole of New South Wales for England! La Perouse sailed away a few weeks later and was never heard of again. (He apparently disappeared off the face of the earth!)

This monument was a very exciting discovery for me.

Look - it's in French!! A very exciting find for a little French hippo in an English speaking country!


We found a clearer picture here where you can actually read the monument.

And look - A castle! Just for me! I wasn't expecting to find one in Australia!!


(Note from Bec - It's not really a castle. It was a watch tower built in the late 19th Century to combat smuggling and later became the first school in the area, but I'll let Elisabeth have her dreams and not tell her!)

I was eventually talked into leaving my castle as the storm clouds seemed to be rolling in again and we decided to make our way home.


Posted Jun 11, 2007, 9:57 am
On the way back we stopped at this little church built by the nurses at Prince Henry Hospital in the 1970's. Bec's family found it a few months ago following her father's death and find it a beautiful place to stop and think.


The outside is not very impressive, but take a look at the interior!

By now the storm clouds were getting really dark, so it was definitely time to go home!


Posted Jun 14, 2007, 8:54 am
Today I remembered it is Mood's birthday! (Well, today in Australia, but it's not yet in France) So, Kalli and JamaBana and I had a little party to celebrate.


We had party hats and party serviettes and ate Lamingtons for cake. Lamingtons are an Australian delicacy - they're squares of sponge cake dipped in very thin chocolate icing and coated in coconut. Very messy to make, but very yummy to eat! I put candles in the cake (we thought five were enough!) and Bec helped me light them. Then I closed my eyes, made a wish (but I can't tell or it won't come true) and blew out the candles.


Hope you have a great day Mood!


Love Elisabeth!
(We wanted to put a hippo on the birthday card, but all the clip art ones were horrible looking!)


Posted Jun 17, 2007, 2:14 pm
Today after Bec had finished work we set off on a rather long trip to Canberra, Australia's national capital. Canberra is a three hour drive south of Sydney and we travelled the whole way in fairly heavy rain. Not the most pleasant of trips!
On our arrival we were welcomed most excitably by the two little girls who live at the house we were visiting. One was most taken by little old me (although she kept forgetting my name!) and introduced me to someone she thought I might get along with, but after a stroll in this carriage we realised that in actual fact we had very little in common!


Oh, by the way, the scarf was lent to me as it can get very cold in Canberra as it is not all that far away from the Australian snowfields!

Posted Jun 17, 2007, 3:16 pm
Today we visited Old Parliament House which was opened in 1927 and was the seat of the Federal Government in Australia until 1988 when the new building was opened. Now, Old Parliament House is a museum and the National Portrait Gallery.

It was a bit cold outside, so I thought I might rug up a little.

But, my hat kept falling off, so I decided not to wear it.

Old Parliament House was only a short drive from where we were staying.

The first part we visited was the Senate (the Upper House of the the Parliament) and while we were here we met a group of school children who were visiting from Queensland and listened in on their tour! They re-enacted the first time my grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II opened parliament in 1954!

Here I am with Kalli pretending to be an Australian Senator.

and here I am with 'my' family's Royal Seal which I noticed on the door to the Senate!

Next we visited the House of Representatives (the legislative chamber) and sat on the front bench of the government. We wondered why the front bench had no desks, when the 'back benches' did, but the guide could give us no answers other than "it's tradition"


Posted Jun 19, 2007, 2:46 pm
Next stop...
Parliament House

Old Parliament House was getting too crowded and was really only meant to be temporary anyway, so new Parliament House was built on top of the hill behind it and opened in 1988 (the year of Australia's bicentenary). We didn't go in because we had hungry and slightly bored children to contend with, but here we are outside ....


Posted Jun 19, 2007, 2:55 pm
Our final destination of the day was Cockington Green, somewhere all of us ToyVoyagers were very interested in going, because their slogan is "Where Little Always Counts!"

Cockington Green is a theme park of miniatures - it started off with just English sights but is now extending into the rest of the world's wonders.

Look, Braemear Castle and just big enough for me!

JamaBana got a little silly and thought he might pretend to be a handsome prince coming to the rescue!

A maze to follow with your eyes from a platform high above....

Is that a loch ness monster?

And look, more castles from all over the world. How on earth is a princess to choose (and they're all just about roughly the right size for me!!)

Chateau Bojinice (we will check this spelling!)

Trakai Castle

A Turkish Summer Palace


But getting very cold, so time to head for home.

Posted Jun 19, 2007, 2:57 pm
On our way back to the car we passed this sign for a shop called Thumbelinas and just had to have a photo taken with it!


Posted Jun 19, 2007, 3:10 pm
The War Memorial at Canberra was built as a place in Australia where families and friends could grieve for those buried in places far away and difficult to visit (such as Turkey, France, Belgium) following World War I.

We are a little hard to see, but we are sitting on the steps!

Here we are with a statue of Simpson and his donkey.

Simpson became famous for his work as a stretcher-bearer and as the man with the donkey at Gallipoli between 25 April, 1915, when he landed, and his death in action on 19 May, 1915. Using one of the donkeys landed on the first day for water carrying and, later, a second animal he transported wounded men day and night from the fighting to the beach on ANZAC Cove. He is probably one of Australia's most famous soldiers.

This is the view of Anzac Parade. In the distance you can see both Parliament Houses.

Posted Jun 19, 2007, 3:27 pm
Soon, it was time to start the three hour drive back 'home' to Sydney.


On the way out of Canberra, we stopped at Lake George.


Lake George is a freak phenomenon. It has been known to disappear virtually overnight. The lake has been totally dry in 1837, 1870, 1902, most of the1930s and the early1980s. It has been completely full in 1852, 1897, 1925, the 1950s and the mid-1980s. There is no pattern to this strange phenomenon. It is completly dry now (apparently because of the drought). The water you can see is puddles from the heavy rain! Due to the complete emptiness of the lake, it is currently being used by farmers, who are allowing their animals to graze there.

Sometimes it appears as though there is water in it, but it is only a mirage!


Posted Jun 19, 2007, 3:41 pm
Australian country towns are very fond of building 'big things'. There are over 146 such objects around the country, such as big bananas, pineapples, oysters, trouts, rocking horses etc!

On the way back we stopped in Goulburn for a "stop, revive, survive" break and visited the new site of the Big Merino (something we just had to see to complete the weekend after seeing the "little things" in Canberra!

The Big Merino is a 15 metre tall cement Merino sheep. It used to contain a shop underneath and visitors could climb to the top and look out through the Merino's eyes to view the local area until the Expressway bypassed the town and tourist trade dropped off.


Late last month, the Big Merino was moved to a location 800m up the road, closer to the Hume Freeway, to increase visitor numbers. This was very complex operation as the Merino is  as high as a four-storey building and as wide as a country road! It involved cutting the power cables on that section of road, cutting off the rams legs (and other unmentionables!) and using an 96 wheeled truck moving at three kilometres an hour!

Posted Jun 19, 2007, 3:48 pm
Tonight Bec and some of the teachers she works with in Kindergarten went out for a 'end of reports' dinner. In my honour they chose a little French restaurant. Yum!


It was so hard to decide what to eat from the menu! Everything looked and sounded so good!




Posted Jun 24, 2007, 1:56 pm
We went into the City today. It was a little bit of a complicated trip in as Bec missed the exit off the Expressway to get to her sister's house so we had to detour around the Sydney Airport for 15 minutes waiting for an opportunity to find a place to do a U-Turn. You wouldn't think that she's been driving there for nearly 2 years would you? Then we had to drive to Wolli Creek station and dodge HUGE puddles to park the car.

Eventually we got on the train and made our way into the city.


Our first stop was the Queen Victoria Building, commonly known as The QVB, home of many very expensive designer shops and displays dedicated to my great-great (?) grandmother, Queen Victoria.


This is The Royal Clock in the Queen Victoria Building. On the hour it shows scenes of English royalty: King John signing the Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215, King Henry VIII surrounded by his wives, Queen Elizabeth I knighting Sir Francis Drake on the deck of the Golden Hind in 1558, and the execution of King Charles I in January 1649.


Unfortunately we'd just missed the midday chiming and didn't have time to wait for the 1pm show because we had so much more to see!

This was one of my favourite sights in the building. It is a life sized tableau of Queen Victoria on her Coronation Day in 1838. Doesn't she look so young and beautiful (must run in the family!)

Also in the case are replicas of the Crown Jewels.

Here I am trying on Queen Mary's crown from 1911. I think it suits me beautifully. Do you agree?

After doing some window shopping in the designer stores, we headed out into the city streets. Outside the King Street entrance is this bronze statue of Queen Victoria. It is very well travelled as it used to stand outside of the Irish Parliament until it was gifted to Australia in 1947.

Posted Jun 24, 2007, 2:22 pm
Next stop on our City adventure was the Sydney Tower, previously known as Centrepoint. Sydney Tower is the the highest point above the city and it is the same height as the Eiffel Tower. From here you can have 360* views of the city and surrounds (sadly it was very overcast today, so the views weren't at their best! But we could still take in the major sights of the city.

The city skyline, just hiding the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The mark in the harbour to the right is Fort Denison, which you might have read about in Kalli's travelog and the green is the Botanical Gardens surrounding Farm Cove.

The building with the green domes is the QVB. It takes up that whole city block!

Here is Darling Harbour and the Pyrmont Bridge. The warship is a part of the Sydney Maritime Museum.

This is St Mary's Cathedral, which is the seat of the Catholic church in Australia. It is the largest church in Australia and probably the largest Roman Catholic church in the Southern hemisphere. In front of it is Hyde Park, which was named after Hyde Park in London (of course!) and the large fountain towards the front of the photo is the Archibald Fountain, unveiled in 1932 in honour of Australia's contribution to the Great War in France.

And here is a better view of the Harbour Bridge, which we crossed later in the day on the train to St Leonards to visit Bec's uncle at Royal North Shore Hospital.

Time for some afternoon tea...... What a view!

Posted Jul 3, 2007, 12:01 pm

Elisabeth packed up her travel kit and left us today, leaving us very sad that she has gone.


Bon Voyage Elisabeth!


Posted Jul 8, 2007, 9:22 pm
Pooh, finally I've arrived in Munich. Luckily I had a little bear as travel companion and had someone to talk to. It would have been too boring otherwise (I have read my travel diary already several times, know it by heart now). I didn't touch the small bar of chocolate though that was my food for survival (in case the journey gets too long) ... but then I have to take care of my weight ..... I love ballet dancing and want to continue to dance.
The welcome was warm - all the toyvoyagers in Munich came to say hello to me.

Posted Jul 10, 2007, 9:11 pm
Ah, traveling abroad on my own is not always easy. Sometimes you can be very lonely ..... and then I think about Harold, where did he go? What is he doing now? Sometimes I miss him although we broke up.
Here in Munich I met a new guy - Charles or Karl (in German). He is a resident toy in Pandamao's apartment and he is really handsome, broad shoulders (and belly) to lean on  :D
Will he be able to make me forget Harold?

Posted Jul 15, 2007, 9:36 pm
Hello, hello,
after long days of rain, rain, rain and rain I finally could go out and do a bit of sight-seeing in Munich. I saw the opera at Gärtnerplatz, Marienplatz, Hofbräuhaus (huge halles full of beer-drinking people) and the Viktualienmarkt (great for daily shopping of vegetables).

Posted Jul 16, 2007, 9:24 pm
We all went swimming in the Starnberger See as it was very hot. We took the S-Bahn to Possenhofen. We saw Possenhofen Castle. In this castle Princess Elisabeth von Bayern, later Empress of Austria, spent her youth. Well, it's not the place Queen Elisabeth would have spent her youth. But still, it's impressive to be where the later Empress of Austria had lived. Lots of Elisabeths around ... myself being named Elisabeth. These days the castle has been turned into private apartments.

Posted Jul 19, 2007, 10:08 pm
A little parcel arrived - Galen is visiting!

Posted Jul 26, 2007, 10:12 pm
On Monday our host took us on a business trip. As she could not get group travel rates (we were 10 including Pandamao) we had to squeeze hard into the suitcase. Luckily no broken seams or bones!

Later in the evening we went for a walk in the city center. There is lots of water ..... also from above, it was raining all evening. But we still managed to see from far the Kungliga Slottet (Royal Castle), Gamla Stan (Old City) and walked to Skeppsholmen Island where a lot of museums are located. The strange creatures in the photo must belong to the Modern Art Museum! We walked for quite a while until it was getting dark.

Posted Jul 26, 2007, 10:44 pm
Look. I finally found a crown fitting my lovely curvy figure!

When it was dark we took the T-Bane back to the hotel. The Kungsträdgarden station is extra-ordinary, just look at the painted ceiling.
Finally we all went to bed after a long day.

Posted Jul 27, 2007, 6:06 pm
Today the weather was much better so we all went out for a stroll in Gamla Stan (Old City). We saw the Royal Castle, walked through the small streets and enjoyed ourselves a lot. I tried to see Queen Silvia for a little chat but the guards wouldn't let me in although I told them that I was of Royal blood, too. It's not nice to treat me like a normal tourist  :mad:

Posted Jul 27, 2007, 7:03 pm
Who says business trips are fun? After a long day in the office (we waited crammed into the trolley again) we took off to Warsaw. When we finally arrived in the hotel we immediately fell asleep.

Posted Jul 29, 2007, 7:20 pm
Just before the flight back to Munich we had a few minutes to rush through Warsaw's old city center.

Posted Aug 12, 2007, 7:38 pm
After long days of rain it finally was sunny again. So we went out to see Nymphenburg Castle, a summer residence with a large park. Today lots of people use it for a walk or jogging, and there are always a lot of tourists.

Posted Aug 13, 2007, 7:54 pm
I also visited Amalienburg, a beautiful rococo building in the park of Nymphenburg castle.
Later I went to the museum shop. I could not resist and bought a postcard of the Bavarian King Ludwig II.

Posted Sep 22, 2007, 7:48 pm
The past weeks were a little slow, nothing much happened because my host was very busy.
Today we have a new TV here to visit - Florence who has arrived from Prague, just in time for the Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest started today and there were already lots of people dressed in traditional clothes in the subway.

Posted Sep 26, 2007, 6:18 pm
A last update of my travel diary and off I go to the Munich post office. Bye Munich!

Posted Sep 26, 2007, 7:33 pm
Wow, this was really a short travel to Bruchsal, still in Germany. I arrived during lunch, but unhappily my host Petra had to go to work again. She had no time to take a photo of me and I still haven't met the other toyvoyagers at her home. I know, that she is on a trip with the other teachers of her school, so I'm sure, I still have to wait for meeting the others. I'm curious, who lives with me for a while.
Maybe her children will show me around a little???? First of all I will go to bed, maybe I meet them there, who knows.

Posted Sep 30, 2007, 7:27 pm
Today we played soccer. It's not so easy to play "sit-soccer" (that's how my hosts call it).

At first everyone sat on the place, where he or she was supposed to be. You only had been allowed to move on the place by turning around, but without walking. Alfie Langer was the referee. He was the only one with a real soccer shirt.

At once Tamalyn tried to score, but I did a good work and

just jumped to the right place and caught the ball. But then my punt was bad and luckily Bongo got the ball. He tried to score, but Decker was just at the right place to defend in front of Tux, who was the goalkeeper on the other side.

At the end of the first half we still played 0:0, but of course we had some chances for the first goal.

Start of the second half

Somehow Glory fell. I think, that nobody hit her or something.

Small Fry nearly shot a goal after that, but Tux was such a good goalkeeper and caught the ball. Glory fell again, maybe she already was very tired, she is so tiny.

Here Tamalyn got the ball and tried to play to Glory.

Small Fry got the ball to play, but had no chance to score.

After a while Alfie Langer had to talk to Dottie Grace, who complained about something I didn't understand.

1:0 for my team!!! Thanks to Dottie Grace!!

And then a silly thing happened and this was bad luck for my side. Bongo and Small Fry tried to catch the ball with their bodies, but they had no luck.

I jumped to the right side of her goal, but the ball rolled into the goal on the left side. :(
So at the end the result was 1:1

After the match we danced around the ball, because we were happy that nobody had lost in this match.


Posted Sep 30, 2007, 8:50 pm
Hurray!!! Today I will take a long long bath. Of course a hippo loves this and I'm so so happy.
Here you see me waiting until there was enough water in my bath tub.

Without my tutu I felt, that it was rather cold in the bathroom, so I took this bath towel around me.

Do you think, I'm in the bath with the towel??? No, but for the photo I needed it of course.

Do you see, how happy I am? And I smell so good!

I got a little water in my ears so Petra helped me to clean them with cotton sticks.

Then she came with this warm thing and I threw my towel away. I know, that hippos in the wild don't wear towels.

Then I felt rather tired and Petra prepared a place in the sun, where I was allowed to take a nap.


Posted Oct 10, 2007, 9:22 pm
Today it is National Holiday of Germany and most people don't go to work on that day. There are some celebrations, that you can watch in tv (television, not in a toyvoyager :) ). But the people in Germany don't really celebrate on that day.
Petra and her family decided to go shopping in the Alsace, which is in France. So you see Sabrina and me with the other toyvoyagers in the car on our way to the border to France.


Posted Oct 14, 2007, 3:44 pm
In Lauterburg my hosts had lunch. We were in a restaurant, where you only could order pancakes or crepes to eat and of course something to drink.

Posted Oct 14, 2007, 3:47 pm
Then we drove to Weissenburg (Wissembourg), because we wanted to see the old part of that city, but it was so crowded, that we headed home again. Unhappily the photo with me in Weissenburg wasn't fine, so we only have this photo of our drive to that city.

Not far away from Weissenburg we found this chapel. I think, it was very interesting.
Of course it was a little crowded by us toyvoyagers, but we tried to keep silent.

Posted Oct 14, 2007, 3:48 pm
The German Winegate is a building of the worst time in German history. It was built in 1936 officially to make the wineyards of the Palatinate more famous. Of course it was also a provocation against France, because the border is very close (only 1km to Wissembourg). The gate is the end point of the Palatinate Wine Route.
(I can't put this online without telling, that I'm so sorry for everything that happened during these years.)

Posted Oct 14, 2007, 3:50 pm
I only saw this church, when we drove through Karlsruhe, but I heard, that there is a nice palace too.

Posted Oct 22, 2007, 8:27 pm
Today we visited Maulbronn, where is a famous monastery. It is Unesco World Heritage. I thought, that it looks like a little town in the city Maulbronn.














Posted Oct 22, 2007, 8:39 pm
Today I was allowed to go with Dottie Grace and Sabrina to visit the zoo of Stuttgart, which is the main city of Baden-Württemberg. The zoo is called Wilhelma.

Here am I with Sabrina's uncle and godfather. And on the other photo you see me with Dottie Grace.



My only wish was to meet these animals. Do you know, who I mean?




Posted Nov 1, 2007, 8:58 pm
Today I helped Petra to bake cakes for Fabian's 17th birthday, which we will celebrate tomorrow. This cake is called Hannchen Jensen or Hansen Jensen cake.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 9:01 pm
Today we were on a little sightseeing tour. Here you see me in Huttenheim with a nice church in the background.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 9:03 pm
Then we drove to the Rhine, which is the one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 miles)



Posted Nov 1, 2007, 9:05 pm
On our way to the Rhine we saw this two towers. It's the nuclear power station of Philippsburg, which was built in the 70th, the power-down is planned in 2011 and 2017, so still some years to go.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 9:10 pm
Here we are on the way to Untergrombach.


On this photo you see rape, then asparagus and of course the beautiful trees.


Here is a view to Untergrombach with the Michaelsberg.


Untergrombach is one of the suburbs of Bruchsal. We drove to the top of the Michaelsberg, where I saw a nice chapel.


We wanted to take a little rest in front of the chapel


The weather was beautiful, but you see the fog coming up now. On the photo you see Untergrombach and the quarry pond of Untergrombach.


You find many beautiful views on the Michaelsberg and this is another one.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 9:11 pm
It's Halloween! It's a little sad, that Petra and her family don't really celebrate this, but she likes to decorate the house with autumn stuff. Do you like it too? I think, it looks great.






We toyvoyager friends climbed on the lights, but I'm not sure, whether you find us here. This window is in the kitchen of our hosts.






We had some fun here and it helped us a lot. We weren't too sad anymore, that we are no monkeys. Of course we thought of those toyvoyagers, who are in Oregon right now.

Posted Nov 1, 2007, 9:14 pm
We visited a very interesting place today. It is called Siegfriedsbrunnen (fountain). In the forest of Odes (Odenwald) four fountains are named as place, where Siegfried was murdered by Hagen von Tronje. We saw one of this fountains. There is a famous song about the Nibelungs.


When I turned around I saw these beautiful trees.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 9:16 pm
Then we drove to the Pfannwaldsee, a lake. We decided to walk around the lake and we got really cold feet.




Posted Nov 4, 2007, 11:32 am
Here I am in front of the rent house of my hosts. You also see their car and garage.


Posted Nov 4, 2007, 11:32 am
Today we drove to the Black Forest. Fabian, my hosts one son, was invited to stay there for the next two nights. So we all decided to bring him there.


Posted Nov 4, 2007, 11:33 am
We visited the Vogtsbauernhof in Gutach, which is an Open Air Museum. Here is what we read in a folder:

Where the magnificently preserved Vogtsbauernhof farmstead once stood alone in the open fields, it is now joined by numerous historical buildings from various regions of the Black Forest to breathe life into times of long ago. Six fully furnished farmhouses, the day labourer's cottage and 15 outbuildings, such as mills, sawmills, barns, stalls, a chapel, storehouses and granny house (Leibgedinghaus), invite to take a stroll and discover the multifaceted aspects of the Black Forest way of life.
















Posted Nov 5, 2007, 9:26 am
At home again some toyvoyagers left us: Shirley Sheep, Small Fry and Dottie Grace


Posted Nov 13, 2007, 2:27 pm
We have rather bad weather here, so I only get the chance to look out of the window sometimes. Here you see a part of the garden behind my hosts house and a part of a garage of the neighbour's house. The house you see in the back is the music school of Bruchsal.


Because too much cold air came into the house, I had to close the window again and started to look around in the house. I found this four budgies in the kitchen: Fleckchen, Clowny, Wölkchen and Linus.


Posted Nov 13, 2007, 2:34 pm
It is getting colder and colder here. My hosts heated the oven with wood and it was wonderful warm then.


Posted Nov 13, 2007, 2:57 pm
It's St. Martinstag (Martin's Day) today and so we all thought, it would be a good idea to go to the procession, where little children walk with their beautiful lanterns. Unhappily the weather was still so bad, that we had to stay at home. Here you see another view out of the window. It shows along the street to the baroque church St. Peter.


Posted Nov 16, 2007, 3:46 pm
Today we saw the first snow of winter 2007/2008. It looked more like a sugar icing, but nevertheless it was snow. Petra took me outside to take some photos early in the morning, while it was cold enough, because she knew, that the snow would melt away soon.

The house, that you see in the far is called Sankta Maria. You will see it again later.

I'm sure you remember this photo, that we took the other day.


Posted Nov 16, 2007, 5:05 pm
Today we visited Bruchsal's baroque palace and garden.

In the palace garden you find several statues. Four of them show the four elements water, fire, earth and air and other four of them show the four seasons spring, summer, autumn, winter. Here you see me in front of the statue winter.

I wanted to run and not to be carried around, so Petra set me on the balustrade. Here you see the back side of the palace.

The tower, that you see here, belongs to the catholic church, but it is located next to the parish hall. The church is the building with the three dormer windows. It is the church, where my hosts go to the service on Sunday mornings.

This shows the front part of the palace.

And here you see me in front of the county court.

I wanted to see, what time we had and tried to find it out on the sun dial, but we had too few sun for it.

This building is called Belvedere. It was a former hunting lodge and is now used for several feast and open air theatre. Behind this building is a big grammar school. The garden around the Belvedere is also used as schoolyard.

This building is called St.Paulusheim and is a private catholic grammar school founded by patres of the Pallotti order. Until today only Christians can go in this school. Each morning they say a prayer together with the teacher and there is a lot of extra christian program.

We found this funny coloured snake and wanted to play on it. It is near by the baroque church St.Peter. It was kind of playing hide and seek with our hosts, but I don't know, why they found me at once.

This is the baroque church St.Peter. It is all baroque in the inside too, but unhappily it was closed.

This street with the statues is opposite to the church. In the far you see the school St.Paulusheim again.

Next to the baroque church is the graveyard of Bruchsal. For old people it isn't easy to walk there, because there the ways ascend steeply. But you have a beautiful view to the church and there are wonderful trees.

Here you see a little view over Bruchsal. The building on the left side is the house Sankta Maria, which we mentioned before. The left tower is the tower of the Stadtkirche (city church) and the tower in the middle is the tower of the church of the palace.

This is the front side of the house Sankta Maria. In the painting you see some more churches of Bruchsal.

Posted Nov 16, 2007, 5:38 pm
Good bye, Elisabeth!
It was a pleasure, that we met you here in Bruchsal.


Posted Nov 20, 2007, 9:57 am
Yay!! I finally arrived in Sweden!! Luckily it was a short trip as it's not so warm....I have been told they have talked about snowing this weekend...

My new friend Flodis wished me welcome


Posted Nov 29, 2007, 10:21 am
Taking a ride in the Tonka truck


Posted Nov 29, 2007, 10:21 am
Taking a ride in the Bobby car

Posted Nov 29, 2007, 10:23 am
This was the weather in the morning....all grey and dull....great view though...


Posted Nov 29, 2007, 10:25 am
The weather later on...do you see...it's SNOWING!!!!....did I mention that it's SNOWING!!


Posted Nov 29, 2007, 10:26 am
Oh I love trying out all these machines *LOL*



Posted Nov 29, 2007, 10:27 am
My final ride....a dumper!!

Posted Dec 12, 2007, 10:34 am
Look! It's now 1st of Advent and everyone puts up these trees of light in their windows!! It's so beautiful to look at when it's all dark outside!!


Posted Dec 12, 2007, 10:36 am
Today we were baking (we did that last weekend too...but somehow during all the fun we forgot to take pictures :( We baked gingerbread cakes!!)

Today we made lussekatter! It's a bun with saffran that people here it around Lucia (December 13)


Posted Dec 12, 2007, 10:42 am
They are looking like a backward S.

Posted Dec 12, 2007, 10:43 am
This many we made! Now they have to rest in about 30 minutes before putting them into the owen

Posted Dec 12, 2007, 10:44 am
Now some whipped eggs on them...

Posted Dec 12, 2007, 10:45 am
....and now into the owen...

Posted Dec 12, 2007, 10:46 am
Mmmm....they smell so YUMMIE!! But they are too hot to eat right now....mmmm....

Posted Jan 31, 2008, 3:44 pm
We all are happy cause today Elisabeth arrived at our home!!!

She's preparing for meeting Big B., Mr. Hippopotamus that has been waiting here for her for about 5 months! She's a bit worried and doesn't let me take photos of her. She even hadn't any time to update her Travelog and asked me to do this. So, Mood, don't worry, your princess is here safe an sound surrounded by mirrirors and very excited :)


Posted Feb 20, 2008, 10:41 am
While Elisabeth is preparing to meet another hippopotamus that was waiting for her for a long time and has almost missed her arrival by sleeping, she asked me to post here some photos that we've made today. She seems to have so little free time here :)

Here's the first picture of Elisabeth in Moscow. Well, may be not of the whole Elisabeth :)


A bit more of her :) I had to help her get out of the envelope cause it was quite small for her.. Well, don't tell her, or she might feel upset :)


Fuf, finally!


And here's the first picture of the whole Elisabeth in Moscow! Welcome here, Elisabeth! We were waiting for you!!


The other TV that has arrived today is Snowy, of course Elisabeth was very interested who it is


It looks like they liked each other :)


Gina was the first who came to say Hello to Elisabeth.. I suppose she was in a hurry, cause she has to leave us today and she wanted to get acquainted with Elisabeth and Snowy before she travels further.


And here is our big and united TV-company :)


Posted Feb 20, 2008, 10:41 am
While Elisabeth is preparing to meet another hippopotamus that was waiting for her for a long time and has almost missed her arrival by sleeping, she asked me to post here some photos that we've made today. She seems to have so little free time here :)

Here's the first picture of Elisabeth in Moscow. Well, may be not of the whole Elisabeth :)


A bit more of her :) I had to help her get out of the envelope cause it was quite small for her.. Well, don't tell her, or she might feel upset :)


Fuf, finally!


And here's the first picture of the whole Elisabeth in Moscow! Welcome here, Elisabeth! We were waiting for you!!


The other TV that has arrived today is Snowy, of course Elisabeth was very interested who it is


It looks like they liked each other :)


Gina was the first who came to say Hello to Elisabeth.. I suppose she was in a hurry, cause she has to leave us today and she wanted to get acquainted with Elisabeth and Snowy before she travels further.


And here is our big and united TV-company :)


Posted Feb 20, 2008, 10:42 am
While Elisabeth is preparing to meet another hippopotamus that was waiting for her for a long time and has almost missed her arrival by sleeping, she asked me to post here some photos that we've made today. She seems to have so little free time here :)

Here's the first picture of Elisabeth in Moscow. Well, may be not of the whole Elisabeth :)


A bit more of her :) I had to help her get out of the envelope cause it was quite small for her.. Well, don't tell her, or she might feel upset :)


Fuf, finally!


And here's the first picture of the whole Elisabeth in Moscow! Welcome here, Elisabeth! We were waiting for you!!


The other TV that has arrived today is Snowy, of course Elisabeth was very interested who it is


It looks like they liked each other :)


Gina was the first who came to say Hello to Elisabeth.. I suppose she was in a hurry, cause she has to leave us today and she wanted to get acquainted with Elisabeth and Snowy before she travels further.


And here is our big and united TV-company :)


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:00 pm
Today I couldn't stay with the lovely hippopotaamus Big B :( We all were worried about Minerva.. She had to come already, but there still was no news from her..

So we went to the post office again..

Can you imagine how happy we all were when Kristl got a box and there was Minerva!!!


I had to greet her myself!!


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:12 pm
Today my dear Big B took me to his friends - cat Katya and cat Stas (these are real names of Kristll and her friend :) - haha - how funny!)



I greeted Katya as a real Lady - I kissed her on her cheeck:


And as a real Lady I gave my hand to Stas for a kiss:


Big B was educated in good maners too - he kissed Katya's hand:


and shook hands with Stas:


Of course we've brough a present - a box of sweets that looked like a sweet :)


Then we made a small talk:


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:16 pm
Today Big B stayed at home and I went for a walk with other TVs. First we visited an Italian cafe here in Zheleznodorozhny:



It was pleasant to taste Italian food and of course some beer :)


After that we walked a bit around and saw a nice graffity on the wall of the house:


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:19 pm
Hey-hey, today we've made a great sightseeing tour in the Moscow centre!!

We walked in the small street right in the centre when we saw (just near us!!) a fire in a house (there were many fire engines and many people) - we went from this place as soon as possible. It was there - you can still see the smoke..


The photo is taken prom a small square near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour


This way is Kremlin:


And in that direction is the Moscow-River:


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:22 pm
Then we went to The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts:


All the pupels are use to visit this museum, there are alot of interesting things there, but almost all of them are copies of famous artworks, good for studying, I think


It's strange, but from here the Cathedral is seen very good!


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:25 pm
I also saw some paintings on the buildings - they looked great!


This graffity shows the Kremlin:


Here is Pashkov House:


And all this is ver near Kremlin!!


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:33 pm
We wanted to visit Kremlin, but it was closed cause it was Thurthday :(

I studied the plan of Kremlin in details to be able to find there everything I want if I get there one day.


Then we went to the Red Square


Behind me you can see the Nikolskaya Tower and the State Historical Museum.


Here is GUM - the most famous shopping centre in Moscow - yum-yum!!!:


In front of it there was a skating rink but now it's being removed. - What a pity!!! I'm the best skater of all the times!!

The walls of Kremlin and me:


The Spasskaya Tower and me:


The Saint Basil's Cathedral and me!


Another wall of Kremlin and more towers and me:


The little one sutes me - it's called Tsarskaya - so a King Tower - good for me!

Do we really have no time to go shopping in GUM? No? Really? That's a pity :(


It's a bit sad to leave the Red Square.. So many interesting things here..


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:40 pm
Woo-hoo!! Today we go to a Teddy Bear Exhibition to meet many new friends!! How great!!! Woo-hoo!!!

Driving there we got in a traffic jam. But I was not sad. There're so many things a Lady can do in a car!!

Looking in the mirrow:


Looking through the window:


Looking in the mirrow through the window:




Thinking about the plans for the abend:


Helping with the wheel to drive faster:


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:41 pm
After walking in the city centre we went to the post office, cause Curly, Snowy and Rangler had to leave Moscow. I wished them a wonderful journey and many happy adventures in future!!


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:45 pm
Look at my new friends I met at the Teddy Bear Exhibition - Bear Vernisage!!

The're so lovely!!







One bear even gave me flowers!!


But of course I'm the loveliest here B)

Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:48 pm
Today we went for a walk cause it was a lovely warm sunny day! Ad we saw the forst flowers called coltsfoot!!

How lovely they are!!!



Everybody was happy about the flowers!


Posted Apr 20, 2008, 2:50 pm
Berlin Bear and Helen Bear were leaving Moscow today, so we went to say Good Bye to them and wish them a lovely journey. Take care! We'll miss you!!


Posted Jul 13, 2008, 5:23 pm
Today me and Smith have finally arrived in Novosibirsk to our new host Oksana! We were very happy to meet here two other TVs- Hedgie and teddybear Hector.
They are very cute! We soon became friends!

Besides that Oksana got a parcel with a new teddybear which she bought in Moscow. The teddybear's name is Tven and he is so-o lovely!


In the evening Oksana made a bath for us. We were
playing there with tortoises and paper ships. We had much fun there!


Posted Jul 19, 2008, 4:27 pm
Today a new TV has arrived- it's Harold Giraffe. He is from Australia. Harold is a very kind and funny little giraffe. It's his first trip. Oh, he won't feel lonely here, because we are friends now :)
Tomorrow Oksana will take us for a walk and will show us the city.


Posted Jul 19, 2008, 5:30 pm
Today  Smith and me went for a walk about the city.
Here we are with some floral composition:



The Voznesensky Cathedral:

Then we came to Oksana's office where she showed us the golden fish that lives there. Oksana said that golden fish will make our wishes true.  Oh, I wished so- o many things, but it's a secret!  ;)


What a big plant!

And here we are with 2 teddy bears that live on the table
of one of Oksana's colleagues.


Posted Jul 26, 2008, 12:54 pm
Some days ago our host received her traveling notebook "Getting to know you"  and she also got 2 notebooks which she ought to decorate and send to the next person. Here we are enjoying reading these notebooks:

And then Oksana took us to her favourite park. Look how many yellow leaves there! And it's only July in Novosibirsk,
but looks like it's autumn:

There are two fountains in that park, but they both didn't work :( Maybe because the day was rainy..
This one-with a bear is my favourite :)


Do you like lilies? I like them very much! They are very beautiful!

And here is our  company on the stone heart. It's a stone monument in the Pervomaysky garden. Some years ago there was a festival of stone sculptures and this heart was one of the works. At first it was clean- without these writings, but then young people wrote there their works of love :)


What a strange fish! It's near the cafe called "Aquarium":

I'm with a lady with a fan:

One more monument:

The building behind us is the Novosibirsk concert hall:

The old State emblem of Russia:

The sculptures of storks- the symbol of love and family:


The St. Nichola's Chapel:

Some new monument with the sables:

The Great Patriotic War's monument:



A sculpture of a girl with a cat:

The local museum:

Look I've found a palm in Novosibirsk! :)

The Lenin's monument on the Lenin's Square:


The House of Opera and Ballet:

We had a long a interesing stroll, so we felt very hungry and Oksana took us in the cafe :)

Posted Jul 26, 2008, 5:29 pm
Today evening Oksana took us for a walk and showed another part of Novosibirsk.
This locomotive is  situated near one of Novosibirsk's


Some monument:

The funny scultpure of a yard-keeper:


A funny wooden man in one of the yards:

What a lovely lady!

In fact there are 3 ladies:



Near the cinema-house:

Some old yards- rather old, dilapidated perhaps, but very cozy:







The house of Alice (from the fairy-tale):












Some monument to people who died during the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945:


The sculpture of a poet:


Posted Jul 29, 2008, 5:55 pm
Elisabeth in Zheleznodorozhny:


Posted Jul 29, 2008, 5:59 pm
Elisabeth walking in fields and forests:




























Posted Jul 29, 2008, 6:01 pm
Elisabeth celebrating Easter!











Posted Jul 29, 2008, 6:04 pm
Elisabeth travelling by car:














Posted Jul 29, 2008, 6:09 pm
Elisabeth leaving Moscow and saying Good Bye to her friends:


Posted Jul 29, 2008, 6:11 pm
Elisabeth watching 2 rainbows:



Posted Jul 30, 2008, 4:28 pm
Today we went to the local museum to see 2 exhibitions of handmade dolls. It was amazing!











Also some exhibition of embroidery:




I really can't imagine how people can make that beauty! :)

And finally we saw this wonderful old Russian town made of wood. I was impressed very much!

Posted Aug 2, 2008, 4:54 am
Hey, I feel so-o happy today, because
today we've had total solar eclipse in Novosibirsk! It was great!!!
The eclipse started at 16:41, in about an hour it reached the full phase, the full phase lasted about 2 minutes. It was dark almost like at night. We could see the stars! And then the sun started to appear again.


















Posted Aug 2, 2008, 1:17 pm
Today Oksana took us to the festival of handmade things "Artania". It was very interesting. There were many people from different parts of Russia with their goods.














Posted Aug 8, 2008, 4:48 pm
Today Oksana taught me and Harold how to cook Russian pirozhki with curd and onion. We thought at first that it's a rather strange combination, but it turned out to be very tasty :)




Posted Aug 12, 2008, 5:28 pm
Today morning we got up at 5 a.m.- very early! It's because we had our bus to Tomsk. Tomsk is another Siberian city- a very old one. It's more than 400 years old. It took us about 5 hours to get there by bus. We like the city very much, because it has beautiful architecture, lots of churches, old wooden houses.




Here me and Eddy bear in the Garden near river Tom.




And here we are at the Tomsk State University- also a very old one and very beautiful too!

It is surrounded by a beautiful garden. We saw squirrels  there!

And we found two stone ancient idols that were brought from Altai:


Look what a lovely sculpture of a cabbage and a baby! Small children in Russia think that they were found in a cabbage or were brought by a stork :)) This sculpture stands near the maternity hospital.





The main street of Tomsk- Lenin's prospect:







On the embankment:

We saw a kite there!

And there were so-o many weddings there :)

The emblem of Tomsk:

The Tomsk drama theatre:


The funny monument to the famouse Russian writer- Anton Pavlovich Chechov:

We found a very old chemistry in Tomsk. It was build in the 19th century.


The monument to St. Tatiana who  protects studends and helps them in their studies:

We enjoyed our trip very much! What a pitty that we had only one day in Tomsk!

Posted Aug 18, 2008, 5:08 pm
Today we went to the Novosibirsk Zoo. We went there by the children's railway. It's interesting that it's a real railway, only small and only children work there. It's about 5 km long and the train runs with the speed of 10 km/h.

In the zoo we could see many animals like deers, monkeys, tigers and lions, leopards, different bears, etc. The Zoo is very big and it's situated in the pine forrest.







And this ligr was born from a tiger and a lion. It's a girl and she lives in a cage with a lion.















I'm with Oksana :)



Posted Aug 18, 2008, 6:35 pm
Today our friend Hector is leaving us and going to his next host Fiona to South Africa. Good bye, Hector! We will miss you very much, but we hope we will meet again soon! :)

Posted Aug 24, 2008, 1:50 pm
Today I'm going home. It seems to me that I haven't been at home for ages! I feel happy, but I will miss my dear friends very much! Good bye, Oksana, Smith, Harrold, Eddy bear and Hedgie!!!

Posted Aug 24, 2008, 2:29 pm
Today we've visited the Air Show in the Airport "Severny".

It was a great show! We could see many planes there, helicopters and parashutists!














Posted Oct 2, 2008, 6:03 pm
Hi everybody !!!!!!!!

Just one word to let you know that Elisabeth is back home!!!!!!
Yesterday a packae arrived from Novosibirsk
it was stiring inside of it ... and when I opened, hurraaaaaaaa!!! my dear Elisabeth powdereing her face!

Of course, what she did first, was to look at herself in the mirror to see how thinner she got!!!
Have a look on the next pictures that will come soon ! Elisabeth' got a lot of things to tell !!!

Posted May 8, 2011, 9:24 pm
Hi everybody ..

After a long long long time ... Elisabeth is back !!!
She asked me to say hello to all her friends who hosted her, (in fact she has moved in Toulouse, and changed her computer and mail adress, that's the reason why she didn't give any news before. Moreover, as she stayed home for a long time, she couldn't pratice her english which is worth then ever!!!)
But, of course, last april 29 th, she was glued to her screen http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5028/5669014421_09d1130249_m.jpg