Nami Geneveva, London, England


Posted Jun 29, 2008, 8:50 pm
my travel plans:
a holiday in Seychelles
visiting Blurchen in Austria

seeing London with tea_rose

I have been sitting here at home for a while now and want to get out and see the world. I can't wait for my mentor to take me on holidays with her. We're going somewhere tropical so that I can finally see the ocean for the first time.
I want to learn about many different animals and if possible take steps to protect them and their natural habitats. I'll travel with a passport that weighs 103g.
My first 'rescue mission' isn't really one, but I still hope it'll do some good to send teddys to Threadbear. I wrapped them all up and hope they'll arrive soon.

Posted Jul 6, 2008, 5:35 pm
Homburg isn't far from the border to France, so today we drove over the Northern slope of the Vosges and into France. (see the yellow-orange road on the map, we came from the north, a bit further than shown on the map but not much, then we passed through Zweibrücken and took the yellow road through Hornbach and yellow and then white to Volmunster)
The breed these white cows here for meat, but we only saw them from the car.
Our first stop was an old mill, the Moulin d'Eschviller.

Posted Jul 6, 2008, 6:18 pm
We drove on to Bitche. It's a town in north-eastern France that's built around a citadel that's about 80m above the town.
When we walked toward the citadel we passed the city hall and were surprised to see real storchs nesting on top of it.
This is the view on Bitche from the citadel. A castle was built here in the 12th century by the dukes of Lorraine that passed to Eberhard I of Zweibrücken in 1297 as part of a marriage contract. When his line became extinct a few hundred years later it reverted to Lorraine and was captured by the French in the 17th century.
The citadel was first built in the 17th century by Vauban, but was rebuilt starting in 1740 by Cormontaigne.
It has a separate, deep well inside and a bombsafe ring of the local sandstone. That way it held against Bavarian troups for 230 days, until the end of the war in 1870. There are movies about that.
Two gates are devided by this draw-bridge. Can you see us?
These wheels pull up the bridge.
The citadel was held by a Prussian garrison until 1918 when it was returned to France. During WWII it was bombed by the allied troops and damaged so badly that it couldn't be used after 1945.
Now other species have found an ideal home here.
The citadel was part of the Ligne Maginot. The US Army broke through it around Bitche in March 1945.

Posted Jul 7, 2008, 8:23 pm
I visited Zweibrücken and saw the Herzogschloss from the early 18th century. It's now the court house.
We went to eat some ice-cream in the pedestrian zone and then came upon the city hall.
The Landgestüt Rheinlandpfalz (state stud farm) is inside the town and nearly at it's center.
The name Zweibrücken (= two bridges) comes from the 12th century castle that had two moats and could only be accessed via two draw bridges.

Posted Jul 8, 2008, 6:46 pm
A very nice tv is here to visit. His name is Sebastiaan. His mommy saw how well we get on together and now she wants little craphins! I read somewhere that that kind of behaviour is called 'granny lust'. Really, I just became a toyvoyager so I could be free and could travel the world. I want to see what it is all about and possibly improve it, before I consider reproducing.

Posted Jul 10, 2008, 2:58 pm
Tonight we heard many sirens and screeching tires and saw blue, blinking lights outside the window. Hopefully nothing really bad happened there.

Posted Jul 18, 2008, 11:11 am
I am now in Essen and we're busy packing the suitcases and buying some small stuff we still need. I'll update again when we're back in Germany!

Posted Aug 10, 2008, 11:03 pm
We first went to Düsseldorf airport and boarded the plane to Dubai. I had to do this part of the journey in the luggage but I got promised a window seat for the flights back.

Posted Aug 10, 2008, 11:06 pm
In Dubai the others went shopping, while I was locked in with Josh and Aquila but the brought us postcards.

Posted Aug 10, 2008, 11:11 pm
We finally arrived in Seychelles. The main island is Mahé, where we're to spend the first two weeks of our holidays. After a bit of trouble at immigrations were the people said we weren't living with an offcial host we got collected and drove the few minutes to our house:

It has a private beach:

I couldn't wait to go swimming.

Posted Aug 10, 2008, 11:29 pm
We all explored the beach a bit today.
The tide is about about half way between high and low.
When it's high it come all the way up to the rocks we're sitting on, when it's low the other rocks aren't surrounded by water anymore.

There's this little inlet of water.

With Sebastiaan and Lucky Duck I took a walk along the beach.

The obligatory picture-perfect palm tree:

Here it got too deep for us to go on. These little walls are there so the sand isn't all swept away by the water.

Normal coconuts swim in the water and were spred over the world that way. The endemic coco d'mer doesn't usually swim, so only very rarely were they found on the beaches of India or Maledives and the kings or emperors  had laws in place that those had to be brought to them or payed very well for such finds.

The water was very clear with little seagrass.

Posted Aug 13, 2008, 8:03 pm
My first host hasn't responded to messages, but Blurchen in Austria has kindly agreed to jump in and host me this summer. I got my passport ready and now I am off to Austria!
Vicky is leaving, too and collecting coins. We took a last picture together with a ten rupees note and the 25 Seychelles cents coin she'll take with her.

Posted Aug 21, 2008, 7:37 pm
Today I arrived by my new Host Christina in Petzenkirchen, Austria.

I was so happy when I got my first breath of fresh air today! =)

Posted Aug 23, 2008, 5:11 pm
Today was such a beautiful day that we spend the hole afternoon in the garden.
I was totally happy, when I first saw that my host has got a pool - A POOL! =) .. I couldn´t wait to go in, but we had lunch and so I had to wait a little bit to go swimming.

After waiting an half an hour I could go inside.
Here you can see chiling me on an airbed.

I also found a new friend! =)

After swimming I was lying in the sun and enjoying the sunshine! =)

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 5:40 pm
I saw a very strange animal today. What could that be?

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 5:52 pm

We hung out a bit at the beach and I inspected some little crabs, a dead seastar and corals that we found.


Posted Aug 26, 2008, 6:07 pm
part of our dinner: banana, fruit salad with peach/lime dressing, mango chutney

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 6:34 pm
We watched the fruit bats today. In German they are called 'Flughunde' (flying dogs) because they aren't actually closely related to bats. They live in all the tress here and make holes into the fruit to eat them and leave the rind/nut.... They are very loud and seem to fight among themselves for the best places to sleep. They are most active at dusk.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 8:02 am
Today we are watching common mynahs. They are introduced birds and are on their way to becoming a problem, because the compete with native and local birds for nesting places and may eat their eggs.
They were very shy and careful. We had to sit out there for a while for them to come near us. They mainly circled us the whole time.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 10:58 am
It's my turn to go along today. We drove south through Anse Royale
turned towards the mountains
it got pretty green
then the car stopped.

I wonder where we are. I could see down into the bay.
lots of plants and flowers
and there's this house.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 11:33 am
Now what's this? Aldabra Giant Tortoises live here. First they were further away, but when I wanted to have my photo taken with them, one of them came to see what I am. I guess they are used to human tourists but not to toyvoyagers.

It's good that tortoises generally don't make any sudden movements.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 3:24 pm
We're at the Jardin du Roi. It's located in the mountains above Anse Royale. Close to here was the first and biggest spice plantation of Seychelles. It burnt down but a local family founded the new Jardin du Roi close to the original place and started cultivating all the spices that first made the islands rich. I had no idea what soem of the plants look like that our normal spices or  fruit come from.

Here's a male coco d'mer palm.


A beautiful view of Anse Royale with the Île Souris. 


Here we are going down the plantation, through bushes that are used as a hold for the vanilla plants.




Isn't the landscape amazing?
Below the plantation there's a small farm.
Cows seem to mostly be held like this here.

On top again.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 4:04 pm
Then we went up from the house. The property is more extensive than it seems at first sight.
different kinds of chicken, small turtles and fruitbats were kept in cages like these. I hope they also get to walk free a bit.
We opened a freshly fallen nutmeg.
You can never be far from the ocean on these islands.
A look back at the house.
fire tree

What a great root. Aren't we photogenic?

A frog-mummy.

Are those his killers?

How tall...

Look, some sensitive flowers (or Kräutchen Rührmichnichtan "little-herb-don't-touch-me" in German) They closed when we touched them.

What could this be?
These are some unusual roots.

A view over the forest.
Pride of Barbados

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 4:30 pm
Christina took us with her to our friends, where we spend a really nice evening on their balcony. The best thing was the christmas-candle, which they alight. =)

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 4:42 pm
These snails have become something of a plague on the islands.

Here are the fancy chicken.
Jackfruit or Pomme Jacko

Here we get a better look at them than otherwise, but it's still great to see them fly. They sail in the air, even now at midday and when they land in a tree there's usually already another one there and the greet each other more or less friendly, usually it sounds like less.

The baby Aldabra Giant Tortoises are kept seperate. The might be young and small for such a tortoise, as they get over 150 years old and over 300kg heavy, but they are huge to me.

A way to tell someone to go away in German is to tell them to go where the pepper grows. Well, we're there.



Here's another one of those huge palm spiders, luckily they stay in their nets. (as far as we've seen in a total of 3 weeks on Seychelles with lots of those spiders everywhere)

tree of life
Lots of pepper again, they sell in in the little shop off the restaurant and use it for the food.

You see that there are these granite rocks everywhere. Here under teh cover of the palms they are less bizzarly shaped from the water.

Breadfruit and banyan
sugar cane

Next there's the banana plantation.

The fruitbats were here to feed.
We can even hear some from up there in the tree. Sometimes one can see an outline when they move or see their brown heads.
There's one flying very high.

These fruit are called coeur de beuf. The are kind of creamy inside.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 5:24 pm
It's called Jardin du Roi because the family who owns the land and runs the plantation claims to derive from the mysterious Monsieur Poiret, who landed in Seychelles in the early 19th century. 
The story goes that in 1802 a bit sailing boat unexpectedly anchored before Victoria and from it came a young man who was accompanied by a distinguished older gentleman who introduced himself as Dangreville and the young man as Monsieur Poiret. Monsieur Poiret planned to settle on Mahé for a few years, he stayed forever.
Monsieur Dangreville arranged for a house and servants for the young man and then left as suddenly as he'd arrived. Even though there are exact logs about arrivals and departures, there's noentry of the name of the ship that brought Monsieur Poiret or with which Monsieur Dangreville departed. There are however documents that Gouverneur Queau de Quincy gave M.Poiret a piece of land and slaves. M. Poiret was well-respected but kept himself isolated. Ha planted cotton and rice and at some point married the daugther of a settler. They had two daughters, named Marie Lisette Dauphine and Marie Elise Dauphine, traditional names of the French royal family. Rumors spread, that M.Poiret was from that family, might even be the Louis XVII himself.
Monsieur Poiret didn't talk about his origins until much later and to this day his story couldn't be verified.
He claimed his father had been King Louis XVI, who'd been executed. He himself had been imprisoned and been rescued by royalists in 1793. Someone had bribed the guards and replaced him with another boy. After that they had hidden him in churches and on farms until Monsieur Dangrville could accompany him to Seychelles. The governor, who was partial to the French royal family, had eased the formalities for his immigration to Seychelles.
When Monsieur Poiret died at age 74, copies of letters from 1800 were found, in which the 18-year-old son of King Louis XVI asked for help among the European nobility. His family still owns silver with the emblem of the French kings.
The small museum on the plantation is dedicated to old agricultural methods and this theory.
I don't even want to know what all this is.
old maps
There are more than a hundred theories about what happened to Louis XVII. Many are obviously false. This is one of the more believable in the eyes of the experts.

A real coco de mer. The are protected, only those with an official green number may leave the island.
You can see why it's from the female palm, opposed to the seeds, which we saw earlier on the male palm. Other than on a botanical garden like this, they only grow on two islands: Praslin and Curieuse.
We had lunch at the restaurant. It was really good.

There's even more than we've seen. We went a short way into the water garden.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 5:53 pm
Refreshed by lunch, we started out again. We drove back to the coast and then around the south of the island.

On the west coast we reached Baie Lazare.
We decided to take a walk along the beach.
Another little canal that drains into the ocean with the tide.
There were lot's of these little Portugese men-of-war at the beach. In Germany they are called Spanisch Galeeren.
We climbed on a huge rock directly at the water and had a great look. It was windy but refreshing.
This is where we came from.
Then we drove home and watched the clouds rise over teh mountains.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 7:12 pm
We got some yellow-fin tuna tonight. It was really big! The man who takes care of us in the house also bought it for us and is taking it apart expertly. So nice!
First the fins came off.
In Germany we say that 'dinner has been saved'.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 9:21 pm
We went to the beach again today.
There's a breadfruit tree.

This pretty and curious seasnail is a nerita plicata. She trying to see what disturbed her.

Another African landsnail, they are everywhere.

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 9:58 pm
Today we have been to a Heuriger with our host and their we got some typical austrian dishes.

Here I´m drinking some Almdudler.

The Heuriger was on a hill and I had a great view to Wieselburg, which lies next to Petzenkirchen.

We had a really funny dinner and I ate so much that I had to take a long rest before I could go for a swim again! ; )

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 10:13 pm
I saw the new Batman movie, can you believe that!? .. Christinas boyfriend´s a real fan of Batman and so we just had to go with them to the cinema.
And it was also a special cinema - an english cinema. The "English Cinema Haydn"´s the oldest english speaking cinema in Vienna - it was found 1914.

We have been early and so we had to wait a little bit. Next to the cinema there was the church "Maria Hilf".

And I also met my first indigenous animal in Austria - a dove! She was a little bit scared and so I couldn´t really say "Hello" to her, but I got as near to her as possible! =)

The seat next to Christina has been free and so we could sit on her backpack and enjoy the movie. We also got some sweets - Kinder Schoko Bons.. - they´ve been great! =)

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 10:40 pm
We went golfing on the local golf course today. It's not part of a hotel and only has 9 holes, but theyhave different starting marks, so they are counted as 18 holes. The clouds early in the morning keep  it from being unbearably hot and sunny.
The palms are devious, they are so thin but the ball generally hits them because the fairways are that narrow and normally the ball is catapulted on the next fairway instead of the one I'm playing on at that moment.
Very scenic, probably with ocean view.

This Seychelles Giant MIllipede is an endemic species. It eats rotting leaves and is mostly nocturnal.

Posted Aug 28, 2008, 2:15 pm
Not far from the house there's a craft village where handmade souvenirs from Seychelles are offered.
This is the restaurant and some shops.
Afterward we drove to Anse à la Mouche.
And to Anse Boileau.

Posted Aug 30, 2008, 1:38 pm
We wanted to visit the tea plantation up in the mountains today.
This is the view going up the road above Victoria.
Here we are at the ruins of a boys' school run by monks. When there are no clouds one has a beautiful view but the mountains were hanging in the clouds once again giving the ruins a haunted atmosphere.
This is supposed to be a view to the ocean at a different time.

Next we drove to the tea factory. We coudl see the tea fields from the car.
We wanted to have some tea. It was 3:30 and they were supposed to be open until 4, but...time is relative here and the ladies were closing up the tea room already and the truck with the workers from the tea factory left when we arrived.
We just had a quick look around and then drove on.
Some people were planting new fields.
We found a great point for a view of the next bay and the small islands before it. It was sunny but the light was filtered by the trees and then by the camera.

We drove up to Port Glaud. Here's a church. They'd just had a funeral and we saw the procession. People weren't dressed darkly but in their sunday best with hats and flower prints.

Posted Aug 30, 2008, 2:47 pm
Today we had to get up really early, because we had to get a train to Innsbruck at 7.55 a.m. in Amstetten, which´s about 20 minutes away from Petzenkirchen.
The good thing was that we had quite a long ride with the train to Innsbruck and so we could sleep during the ride! =)

After all of us´ve been awake we had breakfast.

The other time in the train we spend with reading, chating and watching outside the window.

We had to change the train in Salzburg and had a some minutes there. To less to go outside of the railwaystation, so Christian bought us a postcard from Salzburg - to show us how Salzburg looks like.

During midday we arrived in Innsbruck. We went to our hostel to check in, before we went to the "Golden roof" - the emblem from Innsbruck and through the beautiful Old Town of the city.

Later we drove with a bus to the castle Ambras, which´s next to Innsbruck.

Inside the castle there was a museum and a special room, which was called "Spanish hall".

After such an exhausting day we all have been hungry and went to a typial austrian restaurant in Innsbruck. It was called "Stiftskeller".

Posted Aug 30, 2008, 4:18 pm
We found a local artist who paints islands scenes on silk.

Posted Aug 30, 2008, 6:31 pm
We spend our last day on Mahé at our beach.
The water was at a very low point and we could walk away from the beach a long way. There were a number of deeper pools.
a sea-cucumber
Picking up a coral often brought surprises. Do you see something hiding here?
It's a seastar with little spikes, like a hedgehog.

We went up the road at our house a little way.
There are a few more houses behind ours. They are head to see by daylight because the rule is that a building may only be as high as the vegetation around it. By night one can see all the lights and see how many houses there are all along the side of the mountains. To stop the building of more houses there, there's the Eden project. The made an island close to the shore not far from Victoria. It's called Eden island and will be comploetely covered with villas, small appartment buildings with big appartments, parks and sports facilities. We saw the advertisements and the on going work.

After packing our bags we could relax in the garden one last time.

Posted Sep 2, 2008, 7:40 pm
Today we took a tiny islandhopper (a propellor plane with place for 20 passengers) to Praslin.

Praslin below us:

We needed a rest in our new room.

Grand Anse, where we are gets a lot of sea grass during July/August, because of the way the winds blow into the bay at that time. They may even cause many small fish and with them small sharks come into the bay.

The sand plovers were very shy and most fled before one could even get a good look at them.

We walked along the beach toward the north-west. There's this place that brings up oisters for their black pearls and also raises some young or hurt fish and sea animals. It's Black Pearl of Seychelles. This is their boat, you can see the tanks behind the fence.
We looked for a few of their discarded mussels for the beautiful glittering ones. Some of them with half-formed pearls are sold, but with a bit of climbing and digging we also found a few beautiful ones here.
Here you can see Cousin and Cousine, two islands that are privately owned. Cousin(right) is a nature reserve for birds. We'll go there next week. Cousine(left) is a hotel island and has 4 villas for 2 person's each. The guests are flown in by helicopter and pay 1200€/night, minimum length of stay is 3 nights. Part of the money is used for the renaturalization of the island and bird and turtle protection. Each guest can plant a native tree (otherwise it is planted for him) to replace the introduced ones. Other people have to get the permission of the hotel management before they can come on the island.
We went around to the street side. This is their sign. We would have liked to have such a collier, but the prices started at a couple thousand Euros.
As you can see they are directly at the end of the runway of the small island airport where we also arrived today.

We went back to the house along the road and got a number of offers of rides or cookies, whatever kind of cookies they meant. We prefered walking, though. It's much calmer here then on Mahé and a car only passes every now and then. There'S also something like an unpaved sidewalk.
This sign warns you of the only stop-light on this island. The runway ends only a few meters in front of the road.

Posted Sep 4, 2008, 8:11 am
On the second day of our trip to Innsbruck we had a great breakfast in the oldest café house in Innsbruck - Café Mundig.
We ate quite a lot, but we also needed power for the next day! =)

After breakfast we went to the railwaystation to get a special bus, with which we could drive to the Swarovsky Crystal World.

We had really fun inside of the Crystal World and saw so many beautiful and sparkling crystals. But they had also a really beautiful garden arround in which we found those nice tent. =)

I could also swim in the nice pont in front of the Crystel World. =)

From the Swarovsky Crystal World we drove back with the Shuttle Bus to Innsbruck and to the Ski Jump Stadium on the mountain Isel.

From there we could see all over Innsbruck. =)
It was quite high up their and I felt a little bit worried, because I´m a delphine and not a bird!
Luckily nothing happened and I was really lucky when we´ve been back in the city.

Sadly we had to leave already. It´s quite a long ride home and we had to get our train.
Before the train came we posed in front of the Innsbruck-marker on the railway station.

Innsbruck´s a really nice city and I´m happy that I could go there! =)

Posted Sep 4, 2008, 5:02 pm
Here you can see us in the "Schloßpark Laxenburg" - it´s the park arround the castle in the town Laxenburg. This park´s huge!!!! You can find there a lot of interesting things - a castle, a grotto, riding-area, watherfall... and a big sea with some rivers across the hole park. It was amaing! =)

Here we´re sitting on a bridge across one of those rivers. We´ve been on our way to the castle - in the middle of the park-area.

After quite a long walk we arrived the Island in the middle of the park. We had to take those boat to get there.

Here we´re near the castle.

We visited the castle, but we couldn´t make photos inside, so we can´t show you how it looked inside.
But we went on walking trough the great park and found the watherfall! =)

After a long and hot afternoon walking through the park we had a short break. We had to relaxe before we went all the way back to the entree of the park.

Posted Sep 6, 2008, 4:25 pm
This morning we got ready and then went to the bus stop. The bus-ride took quite a long time. It was very full with both tourists and natives, most going to the other side of the island. We drove over the mountains, through the Unesco protected Val de Mai. That was a bit scary because it was steep and there were many curves. We arrived at Baie St. Anne on the other side and then turned east toward the port to La Digue. There the bus turned around again and we drove toward the west and the most touristy beaches: Anse volbert and Anse Lazio. We got out at the last stop. We wanted to go to Anse Lazio, but the last part of the way is so steep, that the bus won't drive there.
I also got to go snorkeling. The camera we had wasn't very good, though, so the pictures aren't even half as clear or colorful, as the real experience.

We found this funny bug on our patio tonight.

Posted Sep 7, 2008, 9:58 am
We chartered a boat to take us to Cousin Island this morning. It collected us at the beach and we had fun on the short way.
Cousin is dedicated to the preservation of endemic and other native bird specias and also a place for sea turtles to lay their eggs at the beach. To keep rats and other carnivores off the island, the boats need to anchor a few hundred meters off-shore and visitors have to get on a tiny island boat that runs up on the shore.
The first birds we saw were these noddies. It was nisting season. We were told that the male birds bring the females leaves for the nest. The females then have to accept or reject the leave. When they accept it they just take it and put it somewhere in the nest, when they reject it they drop it and the male has to go and find a new one to present it. We actually saw both happening. There was a collective groaning from the men in the group when the female bird rejected the leaf.
Here's a young tropic bird:
And older ones. They nist on the ground, so it's very important that no animals that would eat them get on the island.
White terns supposedly mate for life.
We left the way we came: first the island boat from the beach, then changing boats on sea and back to Praslin at high speed.

Posted Sep 7, 2008, 10:49 am
We took the bus to Mont Plaisir and then walked from there over the mountains to the other side of the island and Anse Lazio, a very beautiful, protected bay in the north-west of Praslin.
The mountains are quite green.
When we finally passed over the top of the mountain we had a great view of Aride in the distance:
And here's Anse Lazio and behind it Curieuse, an island where giant tortoises live under protection of wildkeepers. One can go there for a few hours to watch and pet them.
A little farm we had to pass by. The way got slippery on the way down.
Finally there:

Posted Sep 19, 2008, 10:23 am
Today we all have been at the reading from the german book author Ingrid Noll in the Thalia-Shop in Vienna. =)
I havn´t read any book from Ingrid Noll before, but my host Christina´s a fan from her and so she took us with her.
Ingrid Noll´s writing crime stories and just released her new book "Kuckuckskind". At the moment it´s only avaible as a hardcover-book, so Christina didn´t bought it, but she liked, what Ingrid Noll was reading from it.

After the reading we´ve been also waiting to get the books of Christina signed. There´ve been sooo many people that we couldn´t pose with Ingrid Noll, but at home Christina took time to show us her books and the signature she got from Ingrid Noll.

Posted Sep 19, 2008, 10:26 am
Today Christina had a free afternoon and  it was such a nice day that she made a walk with us trough her hometown Petzenkirchen. It´s just a small town and there´s not much to see. But at least they got an old castle and a nice church. =)

Christina also told us the legend about the name of the town and the church.

Once there was a knight and he met a bear in the forest. He prayed to god that he´ll build a chapel on this place, when he can fight the bear. He could and so he built  on that place a chapel. This chapel grow to the church of Petzenkirchen and also the town was named after this legend. “Petz”´s a name for a big bear and “Kirche” ´s the german word for church. So the town´s called “bear-church”, badly translated.

Posted Sep 23, 2008, 9:22 pm
Look - I've arrived in London!  I miss Austria - it is so different here - but being a Toy Voyager I am eager to explore.  Tea Rose and Friedrich took me into Central London today to do some sightseeing.  I explained that I didn't know how many indigenous animals I'd get the chance to meet right in the centre of town, and my new friend Friedrich indignantly asked whether a Galapagos tortoise and professor of Philosophy was not enough for me.  No, I explained - I am here to meet indigenous animals and that doesn't include an American tortoise.  But secretly I'm rather glad he's here to keep me company in a strange new country.  Here we are on the train together.

And here's me wondering where on earth we were going!

It was a little difficult for me to see the changing view, at first - but my new friend helped me out.

What a sweetie.

Posted Sep 23, 2008, 9:41 pm
You'll never believe it Mum - we're in Piccadilly Circus!  It's so busy and noisy and different to what I'm used to but I just love it  :)  Tea Rose tells me that the phrase "it's like Piccadilly Circus" is commonly used in the UK to refer to a place or situation which is extremely busy with people. It has been said that a person who stays long enough at Piccadilly Circus will eventually bump into everyone they know.  I wonder if the same is true of a little German dolphin?

This is the Shaftesbury Monument Memorial Fountain commonly known as Eros, but actually depicting Anteros, the Greek god of requited love and avenger of unrequited love.  Tea Rose said it's a common place to meet friends.  But so busy!

I took a closer look.

Look at the huge red London buses and black taxi cabs lining up along the street.

Here I am in front of the illuminated advertising signs.

I looked at the London Pavilion. It was built as a theatre but today houses a shopping arcade, and is part of the London Trocadero.

No one seemed to know quite where they were!  I think they were travelling, just like me.

Posted Sep 25, 2008, 12:06 pm
Before we left Piccadilly Circus, we stopped off in the Rainforest Cafe.  Tea Rose told Friedrich and I to stay in her bag as she was anxious not to lose us among all the other animals - check them out!

Friedrich was trying to speak to this poor guy but he wasn't having much luck.

Next, we made our way over to Leicester Square, a short walk away.  Tea Rose explained that this is the heart of London's cinemaland and where film premieres are often held.  But rather disappointingly I couldn't see a celebrity anywhere.

I saw these phone boxes and thought about calling home.  But I didn't think I could reach to dial the number!

Next we found ourselves in Chinatown in Soho.  Tea Rose explained that by the late 1960s, Chinatown was truly established as a centre for London’s Chinese community – now numbering in the tens of thousands as more and more Chinese workers arrived from Hong Kong. The area became home to a Chinese supermarket, a Far Eastern travel agency and many restaurants.  Chinese Gates, street furniture and a Pavilion can be seen today.  I loved the pretty red lanterns above the street!


Posted Sep 25, 2008, 12:14 pm
Look - this is me in Covent Garden!

Tea Rose explained how in this area, the Abbey or Convent of St. Peter, Westminster, maintained a large kitchen garden throughout the Middle Ages to provide its daily food. Over the next three centuries, the monks' old "convent garden" became a major source of fruit and vegetables in London.  Today  Covent Garden is the only part of London licensed for street entertainment with performers who must audition to perform there.  The central building houses cafes and shops selling clothes, toys and novelty items.  Here I am checking them out.

Here I am again, looking at some postcards

Friedrich and I took a seat for a while to rest

before moving on to see what else London had to offer.

We stopped for a coffee afterwards to recharge before continuing our walk.  But the cup was almost big enough for me to swim in!  Don't worry - I stayed on dry land.


Posted Sep 26, 2008, 4:35 pm
After we stopped in Covent Garden and had coffee, we took a double decker bus to Trafalgar Square.  We decided not to get out of the bus as we were so tired after walking around all afternoon.  But we could see plenty from the bus.  (Tea Rose says sorry the pictures are a little out of focus).

This is me approaching Trafalgar Square and looking for the famous 4 bronze lion statues that guard Nelson's Column.  You can just see one of the fountains in the background and if you look carefully, one of the lions on the right!

Oh, there's one of the lions!  Again, it was quite busy.  Tea Rose explained that a couple of years ago, the square was famously full of pigeons.  But now that it is illegal to feed them, they have largely disappeared.

Another bus had stopped to look, next to ours.  You can just see the base of Nelson's Column on the left.

Tired and happy, we started to make our way home.  But just then, we drove past Parliament Square and I got to see Big Ben! 

Did you know the Clock Tower is the world's biggest four-faced, chiming clock? The structure is situated at the north-eastern end of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. It is often colloquially referred to as Big Ben, which is actually the nickname of the 13 ton bell housed within the tower.

As it was a Saturday evening when we were there, Parliament was not in session.  We knew this because the clock face wasn't illuminated.

Posted Sep 29, 2008, 3:21 pm

Today we have been to the Melk Abbey in the city Melk.  We made a guided tour and learned a lot about the history from the building and the monks, who lived there. Some´re still living there.

We´re waiting for the guide to come and show us arround.

Inside of the Abbey

Here we´re in the backyard of the Abbey.

Posted Oct 3, 2008, 9:23 pm
Today we went to the British Museum!

First we travelled by train...

...and then we went on the Tube

At long last we arrived.  We began our visit in the Great Court, looking at the spectacular architecture and marvelling at all the people!

The Great Court, reopened after extensive refurbishment by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, stands at the heart of the British Museum.  It was once an open courtyard, but at 2 acres is now the largest covered public square in Europe, enclosed under a glass and steel roof. Surrounding the well known Reading Room, the court contains several sculptures from different countries and eras.

I spotted two very tall totem poles.  Below it you can see lots of people eating their lunch.  But there was no time for us to eat - we had too much to see!

I could just see an interesting looking lion in the distance, and we decided to go and have a closer look.

This fearsome creature is the Lion of Knidos.  The inscription said: 'Weighing more than 7 tons, this colossal lion comes from a tomb in the ancient cemetary of Knidos, a coastal city in South West Turkey.  The tomb stood on the edge of a cliff overlooking the approach to Knidos harbour. The building itself rose some 18 metres, and its pyramid roof was topped by the lion.  It is carved of marble brought across the Aegean sea from Mount Pentelikon near the city of Athens.  The lower jaw and front paws are missing, and the eye sockets are now empty.  These were once filled, probably with metal or glass, to catch the light. The reflection of light may have been an aid to sailors navigating the notoriously difficult coast.'

Next we had a look at some Egyptian sculptures.  These four granite figures are of the goddess Sakhmet, from about 1360 BC, from Thebes, Temple of Mut.  Her name means 'She who is powerful'.  Many similar figures remain in the temple today.  The sign told us 'Sakhmet was a leonine (lion-like) goddess who was regarded by the Egyptians as a bringer of destruction to the enemies of the sun-god Re.  She appears to have been an object of special veneration to King Amenophis III, who caused an enormous number of statues of her to be erected in his mortuary temple in Western Thebes and in the Temple of Mut at Kamak."

Then I said hello to this lovely lady...

but I was a little afraid to go too close to these imposing figures!

Before we left, I tried to read hieroglyphics!

The sign said 'Limestone stela of Sobkhopte, about 1400 BC.  The scribe of the wine-seller Sobkhopte and his wife worship Osiris and Anubis in the upper register.  They receive offerings from their children in the lower registers.'

Posted Oct 4, 2008, 4:27 pm
While I've been here in London, I've been helping Tea Rose cook.  We took some photos of a couple of meals I helped to make.  Tea Rose said that when it comes to cooking, she needs all the help she can get! 

Baked sweet and regular potatoes and salad with balsamic vinegar dressing

Noodles and stir fry (with orange juice)

Yum :)

Posted Oct 9, 2008, 8:51 pm
Today a very special new Toy Voyager arrived... can you guess who?

It's Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I!  Her Majesty, who now lives with AbbyB in Canada, had been visiting Australia with becka_kate.

Here I am, a little overawed at my first sight of royalty!

I bowed to Her Majesty as she walked slowly down the red carpet towards me.  Dolphins can't curtsey, you know!

Her Majesty said, "Arise, young dolphin!"  I did as she asked.  I think we just might be friends!


Posted Oct 14, 2008, 3:05 pm
Today I visited the 02.  It is a huge dome-shaped building on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London.  It was originally built to house an exhibition called the Millenium Experience, which I'm sadly too late to see, but Tea Rose told me she visited.  The building was then called the Millenium Dome. The interior of the building was demolished after the exhibition closed at the end of 2000, and there was a long debate as to what the building should become.  Can you guess what it is?

It's a pretty strange looking building, isn't it?  It had rained and rained all morning, so we went inside to investigate.

The best way I can describe it was that it was a little like being outside, inside, or in a huge shopping mall.  Various buildings are housed within the dome structure including the O2 Arena (opened by Bon Jovi last year) and an Entertainment Avenue consisting of restaurants, cafes, shops and bars. There is also a huge, very high tech cinema. 

Today we were there to support runners in a half marathon which started and finished outside the 02.  Luckily we spectators could shelter from the rain inside!

After the race, we had a look around outside.

These tents outside are to do with the race. Can you see the umbrellas?

It was still raining. Luckily there was a covered walkway back to the station!

Later that day we went to Frankie and Benny's for dinner.

We caught the bus home afterwards. Here I am with my ticket.  It had been a very long day!


Posted Oct 18, 2008, 8:24 am
Next to my hosts hometown there´s this church on a hill. It´s a pilgrim place and a lot of people walk there up during the year. Luckily we could go on the hill by car - otherwise it would´ve taken us quite a long time to get there! ; )

Here you can see  me in front of the church.

Sadly we couldn´t go in, because the church´s in a re-building phase, but we enjoyed sitting in the sunshine and those great view we got from there!

It´s me and the Danube! =)

On the way back home we stopped for a minute to have a look to the castle of Persenbeug.

Posted Oct 18, 2008, 10:38 am
Sadly the time passed really soon and so I had to leave again. But before my host brought me to the post office she helped me to write about our adventoures in  my book.

Goodbye Petzenkirchen!

Posted Oct 26, 2008, 12:13 pm
Today I spent some time in the City of London.  Here I am enjoying a coffee break.  You can just see the Guildhall outside the window in front of me.  Parts of the current building date from 1411 and it is the only stone building not belonging to the Church to have survived the Great Fire of London in 1666.

I liked the star shape in chocolate on Tea Rose's cappuccino.

Posted Oct 27, 2008, 7:43 pm
Today I went on a long walk in Bushy Park

The park is 1,099 acres and the second largest of London's Royal Parks.  It became a royal park in 1529 when Cardinal Wolsey gave it to King Henry Vlll as part of a gift that also included Hampton Court. Until then, the park had been agricultural land.

Here I am in the landscaped area called the Woodland Gardens.  It's really beautiful there and I saw rabbits very close by - they did not seem to be afraid of us.

Later we left the Woodland Gardens and walked through the main area of the park.  We saw some very old trees.  Can you see me in this picture?

Here I am :)

We discovered some toadstools growing wild in the park.

I thought this one was quite beautiful.

We wandered on

and wondered who might live in this house.  Tea Rose said she'd rather like to live in the middle of the park surrounded by all the trees and wildlife.

We were a little apprehensive walking through this bracken, as there were warning signs at the entrance of the park telling us not to.  I wonder why?

There are many ponds and streams in the park.  The website says:

King Charles I had the idea of creating an artificial waterway in the Park because Hampton Court Palace (which is nearby) was always short of water. There was nowhere locally with a sufficient fall of water and so the Longford River was built exceeding 19 kilometres in length. It was designed by Nicholas Lane in 1638-39. It was built by hand, took 9 months to complete and cost £4000!  Apparently the 12 mile long Longford River runs from north of Heathrow Airport to the Palace.

I thought about going for a quick swim, but wasn't sure.

We continued on our way

Just then we spotted some indigenous animals!  Can you see them in the distance?

Or here, under a tree, just right of the centre of the picture?

How about now?

They're deer!  We couldn't get much closer to take a photo.  When we did get closer, they were very skittish and quickly moved away from us.  The Park's website tells us:

Red and Fallow Deer still roam freely throughout the Park, just as they did when Henry VIII used to hunt here. There are currently about 325 deer and their grazing is essential to maintain the high wildlife value of the Park's grasslands. Unlike cutting, grazing creates more variation in structure and plant diversity and does not damage the anthills, which add further diversity and character to the grassland. The herds are kept out of the Woodland Gardens and other protected plantations in order to protect the trees and shrubs there. The Red Deer are the largest mammal native to the British Isles and in the summer their coats are glossy red. Fallow deer, introduced by the Romans, are smaller and their summer coats, usually spotted, vary from a cream to darkish brown colour.

Tea Rose explained that the deer are usually far less skittish and it is easier to approach them, although they are not tame.  But today was rutting season.  It was actually frightening to hear the biggest stags roar.  We took care to keep our distance, and not disturb them.  This was why we weren't supposed to walk through the bracken.

We walked home past this lovely willow tree

Again I thought about having a quick swim, but decided the water looked far too cold for that!

Posted Nov 12, 2008, 7:51 am
brought Nami to Dollfie meet along with my own Doll Bun Bun the rabbit....

in the picture below they both pose for a photo @ raffles place MRT station [like a subway station? XD]

Posted Nov 15, 2008, 1:35 pm
Today was my last day in London as I am off to Singapore!  I am very excited.  First we had to update my passport with details of my stay in England.  We had great fun cutting and sticking pictures into my passport.  :)

I posed with this rather patriotic postcard  ;)

Tea Rose helped me to prepare my travelling envelope... and I was ready to go!

Posted Nov 15, 2008, 1:45 pm
Today we helped my host shop for clothes.  It was long and boring and I didn't like all the waiting around!  Here I am with Fritzi and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, waiting for Tea Rose to try on endless pairs of very similar trousers.

At least all the waiting around gave us time to get to know each other better!  Fritzi and I had a lot of catching up to do as we have met before  ;)

Later that day I spent my last evening at home with the other Toy Voyagers.  We said our goodbyes and wished each other good luck.