Kirin, Upper Frankonia, Germany


Posted Jun 26, 2010, 9:50 pm
Hi everyone!

I'm Kirin, and guess what! Today I'm leaving to Hong Kong, I'm so so excited! This is my first trip, so I'm also kind of nervous.
I can't wait to get there, it's going to be so interesting!! :rolleyes:


Posted Jul 11, 2010, 8:11 am
Glad that it took a short time to Hong Kong!  :cyclops:

Tsim Sha Tsui is my first visited place,
see the Clock Tower behind me?

After my journey I was so hungry,
and it's good to have fishball, it's a common street snacks here!

Posted Jul 18, 2010, 7:39 am
Behind me is some of the well-know buildings in Hong Kong,
all of them are having a special outlook like triangles and circles.

And I found an ice cream car,
people can but ice cream cone from it,
you can find it very easily as it always boardcasting the "Blue Danube"~  :)

Posted Jul 18, 2010, 8:06 am
I saw this old style ship accidently,
tourists can get on the ship and have a tour around the Victoria Harbour.

Posted Jul 18, 2010, 8:13 am
Toy Story Exhibition!  B)

There's a huge Buzz Light Year~
I met a lot of toys that shows in the movie~  :cyclops:

After that, I had tried the typical street snacks,
the egg shaped waffle and the taiwan style drinks. :rolleyes:

Posted Jul 18, 2010, 8:16 am
Great seafood dinner~
All food are delicious and very new to me.
I had the octopus, crabs and hot corn soup, yum yum...  :D

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 12:39 pm
Heritage 1881 is now a shopping mall and heritage hotel.
Originally it was the headquarters of the Hong Kong Marine Police from the 1880's to 1996.
The Victorian architecture tells the colonial background.

I played around the cannon, and saw the Time Ball Tower,
there's a tradition of dropping the time ball at 1pm every day.

Next to the it is a typhoon mast where signals were raised manually during typhoons in the past.

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 1:00 pm
It's the first time for me to be so near with a Fire Engine!
I am so excited and it's just awesome! B)
Can you see me?  :rolleyes:

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 7:01 pm
Travelling ferry through the Victoria Harbour is great,
enjoying the nice view and good weather with breeze at the same time!  :rolleyes:

Here's some shots on the ferry and finally I arrived the Central Pier.

Posted Aug 14, 2010, 6:49 pm
Photos today show you a exhibition.
The artpieces are made of food!
There are also kiwi watch, banana purse, lettuse hat and so on.
Some dummies were shown too.

I also met one of the famous sculptures by Salvador Dali too.  ;)

Posted Aug 14, 2010, 7:20 pm
This is the night view of Victoria Harbour, isn't it nice and brilliant?  :rolleyes:

Posted Aug 14, 2010, 7:24 pm
Last time I was on the lower deck of ferry,
this time it's on the upper deck.

Every chair has a star on it~  :rolleyes:
After a few rainy days, we have great weather finally.

Posted Aug 14, 2010, 7:34 pm
Another special transportation today - tram.

All the trams usually have advertisements on their body,
I am lucky to see one having its own green colour.  :cyclops:

We enjoyed our time on the tram.

In Hong Kong, we can pay the fare by either octopus card or coins,
and tram is having a fixed fare no matter how long your journey is,
as all of us don;t have an octopus card,
we decided to pay by coins, the fare is HK$2.0.  ;)

Posted Aug 14, 2010, 7:40 pm
Another exhibition today, all are big creatures!  :o
They are so real and amazing...  :)

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 9:59 am
We went to the Planning & Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery this afternoon,
There are exhibits telling the history of Hong Kong,
How it changed from a fishing village to a city.

There are games and models showing some key spot and buildings.
And a map of Hong Kong, and I realized that Here is a quite hilly place!
And islands too. Maybe I can have a visit to one of them later on?

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 10:00 am
Today Vi shows us the Hong Kong flag,
it's red in colour with a flower in the middle,
the flower is Bauhinia, which is the regional flower here.
See there are five stars hiding in the flower?
The stars were added to state that Hong Kong is part of China.

By thw way, can you find Vi in the photo?
Let me give you some hints, find her on the floor~  ;)

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 10:02 am
Last time I saw the clock Tower from far away,
now I am finally at the feet of it!

It's a remarkable site here,
it's orignally part of the train terminal,
but remains here during the move of the terminal.

And, finally! Three f us got a group photo with the beautiful night view~  B)

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 10:05 am
Behind me is the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui Seaside,
it was built to thanks the helps and efforts and outstanding performance of the film stars.

The statue is the sculpture of the trophy of HK Film Festival.  B)

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 10:08 am
Here comes some nice night photos. I took them on the ferry.
Actually it's very windy, glad that I don't have any hair,
or else the photos will make you laugh!  :cyclops:

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 10:10 am
Nathan Road is the longest straight road in Hong Kong.
It locates in Kowloon Peninsula,
starts from Tsim Sha Shui (where the Clock Tower locates),
ends at Prince Edward.

Along the road, there are thousands of shops, restaurants,
cars and buses, people, and the most important thing - neon light signs!

It's very new to me!  :o

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 10:13 am
Had some random shots in Central.

I came to the Exchange Square and saw this lovely little cow,
sitting in the fountain.
Another one is a sculpture of a man doing Tai Chi exercise.

I also met the second highest building in Hong Kong - IFC.

Posted Sep 3, 2010, 6:03 pm
While waiting for the ferry, we wandered around the pier.
We go upstairs and found this exhibit.
All three of us tried to be a good captain too!  :cyclops:

Posted Sep 3, 2010, 6:12 pm
Guess where did I go today?
A chinese park! Everywhere is full of unique chinese style,
and something should not be missed - rock lion!!  :cyclops:
Though they have a fierce face, they are all very friendly~
They even gave all of us a ride, cool!
They all got different gestures, styles and accessories~

Some of them have a round rock in their mouth,
it is for luck and something good,
also known as some gems or pearl in the reality.  :o

There are also some bonsai plants too, can you see dragon crafted on the pot?  ;)

Posted Sep 12, 2010, 10:44 am
I was in the West Rail Line of the MTR system (subway/tube/bahn).
A popular transportation here.

It's colourful inside the cabin, there's also a television boardcasting news.  :o

Then you see me on a bus, a double deck one.
Buses here are usually double decker.
There are two televisions (again!) in each deck,
announcements will be made to tell you the stop along the journey.  :D

See the black thing on the yellow handrail?
We just need to press it,
then the driver will know someone need to get off the bus.

Posted Sep 12, 2010, 10:48 am
Behind me is the Hong Kong Cultural Centre,
it's big and with some sculptures as decorations,
take a look of the ceiling, many lights too!  :rolleyes:
There's also a model of the building, with the open plaza and Clock Tower~
Don't you think the open plaza look like a human eye?  ;)

Posted Sep 12, 2010, 11:03 am
Wooowwwwwoooowwwwow!!!!!!  :o
What an exciting adventure today!  B)

At the beginning, three of us found a huge footprint on the sand,
but we have no idea of what kind of animal it is.

And later! The land began to shake like having earthquakes,
I turned around and saw... a dinosaur!  :o

I was so scared at first but then found that they are all so friendly~
We wandered around the place and saw many of them,
they all have an extremely big foot (when comparing with ours!),
we had to be very careful or else will become a piece of paper.

There are some lovely babies~  B) And some flying ones.
We walked and walked, suddenly, two dinosaurs started to fight,
it is very dangerous and we don't want to be hurt,
but we ran too slow and luckily that Etwas picked us and flew up to the sky.
After the fight is over, we stopped on a big mushroom and took some rest.

It's cool to be so near with the dinosaurs and their skeletons!  :)

Posted Sep 18, 2010, 6:03 pm
We went to work with Vi today,
we are there quietly and didn't mess around,  :D
so we are rewarded with a peach jelly from japan.
Peach is pronounced as - "Tou" here,
and in japanese, it is pronounced as "momo"
yumyum, tasty momo jelly~  ;)

Posted Sep 18, 2010, 6:05 pm
Today's special is - fishball wonton noodles!  :rolleyes:
Wontons are delicious, there are shrimps in it, yummy~
The drink is vegetable juice with honey, it's good to the throat.

Then... time for ice cream!!  B)

Posted Sep 18, 2010, 6:08 pm
This is the Ladies' Market,
(the place where Regit Brown was found!  :D )
there are thousands choice of stuffs,
souvenirs, paintings, bags and clothes...
let's go shopping~  :cyclops:

(look at the sky and you will see we really spend some time here~)

Posted Sep 18, 2010, 6:13 pm
Street snacks day~

"Mongkok" means "crowded corner", as it is named,
it is really the crowdest place here.

Various kind of shops, restaurants can be found here,
other than these, there are street snacks!
You can find a lot to eat!

1) Siu Pan (baked chinese pancake with pork fillings)
2) fried vegetables (stuffed with fish) and sausages
3) potato chips with sour cream

The blue shop sells japanese octopus ball,
the black one sells potato chips,
the black one with lantern sells siu pan,
and finally comes the chicken kidney... not bad!  :)

Posted Sep 19, 2010, 8:28 am
On 23rd August this year, it's ghost festival, that the gate of ghost world will open.

Therefore, some booth were set for people to worship,
and feast were set for those hungry ghosts.  :stare:
Some masters who who dressed in black were there to lead the prayer.

From the wall paintings, it shows some Chinese gods.
Paper props were made for the burning ceremony too.
People believed that after burning, the ghost will receive the things.  :o

Posted Sep 19, 2010, 8:39 am
Other than booth for parying, booth for feast,
there's also a booth of chinese opera.  :)

The costumes seems quite heavy and complicated,
I have never seen all these before.  :stare:

Though I don't know the language,
it's still good to enjoy the show~  :)

Posted Sep 19, 2010, 8:45 am
I see monsters!!!  :o :o
These monsters are models of the brand...  :o
Glad that they stand still and couldn't move...
Well, I think I look much handsome and stylish among them!  B)

Next to the monsters, there stood a hi-fi elephant.
It's much nicer and invited us to have a sit on its long nose~  B)

Elephants are my good friend!
Maybe I can go to Africa to visit my good friends one day!  :)

Posted Sep 19, 2010, 9:06 am
I attended an exhibition "Legendary Mongolia" at Cultural Centre.
There's a big yurt, the home of Mongolian,
as they are nomads, they used this kind of portable house,
which is felt-covered, with wood lattice-framed dwelling structure.

There's also a mongolian sheep!  :o
King Tut and I hurried on to it to have a ride!  ;)

Inside the yurt,
some mongolian clothes were displayed,
the brown one is a water bottle~
Do I look nice with the pink shoes on?  :D

Posted Sep 26, 2010, 5:40 pm
My last trip here is to visit Art Museum,
yoou can see all of us playing around a funny sculputre,
it's inspired by the ancient chinese words,
actually they look like drawings and shapes more than a typical word!  :stare:
For the word I am sitting on, I guess it's the word of "horse",
In chinese, it is how the word looks: (pronounce as "ma")
but... who knows~~  :cyclops: :cyclops:

We even take a photo together in front of the Space Museum~  ;)
Vi (the chubby cat) is holding the camera for us~

Posted Oct 12, 2010, 5:38 pm
Hello mummy!
I`m in Russia! Have not seen anything interesting yet, but there are many nice guys here, so I think soon we`ll have much fun together!

Posted Oct 17, 2010, 5:22 pm
Hello dear mummy!
wihout any news from me you could think rhat I`m sittng at home and doing nothing. :)
But I`m an active giraffe! Firt place I visited  was Cathedral of Christ the Saviour:
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour or Khram Khrista Spasitelya is a Church in Moscow, Russia, on the bank of the Moskva River, a few blocks west of the Kremlin. With an overall height of 103 metres (338 ft), it is the tallest Orthodox church in the world.

The bridge  near cathedral is "must seen" as well. You can see very nice view f Moscow-river from that bridge. People who just got married come to this bridge to put padlock on it  - it symbolizes that their love will be strong as this lock is.

Posted Oct 24, 2010, 8:47 am
Hello everyone!
On the way to Maria`s Spanish courses we took some pictures.
First is Pashkov House:
The Pashkov House is one of the most renowned Classicist buildings in Moscow, currently owned by the Russian State Library. It is believed to be built by Vasili Bazhenov and is located at 3/5 Vozdvizhenka Street, building 1.

The Pashkov House was erected in 1784—1786 by Pyotr Pashkov, retired Captain Lieutenant of the Guards Semenovsky Regiment and son of the batman of Peter the Great.

I would like to live in such house myself!
Across the street Kremlin is situated. We have entered it for a minute to have a look at guard of honour.

Posted Oct 26, 2010, 5:40 pm
Hello mummy!
Days when Maria is at the work are very boring. Luckily I have new friends - golden fishes. They are funny :)

Posted Oct 31, 2010, 3:57 pm
Hello everyone!
Yesterday the weather was grey and rainy, but my new friend Kanata and I had a pleasant walk.
We again saw Kremlin, went through the brige which leads to Kievskiy railway station. And saw the monument "Abduction of Europe" - very strange monument I should say.

Posted Nov 6, 2010, 2:08 am
Hello mummy!
Today we were inside the Kremlin (in the area where president Medvedev is living. He was not at home - only that`s the reason why we have not met him :) )

Posted Nov 16, 2010, 7:41 pm
Hello mummy!
We spent several days in one wonderful city!
And as an addition for our journey we had a 11-hour stop in Berlin - the capital of Germany!
Berlin is soooo nice! You can see it at the photo!

But ...guess where are we going next?

Posted Nov 23, 2010, 7:24 pm
Hello dear mummy!
I`m in Paris - the city of all love hearts!
The first day was mine and I was lucky because weather was nice, sunny and warm!
We were near Louvre, then went to the Arch de Triumph! And walked through Paris streets.
It was so great!

Posted Dec 26, 2010, 9:34 am
Hello mummy!
I visited the museum of Vera Mukhina. She was the architector of famous Russian sculpture Worker and Kolkhoz Woman
Worker and Kolkhoz Woman  is a 24.5 meter (78 feet) high sculpture made from stainless steel by Vera Mukhina for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, and subsequently moved to Moscow. The sculpture is an example of the socialist realistic style, as well as Art Deco style. The worker holds aloft a hammer and the kolkhoz woman a sickle to form the hammer and sickle symbol.

The museum is very interesting and I enjoyed old Russian photos and placards as well.

Posted Jan 5, 2011, 7:55 pm
Hello mummy!
Winter is in Russia! WE spent week-end at the countryside and had fun :)
I hope you like my snow photos!

Posted Jan 28, 2011, 4:08 am
dear mummy!
I had a great Christmas party in the countryside! I have many friends here and it was great fun to spend time with them!

Posted Jan 28, 2011, 4:10 am
Privet mom!
I visited Red Square! It is so nice there!!! And the Christmas-tree was still there.

Posted Feb 10, 2011, 5:55 pm
Dear mummy!
I`m on my way to Katja!
The journey will be quick and short - I`m sure!

Posted Feb 26, 2011, 8:11 pm
Hi Mummy,
I arrived in Remscheid, safe and sound!

I was welcomed by my new host Katja and five more ToyVoyagers.

My new friends are K-Bear and Levi, both from Finland, Clifford from Great Britain, Fiona from the USA and Squirt, who will travel home soon.

I brought chocolate with me, I even managed to not eat it, although I had to spend two days at the post office. But now everything is fine and I want to go outside, take a walk in the fresh air.

Here you can see my current home. We are living in the house on the right side, in the attic storey.

This is the vicinity of my home. We are living close to the city centre, This part of the city was not destroyed in WW II like large parts of the city centre.

This is an elementary school, situated in the municipal park. Katja's kids went to this school when they were younger.

We walked to the district Hasten, one of the oldest parts of the city. You can see lots of those typical houses here.

Katja told us that this street is leading to a woodland area. We would have liked to go into the forest, but it looked like rain.

Katja showed us this poster, "Evita" is her most favourite musical. She told us that she has already seen it live on stage and she would love to see it again.

On our way home we came along this little park, situated in front of the police station.

It looks like spring would come!!!

From here we had only a few minutes to walk home.

Let's see what we will do tomorrow.


Posted Mar 5, 2011, 4:08 pm
Hi Mummy,
today another ToyVoyager arrived - a giraffe like me! It's Sampson.

Sampson is much larger than I am.

In the afternoon we went to take a walk because the weather was so nice. Katja told me that nobody knows how long this weather will last.

Soon after we started we reached the municipal park.

We went downhill through the park.

We reached Hasten than, where I already have been before.

We saw this garden center, already selling spring flowers.

Katja told us that we would pick up a friend who wanted to walk with us. Can you see the rangy landscape?

Katja's friend is living in a housing area with mostly one family homes.

More lovely landscape around ...

This was a lovely trip, but it is cold here! About 0°C.



Posted Mar 8, 2011, 7:46 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we met Katja's friend and my doggy friend Pepe again to take a walk. Thankfully dogs have to take a walk in the forest every day :)

We went to the outskirts of Lennep, another district of Remscheid, also with woodland and rural areas around.

We reached a dam, not a drinking water dam like most of them here in this region. You can swim here, dive, canoe or sail.

We saw some farms on our way.



Posted Mar 8, 2011, 7:54 pm
Hi Mummy,
today only Levi and I went with Katja and a friend, taking a walk in one of the nearby valleys. Again we saw some of those pretty traditional houses.

Here are alotment gardens. You can find them often on those steep slopes, where the housing constructions begin.

Here we saw cows! Katja told usthat most cows stay in the cow barn in winter, but those spent the winter outside.

We went home than through this housing area, typical for the 1960's years.

Than I saw something familiar - a monkey puzzle!

Only a few more minutes to walk until home ...



Posted Mar 13, 2011, 2:49 pm
Hi Mummy,
Katja took me, Sampson and Levi out for a walk today. We went with her brother-in-law, her nephew and their dog Bertie. We started in Hohenhagen, a housing area in Remscheid.

Can you see the television tower? It is built on the highest point of the municipal area of Remscheid.

We walked along open fields on the left side and a business area on the right side.

A little rest ...

These are the very first flowers in the forest (except of snowdrops in the gardens).

Too soon we reached the car ...



Posted Mar 20, 2011, 4:37 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we made a trip to the neighbour city Wuppertal to take a long walk.

In Wuppertal they have a walking- and cycling trail built on a closed railway track, it is called "Sambatrasse". Is is beginning in Wuppertal-Cronenberg and is leading to Wuppertal-Vohwinkel, about 10 km long. We walked a short part of it in Cronenberg. Here one of the old trains is parked.

From a bridge we had a fantastic overview. In the background you can see the city centre of Remscheid, situated on a hill, with its two characteristic towers of the city hall and the water tower.

In Cronenberg we walked through the town center.

Cronenberg is an old district with lovely old houses.

Springtime is coming!

An arboretum is situated here, a collection of trees. Fiona was eager to see the trees of North America, so we walked along the trail showing those trees.

You can also find some pieces of artwork in the forest, like this carved mushroom.

At the end of our tour we found a map.

I hope you at home are also having such wonderful weather!



Posted Mar 27, 2011, 10:37 am
Hi Mummy,
Katja showed me around in the city centre today in her lunch break. First we went to buy some treats for the ferrets.

Here you can see the water tower, the one you can see from far aways next to the city hall.

This building belongs to the shopping mall, it is part of the parking deck.

Here we bought the treats for the ferrets, it is a large pet shop.

This is the central bus station.

An adult education centre is situated here.

From here we made a short side trip to a nearby cemetary.

Graves are kept more simple here, they are made in a complete different way than in Chile.

We went back to the city ...

The shopping street is beginning here.

This is the main entrance of the shopping mall. The large fountain won't start running until late April.

Unfortunately we had to hurry back to work than.


Posted Mar 27, 2011, 11:04 am
Hi Mummy,
we met Katja's friend today to take a walk together. First we had a look at the flowers in her garden. This is a blooming willow.

These are horned violets.

We went to Wuppertal-Ronsdorf than to take a walk in the surroundings of the dam.

It is only a really small dam. We found this information board, showing how the dam was constructed.

Katja told us that once a restaurant was situated in this lovely house.

Parts of this area belong to Wuppertal and some to Remscheid. We went through a hamlet which belongs to Remscheid, also with lovely old houses.

This is a rural area.

We went through another hamlet, this one belongs to Wuppertal.

Here we also found spring flowers in the gardens.


Posted Apr 3, 2011, 11:32 am
Hi Mummy,
today we had wonderful spring weather. Katja told me that we would take a walk with two friends and later will have lunch. Katja and her friend invited the third lady to a sushi lunch as a birthday present.

We went to Luettringhausen, one of several districts in Remscheid. It is an old district, so Katja showed me lovely old houses there. First we walked along one of two churches in the small city centre.

We found a replication of an historic mail box from the 1880's years. It is still in use nowadays-

From here we took a walk to a nearby valley. Look, spring is coming!!!

In the forest the soil is partly covered with anemones.

There are also a few houses in the valley. You can find a lot of those half-timbered houses here, they are typical for the "Bergisches Land", like this region is called.

We even saw deers - they were rushed by a tractor-

We went back through the city centre.

Than it was lunch time!

Katja told me that later we would visit an historic industrial site.



Posted Apr 3, 2011, 11:35 am
Like I already told you we visited an historic industrial site in the afternoon, the Wülfing Museum. We visited an Easter market here.

This place once was a cloth mill, situated at the River Wupper in Radevormwald-Dahlerau. This copany was founded in 1674 A.D. in Lennep, nowadays a district of Remscheid. Companies like this usually were established close to rivers because the machines were run by water wheels. Later the factory was one of the first one which was run by electricty which was gained from water turbines, steam engines and power transmission by line shaft.

Today the whole complex is under monument protection. Today still people are living in those old dwellings, the museum is situated here and other parts are still used by different companies.

Here you can see a model of the whole complex, embedded in the surrounding landscape.

We went back to Katja's friend than to spend the rest of this wonderful day relaxing in the garden.


Posted Apr 9, 2011, 8:15 pm
Hi Mummy,

today we met Katja's friend Kerstin and took a walk with her and her dog.

We went to Wuppertal, to Scharpenacken, a former army training area. This area was used for military purposes until 2004 A.D as a shooting range. Today there is a local recreation area with vast open areas.

A lot of people come here with their dogs to let them run and play. Because it is very windy here there are also some people with their kites.


Posted Apr 10, 2011, 6:49 pm
Hi Mummy,
we have really springtime now in Germany, blooming trees are everywhere and the sun is shining. So Katja, a friend a I took a walk to a wonderful medieval castle today, just the three of us.

We went to the neighbour city Solingen. Solingen is called the "City of Blades", since it has long been renowned for the manufacturing of knives, scissors, fine swords and razors.

We started our trip in the housing area of a very old district, Solingen-Burg.

We continued our trip walking along the river Wupper. We stopped here at this weir.

Can you imagine what this is? It is an ear-trumpet which intensifies the sound of the little waterfall which is running down the rock. Katja told me that usually there is much more water running down, but we did not have heavy rain for weeks now so there is only less water.

We had to cross the river here.

We had to walk uphiill for some time. Katja showed me the castle than, situated on the hill in the background. I will also show you a zoomed photo.

Katja's friend wanted to make a side trip to a nearby dam, just to have a look at the concrete dam.

We had  to walk only a few hundred meters to get there.

Back on our original trail, Katja showed me Remscheid, about 8 km apart from here.

Leaving the woodland we walked through a rural area than.

I like those small half-timbered houses :)

A sawmill is also situated here.

We nearly reached the castle!

The castle is called "Schloss Burg". Schloss Burg was built in 1133 by Count Adolf I von Berg on a hill above the river Wupper.That's why this region is called "Bergisches Land". Many people believe that it's name refers to the landscape with hills and valleys. (For those who do not speak German: The German word for mountain or hill is "Berg", so many people think that the name "Bergisches Land" means "land with many hills")

In the castle courtyard you can find souvenir shops and shops whose owners are doing an "old" handcraft. For example someone makes soap, another makes brushes, then you can buy things that were used by knights for the kids, like swords and helmets.

Here you can see Count Engelberg II von Berg, the guy on the horse in the courtyard.

An Easter market is also taking place in the courtyard, so there are lots of beverage carts.

You have a georgeous overlook across the valley of the river Wupper from here.

We decided to walk downhill, back to Solingen-Unterburg. People who don't want to walk all the way to the castle can take the ropeway.

Deep in the valley we parked the car.

Those houses are looking like toys :)

This creek is ending into river Wupper just behind the bridge in the background.

We sat down in a beer garden and enjoyed a large beer.

What a wonderful trip!


Posted Apr 11, 2011, 4:16 pm
Hi Mummy,
in the afternoon we took a walk along the "Route of Tools" (Trasse des Werkzeugs), which was built from a closed railway track to a lane for pedestrians and cyclists. It was built on a former track from the central station to the district Hasten, leading along many industrial sites. Because mostly tools are produced here and the lane was sponsored by local tool producing companies, it was called "Route of Tools".

The first photo was taken not far from my current home.

We entered the lane close to my home, here at those old factory buildings.

Looking to the left side there are those industrial sites, looking to the right side there are woodland areas.

Oh dear, this old bridge does not inspire much confidence among!

We found large signs showing the company logos of some of the sponsoring companies as well as the coat of arms of Remscheid.

Due to back light we could not take a better photo, that's how the signs are looking.

We than reached a part of the lane without any industrial sites, only dwellings around.

Here is a supermarket.

We went back home than, again walking uphill.

Katja's sister-in-law is living in this street, we stopped to say hello to h
er :)


Posted Apr 11, 2011, 4:24 pm
Hi Mummy,
in the late afternoon we took another walk with another friend :), this time to one of the nearby valleys.

I saw sheep here.

Along the creek which formed this valley you can still find many industrial sites, like already in the beginning of industrialization.

Walking home always means walking uphill for ages .... ;)

I'm afraid I will fall into my bed before dinner!


Posted Apr 17, 2011, 11:05 am
Hi Mummy,
today we went out once more with Katja's friend and her dog to Scharpenacken, where we already were last week. Today we made a side trip to a nearby country park, Vorwerk-Park. This park was built in early 20th century by the founder of a business company as a private park on his own estate, as a garden for his villa. Even a stone pit was comprised into the park, planted with rhododendrons. You can find some natural pools here, fed by a creek which is flowing in the valley.

The villa itself and the oldest part of the park were already built in 1895. In 2001 the park was sanified and opened for the public.

Here we were on top of the stone pit with its pond.

Although it is only April, the azalea are already blooming.

Have a look at this beautiful red beech!

What a lovely park!


Posted Apr 18, 2011, 4:23 pm
Hi Mummy,
today it was time to say good-bye to Germany and all my friends here.

Now I'm looking foreward to explore Canada.


Posted May 4, 2011, 5:01 am
Hi Mum,

I arrived in Canada :D. Today I felt some unusual attention around my travelling querters :stare:.

And when I eventually managed to come out I found a crowd of TVs staring at me and welcoming me in Calgary :D. They are Dottie Mouse, Pitzelpatz, Fiete and Mandy Sheep who all come from Germany, Clifford from the UK and sammino who is stay-at-home TV. They were very impressed with the lovely card and the sweets that I carried with me ;), and we ended up spending the night chatting and eating :).

Posted May 15, 2011, 10:43 pm
Hi Mum,

It’s been a bit boring here in Calgary recently. Last weekend we were stuck home as it rained all the time :( (which sammino said was a very good sign of the approaching spring :stare:, as temperatures are now warm enough to get rain rather than snow :rolleyes:). The only excitement has been the strengthening of our troops due to a new arrival today :).

It’s Frankie_Blue :D a nice bear (although he’s not thoroughly convinced of being one :rolleyes:) from Germany who is travelling on the WTVT.

Of course we wanted to know everything about his travels, so we spent the night up chatting :).

Posted May 16, 2011, 5:31 am
Hi Mum,

This weekend the weather seems to eventually be quite nice, so this morning we went for a short walk on the mountains :). sammino explained to us that we can’t go very high as, apart for a few places, there’s still a silly amount of snow at high altitude so we chose a low altitude trail in a valley that got relatively little snow this winter. When we arrived at the parking lot there was no one around.

After walking a bit we crossed this muddy creek and wondered if we were going to spend the whole day wading into mud :rolleyes:.

But the trail winding between the trees was actually quite nice and dry...

...with the occasional view of the mountains around us :).

Eventually we reached the highest point of our trip...obviously it wasn’t very high as there was no snow around :rolleyes:.

But the view was great :D.

The trail that we took to go back was a bit less nice, actually it was very mucky, so we decided to stay in the backpack chatting and let smaug toiling his way back to the car ;).

Posted May 23, 2011, 4:11 am
Hi Mum,

Today, for once, we had some nice weather over the weekend, so smaug took us to the mountains for a walk :). First we spent some time along the shores of Lake Minnewanka...which looks still pretty much frozen.

Later we headed up on the side of the mountain to the location of an abandoned fire lookout from where the view of the lake was much better :D.

As the sky was blue but we kept hearing loud thunders, we asked sammino what that noise was. He explained that they were just avalanches :stare: coming down from those mountains behind us. He also added that we were probably comforting :rolleyes:.

On the other side of the valley the snow covering Mt. Aylmer seemed less likely to come down...or so we hoped.

Funny enough, someone put up here a makeshift swing, so we played a bit with it :).

As we were getting hungry we asked smaug if he had packed a full 3 courses meal plus dessert :p. Disappointingly he didn’t planned the day properly and just handed us some energy bars :(.

Apparently this lookout is famous for being visited by lots of bighorn sheep but there was none around today...although there were plenty of traces of their passage here, very smelly traces that did not make for interesting photos ;). Talking about smelly things, another very common and slightly less pleasant resident here is the wood tick, so smaug spent the day covered with this fairly disgusting insect repellent...which made the experience of being around him very tough on our smell sense and which also probably explains why (despite this being May long weekend) we hardly met anyone (people, TV or wildlife) the whole day :rolleyes:.

On the way back to the car we stopped on the lake side. Very close to the shore the ice is starting to break up so the lake might be open soon :). Too bad it soon started to rain a bit, so we hid in the backpack and wondered if there was going to be a 3 courses meal with cake waiting for us at home ;).

Posted Jun 4, 2011, 8:34 pm
Hi Mum,

Today we all gathered together to say goodbye and wish a safe trip to Mandy Sheep :) who is flying back home to join her mum for a trip to Denmark.

Posted Jun 5, 2011, 4:02 am
Hi Mum,

Today two new guests arrived here in Calgary for a short visit :): Dean, a nice horse from the USA and Krystal, another one of smaug’s TVs. They were a bit jet lagged so we welcomed them and then let them go get some sleep :).

Posted Jun 5, 2011, 4:38 am
Hi Mum,

Our new guests will spend a few days in Banff for work :o, so today we all accompanied them to check their accommodation :rolleyes:.  Here we started heading towards the mountains :)...

...and got closer to Banff until we reached our exit from the highway.

Driving through Banff was very nice :).

At the conference centre we inspected the room: the view was nice...

And the furniture seemed comfortable enough :rolleyes:.

As the place looked OK ;) we left them here and headed back to Calgary.

Posted Jun 12, 2011, 5:16 am
Hi Mum,

Today the weather was very nice, so we all went for a short walk along the Little Elbow River :). First we took a couple a photos from almost the middle of the river.

Then we kept walking between trees, mountains and the river.

What a nice day :D.

Posted Jun 30, 2011, 3:42 pm
Hi Mum,

today it was party time as it is Krystal birthday :)! We got her a lovely cake and, of course, we let her have the first big slice and helped ourselves with the rest of the cake :D.

Today it was actually also goodbye time: Dean, Krystal and Sigfrido are all flying back to Europe tomorrow, so we all wished them a safe trip :).

Posted Jul 7, 2011, 4:02 am
Hi Mum,

This week we never saw smaug so we were getting a bit worried....because we were running short of sweets ;). When we asked sammino where our host was he said that he was probably just trying not to be eaten alive by bugs :o on some horrible site in northern there was nothing to worry about :rolleyes:.
Anyway, today it was my birthday :D and, despite the food shortage :rolleyes:, the other TVs organized a lovely little party for me :): they sang happy birthaday for me and we ate a lot of lovely chocolate bisquits ;)!

Posted Jul 7, 2011, 4:54 am
Hi Mum,

sammino told us that this week some of us will leave Calgary, so today smaug took a few detours on a site visit to show us some nice view of the Rockies :). First we stopped looking at the Bow valley.

Later on we took a look at one of the most famous views in this part of the Rockies, Peyto Lake :).

On the way back home we stopped at an even more famous view: Moraine Lake and the Valley of Ten Peaks :D (no, we couldn’t get all ten of them in the photo :rolleyes:), which apparently used to feature on the old $20 notes.

I am sure those notes would have looked lovely if I had been on them too B).

Posted Jul 10, 2011, 10:55 pm
Hi Mum,

Today we said goodbye and wished a safe trip to Dottie Mouse who will be travelling to USA tomorrow :).

Posted Jul 10, 2011, 11:12 pm
Hi Mum,

This week Calgary looks like a departure lounge ;). Today we gathered to say goodbye to another guest, Clifford, who will travel home to the UK :) tomorrow.

Posted Jul 10, 2011, 11:25 pm
Hi Mum,

No wonder we don’t see smaug often these days....he’s always at the post office :rolleyes:! Today it was time to say goodbye to Frankie_Blue who will travel tomorrow to his new host on the WTVT in Hong Kong :).

Posted Jul 11, 2011, 3:18 am
Hi Mum,

It might be the almost the middle of July, but today we were reminded that we are still in Canada :rolleyes:.

Today smaug decided that the weather forecast looked good so we went for a walk on the mountains....but obviously the forecast wasn’t that accurate....or maybe smaug was a bit sleepy when he checked it ;). It was ridiculously windy and we got hit a by a few little blizzards too. Anyway,  by the time we reached the highest point of our walk, it was still windy but the clouds had lifted a bit so we could take some pictures.
Dark in the East we could see Kananaskis Valley and further away the foothills and the prairies.

These rocky peaks looked a bit grim.

The weather farther West over the Bow valley wasn’t much better.

But this little valley seemed very nice :).

On the way back to the car some blue patches appeared in the sky, so we took a final look at the Bow Valley before taking shelter from the wind in smaug’s backpack.

Posted Jul 18, 2011, 3:44 am
Hi Mum,

Today we all said goodbye and wished a safe trip to Pitzelpatz who tomorrow will start travelling to his new host :).

Posted Jul 18, 2011, 4:57 am
Hi Mum,
Today we had a day of proper summer weather :), so smaug took us to the mountains on one of the most popular scrambles in the Rockies...the fact that we met less than twenty people in the all day makes me wonder how quiet the less-popular ones must be :rolleyes:.
Anyway, we started hiking in very shadowy forest so we spent most of the time in the backpack. We stuck our nose out of it when we thought we could have a look at our destination, but smaug said that we could see only part way up the mountain from this gully.

Eventually the view improved :).

We could see Sulphur Mountain with the summit station of the gondola.

Later on we finally came out of the forest and the view was even better.

We even had our first glimpse of our destination...which seemed to be still quite far away, not to mention a very unusual place for a giraffe like me :stare:.

But when we reached the summit it was definitely worth the effort :D. The slope on the opposite side was a bit scary, but the sightseeing was amazing.

We could see the Bow Valley more than a mile below us...

...Cascade Mountain in front of us...

...Lake Minnewanka in the distance...

...the east side of the Bow Valley with Canmore...

...more mountains in the south...

...and again the Bow Valley heading north towards Lake Louise.

What a day :D!

Posted Jul 21, 2011, 4:19 am
Hi Mum,

Today I said goodbye to my friends in Calgary as tomorrow I will start travelling to my next host in Finland :).

Before I jumped in my envelope, sammino gave me a big hug and wished me a safe trip :).

Posted Aug 2, 2011, 6:23 pm
Hello again, mom!  :D

I have arrived to Finland today! :)

I was inside the envelope and I could feel how I was lifted from the post box, and I was anxiously waiting to be taken out, but instead I just heard a car engine and many small voices with toyvoyager -like characteristics talking over each other.  :thinking:

I then started to jump inside the envelope to get some attention, and soon I heard a toy voice saying: "Hey, could we stop? I think there is a new toyvoyager in here!" And a human voice answering "We´ll stop in Porvoo."

And then the toys where tapping and knocking the envelope all the time and discussing about what kind of toyvoyager I might be.
"If it is a fish I´m in trouble!" said one. "If it is a vampire we have to hang garlic all over!" said another.  :rolleyes:
I rather liked their voices.  :D

At last the car stopped and I was lifted to the day light, and there were 4 pairs of eyes staring at me.
"A giraffe!" They shouted.
"Hi, I´m Kirin!" said I.  B)
Henna, my new host, was then introducing me to everyone, and here we are all posing together.  :D
From left to right: Rendolph, Zoe, Torsten, Veronica and me.

They were explaining to me that we were now visiting a small town called Porvoo, and we went to see around.  :)
It felt so good to be running and hopping after the time spent inside the envelope!
Behind us is the Porvoo river and the old red river front ware houses.
Here we are in front of the Porvoo mediaeval church. Henna told us some young morons burned it badly some years ago. They thought it was cool.  :o  It was built again.
There was many nice old houses in Porvoo.  :) I liked the way the windows were peeping out from the wall of leaves in this one.  :D
The whole town was idyllic and cute like it was out from a childrens story book.  :D
The horses and charts would be much more natural sight on these streets than cars.  :)
We were sitting some time on the river front, swinging our feet over the water, and then we headed back to the car.
We drowe back to Nuuksio where Henna lives in a little red cottage in middle of a big forest area.
Veronica was showing places to me.  :)
This is were we live!  :)
And this is what we eat!  ;)  :p

I´ll be here soon again, mom!
Hug from Kirin!


Posted Aug 6, 2011, 11:44 am
Hyvää huomenta, äiti! = Good morning, mother!  :D And hello to everyone else too!

Henna took me yesterday to the capitol city, Helsinki.
Just to stroll a bit around and see some of the "main turistical objects".  ;)
Here I´m walking along one of the central streets.
This is the main building of Helsinki university, where Henna still fights with her masters thesis.  :rolleyes:
(I have not yet seen any that kind of activity, but the rumour goes that someone had spotted her doing something with her studies last winter! )
This is the lutheran main cathedral just next to the university.
And this is the view from front of the cathedral over the square, which is the place where all demonstration marches here start from.  :)
We also peeped into the "Crypta" of the church, where they have art exhibitions.  :)
I liked some of the paintings.
Then we strolled lazily towards the market square, watching around us while walking.
Helsinki seemed to be a rather green city.
80 % of Finland land area is covered by forest,  the rest is fields and the small urban areas, which are just small spots here and there.  Sounds great! :D
The market square is a very popular place in summertime to buy berries, vextables, mushrooms and fish and to sit down to have some coffee.  :)
There was lots of other tourists too.
The products looked very invating!  :p
Market square is also the spot where the ferries leave to Suomenlinna and Korkeasaari Zoo.
Henna promised we´ll go to see both.  :)

Then we went to meet the other toyvoyagers in the Kaisaniemi botanical garden.
Henna had commanded them to go and learn to recognice some plants after they had dragged home some rather poisonous mushrooms from the forest.  :rolleyes:  I joined them program too.  :D

I´ll put here some pics from the garden tomorrow. Now we are oing to do some shopping!  :D

See you tomorrow, mom!


Posted Aug 7, 2011, 7:11 pm
So, we went to Kaisaniemi Botanical garden in Helsinki, our task beeing to learn to recognise at least some plants so that we "Would not kill ourselves by eating every edible looking thing we see in nature", as our host Henna put it.  :rolleyes:
This is the main building of the Botanical garden. It still works as the university campus for biology students.  :)
And this is the old main greenhouse for tropical plants.  :)
We agreed to go all to find some interesting plants and learn their names.  :)
Every plant had a little plake announcing its latin name.
I started to search for interesting plants.. many flowers were very beautiful, but not so very interesting.  :rolleyes:
Then we found a REALLY interesting plant - a hazel! (Corylus avellana)  ;)
It already had some delicious nuts!  :p
This plant I will recognise!
More wonderful flowers!  :)
This nice looking berry is baneberry, (Actaea alba) and it is very poisonous!  :thinking:
I think I´ll rmember this plant too!
There wasn´t any plants in the bottom of the pool, but it was so nice to rest and watch the reflections of trees on the water.  :)
I went on with my exploring..
And then I found something VERY interesting again!  An apple tree!  :D
This is a very nice botanical garden! It is allowed to taste all the edible things.. and we were tasting a lot!  ;)
After learning to recognize some more apple trees and also some berry bushes we started all to feel a bit too stuffed for more learning.  :rolleyes:
But we still had energy to recognize these funny mushrooms as a block of flats.
And this hollow tree as a wonderful place to play in!  ;)

It was a good day of studying!  :D

See you soon again!
Your Kirin


Posted Aug 15, 2011, 12:51 am
Hi, mother! And hello everyone else too! :D

I wish you are well and having a good time! I am.  :)
Finland seems to be a beautiful place and I enjoy the living in middle of forest very much. It is wonderful to hop to the forest almost straight from the bed. :D

But best of all is the toyvoyager gang here! :D Gathered from different corners of the world and from different cultural backgrounds, but we all have the same need to laugh a lot and to have fun and to be silly.  ;)
Here I am on the little ferry to Suomenlinna islands where we made a trip some days ago.

Suomelinna is about 250 years old military defence construction on three island in front of Helsinki.
There is still some lived in small island on the ferrys route to Suomenlinna.  :)
Originally the people living here where of course fishermen. Now they are just people going with a little boat to work in Helsinki in the morning.  :D
Suomenlinna is a very desired place to live nowadays because of its village -like atmosphere.  :)
There is no cars, only bikes, one village shop, and everyone knows each other.
This is the ferry we came with.  :)
We went on walking, to watch the military systems and the peoples living areas.
While we walked Henna was telling about the island.
She told the island is full of underground passages and tunnels, partly filled with water, and that during the civil war there was also a prison camp..  :thinking: The rumours tell that there is still some restless souls from those times hunting the old passages..  :o
That of course sounded rather exiting and  we toys were asking Henna to take us to those tunnels!  :D
Well, she agreed!  :D
She was also telling that when she was a kid she one time went to the tunnels with a white bedsheet and a flashlight and scared the hell out of soe other kids.  :rolleyes:
We walked over a bridge from island to island and came to the old military area where the net of thr underground passages start from.  :D
Here is the gate to the defence castle.
So we headed to the tunnels!  B)
So we were creeping along the humid tunnels.
Sometimes it was so dark we had to hang on the walls, and sometimes there was too much water for us to enter.

Every now and then there was narrow stone steps and we ended up to some upper part with some light pouring in.
We were imagining the prisoners in the damp, humid cells and felt a bit cold and a bit spooky, but we walked on. Our normal happy chattering dies away.
We passed a window, sun pouring in, and then the stairs took us down to the darkness again.
In middle of the darkness e suddenly heard a sound, like wind howling trough the passages, and then..  :thinking: .. then we saw something that froze the blood in our veins!  :thinking:
A white ghost was shimmering spooky light in the darkness!  :thinking:

We all stopped abruptly. I could feel Torsten clutching my arm and heard  Veronicas teeth clattering. Rendolph was the toughest of us, he started to talk to the ghost.  :thinking:

"Umm, ee, oh mighty spirit, who are you and what is it you want from us?" asked he in a somewhat unsure voice.
"Five kilos of icecream!" Shrieked the awful ghost, and I realised Zoe wasnt standing with us.  :rolleyes:
The others realised the same thing and suddenly we were all rolling on the floor, attacking the "ghost", our hands full of bedsheet and a flashlight dropping "bumb" to the floor, and Zoe giggling, and Rendolph shouting angrily.
Then we all started to giggle, but we made Zoe to promise she will do the dishes four next times in a row before we released her.  ;)
We came out to sun from the mold smelling tunnels and really enjoyed the light and warmth.  :)
We saw a little pool and sat some time resting and sprinkling water over each other.  :)
Then we went to investigate the island more and see the landscapes and nice paths running along the shores.
We saw funny little buildings which were somehow similar than I have always imagined the hobbit houses to be.  ;)
There was many cannons.
But actually I found the landscapes much more interesting.  :)
I went to watch a stone building and..
And there I saw a little frog baby!  :D
Oh how she was cute!!
We started our walk back towards the ferry harbour.
I fell in love with this house!  :D
The sky was already getting dark when we reached the ferry again.

I´ll come here soon again to tell about our mushroom picking trips.  :D
Kisses from Kirin!

Posted Aug 22, 2011, 4:42 pm
Hihhei, mother!  :D

The autumn is creeping slowly here.
Yesterday I saw the first red autumn leaves on trees, and the ground is starting to turn yellow by the fallen birch leaves. :)

We have been rummaging round the big Nuuksio forest, and I´m going to put here now some pics of those trips and at the same time you can see glimpses of the village.
Here I´m walking along the village road.
The village it self is very small and surrounded by forest from every direction.
There is still some farms tilling the earth, although the village is changing.
The new inhabitants are demolishing the old quaint cottages and building huge yuppis houses instead.
Almost ripe!!! :)
It is only 5 steps from our cottage and we are already inside the forest.  :D
At the moment the forest is full of berries and mushrooms!  :p
The best raspberry time is already over, but there is still some and they are very sweet!   :p
The wild forest strawberries are better than the garden berries can ever be!  B)
The lingonberries are just getting ripe!  :p
Here we are marching trough the forest ready to hunt for mushrooms, berries and herbs!  ;)
This time we collected first couple of liters of blueberries, and then we started to search for the mushrooms.
I found cantarellis!  :p
They are one of the most delicious mushrooms there is!
They even smell invating!
Henna is these days making food for us mainly from the things we collect from the forest, and I´m learning to make mushroom dishes too.  B)
Maybe I can make you dinner some day, mom.  :D
Then I found Orange Birch Boletes! (Leccinum Versipelle) Anoter great species! We are going to get a very tasty dinner!  :p
I came to the shore of a lake, and stopped for some time to admire the leaves of the aspens against the sky and the water..  :)
It started to rain, and I was sitting under a big mushroom until it stopped.

It is good Henna is walking with us - she can carry all our catch! We find so many musrooms and berries we would be flattened under their weigh.  ;)
There is also other things to collect, like this fluffy white lichen. Guess what, mother, Rendolph eats it!  :o It is the main diet of the reindeers! Although he ates icecream and sweets and cakes with great appetite too!  ;)
And these Common Wood-sorrels (Oxalis acetosella) we collect and use in sallads.  :)
Every now and then we cross some roads or fields and then we dive into the forest again.
I also found King Boletes  :) (Boletus edulis)
And Russula vinosa (No one here knows its name in english)  :)
And more cantarellis!  :p
These big leaves belong to Common butterburs, but here they are called "ruttojuuri" = pestilence root. They were used to cure pestilence. I don´t think they worked much.  :thinking:
Here I´m waving to you, mom, and sending many many kisses too!

See you soon again! Your Kirin


Posted Sep 4, 2011, 12:26 am
Hi, mum!  :D

Guess what we have been doing here?  ;)

We have been picking mushrooms and more mushrooms and still some more mushrooms, and some other things we can find from the forest, like for example animal droppings - we decided to start a collection of those, but Henna wasn´t very delighted to find an elk- a hare- and some deer droppings under the bed.  :rolleyes:
She told us to collect stamps or something. I think that´s a bit unfair - she tells us all the time to learn things about nature!  :thinking:

I´ll put here some pics of a trip we made to Liesjärvi.
  Oh yes, mum! We have also been sailing!  :D
One day we were in a fleemarket with Henna and there we saw this toyvoyager sized sailingboat. It was clearly made for us! 
We had to show it to Henna, and she agreed surprisingly fast to buy it for us.  :D
Then we were practising a lot to manouvre it.
We learned to turn the bow through the wind very fast, and Henna said we clearly were all born sailors! B)
So she let us go sailing alone!  :cyclops:
We sailed towards the horizon.. the four bold seamen.. umm.. seavoyagers.. searching for a new land, singing sea shanties..

A herring came to complain about the noice, but Zoe ate it.  :rolleyes:

We sailed onwards and onwards, over unknown waters full of mysterious monsters until we saw a new land in the horizon.  :)
Regardless of the possible danger caused by wild tribes we decided to land on these unknown shores where no toy paw had stepped on before.  :rolleyes:
Which was great, because otherwise we ould have soon landed into this awful rapid and met our untimely end!  :thinking:
So we went to investigate our "new found land".  :)

We were discussing how to name the land. There was suggestions such us "The Republic of small doggies" and "Kiwi union", not to mention the "Reindeer Kingdom" and the debate was becoming slightly heated, but then I came forward with "The Toyland" and everyone was happy with that!  :D
I soon found an aboriginal building.  :thinking: There wasn´t anybody home, but now we knew for sure we weren´t there alone!
There was lots of mushrooms growing in The Toyland, and happily we had taken our little baskets with us to collect some species not seen before.  ;)

But actually, we found many species which were already known to us, which was great, because we all have learned to love mushrooms!  :D
Have I told you, mum, that I have already  learned to recognice ten different mushroom species?  :stare:
What a paradise of mushrooms we had found!  :p
There was also soft moss to sleep on.  :)
And wild forget-me-nots.   :)
And a little stream good pure water to drink!  :D
And on the shores of the stream there was growing sea-buckthorns! Njam njam!  :p
Did you now, mum, that sea-buckthorn is the fruit which has most vitamin C of all the fruit in the world?
We collected five kilos of plums from the wild plum trees and ate them.  :rolleyes:
And pinched three kilos of peas from the kitchen garden of the wild inhabitants and ate them too.  :p
And a pumpkin.  :p
And some raspberries.  :rolleyes:
And then we had to lie down or some time..  :rolleyes:

All in all, we thought we had found a paradise on earth and decided stay there for ever, but then we realised we had not taken matches with us, and who can live without coffee?  :rolleyes:
So we had to go back home again, but first we collected more mushrooms.   :D
And some herbs too.  :D
Here is our mushroom catch!

We sailed back home to turn our mushrooms into delicious dish.  :D
Here we are cleaning the mushrooms.
The milk caps have to be cooked for ten minutes, so we put them boiling into a different pan.
The other mushrooms we sliced and put on a frying pan.  :)
Then I added some butter and Zoe and Rendolph were adding the spices.
The we ere pealing and slicing the onions and garlic with Torsten.
I was crushing nuts.  :D
Then we mixed all of it together, also the boiled milk caps, and fried the mix in a pan.
We added some cheese,and some cream and some eggs, and then we were EATING!  :p

Henna said we are a very fine bunch of voyagers and that she was very proud of us!  :cyclops:

Are you too, mum?  :stare:
Your little giraffe


Posted Sep 16, 2011, 7:26 pm
Hyvää päivää, äiti!  :)

It has been a traditional autumn weather here these last couple of weeks - raining ad storming, and it is getting cooler too, now it is about 10 degrees Celsius. :rolleyes:

But we have been walking and roaming around every day when it has been possible.
We walk always trough the forest.
Because we live in middle of the forest, it is not even possible to walk anywhere and avoid the forest. Not that we wanted to - we love the forest!  :D
Usually we collect somethig while we walk. This time we were picking wild chamomillas for tea.  :)
The lakes are another thing impossibe to avoid here. ;)
We started to follow a path, which had these symbols ⌘ here called "Hannunvaakuna". (Saint John´s arms)
It is used here nowadays as a "place of interest" sign, but of course the symbol itself is an internationally known prechristian symbol, found here for example carved on skis over 1000 years ago.
It symbolizes the four corners of earth and the four pillars supporting the heaven above earth.  :)
So we followed the path and it led us on the rocky hills, from where we had a wonderful view on the surrounding lands.  :D
This is the reason for the place being marked as a "place of interest" - a burial mound from bronze age.  :)
Here in Finland they are always situated in the highest possible spots - they have also worked as some kind of signs in the landscape, but we don´t know for sure what messages the people read from them 2500 years ago.
On the hilltop there was three mounds, and these rows of small standing stones between them, connecting them.   :thinking:
we rested on the stones for a while after the climbing..
These mounds were intact. In many places they have been demolished by treasure hunters and priests.  :mad:
We were then collecting some blue- and lingonberries and eating them.  :p
And also having some other provisions.  :p
We found a little stream a followed it down from the hills.
The water was clear and tasted very good!  B)
The stream run through a forest of wood horsetails (Equisetum sylvaticum).
It looked like there could have been a dinosaur appearing any moment..  :rolleyes:
We followed the stream many kilometers, and at last it took us out of forest.
Walking along the village road we came to an open air museum.  :)
This is actually their post box.  :D
It was a small museum presenting life in a finnish farm as it was in the past.  :)
This is the main bulding of the farm.
This is a "jatulintarha" (Troy town, caerdroya). That is how this kind of stone labyrinths are called in finnish.  :)
This is also an internationally known symbol - the oldest ones are carved into mammouth bone 60 000 years ago.
Here they have had something to do with fertility rituals, and especially with the midsummernight  or summer solstice.
This is the cottage where the old householder and housewife were living after retirement, when the next generation took over the housekeeping.
This is the farm well. This type is called "vinttikaivo" (shadoof ).  :)
There was hens in the yard.
They were of old original finnish breed.
There was also an old stable, but there horses were not real!
They were made of plastic.  :thinking:
These are storage buildings called "aitta".
Young people (the children of the house and the servants) were also sleeping in them in summertime, and it was part of the custom hat the young girls let the boys from neighbouring houses and villages overnight in their aittas.

If a girl had couple of kids before marrying, it was thought to be a good thing - she had prooved her fertility and produced descendants anyway in case the future husband happened to be infertile.
We peeped inside the main building.
There was rye bread hanging from ceiling.  :D
In western Finland it was a custom to bake bread only four times a year, a huge amount at a time, and then it was hanged to the ceiling were it get dry and got a nice, smoky taste from the fire burning.
Of course it also got very hard.  :thinking:
This is the old owen where the bread was baked and the food made.
This is the drying house, where the crop was dryed with smoke so that it stayed good over the harsh vinter.
In its door was a small hole for cats to get in to keep the mice in order.
In the washing room we saw this old wooden washing machine.  :D
And here is all sort of looms and spinning wheels.
We were still watching some old photos of the life on the farm.
Then we left back to home.

I´ll write soon again, mum!
Hug from Kirin  :)


Posted Sep 22, 2011, 1:17 pm
Hyvää huomenta, äiti!  :D ( = Good morning, mother! )

You should hear your little giraffe speaking finnish, mum! You would be very proud of me!
We learn here very fast and for a good reason too!  :o In the beginning the others were playing linquistical pranks on me!
One day it was my turn to go and buy icecream cones for everyone and I asked from Rendolph how to ask for them in finnish, and he told me it was "Neljä paahdettua torakkaa, kiitos!"..
.. so I said that to the woman selling icecream, and she looked slightly disgusted and said she doesn´t sell that kind of things.  :thinking:
After I had been running after Rendolph three rounds around the shoppingcenter he admitted giggling that I had been asking for "four roasted kockroaches!"  :rolleyes:

But now I´ll put here some pics from our yesterdays walk. :)
We took a bus from the Nuuksio village where we live in. There is never much passangers - now there was two grannies going trough the latest village rumours.  :rolleyes:
I was watching the green landscape passing by behind the window.
We left the bus in a place called Tapiola and walked then along a nice little road, which runs near the seashore all the way.  :) The seashore was full of wild rosebushes, but the blooming was already over, and now they were producing red berries.
Henna told me that this kind of roseberries are full of very hairy seeds, and it itches like hell if they are dropped under someones shirt.
I wonder how she knows such a thing?  :rolleyes:
There was some very old pines growing around.  :)
In Finland the trees grow very slowly, because  they grow only five months in a year. The rest of the year is so cold the trees are "sleeping". So this pine, for example, must be at least tree hundred years old, and propably much more, because it grows on the very thin humus of the seashore.  :thinking:
The wind had bend many of the trees almost to horizontal position.
We saw a small swimming beach. No one swimming now, tough, and no wonder. The weather wasn´t very inviting!  :rolleyes:
The leaves of the trees had started to turn into their autumn colours already!  :D After couple of weeks the forests will look like fire - a mix of warm colours from yellow to dark red and brown. Although here in southern Finland the forests grow mainly needle trees, spruces and pines, and they just stay green troughout the year.
There was a pine laying over the sea, and first we thought it had fallen, but no, it was just growing in that funny position.  :D
I was an interesting sensation to sit over the trunk and see the vawes under my feet!  :D
The reeds had a beautiful autumn shade too.  :)
There was someones boat amongst the reeds.
There was an old quay, where a small cutter was bringing people long time ago. The land has been raisin so rapidly that the island no longer is an island at all..  :rolleyes:
I found a wonderful heap of dry leaves to dig tunnels in.   :D
And interesting mushrooms, very much like little balls.  :D
The quay belongs to this house. It was a summervilla of Sinebrychoff family, which had made it´s fortune with a brewery.  :)
Nowadays it works as an artcenter.
The house still has a nice garden around it.  :)
Henna didn´t recognise these flowers. They are too pale to be crocuses and bloom in wrong time too..
Do you know, mum, what these are?  :)
We walked forward and saw some more modern Espoo.
These towers are the headquarters of some big finnish companies, like Nokia.
This is somekind of piece of art.
We walked along and saw an abandoned house.  :)
The teenagers had broke the windows..
And everything else too.  :(
In the attick there had been books and toys, clothes and shoes, nicely stocked into boxes, but everything had been broken and spread over the floor.
I can´t understand why the teenagers have to destroy everything!  :thinking: If they found a nice abandoned house, why don´t they settle in and turn it into their own place to spend time?
We went outside and saw some street art in a construction site wall. Quite nice!  :)
We started to walk back towards our forest in Nuuksio..
I found these giant mustatorvisienis (Craterellus cornucopioides)!  ;)
Well, actually that is also a work of art, named "The singing Craterellus cornucopioides", and really, when I was listening for sometime I could hear the mushrooms singing!  :D
Back in the forest, the sun started to shine and some late flowers were blooming.  :D

I´ll be here soon again!
Kisses to you, mum! And tell greetings for all the toyvoyagers visiting you there!
Your Kirin


Posted Oct 3, 2011, 7:30 pm
Hyvää iltaa, äiti!  :) (Good evening, mother!)

Thank you for the postcard! It was waiting for us today when we came home.
Henna sends her thanks too, and asked me to tell that she was delighted by the world heritage churches.  :D

Then some news: Rendolph left on thursday, towards new adventures. He was very exited.  :D

We had a little goodby party for him -  we went on the lake Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi in a little rowing boat.  :)
Here we are driwing towards the lakeshore, eating a little snack.  :rolleyes:
This is the small rowing boat we were taking.
It looked a bit old, so we were investigating it for any holes..  :rolleyes:
Henna commanded us all to sit unmoving in the bow while she was pushing the boat into the water, and hinting to a plake on the lakeshore forbidding the swimming. Hmm.  :thinking:
Then we were sitting and admiring the views.  :)

On the other end of the lake we stepped out of the boat.
I wandered amongst the trees, watching the wonderful autumn colors.  :D
There was also a house totally covered with colorful Parthenocissus.
Doesn´t it look great, mum?  :D
We also found some green mushrooms!  :thinking: They were beautiful, but I wouldn´t eat them.
The sun came out a bit, and we were enjoying it.  :)
After a nice day we went back home, and then we hugged goodby to Rendolph and took him to the postbox.
Farewell, Rendolph!  :D
Next day a new toyvoyager joined us!
His is name is Melek:)
We wellcomed him by coffee and buns at Hennas mothers place.  :)
There was a somewhat sour little cat.  :rolleyes:
And some very civilazed dolls.  :)

See you soon again, mum!
Suukkoja Kiriniltä! (Kisses from Kirin)  :D


Posted Oct 7, 2011, 7:03 pm
Good evening, mother!  :D

I´m writing the update, but there is a storm raging outside and the electricity disappears every now and then, so let´s see if I manage to write this before the whole cottage goes black!  B)

The storm started yesterday evening, and we had a little bird, Emberiza citrinella, overnighting here. It was totally soaked and wanted to come in.  :D In the morning it was sunnier and we let it go.

Now I´ll put here some picks of a trip we made to Helsinki.
We went to Helsinki by train, and this is Helsinki main railwaystation.
From there we walked to the Kauppatori market square.
There was going on the annual Herring Fair, which is a tradition that started somewhere in the 16´th century.
There was lots of stands selling different herring products, and also many fishingboats, and the fishermen (and some fisherwomen) were selling their products straight from their boats.  :)
Finns are crazy about their herring..  :rolleyes:
Every year there is this jury tasting tens of different herring dishes, and products, and then choosing the winners - the "Best Herring Cook" and the "Best herring product" of the year. Those are very honoured titels.
"Silakka" = herring  :)
There was also many "swimming" herring restaurants. This is one of them - an old lighthouse ship.  :)
We had some coffee and buns instead.  :p
Well.. Zoe of course had some herring thing too..  :rolleyes:
Then we walked to see the Uspenski orthodox cathedral.
There was lots of interesting things inside, but they didn´t like photgraphing there.. :rolleyes:
So we went out again and walked round Katajanokka, which is a part of Helsinki.
We were admiring the colourful trees again.
These big icebreakers are breaking the sea ice during winter so that the ships can get in and out from harbours.
The ice can be easily a meter thich, and in some vinters it has been possible to walk from Finland to Estonia over the Finnish Gulf.  :thinking:
This is an old sea mine.. during the second world war the finnish gulf was paved with these, and after the war it was a long and dangerous project to clean the sea.  :thinking:
This mine works as a memorial for those who died in that operation.
The rowans are full of berries. The birds like to eat them, especially when the berries are already a bit fermented..  :thinking: ..and then we see little birdies flying zigag, drunk as skunks.   :rolleyes:
Today we drowe to the seashore in Porkkala to see the storm.
It was very windy, and shining and raining at the same time.
We made some coffee on the fire.  :)
And ate some choc cookies.  :p
It started to pour and we came home.

Hah! The electricity is still here! The whole middle region of Finland is without, they just told in radio.  ;)

See you soon again, mum!
Kirin  :)


Posted Oct 16, 2011, 2:22 am
Hi, mum!  :D

It is late night here, and actually I should be sleeping, but I sneaked here. Everyone else is snoring!  ;)

Today they told in the news that a lynx family had eaten three sheep in this village. Poor sheep.. but of course the lynxes need to eat too, and humans have narrowed their habitat too much.  :thinking:

But now I will show you some pics from Helsinki uni, where we were spending time while Henna was doing an exam.
Here I´m walking in one of the corridors of the university main building.
What wonderful, long, empty corridors! I had to run and sliiiiiiide along the newly waxed floor a bit.  :rolleyes:
I felt someones critisising stare on my back, and turned to meet one of the old professors.
If I had as long nosehair as that guy I would not go around staring people in a critisising way.. well, he doesn´t go much round either..  :rolleyes:
The other professor had a fantastic moustache, but he wasn´t critisising.  ;)
The floors of the old building were paved with chalk stone, and there was lots of fossiles we could see everywhere.
There is no chalk stone in Finland at all, and all the stone was brought here from Estonia.  :)
We walked onto the older side of the main building. It was very beautiful inside, but outside there was a renovation going on and the whole building was packed into plastic. That´s why I didn´t take any pics from outside.
There was lots of copies of classical greek and roman statues.  :) Nowadays the faculty of art history recides here, so it suits very well.
She is Diana, the Roman goddes of forest and the moon. She was the one hunters were asking for prey.
This is "A little girl playing with dices" from ancient Rome too. She was delighted to play with me instead for some time.  :)
  He is also from ancient Rome, named "Taking out a thorn". Poor boy!  :thinking: A thorn in the sole of the foot for thousands of years! I helped him to take it out. He was petting me.  :)
In these pompous surroundings Henna has been eating her carrot sandwiches for rather many years.  :rolleyes:
I could see the Lutheran Cathedral from the window.
Quite nice views!  :)
Then we went to see the university main library, it is just next door.
It is a very beautiful building, and looks like there could very well be some secret passageways and rooms for forbidden books or secret societies.  :D
Its ceilings have great paintings.  :)
There was going on an exhibition on finnish cartoons. The yellow cat is main character of one cartoon called Jasso-kissa, Jasso the Cat.  :)
This is where it is possible to read microfilms.
The long shelves full of books looked rather inviting.  :p
So we were going trough their collections..  :rolleyes:
We came out from the library, and while the others went to drag Henna out from the exam, I went to see a little fair selling all sorts of articles of alternative medicine, healing, lifestyle and spirituality.  :)
Then we all came back home.  :)

A warm hug from Kirin  :)
See you soon again, mum! 


Posted Oct 20, 2011, 12:48 am
Hi, mum!  :D

We are leaving for Portugal the day after tomorrow, and I´m rather exited! It´s nice to travel with friends.  :)

Many thanks for the postcard, mum!  :D
It came today, just in time!
Henna and the other toyvoyagers immediately noticed that the landscapes in the postcard looked somehow familiar.  :rolleyes: Then they remembered they had seen the same views in Petunias updates.  :D
Today we were preparing the cottage and the yard for vinter.
Here I´m painting some birdhouses we are going to nail tomorrow high up to the wall of the cottage, so that the little birdies can get some shelter if needed.  :)
Then we checked the little river Sahajoki that runs trough the village to see if we could see any frogs on their way to their hibernating places. We saw one small frog, but she was quite too shy to be photographed!
Then we packed Hennas luggage.  ;)
I don´t know how Henna will react when she finds the maggots Zoe and Melek were taking with them as nessessary provisions, but I´m interested into seeing.
I was packing some provisions for myself too.  :p
Then we went for a nature trip, surprise surprise!  ;)
Here we are watching a small rapid in the river Siuntionjoki.
And a little watermill using its power.
We went to the seashore to watch over the sea. It was a rather cold day!
We were having some buns, and then we continued our trip.  :p
We were driwing along smallest possible roads.  B) Until we came to a place called Luutaharju in Häme region.
There was this "kota" for travellers to rest in.
And some information on the geology of the place.
We walked along very nice paths trough a pine forest.  :)
And crossed some streams.  :rolleyes:
Anc came to the shore of Luutasuo lake.
We were following these duckboards on the swamp hich surrounded the lake. The air was heavy of the wonderfull smell of "suopursu" (Rhododendron tomentosum).
Every now and then there was plakes telling about the animals and plants living there.  :)
When it started to get dark we lit a fire on the shore and sat around it telling stories and watching the flames mirroring on the water.
The owls were shouting..

See you again soon, mum!
A warm hug from Kirin  :)


Posted Oct 26, 2011, 6:40 pm
Olá, mãe! Estou na Portugal!  :D

We came here late at friday evening. We had two flights and the both planes were late, and we were rather tired when we arrived, but the trip was very exciting!  :)
This is the last pic we took in Finland. It was the first morning when the earth was white.   B)
Here we are on the airport, watching the planes and all the interesting activity going on.  :)
Every now and then we checked the announcement table to see if they have some more information about our flight.
After some hours waiting the plane was ready!  B)
It was wonderful to watch the clouds, like soft cotton floating in the air.  :)
When we came to our portuguese home we had a wonderfull dinner starting with locally grown grapes.  :p
And very njammy melon.  :p
Delicious goat cheese.  :p
And chicken peas.  :p
Then we went for a short walk to see something of the place we had came into.   :)
We saw some fantastic street art.  :D
And did some window shopping.  :)
We get the first glimpse of the famous Lisbon trams.  :)
And saw the City Hall of Lisbon.

I hve to tell you more next time, mamã, we ar going to eat some more!  :p
Beijinhos da Kirin  :)


Posted Nov 8, 2011, 11:06 am
Bom dia, mãe amada!  :D (Good day, beloved mother)

We have been somewhat busy here. Henna has dived deep into the archaeological library and it is a hard task to dig her out from there again, so we have been mainly having adventures by our own.  ;)
This is the view to the street from our balcony here in Laranjeiro.
When we want to go to Lisbon, we have to take a ferry over the river Tejo. We live on the southern bank of the river, and Lisbon is on the opposite side to us.  :)
On sunny days the trip with a ferry is very nice experience, but on stormy weather (which we have lot now in autumn) the trip can be like a driwe in a rollercoaster - even nicer!  :D At least for us toyvoyagers. Henna looks sometimes lightly green.  :rolleyes:
One day we took the ferry to the Lisbon side of the river and then walked to a part of the town called Belem. 
It was a nice walk, about 5 km from the Cais Sodre ferry station, and we were admiring the very various architecture while walking.  :)
[size=2]It is a tradition here to pave the walls of houses with fantastical tiles.  :D
Then we came Belem. Here we are in the gardens of the Jerónimos monastery.
This is the first glimpse we saw of the monastery itself.. we went nearer to see it better.  :)
The monastery was  classified in 1983 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and no wonder!  :o
Originally, the monastery was home for the Hieronymite religious order, and it was built by the Infante Henry the Navigator around 1459.
Vasco da Gama and his men spent the night there before departing on their expedition to the Orient in 1497.  :p
"The monastery was designed in a style that later became known as Manueline: a richly ornate architectural design that includes complex sculptural themes incorporating maritime elements and objects discovered during naval expeditions, carved in limestone" says wikipedia.  :rolleyes:
Yeah, the walls are full of all sorts of funny creatures.  :D
Just look at all the figures surrounding the old main entrance, mum!  :stare:
The monastey is so big it is impossible to get it all into one pic.  :)
Here I´m greeting some of the creatures framing the windows.  ;)
Then we went in.
Near the entrance we saw the tomb of Luís Vaz de Camões (c. 1524 –1580), who is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet.  :)
His main work is "Lusiadas".
Later on also the portuguese royalty was buried here.
There was more interesting creatures inside!  :)
The huge pillars were carved allover and none of the pillars is identical with the others. I'm sure the people who made these ornaments had lots of fun!  ;)
The portuguese expeditors brought shiploads of gold robbed from the "new" discovered lands and a certain percentage belonged to the monastery, who used it for example to these golden pics of saints.
I find the whole thing somewhat absurd.. the golden gods of a religion are melted and formed into gods of another religion..  :rolleyes:
The angel with round cheeks agreed with me.  B)

We went out again to enjoy the free skies.  :)
I try to write soon again! :rolleyes:
Kisses from Kirin


Posted Nov 10, 2011, 8:37 am
Olá de novo, mamã! (Hello again, mum!)  :D
As you can see we have been here very industriously helping Henna in her studies.
But enough is enough, we escaped from the library trough a window..  :rolleyes:
We walked trough Almada. You can see the river Tejo behind the kitchen gardens and houses.  :)
We saw a tall looking guy in the horizon and decided to go to find out who he was.  ;)
We came to the Tejo riverfront and saw the bridge that connects Almada to Lisbon.  :)
"Hello you, up there, who are you?"
- Hello hello, down there, come up to talk a bit with me!
So we bought tickets and took the lift up.
We had very nice views from up there.  :)
And then we became quite good friends with the guy up there.  :)
His name was Cristo Rei, and he said it is very nice to see cute plush toyvoyagers, they come so seldom to see him.
Then we went down again and saw a little chapel.
We went outside again to investigate the different trees growing there, but we we felt kinda peckish and so we went into a bar to eat somethin little..
Then we went to taste some local wines.. and singing fado with some nice local people..
It was somewhat late when we get home.  :rolleyes:

See you soon again, mum!
Your Kirin :)


Posted Nov 14, 2011, 2:23 am
Boa noite, mãe! (Good night, mother!)  :D
It is very late and we should be sleeping, but Henna has got a flue and her nose is so stucked she cannot sleep, and so we toys are keeping her some company and suggesting her garlic milk and other fantastic treatments, but she says she rather keeps the flue.  :rolleyes:

Anyway, I´m going to show you some more pics from Lisbon we´ve been taking on our walks there.  :)
When we come to Lisbon by ferry and start to walk towards the centrum, the first turistically interesting sight to be seen is Praça do Comércio where I´m standing in this pic. 

Originally it was where the royal palace was located, but the palace was destroyed in earthquake and tsunami at 1755. After that the area served as the Lisbon commercial center.  :)
The statue in middle of the square is King José I.
Here is Cais das colunas, which was the original place where the traveller ships left over Tejo to Almada and Setubal and other locations.  :)
This is Arco da Rua Augusta, which shows some important characters of Portuguese history.
These houses surrounding the square are where were the headquarters of the big companies who where shipping for example spices and other stuf from the colonies.  :)
Praça do comércio is also where the turistical trams start their rounds. The trams are old and cute, but the tickets are pretty expencive, so instead of a turist tram we were driwing around in normal Lisbon trams.  :)
Here is one of them. They are old and cute too, and the tickets are very cheap.  ;)
Walkin along Rua Augusta we come to another important square called Rossio. The Rossio has been a meeting place for people of Lisbon for centuries. Some of the cafés and shops of the square date from the 18th century.
I peeped into one of them, called Pastelaria Castanheiro.  ;)
This is Elevador de Santa Justa.  :)
It connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo and it was opened at 1905.
Lisbon is built over seven hills and is full of very demanding stairs and deep streets.
This is another type of lifts connectings the lower and higher parts of the city.  :)
Most streets in Lisbon are paved with chalk stone cubicles, which in the centrum area form beautiful mosaic patterns.  :)
This is Sé, the main cathedral in Lisbon.    :)
It´s  building started at 1147 when the city of Lisbon was reconquered from the moors.
After it there has been many more building periods , and it suffered too badly in the year 1755 earthquake.
We lit little candles too.  :)
There was many beautiful windows..  :)
And many wonderful details.  :D
Before the catedhral was built there was the main mosque of the moors on its place, and before that there were mediaeval streets with little shops.. and before that there was an iron age town.  :thinking:
There has been excavation going on since 1990´s.
We were watching the excavation site from this and that perspective.. running after Henna who was making little sounds of utter exitement like a small squirrel.  :rolleyes:
Outside the Sé there was growing some orange trees, but the oranges were still partlyy green.
This is pic is taken from a nice viewpoint called Portas do Sol - although there wasn´t much sol when we were there.  :rolleyes:
There was some very nice tiles.  :)
This pic over the city is taken from Miradouro da Graça. It was a rather foggy day.  :)
It started to get dark and we headed back homewards..  :)
There we had some wonderful choc cake.  :p

I hope you´ve had some too, mum!
See you soon again!
Kisses from Kirin!  :)


Posted Nov 16, 2011, 2:26 pm
Olá de novo, mãe!  :D
See this wonderful dish, mum? 
It is made of asparagus and it is simply heavenly.
A traditional dish from Alentejo area.. njam njam!    :p

But now I´m going to put here some pics from the Cascais beach where we went for a walk.
It is about 30 kilometers to Cascais from Lisbon.
So first we took a train there.  :)
When we get there we headed straight to the beach.  :)
The weather was just great - sunny and windy.  :D
While walking we were reading a leaflet about Cascais.
Cascais was originally a small fishing village, but nowadays it is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal. 
During summer it is full of turists.
It all chanced  when King Luís II decided to turn the citadel of Cascais into his summer residence. From 1870 to 1908, the Royal Family came to Cascais to enjoy the sea, turning the somnolent fishing village into a cosmopolitan address.  :rolleyes:
"The citadel gained electric light in 1878, the first in the country, thanks to King Luís. The village gained better roads to Lisbon and Sintra, a casino, a bullfight ring, a sport club, and improvements in the basic infrastructure for the population. The railway arrived in 1889. Many noble families built beautiful mansions in Cascais, as can still be seen in the centre and surroundings of the town."
Well, anyway that´s the reason why Cascais is what it is now - a place where the upper class "tias" (aunties) have their residences and where the hotel owners want to build their new enterpraises.    :rolleyes:
In summertime the place is totally inendurable, but now it was nicely empty and peaceful.  ;)
So, we were walking and enjoying the peace, the wind and the wawes.
The pics are all rather similar..    :rolleyes:
We built a sand castle.. we were a bit peckish, maybe that is why it looks more like a cake.  :D
I saw some funny street art too.  :D
These wonderful daisies are for you, mum!  :stare:
We walked onwards until a big new hotel blocked our route.  :(
The shoreline after that was almost totally blocked by private yards and we could only got couple of glimpses to the sea.  :thinking:
We walked a bit towards inlands.
We saw this old windmill, but it doesn´t have wings anymore..
And these wonderful aloes.  :)
This is a corktree.  :D
And here we are hanging in a cactus.  ;)
We saw many beautiful things..  :)
but it started to get dar again.
So we returned to Lisbon where I saw this sailing ship.  :)
Can you see the moon, mum?  B)
Boa noite e beijinhos da Kirin!  :)


Posted Nov 25, 2011, 6:05 pm
Hei äiti!  :)

We are in Finland again. Actually we have been here already almost a week, but Henna has been mainly laying on the bed bottom, blowing her nose every 3 seconds and eating vitamin C and being in rather bad mood..  :rolleyes:

Outside it has not been any more cheerful - it just rains and rains and rains, and oh how it is dark!  :o
The sun rises around 9.00 in the morning and sets already around 15.30, and because it is cloudy all the time we have not seen her (the sun) at all!  :thinking:
So we poor toyvoyagers have been left to amuse ourselves as well as possible!  ;)

Here we are having a little snack and enjoying the light of candles against the darknes.
Today the rain ceased for couple of hours and we used those hours to our advantage, left Henna to sneeze in her bed and went for a walk.  :)
I´m happy we have not got her flue!
We were a bit too late, anyway.
The sun set very soon, and we lit a fire and sat enjoying its warmth.  :)
At Lappland, northern Finland, the sun rises at 11.20 and set at 12.28.  :thinking: Very soon it doesn´t rise anymore at all.
Can you imagine living in a place where the sun doesn´t rise, mum?
And how was it in the past, before the elecric lights.. it is hard to even imagine.
We sat there for some time, but then the rain started again, it had just been collecting new strength, maybe having a cup of coffee, who knows.. anyway, we came back here and now we are going to try to cheer Henna up by singing her some naughty songs!  ;)

I wish you have nicer weather there, mum!
Hug from Kirin  :) 

Posted Nov 28, 2011, 8:55 pm
Hi again, mum, and everyone else too!  ;)

Our life here continues in a very small scale.
Mainly we are just lazing around in the cottage. Outside the rain goes on.
Some times comes a moment when all the games have been played, all the cartoons read too many times and all the naughty songs sung into nauseum, and when someone suggest that we could, for example, clean a bit, it is clear we have to go out, rain or not.  :rolleyes:
Such an unnatural suggestion was put forward today, and I get rather worried, put happily the rain just then ceased and we fled to the forest!  :stare:
The sun felt so good after all the rain!
We could see steam rising from the humid spruce forest down below us when the warmth of sun reached it.
Maybe there was similar steam rising from our bodies too..  :rolleyes:
The Common Polypody (Polypodium Vulgare) certainly had been enjoying the rain!  :)
Did you know, mum, the the roots of these taste just like liquorice?  B) Njam njam!  :p
Everything in the forest seemed so calm.. most plants were already sleeping. The whole nature is waiting for the snow to come.  :)
The only thing that blooms at this time of year is the lichen.  :)
I saw evidence telling that a Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix) had visited this spot!
No manners whatsoever!  :rolleyes:
This Cladonia coccifera has exceptionally big "chalices".  :) I can well imagine small forest elves drinking from them at night time..

Have you noticed, mum, what kind of expert of northern nature your little giraffee is nowadays?  :stare:
When the sun started to set we went to enjoy the joys of the more urban existence in a gas station café.  :rolleyes:

Now we have a storm raging outside, the wind is howling in the corners of the cottage, and we have a bundle of candles near by - the electricity is sure to disappear at some point.
I think it´s fun!  B)

Hug from Kirin!  :)

Posted Dec 5, 2011, 7:48 pm
Hi there in the summer, mom! :D
Your little giraffee here is in the vinter now, since she has seen the first snow today!  :D
Last night we had a hailstorm!  :)
The rain just started to make odd sound while hitting the roof, and we went to see what was happening..

The earth was white for some time, but in the morning all of it had allready melted away!  :(
Today we went to the uni with Henna, and when we came out about 16.00 o´clock it was allready pitch dark, as you can see.
But we went to see the christmas tree in front of the Lutheran Kathedral. It was beautiful!  :)
It is rather odd, the darknes coming so early! It feels like it was very late evening!
We were walking and watching the christmas decorations on the streets.  :)
Then it started to snow!  :D
In the city area the snow didn´t last long (they have here a heating system under the pavement of the streets in the centrum area!)  :rolleyes:
But when we came to Nuuksio everything was white!  :D
Oii, the snow had made the baby spruce to look very different! :D

I hope there is still some snow left tomorrow,so we could take some pics in the daylight. Let´s see!  :)

Enjoy the wonderful summer there, mom! I enjoy the vinter!  :D
Your Kirin  :)

Posted Dec 7, 2011, 8:04 pm
Hola, mi querida madre!  ;)

The sixth of December is the finnish independence day, and we were celebrating it in various ways.  ;)
In the morning we run outside to see if there was still snow.
There was!  :o
We were so excited we were just about to dive into it, but Henna made us come back and put on some clothes, saying she certainly doesn´t want to see us in flue and bad-tempered.  :rolleyes:

I felt first a bit sissy with the cothes on, but actually they are really nice now outside!
We went to investigate the surroundings which had suddenly totally changed their shapes. :)
It was very beautiful, but soon we had admired the beauty enough and started to make snowballs! :D
In no time we had a snow fight going on!  ;)
To celebrate the independence day we were playing the finnish Winter War.  :rolleyes:
Soon we were totally covered with snow!  :rolleyes:
I don´t know which side won.  ;)
Then we went with Henna to visit her mother.
In Helsinki there was finnish flags everywhere.  :)
We were watching the christmas decorations in shop windows while walking towards Hennas mothers place.
I was also mirroring myself wearing the clothes from the windowpanes.  :rolleyes:
When we get there Henna told us to take the clothes off, but I didn´t want to! And neither did Zoe! Instead we went both to peep into the mirror.  ;)
But then there was other things calling our attention - wonderful smells floating into our noses from the kitchen, and we went to spy on what was cooking.  ;)
In the kitchen we encountered some gingerbread cookies.  ;)
In the livingroom we were admiring a big flower just opening for Christmas.  :)
And delicious looking finnish apples.
I took just a very small bite and then turned the apple around so that the bitten part cannot be seen.  :rolleyes:
There was a cats tunnel, and we were playing in it for some time, but..
.. then we noticed there was a pussycat staring at us in not so friendly way.  :thinking:
We were trying to call her friendly "kis kis kis kis kis!" (like finnish cats are called), but her face just turned even more sour and we realised we were in danger! :thinking:
Then she attacked!  :o She had a natural respect towards giraffees, but non so ever respect toward birds. :thinking:
I pulled the cats whiskers and she turned her head enraged towards me and then we run onto the table and sat there panting.
We could hear Henna shouting from the kitchen "I hope you are not getting yourselves into any trouble there!"
Happily Hennas mother came to take the pussycat to the kitchen to eat!
She also lit a candle in finnish colors, blue and white.
There we found a sweet bowl!  ;)
Hennas mother brought us some glögi (a christmas drink related to Gluhwein). What a great lady!  :D
Then we were watching television. There was typical program for independence day.  :rolleyes:
I was trying on a pair of shoes of a doll.  ;) They were a bit too big, though.
Then we were asked to get to the table!  :p
We were having delicious salmon!  :p
I wanted to check how much I weigh after all the eating.  :rolleyes:
Seven kilos, the scales was showing. Not so bad for a giraffee!  :stare:
At six o´klock we lit two candles on the window, like is the tradition.
Originally it was a  sign for people outside showing that the apartment was giving a place to hide if needed, in the times the finnish independence was still a dream.

We came then back to home.  :)
They are forecasting a snowstorm for friday! Jiihaa!  :D
I wish you are having a good time too!
See you soon! Kisses from Kirin!  :)

Posted Dec 11, 2011, 6:24 pm
Hi, mom!  :D

The snow has been melting partly away, but there is still some left. The day is now so short the sun has not time to melt it totally, even when the December is extremely warm like it is now.
Today we went for a walk. The small village roads were totally covered with ice, and it was very hard to walk along.  :thinking:
The small stream running trough the village was still free.  :)
We followed it into the forest.
There we found pawprints of a fox.  :)
The little Ahvilampi lake was in thin ice.  :)
I tried to see the fishes under the ice.  :rolleyes:
We went to walk a bit on the ice, Henna was advising us to avoid the places where the ice looked darker. She couldn´t follow us - the ice is okke for us toyvoyagers but not yet for humans.  :)
We admired the contrasts of the snow and mosh and ice.  :)
The sea is, of course, still quite open.  :) Last year at this time even the sea had a thick ice cover, and there was -20 degrees here in Finland, Henna told.  Now we are all the time near zero.
But even the zero can feel cold.. so we made a fire and warmed up some glogg.  :rolleyes:
It´s great to feel the warmth of the fire!

Kisses from Kirin!  :)


Posted Dec 15, 2011, 12:21 am
Hi, mum!  :D

Today was again a rainy day and we stayed mainly inside.
Look, mum, what kind of gingerbread cookies we were having today! Moomins!  :D
The poor moomins didn´t last very long..  :rolleyes:
We started to make christmas tree decorations.
We made them as presents for Maria, with whom Henna and we toyvoygers are going to spend the Christmas in Portugal.  :)

We had a big heap of wool in different colors.
Henna gave us a felting needle too.  :)

We started to "felt" the wool over polystyrene balls.
It was very fun, but not very easy!  :thinking:
Here you can see what we made. We are still going to make some more.
We hope Maria understands no one of us here is really a handicrafts person.  :rolleyes:
See you soon again, mum!  :)
Hug from Kirin.

Posted Dec 31, 2011, 2:26 pm
Bom dia, mom!  :D

It is your little Kirin writing from Portugal.
We flew here 17th of December, and on 18th we suffered a computer hard driwe crash, so we have been unable to do our updates.  :thinking:

At the moment we are sitting in an internet cafe called CyberCafe but the connection is pretty lousy here too.
Anyway, here we are in Helsinki airport waiting for our flight.  :)
As amazing as it might sound, the flight was almost in time.  :rolleyes:
The airport was decorated for Christmas.  :rolleyes:
The flight left a bit over four in the afternoon, so it was already pitch dark outside and we did not see much.
But there was an ecrane where we could follow where the plane was at the moment.  :rolleyes:
And we tried to spot ufos.  :rolleyes:

After arriving to our portuguese home in Laranjeiro our first task was to decorate the christmas tree.  :D
We also put there the decorations we made for Hennas friend Maria.  :) She liked them.
Next day we took a train to Sintra, which is a small town about 35 kilometers from Lisbon.
The white building behind the valley, with two interesting looking chimneys, is the Sintra National Palace.  :)
But we were heading towards Quinta da Regaleira, which is a very special place with interesting history.
Here is a fountain called Fonte dos mouros we saw on our way there.  :)
We also saw this beautiful little waterfall.  :)
Here is the palace of Regaleira.
The owner was interested into mystery cults like freemasonry and rosencreutz, and built the whole area full of structures with symbolism which has to so do with those.  :)
There was also a secret society having meetings on the quinta, and some of the buildings have been constructed as to serve in some rituals.
The quinta is situated into a hillside, so it is full of rather steep stairs to climb.  :rolleyes:
There is also a web of caves and tunnels and secret underground passages on the area.  :)
And two initiate wells, where the new recruits to the society had to spend a night alone.
We climbed down to the bottom of the well along the winding stairs..

From the bottom left tunnels to different directions leading into artificial caves and into an underground labyrinth and on to the bottom of another well.  B)
We had a flashlight with us, so we saw much more than most visitors, but sadly it was too dark to take photos underground.
One of the passages led us behind this fountain.  :)
There was some fantastic sequoias too!  :)
We found this small chapel and went inside.
There we saw this beautiful window very suitably illustrating our christmas spirits.  :)
The camelias were blooming.  :)
The Goddess wanted to hold us on her lap, of course.  We are so cute. :stare:
There was new miracles and surprises to be seen in every step.  :D
We had to rest a bit our little feet in middle of all the walking and climbing.
I have to stop now, mom, but I hope to be able to make new updates soon, although it is a bit difficult just now.  :D

A warm hug from Kirin!

Posted Jan 2, 2012, 9:31 am
Good New Year to everyone and especially for my mom!  ;) :D

Now I´m going to put here some pictures from Christmas evening. I´m a bit late with my updates because of some technical problems. :thinking: I WAS suggesting that I could fix the computer, but Henna and Maria weren´t so enthusiastic about that and took the comp to be professionally fixed instead.  :rolleyes:
This is our breakfast on 24th of December.  :D
The wonderful cake is called Bolo Rei "king of the cakes". It is tradiotionally made for Christmas and it is very delicious!  :p
There was also Pasteis de nata and different nuts and almonds..
We were eating so much we even had to rest a bit between the different cakes, especially Zoe..  :rolleyes:
We went onto a spying trip under the christmas tree and found some packages addressed for us too!  :p
There was two presents for both of us!
These are mine!  :p
We attacked the packages!  ;)
From the first package I found a moomin mug! Just the right size to drink tea or glögi!  :D
Then I attended the other package.. (I was a bit suspicious about that one because it was soft! I was afraid it would turn out to be a new pair of panties! ;) )
But phew, no panties!  :rolleyes: There was a  funny looking soft frog toy inside!  :D
Its eyes look into slightly different directions, but it still rather endearing.
Now I know what Henna was making and hiding when I entered the room the other day.  ;)
Here we are with our presents. Zoe got similar mug than I, and some sort of diary.  :) I think my frog was a better present, but Zoe seemed happy with her book!
Then it was time to eat again!  :rolleyes:
The traditional meal consists of bacalhau (codfish), cabbage, carrot, potatoes.. very good too!  :p
Then there was more cakes and cookies and nuts and sweets!  :p
We had some tea from our new mugs. Tasted great!  ;)
These beautiful cakes are named "filhós". They are made with a molding iron which is first dipped into the dough and then into boiling oil.
And at last a totally finnish addition to the table - "salmiakkikossu" (vodka with picrid acid)!  B)

Rest of the evening we were just lazying around, watching TV, eating christmas chocolates and watching the flames of the candles.

I saw in Petunias updates that you had a happy Christmas too, mom!  :)
A hug from your little Kirin!


Posted Jan 5, 2012, 11:22 am
Bom dia, mamã!  ;)

I wish the new year has started well for you!
If it is true that the beginning of the year is forecasting how the rest of it is going to be, mine is promising to become very adventurous!  B)

When we visited the Quinta da Regaleira in the small town of Sintra, I kinda fell in love with it and we have been making many new expeditions in Sintra and its surroundings since the first visit.  :)

I´m now going to share with you and my other audience  :rolleyes: some of the excitement on our trip to Castelo dos Mouros - the castel of the moors.
The moorish castle (or its ruins, better saying) are situated high up on one of the Sintra hills.
We decided to make many shortcuts and go as straight as possible toward it.  :)
So we climbed first about thousands steps of a nice park called Parque da Liberdade.
There seemed to be interesting things too, in the park, but we didn´t stop much this time..
We stopped only shortly to draw some breath and see how high we had already come before leaving the nice park on its upper end.  :)
Then we continued our way upwards along a road for some time, trying to avoid other turists, because..
..we then left both the turistic route and the good manners behind us and climbed over a wall onto a private estate!  :thinking:
What do you think about that, mum?
Then we followed paths known only for few people..  B)
Under ancient redwoods..  :thinking:
Climbing all the time higher and higher.
Then we came to the roots of the rocky hill of the moorish castle, and the serious climbing begun.
Yes, mom, we really climbed this cliff!  :o
Here we are on the top of the hill.
Can you see high we climbed?  B)
We had to rest a bit. We were feeling rather hot! And now it is the midwinter..
Henna told than when she has climbed here during the summer it has taken twice the time because of the exhausting heat.  :thinking:
We roamed trough some bushes and came to the moorish castle kinda trough the "backdoor"!  ;)
In this pic you can see the small Sintra town  far below us.  :)
We climbed everywhere in the castle area, wanting to see every nook and corner, and the magnificent landscapes spreading before us from every possible angle.  :)
While we were exploring, Henna was telling us something about the history of the castle.  :)

It was constructed during the 8th to 9th century, during the period of Arab occupation of the Iberian peninsula, for defence of the local, mainly farming population.
On 1100 and something the land was won back from the moors, and the first portuguese kings were using the castle on their turn.
But during the following yearhundreds it was rebuilt and left rotten many many times.  :thinking:
During the 19th and 20th centuries it has been renovated in more scientific manners, and nowadays it is on the Unesco World Heritage list.  :)
We rested some moments, and started then our way back down, this time along the more official routes.  :rolleyes:
We fed the homeless cats who live near the ticket booth, waiting breadcrumbs from the turists.
We always carry catfood with us here!
Now my time in the CyberCafe is full!
See you soon, mum!
Kisses from Kirin!  :)

Posted Jan 9, 2012, 12:33 pm
Olá de novo, mãe amada!  :D

I have been doing more climbing!
I think I´m getting addicted to the exiting sensation of reaching high spots after exhausting climbing.  :rolleyes:

How can I survive on flat lands after this? Maybe I have to start climbing flagpoles?  ;)
Well, here we are in a bus on our way to Cabo da Roca, which is the westernmost point of the mainland Europe.

As you can see, we both bought our own bustickets, although Henna was ushering us to hide in her backpack.  :thinking: Our activities lately have been rather much on the thin borderline between legal and unlegal, and we decided to balance the situation a bit. Never know..  ;)
The bus was full of turists, and they all walked in a queue, like good sheep, into a special turist area, a space separeted from the surrounding reality with a rope, to stare the landscape instead of going to experience it, like we did.  :rolleyes:
We didn´t see other kind of sheep, but otherwise we felt like two little Adelheids, or maybe the brats from Sound of music.  :rolleyes: We almost started a search for edelweiss.
The turists were staring us, hopping and skipping along the little paths. I could feel their eyes on my back until we get outside of their eyes reach. Certainly some of them wanted to come on the other side of the rope too. Why didn´t they?  :thinking:
We were first following a little path downwards, and then another path upwards.  :)
You can see the little path behind my back in this pic.
The paths are made by the local fishermen climbing down to the seashore.
We met one of them, and old man, climbing upwards a very steep cliff, a bucket full of fish in one hand and two heavy oars in the other hand.  :thinking: We climbed halfway to meet him and took the bucket to carry, he was very surprised!  ;)
Never seen quite so bright blue eyes, like the sea had colored them..
This is the cliff the fisherman climbed up. I want to be still fit to do that too when I´M over eighty!
Henna and Zoe agreed. We are planning a combined dieting and condition increasing program.  ;)
We found new paths, following the forms of the landscape in the most efficient way possible, situated where they are by thousands years of use.
No "planned" or designed route can ever be quite so pleasant.  :)
Every now and then we got a new wonderful view over the Atlantic Ocean.  :)
I´m not sure what this plant is, but it reminds me of both heathers and wild asparagus. Have to check from the plantbook.  :)

Checked! Seems to be Genista triacanthos, ranha-lobos. In english it would be some broom, if it had a name, I guess.
This one I didn´t find. Do you know, mum?
We found a little stream running from the hills to the ocean.  :)
After having totally tired our little feet we sat down and stayed there admiring the dumpfounding landscapes, the screams of the seagulls and the sounds of the wawes against the rocks below us.  :)
Then we made our way back to the busstop, full of turists full of talk.  :rolleyes:

Kisses from Kirin, enjoying the rarer paths.  B)


Posted Jan 14, 2012, 8:35 am
Bom dia, mum!  :)

It is only seven in the morning, it is saturday, and your little giraffee is already up, isn´t that odd?  ;)
I think it is all the climbing and running in the fresh air which is causing these curious symptoms.

Now I´m going to put here pics from a palace we visited in Sintra.
There is many of those - the area was very popular amongst the royalty and the noble families to spend the summer months, and they were building those huge palácios as their humble residences.  :rolleyes:

The one we visited is called Palácio de Monserrate.
The palace is about four kilometers from the town of Sintra, and we were walking there along a very entertaining road, turning and twisting all the time and keeping car driwers on alert.  ;)
We liked to peep over the wall into the yards here and there.
We saw very magnificent trees too.  :)
We walked past another palace, called Seteais.
It is nowadays a hotel.
We walked along.
Then we entered the Monserrate palace gardens.  :)
And walked trough winding paths.
We saw some wonderful ferntrees, mum!  :thinking:
The oldest form of trees still existing. The dinosaurs wandered under them too. Just think about that, mum!
The falling camellia flowers had made a wonderful red carpet for us to walk.   :)
There was ruins of a chapel, which trees had invaded.  :D
I like this chapel much more than many others I have seen.  :)
We sat there for sometime just listening to the silence.
Then we walked forward and saw the palace itself.
Here is the staircase leading to the main entrance. Rather pompous stairs.  :rolleyes:
The existing palace was build in the year 1857 in somewhat oriental style, which was then very trendy. The elder building was damaged in the earthquake in 1755.
We entered the building.  :)
The building is of course magnificent, stunning and whatnot, but can you imagine spending the summer months in it and feel to be at home, mum?  :thinking:
I can´t. The palace certainly isn´t cosy!
Of course, if I imagine it full of screaming brats and sunbathing cats, toys left to the corridors and the rooms filled with comfy furniture, the pic is much nicer.  :)
The time travelling would be something!
The walls were allover decorated with ornaments.
Here is a miniature showing the whole palace building, which is impossible to catch in photographs.
This is from the dome. I wonder how the inhabitants put furnitures into the round space.  :D
We went out again. It is much easie to imagine the people in past times enjoying the garden!
I would not have anything against seeing this landscape everytime stepping out from the door!  :D
Cutting the lawn would be a different thing.. i think I would just keep couple of sheep for the job.  ;)
We went to see the pool where they had some goldfish swimming around.
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppp!  :o
Gosh I got scared, but the fountain figure was just playing with me, phew.  :rolleyes:
Then we sat watching the fish and the sky mirroring from the water.
Then we left towards new expeditions.  :stare:
I will soon write about them!

A warm hug from Kirin!  :)


Posted Jan 17, 2012, 6:16 pm
Hello, dear mum!  :D

We were just reading two latest updates written by  Petunia
, so I know you are having a good time too, mum!
That makes me happy.  :)
We have been walking and climbing around so much that it shows!
I´m now a very fit little giraffee!
You would be surprised to see my muscles, mum!  :stare:
Here we are walking trough the countryside surrounding the towns of Sintra and Colares.  :)
We are on our way to the forest, into an area were there grows lots of wild asparagus! it is now right time to pic it.  ;)
But first we cross more domesticated landscapes with lots of farms and plantations.
In this pic is a plantation of young cork trees.
The orange season is on its highest peak and all the yards are full of trees heavily loaded with delicious looking fruit - a sight that makes my mouth melt.  :thinking:
We were lucky!  :p
We found an abandoned farm. The house has disappeared, but the fruit trees were left and full of oranges! Njom njom!
We took with us as many as we could carry, and then we were walking and eating and eating and walking!  ;)
This has been the fireplace of the disappeared house.
It is very rare to see anyone walking on these roads. The local people go everywhere in their cars.
The only person walking was an old guy who was so amazed to see us, he dropped his bag on the road. We helped him to lift it, but he stared us all the time like we were some u.f.o:s.  :rolleyes:
The animals, too, got very exited when we passed the yards.
We made the dogs bark, the sheep baaaaa and this rooster to go totally mad just walking on the road.  :rolleyes:
I wonder what would have happened if we had given one of our sea-shanty-singing and step dancing numbers.
We saw an old windmill behind the  olive trees. It didn´t have wings anymore, poor thing.
Lots of interesting things along the roadside, like the small shrine full of flowers and candles.  :)
And this lone, big olive tree.
Isn´t it beautiful, mum?  :stare:
The habitation was left behind us, and so were the plantations and fields.
Now there was beautiful forest landscape surrounding us.  B)
We searched our way to smaller roads.
And paths.  :)
We checked from the map where we were, and saw that we were just entering the asparagus country! 
Time to began the hunt! B)
We soon found some aspargeiras, mother plants, which produces new little sprouts during December and January.
This is an asparagus plant.

The new sprouts can be found under the mother plant, where they push their way to the surface of the earth.
First we found only very small and thin sprouts. Can you see them here in my left hand, mum?
They are good too, but the thicker ones ar juicier..  :rolleyes:
We kept on searching, roaming under the asparagus bushes. They are very spiky, by the way!  :thinking: (Greetings to Petunia and her cactus!)
We asked some small fish in a pond to tell us in which direction the best asparagus could be find, and they told us to search from a little pine growing hill near by, and so we did!  :)
And there they were waiting for us! The juicy, thick, beautifully green and wonderfully smelling asparagus!  :p
Just look at these, mum!
There is a delicious dinner ahead!  :p
I also found a shell of a snail and tried if it is trough that you can hear the sound of the sea if you put it against your ear.
I heard something, but it wasn´t the sea. It was an ant inside the shell, rather pissed of and shouting "Take your ear out of my way!  I´m busy!"  :rolleyes:
After collecting enough asparagus, we rested a bit over an old wall, and then we continued our expedition.  :)
The surroundings turned more hilly and rocky, and we guessed we have come near Sintra.  :)
There is many natural fountains and springs on this area.
This pool is one where the commun is collecting water to feed it to the towns water system.  :)
The tree trunks were covered with ivy.  :)
The stones were forming little natural caves. They can be very handy if it starts to rain heavily!  :D
We were now climbing all the time up and down on the rocky hillsides.
This pic is from the top of one of the highest. Beautiful landscape!  :D
On one of the hilltops we found this cross and a plake informing us that the hilltop was 529 meters from the sea level and named Cruz Alta = High Cross.
We could see the Pena palace far away.
We visited it some days ago, but it was forbidden to take photos inside!  :o
We found an old road longe since abandoned.
There was camellias everywhere!  :)
We followed a sign to see the shrine of Nossa Senhora da Pena.
And saw one of the public fountains where the water from the pools is led to.
Then we rested a bit on a roadside bench before coming back to out portuguese home.  :)

Now I´m going to see how the asparagus suffle is made!
See you soon again!
Your Kirin  :stare:


Posted Jan 23, 2012, 1:36 pm
Bom dia, mãe !  :D

Today we have here fog so thick that we cannot even see the building just opposite us from the balcony, and when we crossed the river Tejo someone had eaten the bridge away.  :thinking:
We have been debating since who it might have been, and following some logic I cannot quite reacall at the moment we ended to the solution that it might have been a ship sized guinea pig.  :rolleyes:

Anyway, it is a good weather to write our updates.  :)
Do you still remember Sintra National Palace, mum? The building with those two odd looking chimneys?  :)
It is quite in the centre of the town Sintra, and it is also called Palácio da Vila (The town palace).
We went to see it one day when the thicknes of the turist masses seemed slightly thinner.  :rolleyes:
Here is the palace seen a bit closer.  :)

The oldest parts of the palace are from the period of the moorish occupation, the 10th century.
The moors built two castles in Sintra, the ruins of the moorish castle where we climbed one day, and this Palácio da Vila, where the moorish rulers were residing.
After the portuguese reoccupation the palace was the home of the first portuguese kings.
Most of the still surviving parts are from the 15th century.

Every room in this palace has a different decorative ceiling, as you can see in this pic.  :)
The walls are also very much decorated with azulejos (tiles).   :)
This is the ceiling of the room called The Swann's Room (Sala dos Cisnes).   :)
Here I´m in some royal bedroom.  :rolleyes: Just trying to imagine to be sleeping in that bed in middle of the huge room every night.. it is not very inviting.
On the other hand, all the activities I could arrange in such big rooms! Rollerskating parties and whatnot!  :D
The royals of past times didn´t have much imagination.. they were just consentrating into hunting and seducing the chambermaids, pffffff.
This looks much better. I can imagine the dinners served on this table..  :p
Actually I´m not sure if this table was ever used for eating. We were running and then sliding along the floors with Zoe, not so much reading the information plakes.  :rolleyes:
Here you can see better some of the old tiles covering the walls.  :)
This is the small yard around which the oldest rooms are situated.
Some more tiles..  :rolleyes:
Many people here are very interested into the old tiles. They are sold in antique shops and fleemarkets where collectors are buying them, and there is even a tile museum in Lisbon.
This globe is from the times the ships left from here to discover the "New World"  :thinking:
This room was full of paintings showing members of the royal family.  :)
Some of them looked a bit funny..  :D
We went to the second floor.
This is the Coats-of-Arms Room (Sala dos Brasões)  Its ceiling is decorated with 72 coats-of-arms of the King and the main Portuguese noble families.  :)
Some of them were removed after a conspiracy against the king.  :rolleyes:
This is one of the chests in the treasure room, where the king kept the valuables. Must have had a lot.
Another ceiling.. it seems they liked birds. Or maybe it is the holy spirit this time.  :rolleyes:
Ah, but this is the most interesting room of all - the palace kitchen!  :p
They have been roasting things (whole pigs and such, I guess) over an open fire in middle of the floor.  :thinking:
So the kitchen would have been full of smoke without those huge chimneys..
This is one of them. Actually the kitchen roof IS those two huge chimneys.  :D It took some centuries, the evolution of chimneys..
We saw still couple of rooms. There was so many I cannot keep a count of them.  :rolleyes:
Then we get out again and run to the forest.  ;)

Now we have to help Henna in her studies a bit.
See you soon again, mum!  :D
Your Kirin

Posted Jan 29, 2012, 1:02 pm
Hello, mother!  :D

We came back to Finland yesterday evening. It is ten minusdegrees outside and lots of snow, and I can hardly wait to get out and play, but I have still some updates to do from Portugal.  :thinking:

It is always like this - we take too many pics and then we don´t have eough time to put them here in time.
I tried to get Henna to write the updates for me, but she said no, "she has other things to write". Bah. No cooperation there.. :mad:
Here we are walking again who knows where trough the forests of Sintra. It is amazing the amount of long forgotten roads and paths in the area. Like there had been some lost civilization in the forest some time.  :thinking:
We are walking (and climbing and roaming) towards Colares, about eight kilometers away from Sintra, and there is a paved modern road between these two spots, but do we walk along it? Of course not!  :D
We saw the ruins of the Moorish Castle far away. Can you spot them from the pic, mum?  B)
Henna is clearly maniacal when it comes to the avoiding roads, but I admit that this way we see much more beautiful landscapes.  :)
The mimosas where in bloom and the bees where buzzing everywhere around us.  :)
We sat for awhile admiring a small lake.
Then we climbed over a wall again and hopped to the road.  :D
Just in right spot - we had came to Colares.  B)
The reason to come here this time was to visit the Cork Convent.  :)

Henna had been reading about it from a book named "Travels in Portugal: through the provinces of Entre Douro e Minho, Beira, Estremadura, and Alem-tejo, in the years 1789 and 1790, consisting of observations on the manners, customs, trade, public buildings, arts, antiquities, &c. of that kingdom" by James Cavanah Murphy.  :rolleyes:
"This Convent, or Hermitage, is partly burrowed between te rocks which serve as vaults to the church, sacristy, and chapter-house, &c. and partly built over the surface. The subterraneous apartments are lighted by holes cut obliquely in the rocks, and lined internally with cork, to guard against the humidity. Hence it is called The Cork Convent. It is inhabited by about twenty hermits of the most rigid Order of Saint Francis."
Well, that was in the 1790. There is no hermits anymore, but their subterraneous apartments are here all right.  :rolleyes:
The Convent of the Frairs Minor Capuchin, popularly known as the Convent of the Capuchos (Portuguese: Convento dos Capuchos), but officially the Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra da Sintra (Convent of the Holy Cross of the Sintra Mountains) are the names for this place besides the "Cork Convent".  :rolleyes:
Yep yep, I´m quoting Wikipedia, these names are so difficult to remember.  :p
Here you can see the cork lining on the windowshutter.
It was a bit too dark to take photos inside, but we tried to take some.  :)
There was even some cork ornaments on the cork covering of the ceilings.  :thinking:
This is the shrine in the entrance hall. The humidity has been doing its destructive work everywhere.. :)
I must say I didn´t much like it inside the convent. Those cells where the monks were living their whole lives.. oh gosh, after spending a minute in them I already wanted to get out. They were so tiny, dark and cold and bare!  :o

Phew! Some of the cells had windows, but the monks living in those were not so much honored as those living in the underground holes like moles.
Here we are resting on a cork paved bench. I´m happy the hermits had even such a nice bench to sit upon sometimes. :)
I don´t see it at all how living in some underground dungeon would put anyone nearer to god or gods, but that was the idea of those times.  :thinking:

"The primitive community of the convent was composed of eight friars, being the most famous of them Friar Honório, who, according to the book Mirror of Penitents, composed by one of the friars, lived to be 100 years old, despite having spent the last three decades of his life in penance, living inside a small hole inside the convent, which still exists today. In 1596, friar Honório, who lived in a grotto alongside the convent for 30 years, died. The story of Honório impressed later English Romantic poets, like Robert Southey and Lord Byron ("Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell/In hope to merit heaven, by making earth a hell.")"
This is a view over the yard of the monastery. Much nicer outside than inside. I guess the life can have been quite okke every now and then anyway.. but i don´t think that was what the hermits where after.  :)
Here we are on the convent kitchen.
According to Murphy they were eating mainly fish, fruit and bread. Fruit they were growing themselves (what a relief it must have been to work in the garden!), fish and bread was given them by town of Cascais and some wealthy supporters.

Haha, fruit-bread-fish were all considerd to be lousy, humble food and thus suitable for these masochstic monks. Only meat was considered at those times to be "proper food".  ;)
To eat something else was a either showing you were poor or that you were doing it as a special sign of humblenes before the god.
The landscapes surrounding the convent are really beautiful, the Sintra hills and forests.. the most wonderful landscapes in Portugal if I´m asked.  :-)

Why did the hermits come in this paradise and dig themselves underground?
According to a legend, João de Castro, the former fourth Viceroy of India (1500 - 1548)was hunting in the mountains of Sintra, and chasing a deer, he found himself lost. Tired from his search, he fell asleep against a rock, and in a dream, he received a divine revelation to erect a Christian temple on the site.

So it seems that portuguese of those times where already so urbanized and estranged from the nature that they didn´t found this wonderful forest a paradise at all, but more a hostile and vile place to be. So to build the convent here went according to the same lines than to live in a pit.  ;)
This is the hermits toilet.  ;)
And washroom. I´m surprised they were washing themselves at all..ah but of course: they must have hated it, ice cold water and all - so they were propably doing it as often as possible!  :D
"Each has a separate cell, about the ize of a grave, furnished wit a mattress; yet one of their community who lately died, named Honorius, thinking the meanest of these cells too luxurious a habitation, retired to a cirkular pit at the rear of the Hermitage, not larger than the Diogenes´s tub, for it is but four meters diameter; and there, after a recidence of sixteen years, he ended his peaceful days at a good old age. The floor of it is strewed with leaves, which served for his bed; and the rugged stone, which he used alternatively as a pillow and seat, is still to be seen there."
The more I learn about these hermits, the more pervert is the image of them in my mind.

Actually, there was all sort of rumours cirkulating amongst the population of those times, and no wonder..  :rolleyes:
According to the rumours the hermits had turned away from god and were adodring the devil or that they were actually leading a rather lustrous life with lots of wine and orgias.  :rolleyes:
Of course, if we think in what kind of conditions the poorest part of the portuguese population was living at those times.. most of them lived by eating just bread and maybe onion, no fruit nor fish there, it is understandable if they were snearing to the pious hermits.
And their apartments werent much more comfortable either if all.
But these hermits certainly were nearer to the poor people than the monks in the wealthy convents where they were really living amongst luxury and producing  a countles herd of illegitimate children.. well, uhm, what i just said of course prooves they had to be rather near the poor people in physical sence from time to time..  :rolleyes: But if we consider their means, they were on the other side of the universe.

There is many portugese proverbs saying things like "to eat like a priest" = very much, or "fat as a monk".  :rolleyes: telling about those differences.
The idea of serving god by serving people instead of isolating yourself somewhere or sucking the blood of the people is somewhat younger.  :D
We had seen about enough of the spooky place.  ;)
And so have you, I guess.  :D

I´ll be here soon again!
Kisses from Kirin  :)

Posted Jan 31, 2012, 3:07 pm
Hi again, mom!  :)

I popped here to make the last updates from Portugal.
I start with pics we took when we made another trip to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost spot in the mainland Europe.  ;)
These tiles on the wall of a turist info building show the most known view of Cabo da Roca, the lighthouse.
We didn´t see it last time because we walked to another direction,as usual.  :rolleyes:
Here is a detail showing where we are on the map.  :)
Then we went to climb the hills again. This time towards north, last time we walked to south.  :)
Here is the lighthouse, although it was hard to get a good pic, because it was against the light.
Oi oi, how cute little flowers there was growing!  :stare:
I really like these hills, growing mainly short succulent plants. I wanted a pic of the only a bit bigger bush behind me.  :D
After walking over some hills we came again near to the seashore.  :)
There the hills were every now and then bare sandstone.  :)
And very steep to climb!  :thinking:
When we had reached the top of the hill, we sat there admiring the magnificent view and refreshing ourselves with chock milk.  :p
Then we were just walking around, feeling a bit dizzy because of all the beauty around us.  :)
Not very wise to walk around here if feeling dizzy, though!  :thinking:
It is fantastic sometimes just to sit down and let the world go round, don´t you think so too, mum?  :)
Then it was time to leave the cliffs of Cabo da Roca behind our backs and go forward..
We walked trough forests, surprise surprise..  ;)
And met litte brooks.  :)
And wonderful trees.  :)
We lingered a bit in the Pena palace gardens, trough which we made a shortcut.  :rolleyes:
There was a series of artificial lakes, and treeferns growing on the shores. :)
Behind us is one of the most stylish birdhouses I have seen, that thing that looks like a mediaeval tower. Maybe small giraffees could live there too..  :rolleyes:
This is beautiful too, I must admit, one of the most beautiful gardens I have seen.  :)
Although everything is taken good care of, it still manages to look not too "kept", like there still could be fairies living in..  :rolleyes:
Doesn´t it?  :D
There was some very curious trees.  :thinking:
We found a plake telling us they were red cedars (Thuja plicata).
There was lots of blooming camellias everywhere.  :)
And ornamental buildings lurking through the vegetation.  :rolleyes:
The head gardener, who lives in this building, is a good man. He is taking care of four cats, whom some bastard had dumped as little kittenies to the forest.  :(
Now they are adults, healthy and happy looking cats, but I don´t even want to think what would have happened to them if the nice gardener had not happened to hear them mewing sadly under some bushes.
These flowers look a bit similar than the trumpet flowers Petunia saw with you, mum, in La Serena, Chile, but I don´t think they are quite the same species anyway..
We found still a temple midst of the garden.
Then we left the garden too behind us..
And walked trough another, more tame garden.  :rolleyes:
And then we run around Lisbon to see some "turist attractions" we had not had the energy to see before.  :D
This is the Lisbon aqueduct,which was built between 1733-1744 to bring drinking water to the city.
There was every summer a big crisis because of lack of pure water to drink. The city was digging its own grave by dumping all the shit to the river Tejo so that the water was not drinkable.  :rolleyes:
Here I´m standing over the aqueduct, hahaa!  ;)
Then we went to mingle with the royalty.  :rolleyes:
But we didn´t like their company much. Their admiration was a bit too overwhelming. :rolleyes:
So went to spot the famous Tower of Belem.  ;)
It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower was commissioned by King John II to be part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus River and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon at the early 16th century.

What, are you saying you doubt we really did all this during one day?  :thinking:
Well.. maybe I´m fooling just a bit.  :stare:
We spent a bit time in the seashore.  :rolleyes:
And took care of our condition.  :stare:
And visited a graveyard.  ;)
And a little fair.  :D
Don´t you think our last day in Portugal was rather colourful?  :stare:
These are farturas, delicious cakes sold on every fair and happening.  :p
And THEN we visited the Tile museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo).  ;)
Why are you calling me a cheating little brat? I am a FAST giraffee.  B)
These tiles are my favorites.  :D
THEN we had a bit of time to linger around and let Lisbon to say her farewells to us.  :)
Farewell! Farewell!
Hennas friend Maria was sad to let us go. (Quite understandable!  :stare:)
She was feeding us with choc cake. What a wonderful woman.  B)
But we had to hop to the plane. Henna cannot be more away from the uni or her professor will strangle her.  :rolleyes:
We were served a dinner at the plane.  :p
Including chock mousse.  :p
We arrived to Finland.  :)
When we arrived to our finnish home we found a penquin postcard from you, mum, waiting for us!  :D
That was a happy surprise, like you had been here wellcoming me too.
Henna says thank you too.  :D
And now we are here and we certainly need our caps again, it is 15 minusdegrees!  :D
Tomorrow we are going to sleigh!  :p

See you soon again, mum!
Many kisses from your little arctic giraffee!  ;)

Posted Feb 1, 2012, 6:47 pm
Hip hei, äiti!  :D

Today we went sleighing!  B)
It was an even colder day today.
The thermometer was showing 18 degrees below zero.  :thinking:
It felt a bit freezing after the mild, green winter in Portugal, but we didn´t let that to slow us down - Henna had just found these two little sleighs for us, and we were in great hurry to test them!  :D
The snow was rather deep, but happily we are slight creatures and didn´t fall badly into it.
Henna, who was coming after us, was cursing when she fell  ass-deep into the snow and her boots were full of snow too.  ;)

She said that we better stop giggling because she has had much more practise in making snowballs..  :rolleyes:
  We found a suitable looking hill and pulled our sleighs up..  :D
I was ready for my first slide!
Fiuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!  :D Fantastical feeling!  :D
Then we were both sliding down shouting with joy, and climbing up again panting, about hundred times or so.  ;)
It was so exciting, to fly trough the snow and feel the cold air on my cheeks!  :D
Again and again and again and again! 
Henna said we were shouting so much that the neighbors get frightened.  :rolleyes:
Maybe so, but it was purely for joy.
Then we decided to slide down together in Zoes sleigh, because it is a bit bigger.  :D
It went even faster now!
We were both screaming and suddenly I realised we were both trying steer into different directions, just before the sleigh rolled over!  :o
We were like two snowpersons when we got out from the pile of snow we had landed in, and a bit dizzy.
Then we heard Henna laughing to us and started to giggle ourselves too.  :D
We were a bit cold and decided to go back home and come back here tomorrow!  :D
Zoe is so nice - she was pulling me part of the way.  :)
See you soon again, mum!
Snowy hug from Kirin!  :stare:

Posted Feb 2, 2012, 5:51 pm
Hei taas äiti!  :D
Mitä kuuluu? = How do you do?

We made today an ice lantern.  :)
I will now show you how.
First we needed water.
There is no running water here in the little cottage, so we went to the well.  :)
It is 20 minus degrees outside, but the water in the well is still liquid. On some winters, told Henna, there has been so thick ice layer even in the well that it has been hard to break trough.  :thinking:
We filled a bucket with water and then we just left it on the yard.  :D

In these temperatures the water freezes enough in just few hours.
Meanwhile we were just loitering around and wondering how different everything looks now than it did a few weeks ago when we left to Portugal.  :)
The snow is changing the shape of things and turning for example this ladder for a piece of art, don´t you agree, mum?  ;)
We were making "snow angels".  :rolleyes: - laying on the snow on our backs and swinging our legs and arms sideways to make certain kind of prints to the snow.
Here!  :D
Maybe they don´t look so angelic.. it is a bit hard for us because we are so light.
A friend of Hennas came to ask us to come with him to have some coffee and cakes.. here we are driwing trough the winter landscape.  :)
The roads are in ice and very slippery.
We had cakes called "Runebergin torttu" after the national poet of Finland, J.L. Runeberg, who liked these cakes a lot.
They are only sold around the day dedicated to him, which is 5th of February.  :) They were njammy!  :p
Then we came back home and turned the bucket with the water upside down!  :D
Out came this "cake" of ice!  :D
Can you see it, mum? I know it is even a bit hard to see in the pic, it is so colorless, pure ice.  :thinking:
Maybe we put some watercolour in the next one we make.

It is not a solid ice block - the center is still in liquid form.. so we just broke the thin ice cover and emptied the cavity of water, and so we have a suitable hole were to put the candle in.
When the sun set, we lit the candle.
Doesn´t it look beautiful, mum?  :)

Warm hug from Kirin!  :)
I´ll put here more things soon for you to see!

Posted Feb 5, 2012, 3:38 pm
Hi, mother! And hi for everyone else too!  :D

Can you guess how cold it is today here in Nuuksio, hmmm?

Well, I´ll tell you: It was -29 degrees (Celsius) this morning when we got up!  :thinking:

I felt very much like staying in the bed under the blankets whole day, but it was today the day of the presidential elections here in Finland, and Henna had to go voting, and so we had to go too.. Henna was muttering something about solidarity when we tried to hide under the blankets.
We took some pics of the snowy landscapes while we walked towards the voting place.  :)
There is a bus too, but on sundays it only comes about every other hour..
The syringas on the yard now have a heavy coat of snow.  :)
There is lots of lanterns hanging from the trees near th cottage - they look beautiful in the pitch dark night, and they also help a lot when we sometimes have to go to the well after sunset.  :)
The windows of the unheated outhouse have got icy decorations. :)
In our little cottage the lower part of the window gets in ice too - it is leaking a bit - and we can see straight away if it has got colder or warmer outside just by checking the size of the frozen area on the window.  :D
The spruces in their heavy load of snow give a good place for the birds to overnight in the cavities formed by the thickly covered branches, and keep a bit warmer.  :)

We are feeding the birds (and squirrels, deer, fox and raccoon dog) every day, but still I feel a bit sorry for them in the harsh nights..
Here we are crossing a field.  :)
And following a path trough the forest on the other end of the field.  :)
It was so cold the camera started to suffer some sort of attacks of hiccuping - working and not working.  :thinking:
The little stream running trough the village was still running free, although the lakes are all in thick ice.  :)
Usually I love swimming, but this time the water was not at all inviting!

Although Henna told us it is very popular here in Finland to go to swim to the icy waters.. they make a hole trough the ice (with drills and saws) and then they run from sauna onto the ice and hop in to the freezing water.  :thinking:
It is believed to be very good for your health, but I don´t feel any urgency to try..  :p
This is the last pic we managed to take before the camera went totally kukkuu and we had to put it to rest..  :rolleyes:

Would you like to try icehole swimming, mom?  ;)

A warm hug from your little giraffee in this snowy, snowy part of world!  :D

Posted Feb 12, 2012, 11:57 pm
Hello, mom! How are you?  :)

We´ve had some very cold days! The temperatures went down to -33 degrees celsius!  :o

It was so cold we had to kept inside. Even the camera stopped working, and the mobile phones were acting in a bit unreliable way too.

It seems kids are not as sensitive as electronic equipments.  :rolleyes:
In some other countries the schools are shut on cold days, but not here! The kids have to go to school, cold or not, but in days when it is colder than -30 degrees thay can, if they want, to stay inside the schoolbuilding during the pauses. The teachers are very strickt about it. -30 degrees = out you go!  ;)
Then it got happily much warmer! It has been now somewhere between -15 and -20, and we have been taking our first steps in learning to ski!  :D
Here Zoe is helping me to put the skis on.  :)
It´s not so easy to stay up with these things on!  :D
Here I´m helping Zoe with the skis on my turn.  :)
First we were just walking slowly round in the snow. Henna said it is the first thing to learn, the balance.  :)
There was lot to learn too!  :D
We were helping each other, but still we were falling rather often, and sometimes e were giggling so much it was hard to get up!  :D
After couple of days I could already get along somewhat easily and Henna gave me ski poles!  :D
I started to learn real sliding ith the skis.  :)
Don´t you think I look like a real little skier already, mom?  :stare:
of course I still need to practise a lot!  ;)
But I´m having a great time!  :D

I wish you are too!
See you soon again!
Kisses from Kirin!  :)

Posted Feb 20, 2012, 2:50 pm
Hyvää Laskiaista, äiti!  :D

Laskiainen in Finland is related to the Carnevals elsewhere.
The history is the same - it was here too a celebration before starting the fasting, but people here are not fasting much anymore,
since Finland was converted into the lutheran belief some 500 years ago.

Here they don´t have masques nor samba, but lots of different traditions instead.  ;)
The most important Laskiais tradition is to go to a sleighing hill!  :D

In old times it had a magical meaning, and everyone who just was able to move, even the old grannies, went to the hill and slided down with whatever - there wan´t usually enough sleighs for everyone, so people slided down withs pieces of cardboard, wooden planks, trays..
So of course we headed to the sleighing hill too again!  B)
While sliding down the hill in Laskiainen, we have to shout:
"HUROOOOO PITKIÄ PELLAVIA!!" :D And it is the better the longer down we slide. ;-)
That is a magic ritual to make the flax grow long next summer!  :thinking:

After practising a bit we were all able to shout that understandably. ;)
I´m sure the flax will grow super long - we were shouting so much!
Then there is another tradition saying that after coming away from the hill we should shut our mouths totally, not say anything at all, not even make any kind of sounds!  :rolleyes:
The one who first forgets and says something, is going to get the most mosquito bites next summer! :D

So we were all trying to fool each other into saying something.. and guess what, mom! I think it is your poor little giraffe who is going to be the favorite food of mosquitoes!  :mad: It was Zoe who dropped a big lump of snow onto my neck, and of course I was screaming! Humph!
Then we started to build things out of snow. ;)
We had some architectual disagreement about what we were building -  a snow castle or a snow lantern - and so we ended up into building both. ;-)
The snow was still not quite optimal for building - it should be zero degrees, but it still is about -2, but we managed to build anyway. :D
So this is the lantern, although it can work as a castle too. :D
And this is the castle no enemy can invade! ;)
Because it is occupied by the valiant toyvyager troop you see here!  ;)
Besides, we also have a huge larder of snowballs ready if someone happens to try! ;)
We lit a fire in front of our castle! :)
We were dancing round the fire!
And singing awful, wild, secret toyvoyager songs. ;)
In the evening we lit a candle to the snow lantern too. :)
Isn´t it beautiful, mom?
The night of the Laskiainen is wild too. ;)
We headed again to the sliding hill trough the darknes! We lighted the hill with candles, and oh, mom, it felt
so magical to be sliding between them in the dark night!
It was so easy to imagine the forest spirits standing on the edge of the dark forest,
watching us..
So our Laskiainen was full of snow and fire. ;)

See you soon again, dear mom!
Your Kirin


Posted Feb 26, 2012, 12:02 am
Hi Mom!  :D

Guess what, mom! I think I want to become a film star when I grow up!

We did our first production yesterday. Here it is:

Kirins morning

See you soon again!
Your film star.  :stare:

Posted Mar 12, 2012, 5:32 pm
Hyvää iltaa, rakas äiti!  :D (Good evening, dear mother!)

I´m sorry I have not been able to do my updates in time. Henna has been totally invading the computer, saying she is in hurry with her studies, humph!  :mad:
Can you guess where we are in this picture?  B)
Oh yes, we are up on a roof!  :D
Henna went to help the nearest neighbor, who is an old guy, to showel the snow down from his roof, and we went with her, of course.
Following the path starting behind my back we come to our own little cottage.  :)
We were watching the views while Henna was showelling, and helping her by shouting supporting comments.  :rolleyes:

Then we went for a walk. First we took a bus to Leppävaara, which is a bigger suburban area, and from there we walked to the sea shore and then some kilometers over the ice.
Here we are walking towards the seashore, trough the habitated area. Rather similar little red cottage this than our own.  :)
We tested this birdhouse to see if it would be a nice recidence.  ;)
We walked past Akseli Gallén-Kallelas ateljé. He was one of the greatest painters of the finnish national romantism period some hundred years ago.  :)
Then we came to the sea shore and started our way over it.
There had been people skiing.  :)
The wind was blowing the snow and forming small dunes over the ice.  :)
The reeds of the shores looked golden in the sun..  :)
We saw a bridge too, but it was pretty unnessessary at the moment!  :D
We walked trough an island with nice pine forest.  :) we saw something interesting. Do you know what this is, mom?  :thinking:
It is where people go ice swimming!  :thinking:
There is a machine keping the water on the move, so that it doesn´t get properly on ice, but it is really icy!
Do you feel tempted to hop in for a little refreshing swim, mom? :stare:  I do not!
We saw people "flying" over the ice. They were using snowboards to slide over the ice pulled by "wings" or kites. It looked really great!  :D

We left the ice and walked trough Munkkiniemi, which is a part of Helsinki.
We saw a house where they had just dropped the snow from the roof, and I took this pic for you to see how much snow there was up on the roof.  :rolleyes:
We walked to the Helsinki harbour.
Haha, it looked pretty different now than it looked in the autumn when we came here to the herring fair!  :D There was some ships in the ice. This one works as a restaurant nowadays. :)
You can see there far away couple of the big ships which go to Sweden and Estonia.  :)
Sometimes they need help of the icebreaker ships to get in and out of the harbour.
Then we saw the Esplanade park, which is one of the most popular places to spend time in summer evenings. Not much people there now.  ;)
The benches weren´t very inviting to linger on..  :rolleyes: we walked instead a little round in Helsinki to see places covered with snow.
I´m sure you remember the Helsinki main railway station, although it looks so different now.  :)
And what about the Lutheran Cathedral, mom?  :D
Then we returned home and Helped Henna to make a snowperson.  :D

See you pretty soon again, mom!
Your loving giraffe!  :)

Posted Mar 12, 2012, 6:38 pm
Hi, mom!  :D

I´m continuing where my last update ended..  :rolleyes:
So,  we made still some coldish trips amongst the finnish snowpiles.  :D
We warmed ourselves up on a campfire..
.. and saw the first pale signs of the coming spring (the melting ice)..
And giggled to Henna, who was learning to walk with snowshoes.  :rolleyes: Have you ever tried, mom? This is one. ;)
Then we were somehow suddenly running to the airport to catch a plane to Portugal!  :o Henna had bought some last minute cheap tickets and so we were litterally running..  :rolleyes:
Which was totally useless, though, because the plane was hours late as usual and we had all the time in the world to watch the planes.  :)
And to driwe round with the baggage carts.  :rolleyes:
And to try different drinks from the coffee automat, which was also giving us tea and hot choc.  :p
After many hours waiting, the plane was at last ready to leave. It was already dark, and we didn´t even get a window seat, so we were just sleeping whole trip, or trying to sleep.. there was a baby crying on one side of us, and a guy making odd sounds with his nose on our other side.  :thinking:
In Portugal everything looked so colorfull after the finnish whiteness! It was quite intoxicating to see all the glorious flowers  :D
Henna asked me what I would like to do with my days before starting my new adventure in Germany, and I immediately came up with the idea of camping in Sintra!  ;)
Henna was too much glued to the computer to join us, but even better so! She gets too bossy sometimes!  :stare:

We build a "Residence of wild toyvoyager tribe" to live in for couple of days!  B)
First we constructed the walls with branches.
Pretty hard work it was, but so cool!  B)
Then we were making the roof out of treebark (so that it kept water) and pinha needles and leaves.  :)
What do you think, mom? isn´t it great!  :D
Would you like to live in one too?
So we spent couple of days in Sintra forest and had a great time, making little expeditions to the nearby hills ,and just lazying around and enjoying the sudden summer.  :)

And having secret "wild toyvoyager tribe" rituals I cannot tell here beacuse they are secret!  ;)
Our little hut was very comfortable to sleep in.  :)
But after couple of days it was time for me to go..  a bit hard moment. We were having a long talk with Zoe and promised to keep in contact.  :)

But on the other hand I was SO excited to be travelling again!  :cyclops:
So we were hugging goodbyes to each other and then I left!

Well, mom.. if you think I´m travelling by post, you are misstaken!  :stare:
It´s good Henna wasn´t with us, because I´m going to hitchike trough Europe and she would have never let me do that!  :rolleyes: But you know, mom, how stuff little giraffe I am!
(I can almost hear Henna screaming when she finds out!)
Goodby, pals!
Let´s see how fast I get to Germany!  :D
See you soon, mom!  :D


Posted Mar 13, 2012, 4:31 pm
Hello Mom,

I think I'm the fastest giraffe on earth!
I arrived this evening in Berlin.
Some nice guys helped me out of the envelop and gave me a warm welcome hug.

I gave them a card, some sweets and a little present.

Pieksi was allowed to open it. It was the rooster magnet I found on my journey to Germany.


Posted Mar 13, 2012, 8:05 pm
Hello Mum,

today Crawfish told us to go to the park. So we did. When she arrived she had a new tv with her. The little lady is called DuDette.

We just did some group pictures today.
First a "girls"-pic with DuDette and Crawfish.

Later we all climbed on a tree. Behind us you can see the new "Total"-tower.

When we were back "home" we started to talk about everything. I told Crawfish about the adventures I had with her sister Zoe. This world is so small! The boys prefered to take a nap. Poor guys.

See you soon,

Posted Mar 14, 2012, 7:46 pm
Hey Mommy,

I'm in the middle of the city and there's so much nature around!

Also near the central station! It is the main railway station in Berlin. 1,800 trains call at the station per day and the daily number of passengers is estimated to be at 350,000! 
From here you can do non-stop travels to Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Novosibirsk (Russia) or Astana (Kazakhstan).

There's Potsdam Square (somewhere behind me you can see Sony-Center).

This is the river Spree with a nice bridge. It is the main river of Berlin. It is approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi) in length.

Here you can see the Haus der Kulturen der Welt ("House of the Cultures of the World" ). It is Germany's national centre for contemporary non-European art. It presents art exhibitions, theater and dance performances, concerts, author readings, films and academic conferences on non-European Visual Art and culture. This building is a gift from the United States, designed in 1957. John F. Kennedy spoke here during his June 1963 visit to West Berlin. To Berliners it is also known as the Schwangere Auster ("pregnant oyster" ). I found a funny sign. It is written in German and Turkish! In some areas in Berlin you have stores where everything is written in Turkish, can you believe this??? Btw the sign means: "Don't climb on the roof! Danger to life!"

Across from this building you can see the "Federal Chancellery". The inhabitants of Berlin call it "Waschmaschine" (washing machine).

I've been to the German Bundestag which is located in the Reichstag Building. The centrepiece of the building is the generously glazed chamber that is crowned by the dome. A funnel with panes of mirror glass reflects the daylight from above into the chamber.

My last stop was the Mauerpark. The name translates to "Wall Park", referring to its status as a former part of the Berlin Wall and its Death Strip. Today the park is one of the most popular places for young residents of Berlin, especially from the fashionable district of Prenzlauer Berg, and attracts basketball players, jugglers, musicians, and many other types of people. It is a crowded leisure ground and a site of sustainable improvised nightlife, especially in the summer, and has also become notorious for Walpurgis Night riots in recent years. There are two stadiums next to the park.

Love you

Posted Mar 15, 2012, 7:04 pm
Hi Mom,

today we walked a little bit through the districts Wilmersdorf and Schöneberg.
First we saw a playground. We all wanted to play, but we were too young. Hmm...

This is a park which crosses both districts. There are many people, kids, dogs etc. esp when the sun is shining and it is warm outside.

Can you see the golden deer in the upper part of the picture? It is part of the deer fountain.

I think this is a nice place to live. You're directly in the inner city, but it feels like nature, because you have a park near your house.

That's all for today.

Love you

Posted Mar 18, 2012, 8:03 pm
Hey Mommy,

today we went to one of the flea markets in Berlin. It was really strange to see what people are selling and buying!

Then I went to the Gendarmenmarkt. It is a square in Berlin with 2 cathedrals and the Konzerthaus between them. During World War II, most of the buildings were badly damaged or destroyed. Today all the buildings are restored to their former state.
On my picture you can see the French Cathedral. It is the older of the two cathedrals and was built by the Huguenot community between 1701 and 1705. The cathedral was modeled after the destroyed Huguenot church in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, France.

This is the famous tv tower "Fernsehturm". It was constructed between 1965 and 1969 and with its height of 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany. There is a visitor platform and a revolving restaurant in the middle of the sphere. The tower is part of the World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT).

Love you,

Posted Mar 20, 2012, 10:23 pm
Today it's the 1st birthday of Crawfish! We all cuddled her and shared some candies. There won't be a big party yet, but weekend is coming!

Later Alex decided to take some professional pictures of us. He didn't show us the results yet. Crazy cat! I hope I'm going to have a good picture!


Posted Mar 22, 2012, 9:09 pm
Today it was Crawfish's birthday party as we couldn't celebrate it before.

But first Alex finally showed us the pictures he has taken!
That's me!

We also took some group pictures.

We built a pyramid, but as you can see we are no artists!

Then we started with the party. First Crawfish got our birthday card which we all signed.

We gave her our present.

It was a passport with all her informations inside.

Then we organized some drinks. Delicious... aIiii Wuaaaandt soooam moooooure! Hiiiks.


Posted Mar 24, 2012, 5:34 pm
Hello Mom,

the weather was so beautiful! We all had a hangover from last evening, but some fresh air should help.
First we crossed a nice bridge.

We stopped at a lake which is called "Gremminer See", a lake created as a result of the redevelopment of the former brown coal strip mine of Golpa-Nord. At the end of the lake you can see Ferropolis. "The city of iron" is an open museum of old huge industrial machines. It's an open air museum which contains machines from the mid-twentieth century. They can measure to 30 meters high, 120 meters long and weigh up to 1980 tons. Moreover, the area is used for several events like opera or music festival like the Melt! festival or the "Ferropolis in Flammen".


Posted Mar 24, 2012, 6:12 pm
Today we went back to Berlin. First we passed some nice villages. Can you see the trains next to the car? And the beautiful churches?

Then we used the freeway. Did you ever drove about 115 mph? It felt like flying. Whooaaaa. So we decided to use the seat belt.

Back to Berlin we had to say goodbye to Mr. Furrington. He's going to Canada! I'll miss him a lot.


Posted Mar 27, 2012, 6:03 pm
Today we did a goodbye-party for Pieksi. First all of us took a party-mug of each home area. I couldn't find any Chile-mug, so I decided to take another one from South America.
Later we shared some sweets and hugged Pieksi.
Then he crawled into his envelope. We wish him a save journey.

Posted Mar 27, 2012, 7:50 pm
Hello Mommy,

today I did a walk around lake "Lietzensee". And I walked around the whole lake!

There are really impressive buildings around.

I enjoyed sitting near the lake and just watch the other side of the water.

There was a tunnel. Hmm, I walked through it.

On the other side I found the rest of the lake.

And there were lots of big and old trees around. Can you see me?

By the way, spring already arrived in Germany!

Now my feet hurt from the walk, but I'm really relaxed from the sun.

Love you!

Posted Mar 29, 2012, 7:56 pm
Hello Mommy,

today I climbed up a hill. It wasn't easy!

But it was worth it! I had a wonderful view over the north-east of the city. Can you see the houses on the horizon?

The way back down was not better.

Yours, Kirin

Posted Mar 30, 2012, 12:15 pm
Hey Mom,

today we went to school!!!

In our first lesson we had to paint ourselves. It was not easy, but have a look:

I think all of us did a good job!


Posted Mar 30, 2012, 2:26 pm
Hello Mum,

today I visited the area around the castle. At the moment the castle is closed because of winter time and we couldn't go inside. But we saw the castle from outside and went to its gardens. The Gardens had its origin in the 17th century, when the marriage of Leopold's great-grandfather Prince John George II of Anhalt-Dessau to the Dutch princess Henriette Catharina, in 1659 brought a team of engineers and architects from the Low Countries to lay out the town, the palace and a Baroque garden in the former settlement of Nischwitz, which was renamed Oranienbaum in 1673. The Dutch influence remained prevalent in the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau for many decades. 
Oranienbaum Palace was finished in 1683 as the summer residence of Henriette Catharina, where she retired after the death of her husband in 1693. From 1780 on Duke Leopold III had the palace and the park rebuilt in a Chinese style with several arch bridges, a tea house and a pagoda. In 1811, the orangery was built, with 175 m (574 ft) in length one of the largest in Europe, which still serves to protect a wide collection of citrus plants. It was too cold to go to the orangery! 
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, inspected the restoration works on March 3, 2004.

This is the castle from the front:

Look, some of the windows are not real, just painted on the wall!

The garden view of the castle:

There's a fountain in the garden, but there's no water inside. It's still too cold in the night. When it is warmer there'll be also lots of palm trees in the garden.

Then we climbed up an old bridge.

And finally we saw the Chinese pagoda. It is so beautiful!

Under the pagoda we found a tunnel. Spooky!

There's also lots of water in the park, but I really don't want to swim in it. Looks dirty!


Posted Mar 31, 2012, 10:12 pm
Hey Mommy,

today we visited an old power station. In 1916, eight turbines capable of 16 MW each were generating a total of 128 MW, making the Zschornewitz power plant the world's biggest brown-coal-fired power station.
On 30 June 1992 came the power plant's final shutdown. The Kolonie and parts of the plant were granted protection as a memorial. In 1995, the preserved part of the old power plant became an industrial memorial.

The old boiler house.

The old cooling tower.

The last 2 chimneys. They will be blasted away the upcoming week. I hopefully will take part and maybe show you a picture!

Then we drove through the old garden-city-like workers' community "Kolonie".

And this is the view of the village in the evening. Can you see the chimneys?

See you soon,

Posted Apr 1, 2012, 10:36 pm
Hello Mum,

this evening I went to Gräfenhainichen, again. Last time I showed you the lake and Ferropolis.

This is the church Sankt Marien. In the night you can see spooky shadows of it in the sky.

And this is the Paul-Gerhardt-House. He's a famous man of the city.


Posted Apr 3, 2012, 11:11 pm
Hey Mommy,

today I saw a famous car, a Trabant. The name, meaning 'satellite' or 'companion' in German, was inspired by Soviet Sputnik. The cars are often referred to as the Trabbi or Trabi. Since it could take years for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered, people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. The lifespan of an average Trabant was 28 years. Used Trabants would often fetch a higher price than new ones, as the former were available immediately, while the latter required the infamous long wait.
The Trabant was a steel monocoque design with roof, bootlid/trunklid, bonnet/hood, bumpers/fenders and doors in Duroplast, a form of plastic containing resin strengthened by cotton. This helped the GDR to avoid expensive steel imports but, in theory, did not provide much crash protection, although in crash tests it allegedly performed better than some contemporary Western hatchbacks.
Btw many people say the car is made of paperboard.  ;)

In the evening Woozy left us. His next stop is Heidelberg. Goodbye dude!


Posted Apr 4, 2012, 8:36 pm
Hello Mum,

today was the big explosion of the 2 chimneys. It was really loud and when they crashed to the ground it felt like an earthquake! There were so many people watching it!

We took a picture when the chimneys were still standing.

And now, everything is gone! Just a big cloud full of dust was coming to our place. Brrrrr.... We were all grey!

Look, few days ago we were on the tiny street on the left side to take a picture of the chimneys. Do you remember? Now everything was closed! People had to leave their houses...

As we couldn't take a picture during the explosion with us, here you can see a picture of it and a video!


After this exciting day the bed is calling!
See you soon!

Posted Apr 5, 2012, 7:52 pm
Today we welcomed a new tv. Her name is Häppie_Sheep and she takes part in the German ToyVoyager Trail.

Posted Apr 6, 2012, 8:18 pm
Hi Mom,

today we walked up some stairs. We didn't know why...

On the top of the hill we had a wonderful view over the east city! But it was really cold. I think winter is coming back!


Posted Apr 8, 2012, 7:03 pm
Hello Mom,

today I found a wonderful yellow flower. It's a daffodil, but in German it is called something like "Easterbell" (Osterglocke).

Later I decided to seed my own little flower. I hope it will grow fast!


Posted Apr 8, 2012, 7:47 pm

Today we went to the garden to search for some easter eggs!

I couldn't imagine to find some, because it was green all around me. But I found one next to a flower.

When we were back in the house we ate our easter eggs. It was so much to eat! But it was really delicious. I thought I'm bursting.  :cyclops:

Later we found another big egg. What would it be?

We opened it and what a surprise! Alex was inside. He gave a tiny easter egg to all of us as a little surprise. Lovely cat!

I hope your weekend was nice, too.

Posted Apr 14, 2012, 8:54 pm
Hey Mom,

today we did a trip to the former brown-coal open cast mine of Goitzsche. The lake is also called "Bernsteinsee" (Lake of amber). It's about 840 hectars and it's located in the east of Saxony-Anhalt, near the city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen.

I met a really big and friendly fish.

The lake was a coal mine before so we could see lots of old stuff from that time, like the big train.

This is the onliest villa next to the lake.

Love you,

Posted Apr 14, 2012, 10:56 pm
Hi Mummy,

today we went to the water again. We stopped at the river Mulde. It is 124 km in length. Its name could be derived from Old German "Mulda", meaning "dust" and a cognate of English "mould". But more possibly it is related to the German "mahlen" which means "to mill". Therefore, Mulde probably means "the milling river" and corresponds to the great number of water mills driven by the river in former times.

Can you see the water behind the river? This is the lake I've been yesterday!

Next to us was a really big bridge! Later we passed it by car.

Under the bridge the river runs into the a lake called "Mulde-reservoir" (Muldestausee).

This is the lake. It's huge!

As you can see here are lots of lakes! Wow!!! :o
I'm on the white triangle on the map. ;)


Posted Apr 15, 2012, 7:01 pm
Hello Mom,

today the weather was really good. So we decided to help our host a little bit in the garden.

When we were back in the house, I noticed that I was really dirty from the garden. So i took a bath. It felt so good! Of course I got a warm towel to dry myself.

Later Alex gave a lovely flower to all of us girls. He's a smart guy!


Posted Apr 16, 2012, 8:05 pm
Hello to all at home!

Today me and Häppie_Sheep stopped at Checkpoint Charlie. It was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

Then I walked to Brandenburg Gate. It is one of the most well-known landmarks of Berlin and Germany.

I also stopped at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial. It is a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It consists of a 19,000 square metres site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs or "stelae", arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. The stelae are 2.38 m long, 0.95 m wide and vary in height from 0.2 to 4.8 m.

My last visit was the famous Potsdam Square. It is an important public square and traffic intersection in the centre of Berlin.It is named after the city of Potsdam, some 25 km to the south west, and marks the point where the old road from Potsdam passed through the city wall of Berlin at the Potsdam Gate. After developing within the space of little over a century from an intersection of rural thoroughfares into the most bustling traffic intersection in Europe, it was totally laid waste during World War II and then left desolate during the Cold War era when the Berlin Wall bisected its former location. Since German reunification, Potsdamer Platz has been the site of major redevelopment projects.

Hugs and kisses

Posted Apr 17, 2012, 10:09 pm
Hello Mommy,

have a look, this is the famous KaDeWe! It is the most famous department store of Berlin and the largest department store on the European continent, famous above all for its gourmet food department on the sixth floor. Sad, it's not allowed to take pictures inside.

This funny building is called Tempodrom. It's a place for events like concerts. It looks like a circus, just a little bit taller!

The German Museum of Technology was founded in 1982 in Berlin, Germany, and exhibits a large collection of historical technical artifacts. The museum's main emphasis is on rail transport, but it also features exhibits of various sorts of industrial technology. Recently, it has opened both maritime and aviation exhibition halls. The museum also contains a science center called Spectrum.
The plane on the front of the museum is the building's famous C-47 'Raisinbomber' Skytrain which can be seen with ease from the top of the Fernsehturm.

We had a view over the fence inside the museum. They have different wind wheels...


Posted Apr 20, 2012, 9:58 pm
Today Alex came home from shopping. He got 2 new cds he wanted to show us. He thought that DuDette could like the first one. The band is called Train and they are from her hometown San Francisco.

The second one was from a German band called die ärzte. There was a game inside the cd-box!

So we decided to play the game. We had only 3 pegs so Crawfish & me were one team, also Häppie_Sheep & DuDette. Alex was his own team.

It was fun to turn the cd like a cube. We had to move onward, backward, had to change our places etc. It was really fun!


Posted Apr 21, 2012, 8:26 pm
Hello Mummy,

today we went to place called "Untermühle". It's just a small area with about 3-4 houses. My host didn't know where the name comes from so we asked some neighbors. After a while we found one who told us that there was a water mill loooong time ago. Sad we couldn't find anything left from the mill, just the name.

There was a big lake where it isn't allowed to do fishing. I'm not sure if there are fishes inside.

The water from the lake runs into a tiny river.

We crossed that tiny river by a really old bridge. They just cut a tree in half!

Altogether it is a really nice place to relax!


Posted Apr 21, 2012, 9:22 pm

Alex organized a car today!

It was a cabriolet and there was enough space for all of us. Crawfish had to drive the car, because she is the tallest!

We drove along some streets for a while...

...until we stopped on a really nice greenfield with lots of flowers.
We decided to do a picnic. Alex had everything we needed in his trunk: a blanket and something to eat.

We enjoyed the sun for a few hours and then we went back home. It was amazing to travel by car without any host!


Posted Apr 25, 2012, 8:29 pm

I did something, I think no toyvoyager did before! I saw some royals!
Maybe you remember when I visited the castle in Oranienbaum... Today I was back to that place! Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visited the castle!!!

First we had to wait a while. Maybe our picture looks strange! But all of us had a several job, that's why we were fixed together. I checked the right side, Häppie_Sheep the left (where the cars with the Queen came from), Alex and DuDette checked the front and Crawfish played the security for all of us! Behind us you can see the castle.

Somewhere in the crown you (maybe) can see the queen...

Look, all these cars and securities and police...

After a while we finally met some royalties! The man behind us is Eduard, Prince of Anhalt and his wife princess Corinna. His full name is Julius Eduard Erdmann Ernst-August Prinz von Anhalt and he is the head of the House of Ascania.

Princess Corinna looks really beautiful. And she smiled at us.  :cyclops:

And then we finally saw Beatrix!  B)



Posted Apr 30, 2012, 7:25 pm
Hello Mum,

today we went to the Modellpark Berlin-Brandenburg. It's a park which shows all important buildings of Berlin and the area around (Brandenburg).

Can you see me on the tower of the castle of Reichenow?

We all did a stopover at the Grunewald Tower and the Reichstag.

At the moment it is not possible to visit the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Memorial-Church because it is totally wrapped. They restore it. So I was really happy to get a picture of this church in the park!


Posted Apr 30, 2012, 8:14 pm
Hello Mommy,

today we went to the Gardens of the World in district of Marzahn.
First we had a look to the Korean garden.

Then we saw the Chinese garden. So beautiful. It was surrounded by water. As it was really hot that day we decided to stay in the Chinese garden and relax near the water.

I think I got a sunburn.


Posted Apr 30, 2012, 9:52 pm
Hey Mummy,

today we went to Pichelswerder, a stream island in the west of Berlin. Ok, it is not an island, just a peninsula.
I enjoyed the fresh breeze near the water.

The big trees didn't let the sun burn me again! :cyclops:

Can you image there is a lighthouse in Berlin? It's not a big one just a light beacon, but there's no ocean around! Can you see all the tiny ships behind it?


Posted May 1, 2012, 9:10 pm
Hi Mom,

today we did a tour by bike!

We went to one of the neighborhoods of my host's mom's hometown.
The park in the village was really beautiful and we saw a castle! It is a manor house which was built in the style of the renaissance.

Then we saw a direction sign to a mineral spring.

We followed the sign and arrived at a small hut, but we couldn't see any spring.

We went on between fields and forests and more fields... Can you see the other neighborhood in the background? Really tiny houses.

On our way back we stopped at the lake near "Untermühle". Do you remember? I've been here last week. ;)

Lots of love,

Posted May 2, 2012, 8:41 pm
Hi Mummy,

today we did another trip with Alex' car!

We already knew the way. At the place where you can see the light we had to turn right.

Turn right here!

Then we could see the fast street!

We entered the street and Crawfish hit the gas. She drove and drove and drove and whoooaaaa...

...we reached the highway! You can't imagine how fast we were!


Posted May 3, 2012, 10:37 pm
Today we passed a field of rape. It looks so beautiful.

Posted May 6, 2012, 10:03 pm
Hey Mom,

today we visited the Funkturm Berlin (Radio Tower). It is a transmitting tower, built between 1924 and 1926 and it is nicknamed "der lange Lulatsch" ("the lanky lad"). The tower stands in the Berlin trade fair ground in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf borough and it is now a protected monument.
The tower is built as one large steel framework construction, similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The 150 m high radio tower was originally planned strictly as a transmitting tower, but later additions included a restaurant at a height of approximately 52 m.


Posted May 10, 2012, 10:47 pm
Hello Mommy,

did you read the last updates of DuDette, Alex and Squab (and DuDu)???

DuDette was kidnapped!

Hihi, they all don't know that we girls kidnapped her, just to test Alex if he's able to find some lost tvs! You have to know he's now a member of a Detective Agency.
He found DuDette, but couldn't find the kidnappers - Crawfish, Häppie_Sheep and me! He was too small to have a look over the high fence! ;)


Posted May 13, 2012, 10:46 pm
Happy Mommy-Day !!!

Today I've been to Potsdam. It is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and is situated on the River Havel, 24 km (15 mi) southwest of Berlin city centre.

We started our tour in the city center of this beautiful city. Behind Häppie_Sheep and me you an see the Nauen Gate. It was built in 1755 and is one of the first examples of the influence of English Gothic Revival architecture in Continental Europe. It is located in close proximity to the Dutch Quarter, which you can see on the second picture. The Quarter is consisting of 134 red brick buildings in the Dutch style, almost all of which have been renovated. It was built from 1733 to 1740. It is considered as Europe's largest collection of Dutch-style houses outside the Netherlands.

This is Brandenburg Gate. Yes, Potsdam is also having one, but it is smaller than the one in Berlin. It was built in 1770/71.

This is the Protestant Church of Peace (Friedenskirche). It is situated in the Marly Gardens on the Green Fence in the palace grounds of Sanssouci Park.

Look, behind me you can see the famous palace of Sanssouci! This is the south view. You can also see the vineyards. Sanssouci is the name of the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. The castle with its parks and other castles is one of the biggest UNESCO World Heritages. The palace was built in the Rococo style between 1745 and 1747.

Here you can see the Sanssouci Picture Gallery. It is the oldest extant museum built for a ruler in Germany.

From the north side of Sanssouci Palace, between the columns, you can see the colonnade of the court of the Ruinenberg on the other side. A round temple, three high ionic columns, a small pyramid, and a ruined wall, designed as if from a Roman theatre, were grouped around the pool.

This is the Historic Mill and it became a famous well beyond the boundary of Potsdam. The design reflects construction methods around the year 1800, its technical equipment in part that of the turn of the 19th century. It is an octagonal post and has a height of 25.78 metres and, up to the upper edge of the sail, 35.45 metres. The stone pedestal is 13.41 metres, the wooden smock is 12.37 metres and the length of the rods is 12 metres each.

The Orangery Palace is also known as the New Orangery on the Klausberg. It was built by the Romantic on the Throne, Friedrich Wilhelm IV from 1851 to 1864. It has a 300 meter long front and lots of palm trees inside.

This is the New Palace and it is situated on the western side of the park. The building was begun in 1763, after the end of the Seven Years' War and was completed in 1769. It is considered to be the last great Prussian baroque palace.

We also saw the Roman Baths of the the prince. This is the garden house and the house for its keepers. Both were built in Italian country house style.

The last we visited in the park was the Chinese House. It is a garden pavilion and it was built in the then-popular style of Chinoiserie, a mixture of ornamental rococo elements and parts of Chinese architecture.

So many palaces, I'm feeling like a princess, a little bit. ;)


Posted May 16, 2012, 8:49 pm
Today I left the others! I'm going home! I will see my Mom again! I'm so excited. All the others hugged me and the other leaving tvs.

Then I tried to jump into my envelope. It wasn't easy, but after a while I managed it!

I will miss all my new friends. Maybe one day we will meet again!


Posted Sep 2, 2012, 9:47 pm
Hi everybody!

This is Kirin writing all the way from home in Chile!
When I arrived my good friend Pato was waiting for me! :D

I met everyone currently staying at my house :) It's great to have guests from the countries I've been visiting!

And I met an old friend! :D

The little frog I got for christmas last year in Portugal! :D

I expect to be traveling again soon, but for now I relax at home after two years away, and surprise everyone with my amazing stories! ;)

Good bye!

Posted Dec 9, 2012, 2:31 pm
I've been staying at home for a few months now and keep waiting for new adventures abroad... who knows where I'll go next!

For now I'm enjoying the south of Chile... :rolleyes:

Not alone, of course ;)

Bye Bye!

Posted Dec 11, 2012, 2:29 pm
I visited an old church, a National Monument :)

Very very nice :)

Posted Dec 12, 2012, 7:01 pm
This was the last day of my adventures in the south... not that home isn't in the south, but now we are even farther south...

I love the architecture around here...

...and the colorful and beautiful nature! :rolleyes:

Bye bye,

Posted Dec 21, 2012, 3:40 pm
First day of summer! :D

Posted Apr 18, 2013, 1:22 am
I really enjoyed the summer!
I saw beautiful landscapes, relaxed and met new friends ;)

Now I'm ready to start a new year!

Posted Apr 24, 2013, 5:08 pm
Now that we live in the south we have beautiful lakes not far from home, so on the weekend we drove around one of them, this is Llanquihue lake, home for giant black necked swans ;)

Around the lake there are hundreds of farms, apparently not only us giraffes like it here but cows do too  :rolleyes:

Beautiful autumn is all around now, and what beautiful colors it brings! :rolleyes:

But Im not staying home for long, soon I will start another adventure - where to? - Germany! :cyclops:

Bye bye for now

Posted May 1, 2013, 6:37 pm
Autumn is taking over the south and all the trees look beautiful!

We found this beautiful church in the middle of nowhere, it was really beautiful! :D

Posted Jun 16, 2013, 6:37 am
I am almost ready to go on my next adventure, I'm very exited! :)
In the last days I've been taking care of the last preparations to start my journey, one of them and a very important one, take a bath ;)

Still in Chile but leaving soon! :cyclops:

Posted Jul 9, 2013, 6:55 pm
Before leaving I met the new pets of the house :) They will take care of the house while im gone ;)

This is McGregor

A very friendly male guinea pig

And this is his wife, Onix

She's a bit more shy than Mc Gregor, but she's very cute!

They're so nice! :D


Posted Jul 31, 2013, 9:48 pm
Hello Mummy,
I arrived at Katja's home today. I was not sure if the postman took me to the right address because every was so strange.

After a warm welcome Katja told me that she moved to another flat last summer. The kids have their own flats now.

There are two other guests, Lamikins and Freya. They told me that there was also a little sheep, nosyblue but she went on a vacation trip to Ireland.

We sticked the fridge magnet immediately to the fridge, where already some more souvenirs could be found.

Later we took a walk to the municpal park, photos will follow tomorrow. I am so tired that I will fall into bed now.


Posted Aug 1, 2013, 1:00 pm
Hi Mummy,
like I already told you, we took a walk to the municipal park in the late afternoon, Katja, Freya and I. The first photo was taken close to Katja's former flat.

There is also a small park in front of the police headquarter.

Soon we reached the municipal park.

Lots of flowers are blooming here.

In the distance you can see the outskirts of the neighbour city Wuppertal. Katja told me that we would visit Wuppertal von Friday.


Posted Aug 4, 2013, 8:35 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we visted the neighbour city Wuppertal. After finishing work at 1:00 a.m. Katja's daughter met us and we went to Wuppertal by bus.

After having lunch we took a short walk through the city centre.

This is the market place in front of the city hall...

and one of the nearby shopping streets.

Our host suggested to visit "Hardt", a large landscape park in Wuppertal-Elberfeld. The botanical garden also would be situated there. That sounds great :)

On our way to Hardt Katja showed us a funny bridge. A funny bridge?

Yes, have a look - a Lego-Bridge! (Errr... is Lego known at home in Chile?

This bridge is a concrete beam bridge which crosses over the Schwesterstraße. This bridge belongs to a former railway track was repainted as this Lego-Bridge in 2011. It even won a prize!

From here it was a short walk to Hardt, along a large allotment area.

Soon we reached the parkway. Those greenhouses belong to the Botanical garden. You can already see the greenhouses and Elise Tower, which was built in 1838 as the garden's focal point.

We strolled around the fantastic park, enjoying the sunshine.

In the Botanical garden you can find all kinds of plants, both trees and flowers, bushes and different kinds of grass, also herbs.

This is a bog garden with carnivorous plants.

Here you can see the former country house of a textile manufacturers named Eller, which contained a villa (built 1820), orangery, residential and farm buildings.

When I saw this large tree coming into sight I jumped for joy - a tree from my home country, an araucaria!

We found this insect hotel, built as a miniature of Elise tower.

We also visited the greenhouses. Katja told us that today it was the first time that the temperature outside was even higher than inside the greenhouses. I found a banana plant.

We left the park than to walk back to the city centre. We walked along river Wupper where Katja showed us the district court and of course the famous Schwebebahn (suspension railway). Unfortunaltely it is out of order currently due to repair works.

The Schwebebahn was established in 1901. The tracks are 8 m above the streets and 12 m above the Wupper River. There are 20 stations along the track which is about 13 km long, crossing some streets and even the A1 motorway.

The stations are built in different styles, this one is a modern one. Ther are also some stations which were kept or restored in their original historical style.

We went to Luisenviertel than, an old quarter, well known for lots of bars and restaurants, boutiques and small stores with jeweily, toys, home decoration and much more.

Did I already mention that it was incredibly hot today? After strolling through the city for more than 5 hours we enjoyed a large beer and small dinner in Luisenviertel.


Posted Aug 11, 2013, 9:29 pm
Hi Mummy,

we took a walk today in the district Hasten, one of the historic districts. You can find lots of lovely old traditional houses here.

In the background the outskirts of Wuppertal are situated.

A museum is situated in this Patrician villa, built in late 18th century.

The "German Tool Museum" is situated on the the same estate. There are also outdoor facilities, some historic workshops and different machines.

Katja showed us more beautiful houses.

Here in Hasten you can often find factory buildings close to dwellings, mostly the factories were here at first.

Hasten is situated in the North of Remscheid, with a lot of woodland and rural areas around.

More factory buildings ...

Than Katja took us to a narrow lane.

From here we went back home, walking uphill for some time.


Posted Aug 11, 2013, 9:40 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we took a walk in a woodland area around Hohenhagen, a housing area surrounded by woodland. We followed a forest track for some time.

There are four tracks for nordic walking created, with different lenghts. These signs are showing where to walk.

We had some rain during the last nights, so mushrooms are growing.

We went down to the nearby valley, here some houses are hidden.

These are dragon flowers, growing on a meadow. Are they known in my home country as well? Many kinds of dragon flowers are existing, these are not much larger than I am.

Raspberries! Katja is looking foreward to the end of the month or early September, when many more berries will be ripe. She loves to cook jam from all kinds of fruit, also from wild fruit like elderberry, blackberry, rowan, hawthorn, blueberry or rose hip.

Along the path you can often find piles of trunks.


Posted Aug 18, 2013, 2:35 pm
Hi Mummy,
we went to Cologne today to attend a meeting of German members of a worldwide community for knitters and crocheters, also spinners. This meeting was taking place in the German Sports and Olympic Museum. To get there we had to cross river Rhine first.

You can see Cologne Cathedral and the old town and also excursion boats.

The bridge in the background is Hohenzollern bridge, the most heavily used railway bridge in Germany.

It was only a short walk along the river until we reached the German Raveler Meeting.

To show you that the meeting really was taking place in a museum we took a shot of Michael Schumacher's racing car. Michael Schumacher is a former German racing driver, a seven-time Formula One World Champion.

We saw wonderful knitted clothings and tons of fantastic yarns.

There was also a contest for handcrafted things themed "I love Germany" :D

Lunch time!

Later we went to the city centre to have a look around.

The old town is situated along river Rhine. Cologne was originally founded by the Romans around the year 50 A.D. Although the city centre of Cologne was nearly wiped out in World War II there are still parts of medieval Cologne with its narrow lanes left.

This is Heumarkt, a famous place with lots of bars and restaurants.

Here you can find this equestrian sculpture of Frederick William III of Prussia, placed here in 1878 A.D.

The Cologne carnival is one of the biggest street festivals in Europe. There are shops selling costumes during the whole year.

We went to the shopping streets than. There is also a Hard Rock Cafe.

Of course Katja also showed us Cologne Cathedral, city's most famous monument.  It is a Gothic church, started in 1248, and completed in 1880. It is a World Heritage site since 1996. At the moment peace demonstrations are taking place on the large place in front of the cathedral.

Cologne Cathedral is called "the eternal construction site" because constructions works are taking place every time. Some building parts are placed on the ground.

We had to walk back to the car than which was parked on the opposite side of river Rhine. This time we used Hohenzollern Bridge to cross the river. Four equestrian statues showing Prussian emporers and family members of House of Hohenzollern are placed at both ends of the bridge.

The fences of the railway track are covered with love padlocks.

Good-bye Cologne!



Posted Sep 5, 2013, 9:27 pm
Hi Mummy,
Katja told us that we would visit the neighbour city Solingen today, especially the botanical garden. That sound great! Before we left, she took one of her used books to take it with her because there was a public bookcase in the park. She said she always takes a book there and another one will be taken home.

So we went to Solingen by bus. Usually we would have taken the  train but due to repair works at Muengsten Bridge no trains are going to Solingen at the moment.

The botanical garden is subdivided into several sections. There are areas with trees, bushes or flowers. We started here.

Lots of flowers were already withered, but not these asters!

There were interesting sculptures showing insects, like these ants.

Katja also showed us a sun dial. It was .... 15:55 p.m. :)

We found a tree with  really large leafes.

We found more sculptures, stylized birds this time.

Look at this giant butterfly!

Katja told me to have a look at its back. Wow! Isn't it beautiful with its glass mosaic?

There you can see it sitting on the lawn.

Another creepy-crawly :)

Greetings from my home country :)

We reached the public bookcase than.

We took a real classic with us and put the book whe brought from home into the bookcase. We took "Jaws". Katja told us that she had watched the movie at least a dozen timed, but  never read the novel.

We found more weird and interesting trees, like this one ...

... or this one.

We left the garden and decided to walk back to the city centre along the Korkenziehertrasse, a former railway track. It it now a lone for pedestrians and cyclists, meandering through the city. That's why it is called "cork screw" lane. Katja did not know how long we would have to walk so she recorded the track.

There were some tunnels along the path, this one covered with graffiti inside.

Obviously we were coming closer to the city centre. There were more and more industrial complexes next to the lane.

We reached the station Solingen-Mitte than.

One last look at the city before had to look for our bus.

Later we had a look at the recorded track. We found out that it was a 4,2 km walk.


Posted Sep 6, 2013, 1:51 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we managed to take Katja's adult son out to a walk. He wanted to have dinner with us, this meant also taking a longer walk with us :D

We started our trip downhill to Morsbachtal. We came along some older industrial complexes.

This road following the valley is one of the oldest parts of the city area.

We went into the forest than. All along the path these flowers were blooming - Himalayan balsam.

A farm was situated at the walking path. Here we saw geese ...

... a flock of sheep ...

... and a curious horse. It came to the fence to get cuddled, I believe.

What a lovely valley!

Katja also showed us this historic factory building (with an ugly pond in front of it :) )

Later we had to walk uphill for an eternity to get back to the city. Katja's son was a bit faster that I was.

After leaving the forest we still had to walk for almost half an hour to get home.

Here is one of three allotment areas in the municipal park. In the background you can see the outskirts of Remscheid and Wuppertal.

Let's have dinner now!


Posted Sep 6, 2013, 2:07 pm
Hi Mummy,

it was not as hot today, so of course we took a walk. First we picked up one of Katja's friends and went to the city centre.

On this Sunday there were no kids playing in the fountain.

We walked down the shopping street.

We found this funny graffiti.

For a short while we waked through a forest where we found these cameroon sheep on a farm.

Too soon we left the forest to reach the district Luettringhausen/Goldenberg.

Later we had to climb one of the steepest paths through a vast allotment area to get back to the city. Again the outskirts of Wuppertal were visible in the background.

Bye for now

Posted Sep 8, 2013, 4:44 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we are having a rainy day, so we decided to stay at home. We helped Katja to prepare lunch. We made Vietnamese stye summer rolls today. We took rice paper, glass noodles, carrots, crisphead lettuce, chili pepper, shrimps, coriander leaves and Thai basil.

We chopped the vegetables and put everything in place. First the rice paper had to be submerged for a few seconds to soften it.

We put it onto a damp kitchen towerl and filled it.

The result was not looking really professional, but the summer rolls tasted great with oyster sauce and peanut sauce.


Posted Sep 16, 2013, 5:08 pm
Hi Mummy,
Katja went into the forest today to pick berries with a friend, without taking us with her! When she came back, she brought a large bag and two large plastic cans full of berries with her. She told us that she wanted to cook jam.

First all the berries had to be sorted and washed. There were elderberries, blackberries, hawthorn berries, rosehips and a few sloe fruits.

Elderberries and blackberries were given through a sieve mill to separate the fruits from the seeds.

In the meantime empty jars were prepared.

Than the fruit purree was mixed with apple juice and gelling sugar and was cooked to a delicious jam.

Tomoroow we will cook another jam from the other fruits.



Posted Sep 16, 2013, 5:11 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we cooked more jam, this time we used oranges, rosehips, hawthorn berries and the sloe fruits.

First the seeds of the rosehips had to be removed.

Than all the berries were cooked in a little bit water for about 10 minutes and given through the sieve mill.

A few oranges were filleted and mixed with the berries and gelling sugar.

We also helped Katja to create and print labels for the jars.

After hours of hard work here is the result:

Of course we tried both jams - yummy!


Posted Sep 27, 2013, 10:44 am
Hi Mummy,
we made a hiking tour today. There is  a hiking trail in the neighbour city Wuppertal, it is called "Rund um Wuppertal" (Around Wuppertal). It is surrounding the municipal area of the city and it is about 120 km long. OleOrangescarf and I accepted the challenge :) Of course we only did part of it.

We started our tour in Muengsten, here we crossed River Wupper.

From here we had to walk uphill (we always have to walk uphill, I believe). We saw a lot of cut  trees here, funny faces were painted where branches had been cut off.

We had to follow this trail marking. Our path was following the outer borders of the municipal area.

This sunlit area in the background is the neighbour city Solingen.

There were a few isolated houses in the forest. If these mushrooms were suitable for dinner? We better did not try it ;)

We were walking along a valley with a motorway feeder road running through.

There were large amounts of these mushrooms, probably parasol mushrooms.

There was a hamlet in the valley where we found this mail box, nearly hidden between those vibrant red leafes.

In the middle of the forest we reached a tram station. This is a stop station of a historical tram which once connected several outskirts of Wuppertal. The main track is closed and a "museum-tram" is following a part of the former track on a few days in the year. There will be tours every Sunday until end of October, maybe we manage to take a ride with the tram than.

Here is the time table.

Also in the forest we saw this old industrial building, a historical grindery -Manuelskotten. It was built in the 1850 years and is the only still working grindery, which is run by water, in Wuppertal. Iron and steel were worked in this region along the many creeks and rivers since 15th century.

From a nearby outlook platform we had a great overwiev.

We rested here for a while.

We reached a part of the forest than which is an arboretum, a collection of trees. From the 1820 years "foreign" trees were planted here, from 1900 A.D. trees from other continents were planted. After WW II trees from Northern America were planted in search of fast growing trees. I t hink I have been here before in spring of 2011!

The arboretum is divided into several parts (one for each continent) and our hiking trail was running through it.

Katja looked for sweet chestnuts, but we did not find any.

There are several hiking routes using this path.

I don't know exactly what sort of tree this is, but it certainly is not a local tree. Katja said it probably was one of those growing along the West coast of the USA.

Another interesting tree ...

We left the forest when we reched the outskirts of the district Cronenberg and home by bus.



Posted Oct 10, 2013, 12:26 pm
Hi Mummy,
we were invited to join a birthday party in Lennep, one of the historic districts of Remscheid.

We walked through this park to get to the old town.

Lennep is the second largest district of Remscheid with about 25.000 inhabitants. Lennep once was one of the most important cities of the region Bergisches Land.

Lennep has an historical city core based on a medieval structure. There were several large city fires, the last one in the year 1746 which destroyed most of the city. It was rebuilt afterwards. Lennep received its town charter between the years 1259 and 1276- In 1929 Lennep was annexated to Remscheid.

This is the market place with lots of bars and restaurants.

Most of the streets are rather narrow.

There is an elementary school in the background of the next photo - Katja went to this school when she was a kid.

Than we were having a lot of delicous chocolate cake.


Posted Oct 11, 2013, 3:32 pm
Hi Mummy,
Hi Mummy,
today I took part in a very special event: A ToyVoyagers meeting! Hostmum Katja met Strunki and mcdaniels at Strunki's home. There were 17 ToyVoyagers!

There was a welcome sign for each "TV-Family".

I came here with nosyblue, Lamikins,Tsukumo,RockyRaccoon, OleOrangescarf and KoalaMimi .

We met Sargent Froggo,*Nick*,UrselHH,Laika,Gozer,Hase,Charlotte,HelmutBluepant,TheWotWots and Elmar.

Strunki prepared a present for every guest :)

Have a look - a neck kerchief, a scented candle, yummy chocolate and a lollipop.

The ladies were starving, so some TVs helped Strunki to finish the prepared lunch - spaghetti with vegetables.

We explored the garden than.

There is even a pond.

Finally there was a fantastic party with candy, chocolate and other delicacies,also a yummy liquor, Killepitsch.

Maybe we enjoyed too much of this Killepitsch, a liquor delicacy based on herbs. Really weird things happened ... can you see it?

Time to say goodbye!



Posted Oct 11, 2013, 4:35 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we went to Winterberg in the Hochsauerland district, about 150 km apart from Remscheid. Winterberg is a famous winter sport resort. First we had to visit a family member in a hospital where we met more plushy visitors :)

We also visited the nearby city centre. Although it was a Sunday most of the shops were open - not self-evident in Germany with its strict shop closing law.

Afterwards we went to Kappe which is part of the Rothaar mountains. Here you can find the Winterberg bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track.

They have to work hard on this construction site to have everything finished when the first snow will fall.

You can use this funny thing to intensify the sounds of the forest.

They are already preparing the pistes, they were covered with straw to keep the grass from growing further.

There is also a nature trail on the mountain with the cute squirrel as mascot, sometimes we crossed it.

There is also a track system for mountain bikers, one of the largest in Germany.

There is a special lift for cyclists and their bikes.

This is the bobsleigh track.

We even found a bobsleigh!

Goodbye Winterberg!


Posted Oct 24, 2013, 9:44 am
Hi Mummy,
we visited a fantastic place today - the Bergische Museumsbahnen, a heritage tram museum. It is situated in the neighbour city Wuppertal and is operating its own tram line which was a regular tram line within Wuppertal until 1969. Do you remember that I showed you this track in the middle of the forest a few weeks ago? This track belongs to this tram line.

The museum line begins about 50 m east of the Kohlfurth bridge. Here one of 200 penguins taking part in the Pinguinale, which was taking place in 2006 to celebrate the 125th anniversy of Wuppertal Zoo. 200 penguins were painted by kids and artists. Nowadays you can find then all over the city area. At Kohlfurth bridge a penguin lady, dressed like a porter, is placed.

This is the museum area with the depot and its outdoor facilities.

Some trams was parked on the track outside the depot.

You can find all kinds of historic rail vehicles here and also a model railway.

We had a look at the depot than. So many trams!

Actually there were no tram journeys for visitors today, but a very nice member of the staff liked the idea of Toyvoyagers so much that we were allowed to enter a tram and join a test run.

This tram is originally from the 1920s years.

This is the driver's cabin.

Inside the tram ...

The original line is winding its way through a woodland area to the district Cronenberg.

We really enjoyed the trip through the forest. The route has a height difference of about 150 metres.

The tram shaking heavily, so I fell from the window sill. Thankfully I did not get hurt.

Each trip took about 15 minutes. Back in the museum area we had a look at the coat of arms of Wuppertal. A lion with a double tail is the heraldic animal.

We went back to the car, but had a last look at river Wupper first.

From here we drove to Cronenberg to take a walk in the Arboretum Burgholz. I remember that I have been here before once or twice, definitely interesting.

We decided to walk along a path showing trees of Northern America.

This is a coast redwood tree with its characteristic bark.

These are the tiny cones of these western hemlocks.

Our trip ended here and it already started to rain. We went back home, enjoyed coffee and waffles there.




Posted Nov 3, 2013, 1:29 pm
Hi Mummy,
we met a friend today to take a walk around the district Hasten. Hasten is one of the historic districts with lots of beautiful old houses.

We took a path through an allotment area.

Here we found more historic houses, mostly built close together.

A cat was relaxing here.

Deep in the valley we found this house.

We went into the forest than and walked along the Morsbach, the creek which is running through the valley.

Following the valley we walked along this flock of sheep ...

... and horses, cows and geese on this meadow.

This trunk was the perfect place for resting.

There was a tiny house hidden in the valley, an historic wall integrated into the building.

There are also some old industrial sites with distributing grounds.

Later, when were were back in the forest, we found a soft moss bed.

Katja showed us more lovely old houses ...

We also walked along the museum which I already showed you before.

Everyone was tired now and we hurried home.



Posted Nov 3, 2013, 3:36 pm
Hi Mummy,
had had a fantastic Halloween party in the evening. We invited Strunki and all her guests to visit us.

Our hosts prepared a lot of squirmy food for us. But first I have to show you my costume.

We were all looking really scary :)

Soon our guests arrived.

We were nearly starving, so first we entered the buffet. There were ghosts, a fearsome head with an open brain, looking like fruit salad, dentures with horrible carnassials, sore eyeballs in sanies ...

green glib with dead vampires ...

Here is a group photograph of all those ghosts and mummies :)

What a party!


Posted Nov 9, 2013, 10:56 am
Hi Mummy,
we had horrible weather this week, no chance to visit any places.

Today we helped to cook a delicious risotto, a vegetarian receipe with leek and mushroom. You also need an onion, a bit of garlic, olive oil, butter, vegetable stock, white wine, Emmenthal cheese, Parmesan cheese and of course this special rice, salt, pepper and fresh herbs.

Vegetables and cheese were already prepared ...

...while the rice had to boil.

In the end all the ingridients were added to the rice.



Posted Nov 25, 2013, 6:19 pm
Hi Mummy,
I'm sorry that I am such a lazy giraffe at the moment. Nothing thrilling is going on here, we are often having bad weather and it is already dark in the late afternoon. But today we took at least a short walk to visit Katja's Mum in hospital. It took us only about 40 minutes to get there.

Here at this large intersection the local court is situated.

From here we went  to the Route of Tools (Trasse des Werkzeugs), a former track for freight  trains which was rebuilt to a lane for pedestrians and cyclists. It is about 4,5 m long, connecting the central station with the district Hasten. You can find interesting  buidings and artwork along this lane.

Here you can see the former slaughterhouse, now under monument protection. Nowadays offices are situated here.

Here is a place for resting and relaxing.

Local companies, mostly tool producing companies, sponsored this lane. Here and at some other places you can find large signs with their company logos.

We also found one of those pieces of artwork. This one was made of coloured die cutting leftovers.

Can you see us in this coloured mass of metal?

Close to the station we crossed the regular track.

We had to cross a valley than.

We even watched a flock of cranes fly towards the South.


Hopefully we can explore something else this weekend!


Posted Dec 8, 2013, 8:49 pm
Hi Mummy,
today Katja met her friends for their weekly knitting round. We enjoyed eggnogg, the kind of eggnogg people are prefering in the North of Germany, with white wine and eggs.


Don't worry, we only had one of them, or maybe two? I think two of them, but definitely not more.


Posted Dec 8, 2013, 8:54 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we helped Katja to make christmas cookies. She found a receipe for cookies with orange and chocolate. This sounds good.

These are the ingredients:

Butter, sugar, wheat flour and baking powder, orange peel and icing sugar, egg white, chocolate icing and orange juice for the icing.

From this we had to make the dough. Unfortunately it did not work with the electric mixer.

The dough had to rest for at least half an hour in the fridge.

After rolling it out the dough had to be cut into rectangles and baked.

After cooling down the cookies were decorated with white sugar icing and chocolate.

They are tasting really good :)


Posted Dec 8, 2013, 9:02 pm
Hi Mummy,
today it is the second Sunday in advent.

Katja and her daughter were busy making more cookies today. We were only allowed to have a look when the cookies were completed (yesterday we made a mess helping in the kitchen ;) ).

These cookies are looking funny, they are showing neither christmas trees nor stars, hearts or what people usually are baking.

Pot leafvs!

They did not only bake pot leaves, but also stars, hearts, socks, mittens and what people usually are baking :D

And they made terrible mess in the kitchen.


Posted Dec 15, 2013, 2:45 pm
Hi Mummy,
I went with Katja to her work place. In our lunch break we had to buy a few things, so we went outside, GustavHH, Katja and I. We started our short trip on the market place in front of the city hall. A skating rink is built up here.

High on its pillar you can find the heraldic animal of Remscheid, a lion. A smaller christmas market is situated here.

This year there is even a ferris wheel in the pedestrian area.

When we walked down the shopping street Katja showed us the entrance area of the shopping mall.

This is the public library.

Here you can see one of several churches in the city centre. We had to walk downhill to the station next.

This is probably the largest intersection within Remcheid.

We went shopping in a shopping mall close to the station. We did not have much time because we had to return to work at 2:00 p.m.

Bye for now

Posted Dec 22, 2013, 5:17 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we met another ToyVoyager member, Strunki and went to Dortmund, a large city in the Ruhr area.  Its population of about 570.000 makes it the 8th largest city in Germany. We visited the Christmas market which is one of the largest in Germany. You can find the world's tallest Christmas tree here.

Here you can see the Christmas tree!

A stage, 45 m tall, is implented with 1700 red spruce trees.

We even met another TV member here, mcdaniels with her guests. We went to a café for an hour or two.

So many ToyVoyagers were visiting Dortmund today :)

When we left the café is was almost dark outside.

From a booth with a balcony we had a great overview.

Here in Germany you can also find carousels on Christmas markets, like this one for kids.

We strolled around the crowded city and had lots of fun.

On another market we found fantastic illumination. These balls in the sky were changing colours!

Later we bought a pretty star made of paper. It will be illuminated and attached to the window in the living room.

What a great day! And it was great to meet so many ToyVoyagers.


Posted Dec 25, 2013, 12:12 pm
Hi Mummy,
in Germany Christmas is already celebrated on December 24th. We helped to wrap the presents. Today Katja's son and daughter will visit us to have dinner. Tomorrow we will visit Katja's sister and on Thursday Katja's sister-in-law and her family.

We had a really calm evening with dinner. We had salmon with a mustard topping, potatoes and savoy cabbage. Yummy!

Bye for today

Posted Dec 25, 2013, 12:27 pm

Posted Dec 29, 2013, 8:09 pm
Hi Mummy,
I met Katja's pets today. They are small, cute, cheeky and they have terrifying carnassial teeth.

Three ferrets are living here. These two were fighting just for fun. The third one was searching for the remote control of the TV, she loves to steal it :D

Look at all those Christmas cards we received from ToyVoyager members.


Posted Dec 30, 2013, 4:06 pm
Hi Mummy,
we visited a park in the neighbour city Wuppertal today, the Nordpark. This landscape park is situated in the district Barmen. It was founded in 1895. You can find a large game reserve here, a playground, a restaurant, a soccer ground, a halfpipe for skateboarders and lots of woodland areas.

When we drove to Wuppertal, we stopped at a place with a great overview across the city. Wuppertal is loacated in and around the river Wupper valley. It is the largest city in the region Bergisches Land. Wuppertal is a major industrial centre, but also known for its steep slopes, its woods and parks,

Soon we reached the park and started our trip at the playground area.

The park is situated at the slope of the valley, at this point high above the city.

We walked through the woods ...

... and we found the game reserve. About 30 fallow deer are living here. Other visitors were feeding the buck, but he seemed to be more interested in me :D

This common beech must have toppled and been sawn recently.

We were so happy that the sun was shining.


Posted Jan 4, 2014, 5:32 pm
Hi Mummy,
we went to Katja's sister-in-law's family today to celebrate the last day of the year. When we arrived, there already was everything prepared for dinner.

There were lots of cheese, sausage and cold meats, salad, smoked salmon, herring salad and different kinds of bread.

We all enjoyed German beer :)

Later we several board games, this one is called "Niagara". You have to collect gems of different colors while that river is really moving and it might happen that your boat is falling down the "waterfall" and your boat and the collected gems are gone.

At midnight we all had a glass of sparkling wine before we went outside for the fireworks.

Happy New Year!

Thankfully it was not raining like it did the last two or three years.


Posted Jan 18, 2014, 8:03 pm
Hi Mummy,
we had mussels in white wine broth with garlic for dinner. Yummy!

We had to clean the mussels first, and we had to sort out those with a broken shell.

In the meantime Katja prepared a delicious stock with onion and garlic, white wine and some spices. The mussels had to boil for a few minutes in this stock until all the shells were open.

We enjoyed the mussels with salad and bread.

Bye for today

Posted Jan 20, 2014, 8:06 pm
Hi Mummy,
we visited the arboretum tin Wuppertal once more. We went to Wuppertal by bus and had to walk for about 25 minutes to reach the arboretum.

Today we decided to walk along the longest one of four walking paths leading though the arboretum. Along ths path you can find trees from all over the world.

The first highlight were the sequoia trees from Northern America.

We rested in the soft moss for a while.

The walking path was rather muddy, all those creeks carrying a lot of water.

We walked uphill and downhill, seeing lots of interesting trees.

Can you see all these different kinds of pines along the slope?

When we almost reached the ending point we made a side trip to an area with trees from South America.

Monkey puzzles!

This was a really interesting trip today :)


Posted Jan 21, 2014, 1:42 pm
Hi Mummy,

we went to Cologne today to visit Cologne Cathedral and the Flora / Botanical Garden.

We went here with Strunki and her guests. The car was parked at the opposite bank of River Rhine, so we had to cross Hohenzollern Bridge first.

Trains and pedestrians are crossing the river here, but no other traffic. Four equestrian statues showing famous members of the Hohenzollern family are placed at the four corners of the bridge.

A freight ship was passing.

Of course the very most important thing you have to see in Cologne is Cologne Cathedral. It is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site. Cologne Cathedral was built between 1248 and 1880. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe, its towers are about 157 m tall.

Again church service was going on, but visitors were allowed to enter the rear part of the inside of the cathedral.

I managed to get a brochure in Spanish for you, I will send it to you as soon as possible.

Next we went to see a bit of the old town. Katja showed us Heinzelmaennchen fountain, located in front of the oldest brewhouse in Cologne. Heinzelmännchen are a race of creatures appearing in a tale connected with the city of Cologne, they were said to have done all the work of the citizens during the night, so the citizens could be lazy at daytime.

We went to the promenade and walked past the old town of Cologne. Those houses were built in 17th ventury.

Even in winter there are a lot of excursion boats.

We had to walk for a longer time along the promenade to get to the Botanical garden.

Everywhere you can find modern buildings and historic buildings close together, like this roman church.

Not far from the  Botanical garden we found this park with a sculpture exhibiton.

A lot of interesting sculptures were placed on the lawn like this giant ring.

What is this?

Oh, it is showing a mirror image upside down, even Katja and me  :D

Next I visited a house without window panes, roof and floor.

From here it only was a short walk until we reached the Flora / Botanical Garden.

In a few weeks thousands of flowers will be blooming here.

We walked along greenhouses ...

... and a palmtree alley.

I found blooming winter aconite.

A walkabout brought us back to the palmtrees.

We visited a greenhouse showing desert plants. So many kinds of cacti!

Another highlight was the Japanese Camllia exhibition.

Once more I found a plant from my home country - the Chilean bellflower.

After walking around for hours I  had to say good-bye to Cologne :)

Walking down the bridge I almost got dizzy :D


Posted Feb 5, 2014, 4:51 pm
Hi Mommy,
today it was time to leave Remscheid and all my friends here. I am travelling to Berlin now while Tigerlily will visit Delft in the Netherlands and DottyCroc a small town in Northern Germany.

I hope I will arrive soon! You will find a postcard from Cologne and a souvenir when you will return from your holiday trip :)


Posted Feb 8, 2014, 7:54 am
olá mammá! hihi ...
i have landed!
yes, landed, but where?
oh, look, a barbecue ... i am hungry.
hm ... no barbecue. what does it say? "freedom, justice, peace" good things, but ...
helloooo! where am i? open mouth, but no answer ... never give up, i am a travelling giraffe from far away!
something i have found out: the weather is *beep*.
what's this sign about? other countries, different writings.
italy? yesterday, there has been a deviation on my way. but ...
hey, this guy looks like a friendly fellow. ah, buenos ... gootn tark ... where have i landed? - i asked.
he said: "this is berlin!"
me: "haven't we met before? you look familiar."
him: "nice try. - well i tell you something: just follow the signs. bye bye - i am in a hurry ..."
me: "bye bye and thank you so far."
off he ran ...
hm ... follow the signs ...

mommy, i am not quite sure, where i have arrived. i'll keep you updated and - well - follow the signs.  :cyclops:

hasta luego! kirin  :)

Posted Feb 21, 2014, 6:40 pm
hello mommy.

have you ever asked a tree for the right way? i have. but guess what the answer has been ... "hm, what's the way worth while? why don't you stand here with me rooted on the ground? see, i am standing here for over a century. what's wrong with it?"

strange country with odd trees!  :rolleyes:

Posted Feb 23, 2014, 12:06 pm
hello mommy.
several days i was walking criss cross through the big city on my own, looking here and looking there ...  :p
suddenly i have found this nice church ...
... and this restaurant. none of the two lions wanted to talk to me. *PFFFF*
ok, what was the elephant saying the other day? "follow the signs" ...
nice house
another church
a restaurant with a cook made of tin ... hopefully the food is not like this *hihihi*
and then i have reached the promenade on a big lake.
see these funny birds?
curious birds
they have been very interested in me. so i have been in them.
so, this is the lake and a ship called "berlin".
here i have met a group of nice people. we soon have started a long conversation on everything and nothing.  :rolleyes: B) :o :D
very nice poeple: erol the pirat, tiffy (his girlfriend), me, and hannibal, the brother of napoleon who has stayed at our house in chile. do you remember him, mommy? what a surprise!!!

i guess, this will be a wonderful stay with all those guys!

bye bye, your brave little kirin  ;)

Posted Feb 23, 2014, 12:18 pm
next day we have continued our chat on a small garden party with some good friends of mine and a huge box of cookies!  B)

(from left to right: erol the pirat, me, tiffy, rousseau and voltaire (two very smart blue elephants and the owner of this garden), little alphonx, and hannibal (napoleon's brother))

Posted Mar 9, 2014, 9:11 pm
hello mommy.
the weather has got better.
so we (me, tiffy and erol the pirat) decided to walk through one of the districts of berlin.
we have started with a drink at shark's bar ...
... walkedthrough the streets without target ...
... had a glass of wine at kollo's ...
look, an old water pump.
is this a dragon or is it a dog?
at the top i have seen some frogs.
at the bottom is the berlin coat of arms with the berlin bear.
time for a cup of coffee.
sometimes you can see funny people in the windows.
is this art?
another coffee?
this is art.
and this?
they make a good coffee.
would you care for a post card?
i tell you: it is much better to conquer a city with friends!
bye bye mommy  :cyclops:

Posted Mar 9, 2014, 9:24 pm
hi mommy,
in the garden we greeted the arrival of spring.
spring is when all the flowers spring into the air. this year spring is coming very early in germany.
what will these leaves be?
look, how beautyful!

in the evening i was going to a concert.
they are celebrating a south american music festival in berlin.
this is what they think south america looks like - hey: not all of it looks like brazil. i need to tell them.  :rolleyes:
this the inside of the concert hall.
the musicians had not arrived yet. photos during the concerts were not allowed. but i tell you: more than 100 musicians entered the stage. they have not played tango, rumba or salsa. no they have played classical pieces of music of south american composers. very nice evening.

see you mommy.  :D

Posted Mar 14, 2014, 9:45 pm
hello mommy.
together with my friends i have visited a very special place the other day: the citadel in spandau near berlin.
since it used to be a military fortress, the citadel has a military museum which we have visited.
the oil painting shows the builder of the renaissance castle: count rochus zu lynar, some 500 years ago!
here we are sitting on a model of the fortress. the citadel is the best preserved renaissance fortress in europe!
this is us: tiffy, erol the pirat and myself.
the fortress has a very old tower. they say it is much older than the fortress, a left over of the old mediaval castle. the tower is so stable with thick walls that they used to store the prussian state treasure in it. prussia is gone so is the treasure. here you see how thick the tower's door is.
the bottom of the staircase.
up there we have gone.
view from the top of the tower to the city of spandau.
one of four corners of the fortress.
view in direction to berlin.
inside the tower: the stircase and in the centre the flag of spandau.
than we have slided down ....hoooooy!
oooops - abruptly stopped ...
what would a castle be ...
... without a knight? here we have found old gravestones.
the entrance gate
this is the tower from the outside. they were reconstructing the brickwork.
statues of kings and marquises have been stored here.
albrecht the bear - the first marquis of brandenburg
old castles have old pillories. into the middle hole they have fastened the head in the holes right and left they have fastened the hands of the delinquents. good to be too small for it!
bye bye mommy! see you later ...

Posted Apr 18, 2014, 5:05 pm
hello mommy. sorry i have not updated for quite a while. but i must tell you: i am feeling very well. together with my new friends i have a lot of fun.
and it is so nice to see the spring coming and the flowers blooming.

* here are the photos of march 30th:
in germany they hang plastic eggs into the trees before easter. so did i.
with tiffy and erol the pirat.
we have finished the day with cake and coffee.

* on april 6th, we have first bought some chocolate
this is erol the pirat with his favorites.
this is what tiffy loves most.
hazelnut and cornflakes was my choice.
than we carried the whole chocolate home into the garden.
ou host's elephant hannibal helped.
we have had a lot of fun riding the shopping trolleys through the grass. the evening we ate some cake.

* on april 8th we have made a walk through a nice part of the city. it is always interesting walking through smaller streets.
what about a beer?
here we had dinner.

* april 13th: this is what i like of springtime, mommy: sitting in a blooming cherry tree.

cheerio mommy, next time i will tell you about eastertime with my friends. now i have to help them preparing for the holidays.  B)

Posted Apr 20, 2014, 9:24 pm
dear mommy.

i wish you a very very happy easter time. at least as happy as i have celebrated with my friends in berlin!
in germany it is the custom for plushies to go and look for the sweets the easter bunny has hidden. so did we: oleorangescarf, tiffy, and erol the pirat, and me of course  :cyclops:.
first we have built teams:
team a: bears' friends
team b: friends' bears
two bunnies explained what to do. the two big elephants made the refferees, as you can see by their ears ...
no more words: view the photos ...
team a started the first round. hey, look, i see something!
look: more sweets!
more, more, more!
after 5 minutes we had to return with our loot.
then it was team b's first round.
we also found some sweets very quick.
here is more, guys!
after 5 minutes we returned.
first count: looks good.
we needed to find more, much more!
second round for team a
hmmmmm, yummyyummyyummy!
hihihi ... 3 chocolate bunnies!
here look: a sweet chicken.
time to return.
look, our mug was full!
ok, bears: it's your second turn!
we are bears! we are the best! we will win!! yubbidubbidooo ...
look here: a green one! how tricky, in the green grass!
hey boys: here's one more! and a big chocolate bunny!
time to return ...
ok, let's count! eam a has found more than team b. but: team b has found the big bunny!
so: both teams have won: the easter-bunny-ears go to both teams!!!!
funny? no: handsome bears can wear everything!
one last photo ...
going, going, gone! searching the whole day makes you hungry ...

bye bye mommy - see you later!
your little kirin  :D

Posted May 10, 2014, 11:30 pm
hello mommy. today is mother's day in germany.
so: happy mother's day, mommy!  :cyclops:

Posted Jan 10, 2015, 5:00 pm

olá mamá.
i really have to confess, i have been quite lazy in the meantime. me and the other two voyagers (tiffy and erol the pirat) have had some fun in our host's garden.
hope everything is alright with at home  :D

ps: in last picture you see our blue hosts in the background - very nice people!  ;)

Posted Jan 10, 2015, 5:09 pm

at helloween we have had a little spooky party with tiffy, erol the pirat and napoleon's folks.

Posted Jul 21, 2016, 9:27 am
Hello Mom!

Yesterday I arrived at my new host.

Wow! So many TVs!
Can you see me :cyclops:?

Here live two cats.
They are exceptionally at home because ist's raining outside.

This is Paulchen.

And this Fini.

I think I will have a lott of fun here!


Posted Aug 8, 2016, 12:02 pm

Today I visited the city of Bamberg.

The oldtown of Bamberg is very beautiful and interesting because it is an UNESCO  World Heritage Site.

This is the river  "Regnitz.

This is the "Altes Rathaus" (Old Town hall).  Unfortunately we can’t see the beautiful paintings because there’s a site.

This ist “Little Venice" . Here are very old buildings from the fishermen.

This is the cathetral and the Old Court.

Bamberg was built on 7 hills like Rome.
One of this hills is the "Altenburg".

This was my little tour in Bamberg. I hope you like it!

Posted Oct 8, 2016, 12:54 pm
Finally the time has come!

We made a trip for 4 days to South-Tyrol in Italy!

This is our hotel „Bergschloessel“ in Luson near the city of Bressanone.
It’s a little village in the UNESCO World Heritage from the Dolomites.

Our room is under the roof. The highest room in the hotel.

Our room.

It’s not really an oven. It’s an oven with a remote control. But it’s crackles!

Bathroom with a big whirlpool.

View into the valley from. I love it!

The pool. Host mum said, it’s cold water but the view is fantastic.

The inside pool with warm water.

Posted Oct 8, 2016, 12:54 pm
Today we made a little trip to the capital city of South-Tyrol.

A fontaine with a lots of frogs. Unfortunately is no water in it… Sorry mum! I know you LOVE frogs…

The theatre.


Posted Oct 8, 2016, 12:55 pm
Today we made a trip into the Dolomites. Enjoy!

Posted Oct 8, 2016, 12:55 pm
It’s time to say goodbye…

But before we drive to the highway I saw this wonderful „Mele“ (italian for „apple“). The color is so amazing!

I had a lot of fun the last 3 days!
I hope you like it too!


Posted Jan 22, 2017, 3:46 pm
Hello Mom!

Now it's winter in Germany!
Here is a little bit of snow.
It looks wonderful!

I was on the former border of Germany.
The border was open on the 2.December 1989.
The tower "Bayernturm" (bavaria tower).
He was an observation tower on the former border between BRD and GDR.

Big hug,


Posted Mar 7, 2017, 12:11 pm

Today we make a little tour to Upper Frankonia.

First I was in a little city called „Kulmbach“.
The castle is the „Plassenburg“.

View over Kulmbach.

Coffeebreak  :D!

View over the „Fichtelgebirge“. Look! There’s a little bit of snow!

This is „Waldstein“ with huge stones.

For dinner we were in the „Bistro“ by a famous German chef named Alexander Herrmann in a little village called Wirsberg.

It was a wonderful day!