Commodore Quack, Ronkonkoma, New Yorkk, USA


Posted Feb 11, 2011, 12:16 pm
Hello! Please take me home and be my Mummy!
You two are toyvoyagers? What is that? ..... Sounds interesting. If this human adopts me, do you think she'll let me go a-travelling? ....
Mummy, Mummy, don't leave me here. Please rescue me and help me see the world.

Posted Mar 1, 2011, 1:38 pm
Mummy wanted to go out and could only take a few of us along. We drew straws and I lost. Maybe next time I can go out.

Posted Mar 3, 2011, 4:39 pm
We said farewell to Charlie B. today.
We had some apple pies.
Have a safe journey little mouse.

Posted Mar 3, 2011, 5:01 pm
It's party time! It is Captain Caramel's birthday.
There's a candle on the cake.
After the cake, we played with these balloons!

Posted Mar 6, 2011, 7:47 pm
On our way home, we went via Magna, an industrial science museum set in an old steelworks near Rotherham/Sheffield.
There were 4 zones. The first zone we went to was Water.
A whirlpool exhibit.
Next, we went to Fire.
Something is spinning.
This is a fire tornado.
The fire tornado burns itself out, and then the exhibit has to cool for a while before it can be refuelled and ignited again.
Lighting isn't that good for photographs with the fire tornado.
Next stop was Air. This is a musical exhibit with tubes and things.
The exhibit can be quite noisy.
We then went for a game of Air hockey.
The air blows through holes in the table and lifts up the puck ever so slightly.
This is a frequency exhibit with little polystyrene balls bouncing.
This is a different frequency.
There was an information exhibit about the Bessemer Process (air is blown through molten iron to remove impurities).
Before going on to the final area, we caught some of the Big Melt show, a reconstruction of how they made steel. This is the arc furnace.
We went to the final area, Earth. The set up is quarrying "rocks" and these get picked up by the children and taken somewhere by wheelbarrow before going on conveyor belts and distributed either back to the "quarry" or to a chute.
Can you see the "rocks" on the conveyor belt?

Posted Mar 29, 2011, 9:31 pm
We've said goodbye to Pippi, regit brown, Captain Caramel and Baconella.
Mummy, is this a new visitor?
Let's open it up.
I hope he can squeeze through this hole.
Yes! he's free. Hello, my name is Commodore Quack , nice to meet you Frankie_Blue

Posted Mar 29, 2011, 10:06 pm
Today is another nice sunny day. My mummy decided to take some of us toys out (we drew straws and I won!) to a World Heritage Site - Caernarfon Castle.
It is quite a long castle.
We climbed up a tower by a spiral staircase. Mummy found it hard to get the lightning right and used her photo editing software to show us better.
In the background are some of the hills and mountains of Snowdonia.
The castle is built on the side of the River Seiont.
We are rather high up!
It is a long way down, so glad I have a break from being photographed high up with a long drop behind me!
we've come to the other side of the castle. That's a dais.
This is where Prince Charles received the crown to become the Prince of Wales
Though my mummy wasn't even born by 1969.

Posted Mar 30, 2011, 8:55 pm
Today, mummy got two parcels in the post
I wonder who our new visitors will be!
The new visitors are Belka and my brother, Rendolph

Posted Mar 31, 2011, 9:30 pm
Some of the toys are going away on their travels tomorrow, so we thought we'd have a game of Cluedo playing in teams
However, we spent far too much time chatting instead of concentrating on the game and we all drew the 8th clock leaving the crime unsolved.

Posted Apr 6, 2011, 4:44 pm
Today, Royal Mail issued some nice stamps and my mummy went out and bought some.
Do you like them?

Posted Apr 20, 2011, 11:58 am
Mummy took us to the allotment today.
I inspected the redcurrant bushes. There are still flowers and some fruits have started to form.
There are some chives (and other herbs) on the plot. Looks tasty!

Posted Apr 28, 2011, 3:27 pm
After the allotment, we went Geocaching
We found this one in Aberdesach.

Posted Apr 28, 2011, 3:34 pm
Today, we are going on the train.
This is first class.
Here, we are at Dinas station. When the Welsh Highland Railway was being rebuilt, Dinas was the HQ. There are work trains and carriages, and engines in need of repair.
The railway meets the River Gwyrfai several times along its route.
There's quite a bit of water in the river.
There are fields alongside the railway, this one has horses.
We are coming into Betws Garmon. Can you see the bell in the church tower?
It is a long train. Can you see the steam engine at the other end?
This is Cwellyn, a reservoir supplying water to parts of north Wales.
We had to wait for the train coming in the other direction to stop at Rhyd Ddu before we could continue. The train is also steam-hauled.
They've got a first class carriage, but the one we're in was unveiled by the Queen in 2010 after refurbishment.
The carriage is called Glaslyn, after another river this railway meets.
We are off for the second half of the journey. This section was opened last year, and then not all the way to Porthmadog.
There's the River Glaslyn.
Here we are coming into Porthmadog. The river is the Glaslyn here too, the estuary.
The river is the Glaslyn here too
The Glaslyn estuary. And now, we have arrived in Porthmadog. It is time to run for the bus to take us back home before school closes for the day.

Posted Apr 28, 2011, 7:48 pm
We are having a nice game of Settlers of Catan.

Posted Apr 28, 2011, 8:09 pm
Ooo, look at all these Easter Eggs and bunnies.

Posted Apr 28, 2011, 8:18 pm
We've come to Gullivers Kingdom in Matlock Bath.
Mummy took me on the lazy river ride.
I didn't fancy going on this rollercoaster, though my bro went on it.
Mummy went on this ship ride.

Posted May 15, 2011, 12:31 pm
What is this I see before me?
A box and we shall open it.
A visitor, hello Sampson
Welcome to Wales.

Posted Jun 10, 2011, 8:54 pm
Today, a package has arrived!
Hello Moony and welcome.

Posted Jun 20, 2011, 10:24 am
We went to Grandma's for a few days over half term.
It was too hot to do much, not even help Mummy, Daddy or Grandma with the weeding.

Posted Jun 20, 2011, 11:17 am
It was time to head back home to Wales but first, we stopped off at the Science Adventure Park, Magna.
We came here before! We started in water!
A whirlpool, and a water-raising complex.
This looks like fun!
Wheee! Watch the fishie spin!
Fire next! A four-stroke engine. The middle bits are back. In the background is a two-stroke engine.
My host turns the wheel and the middle bits come forward and the outer bits go back!
The fire tornado exhibit is hot!
Lighting isn't good in here.
Next stop was the main section where the steel was made. We allowed the newer visitors to have their photos taken with the big melt demonstration.
We went up to Air, but they removed the air-hockey :(
Final stop was Earth. There were wheelbarrows to move "rocks" to the sorters.
This is a hydraulic pump and cylinder.
Time flies.... The centre is closing so we'd better go now....

Posted Jun 20, 2011, 11:41 am
Home at last and there was a pile of post including a parcel.
We welcomed a new visitor Gwennie

Posted Jul 4, 2011, 11:19 am
Today, a new visitor arrived.
Welcome Lupus-Tigger.

Posted Jul 18, 2011, 10:50 pm
Ooo a Parcel....
Whose voice can I hear calling?
Hello Bobi

Posted Aug 3, 2011, 2:48 pm
We've come to Grandma's house!
There are lots of ants in the garden. This book says that ants don't like crossing chalk!
There's an ant...
It still is in the same section...
Hmm, it has escaped. The ants we've watched seem quite happy to cross the chalk. Back to the drawing board.

Posted Aug 25, 2011, 3:24 pm
Mummy is getting me ready for my first journey! I'm excited!

Posted Aug 25, 2011, 3:27 pm
Yay, Mummy has taken me to the post office and booking me a passage to Germany. Mummy is going to get soaked on her way back home!

Posted Sep 1, 2011, 9:34 pm
Hi Mummy, I arrived in  Germany yesterday. My new host Katja had to work until early evening so spent the evening on the sofa, watching TV and knitting socks.

Today we took a short walk when Katja came home from work. We only took a rather short walk to the municipal park. The first photo was  taken close to my current home, when Katja brought two jars of home-made jam to a friend.

Here is a church, Katja told me that its tolling of the bells is wakening her up each weekend at 07:00 a.m. (although she would like to sleep late).

It looked as if the church was burning, but these were only the last rays of sun.

A few minutes later we reached the municipal park with its pond. Ducks are living here, also a lot of abandonded turtles.

There are a concert shell and seatings in the park.

This monument is dedicated to the dead of several wars before
world war I.

We were already on our way home when the next picture was taken.

My current home is in this street.

Bye for now
Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 4, 2011, 9:13 am
Hi Mummy,
today we went to the neighbour city Solingen to take a walk and later having dinner in a restaurant.

We started our walk at the "Corkscrew Route" (Korkenziehertrasse). This is also a former railway track which was built to a lane for pedestrians and cydlists, about 10 km long. It is called "Korkenziehertrasse" because it is meandering through the city like a corkscrew.

The freight depots were here, now the buildings are used by artists, you can also find bars and cafés here.

The route is following the nowadays used railway track here in the city centre.

We found lots of graffiti along the route.

We returned to our starting point to have dinner. Katja's daughter is working in this restaurant as a cook. In summer the beer garden is opened and there is a fantastic barbeque with lots of salads, potatoes and so on.


Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 13, 2011, 8:55 pm
Hi Mummy,
finally summer is back! Katja showed me around the city centre in her lunch break. As she is working close to the city hall, we started our trip here.

The city hall was originally built in the early 1900's years, than it was nearly destroyed in World War II and as rebuilt afterwards in a more modern style. Its tower is 48 m high, visible from all the surrounding cities.

On the large open space in front of the city hall there is the farmers market twice a week. Here is also one of the entrances of the shopping mall. The lion on the pillar is the heraldic animal of Remscheid.

This is the main entrance of the shopping mall.

We also walked along the shopping street.

Katja promised that we would take a walk in the evening, in the forest. That sounds great!

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 13, 2011, 9:26 pm
Hi Mummy,
indeed, we took a walk in the evening. Katja was picked up by a friend and we drove to Solingen, one of the neighbour cities of Remscheid. We started in the  historic district Unterburg, situated at the river Wupper.

First stop was a weir.

This is an ear-trumpet which intensifies the sound of the water, pouring down the rock.

This is river Wupper.

We walked along the path, the river on the left hand side, rocks on the right hand side.

We crossed the river Wupper here.

In the background you can see parts of an old pump, once used in a nearby dam.

We walked further until Schloss Burg, a medieval castle, came into sight in the distance.

Here is a zoomed photo.

We rested here for a while, still high above the river level. Someone painted this rock pink and white!

A chairlift is going uphill to the castle.

We reached the "town centre" of Unterburg again. Here you can find lovely historic houses, built close toghether with only narrow lanes between them.

Some of these half-timbered houses were built in 17th century!

This statue is showing a "Kiepenkerl", a traditonal worker in the past, who carried all sorts of goods in his pannier. The German word for pannier is "Kiepe", that's why they were called "Kiepenkerl".

Once again the chairlift.

Than it was really time for dinner!

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 16, 2011, 8:05 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we visited the medieval castle, Schloss Burg, which I already showed you on yesterday's walk. It is situated high upon a hill above the River Wupper.

This is the view from the street.

We went into the courtyard and found a lovely half-timbered part of the castle.

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" )

About a hundred years later it was enlarged by Count Engelberg II von Berg. This is the guy on the horse in the courtyard.

In Thirty Years War (17th century) large parts of the castle were destroyed. It was rebuilt then, but it was used for industrial purposes for many years. In the end of the 19th century they began to rebuild it as it appears today.

In the castle courtyard you can find souvenir shops and shops whose owners are doing an "old" handcraft, for example handmade brushes, brooms, soap, lovely yarns and wooden knitting needles, toys like swords and helmets and much more.

The round tower was the powder tower, it was restored about two years ago.

You can overlook the valley of the river Wupper from this high point.

We walked into the forest than. From here you can see how high above the valley level we were.

Later, when we walked through a hamlet called Höhscheidt we saw a sweet chestnut tree in one of the gardens.

In Höhscheidt you can find many livery stables.

Bye for now
Commodore Quack


Posted Sep 28, 2011, 8:18 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we visited an arboretum in Wuppertal, the Staatsforst Burgholz. An arboretum is a collection of trees, sort of a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study. We went to "Staatsforst Burgholz", a woodland area which is situated in both urban area of Wuppertal and also the urban area of Solingen, but only a small part of it. When World War II was over, there were nearly all trees felled for rebuilding of destroyed city areas and also as firewood.

Searching for fast-growing forest species trees from foreign counties were planted than in this area to study their growth in local weather conditions. Plants from North America, South America, Asia and Europe were planted.

There are several walking paths through the arboretum, of course we chose the longest of them, about 6 km long, displaying a variety of trees from Europe, America and Asia.

We walked through this large forest with all the strange trees.

The soil is partly covered with soft moss.

These are withered hogweed...

... and thistles.

Here are trees which you can usually find in the USA.

In the background, along the slope different kinds of conifers were planted.

Our path is meandering through the landscape, sometimes with rocks on both sides.

We left the path when we met the "Sambatrasse", a former railway track, nowadays a walking and cycling lane, aobut 10 km long. Those large piles of wood were here for years, Katja told me.

This is a former station, dilapidated now.

While we followed the Sambatrasse to reach the bus station, we walked along an incinerator.

This was a great trip, although it was sort of exhausting ;)

Captain Commodore


Posted Sep 29, 2011, 7:09 pm
Hi Mummy,

today I went to Katja to her work place.

Than Katja remembered that it was my birthday today!

All the ToyVoyagers, Katja and her colleagues were singing

"Happy Birthday to you ... dear Commodore Quaaaaack ... "

There were even flowers!

Someone bought delicious sandwiches.

And there was also some sparkling wine (only really small bottles :D )

C H E E R S !

Afterwards we enjoyed coffee and Baumkuchen.

What a great birthday party!

Later I found out that one of Katja's colleagues was celebrating her birthday, that's why she got flowers from the boss :D - Anyway, we had a great party.


Posted Sep 29, 2011, 7:28 pm
After celebrating the birthdays we went into town, taking a walk. The weather is like it should have been in July and August, when it was raining without an end. 25°C warm and sunshine ...

Those two giant forceps are marking the beginning of the shopping street. They are a symbol for the tool producing industry which made Remscheid famous.

This is the main entrance of the shopping mall, with a large fountain in front of it.

Do you know this yellow guy? These are slippers :)

We saw a funny fountain :)

Five-leaved ivy is growing along a wall.

From a bridge we had a good overview to the central bus station.

The company building of the local newspaper, RGA, is also here.

We had to buy some things for dinner and had to return to Katja's work place than.

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 4, 2011, 7:58 am
Hi Mummy,
we finished our work in the kitchen, everything is at its place again.

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 4, 2011, 8:08 am
Hi Mummy,

in the late afternoon we took a walk, visiting Germany's highest railway bridge, Muengsten Bridge. This bridge is overspanning the valley of the river Wupper. The bridge was built in early 20th century, finished in 1907 A.D. It is 465 m long and 107 m high. It is made of steel.

A few years ago a leisure park was built under the bridge. You can can find a new café here. It was opened last summer, it's facade looking like rusty iron. There are also lawns with seatings and sun chairs to relax and a crazy golf course. The river usually is really shallow here, so kids can play at the banks.

This is Muengsten Bridge, at least part of it :)

It is so large that it is nearly impossible to take a photo of the whole bridge. We had t o walk further than the golf course to take a photo.

We walked into the forest than, steep uphill for some time. Soon we were high above the valley.

We found engraved pictures on rocks.

We crossed the river Wupper here.

Walking uphill again, we enjoyed the last sun of the day.

Later we saw this lovely outlook pavilion, we did not want to disturb a smooching couple, so we did not get closer :)

This was a really interesting trip.

Commodore Quack


Posted Oct 25, 2011, 7:53 am
Hi Mummy,
today we took a long walk at a nearby dam, Sengbachtalsperre, a drinkingwater dam in Solingen. We started our trip in Solingen-Unterburg, where I already have been before.

We walked through the forest for some time until we reached the concrete dam.

The concrete wall is under construction at the moment, usually there are not so many fences.

The walking path was not following the banks of the dam, but went along the slope of the valley at a higher level.

We saw those large piles of trunks. Winter can come!

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 31, 2011, 8:03 pm
Hi Mummy,
I am on my way to the USA now!

Commodore Quack

Posted Nov 2, 2011, 4:01 am
Commodore Quack arrived safely in Iola, Kansas today!

Posted Nov 2, 2011, 4:02 am
Commodore Quack made the acquaintance of a curious chinchilla!

Posted Nov 3, 2011, 3:32 am
Commodore Quack checked out the gas prices when host mom stopped to fill up.

Posted Nov 3, 2011, 3:41 am
Commodore Quack visited the dentist with his host family. He thought the waiting room was pretty cushy, and he was curious to see what the dentist does. He liked the view outside the office!

Posted Nov 5, 2011, 10:40 pm
Commodore Quack went to Diebolt lumber with his host family, to help buy materials for a fence.

Posted Nov 6, 2011, 5:34 am
Commodore Quack attended youth group at the SDA church in Thayer, KS. He was very glad to find, among other things, a suitable ship there.

Posted Nov 7, 2011, 3:16 am
It was a lovely fall afternoon, so Commodore Quack went out to explore the countryside with his host family.

Posted Nov 8, 2011, 2:39 am
Storm clouds were gathering, and Commodore Quack thought it looked like it was shaping up to be lovely weather for ducks.

Posted Nov 8, 2011, 2:41 am
Definitely good weather for ducks!

Posted Nov 10, 2011, 3:16 am
Commodore Quack joined host mom for an early morning cup of coffee. It sure smelled good!

Posted Nov 11, 2011, 1:29 am
Commodore Quack went for a quick morning jaunt to Garnett's south lake. It was chilly but lovely out!

Posted Nov 12, 2011, 5:49 am
Commodore Quack helped unpack the nativity costumes for the upcoming Christmas play. He met a friendly sheep and a mysterious wise man!

Posted Nov 13, 2011, 1:22 am
Commodore Quack went to Sabbath school today :)

Posted Nov 13, 2011, 10:28 pm
Commodore Quack was excited to visit El Charro's today- some of the other TVs had told him how delicious it is! He loved the decor and the guacamole was fabulous! He especially enjoyed his vegetarian fajitas!

Posted Nov 15, 2011, 1:19 am
Commodore Quack went to Garnett today and poked around to see some of the old buildings and architectural details.

Posted Nov 17, 2011, 3:46 am
Commodore Quack visited downtown Iola this morning and got to see the Christmas wreaths that the workmen were getting ready to put up on the light poles!

Posted Nov 18, 2011, 2:30 am
Host mom noticed how pretty the frost looked on the back porch, so she gathered up the TVs and took them to the park to see the frost and the river.

Posted Nov 20, 2011, 5:10 am
The host family was sooo excited today! They drove 2-1/2 hours to Exploration Place in Wichita, where they played and played, then went into a big room with the judge and finalized the adoption of two children (on National Adoption Day). Then, they went and played and played some more! Commodore Quack thought it was a pretty good day!

Posted Nov 20, 2011, 5:10 am
The host family was sooo excited today! They drove 2-1/2 hours to Exploration Place in Wichita, where they played and played, then went into a big room with the judge and finalized the adoption of two children (on National Adoption Day). Then, they went and played and played some more! Commodore Quack thought it was a pretty good day!

Posted Nov 20, 2011, 5:10 am
The host family was sooo excited today! They drove 2-1/2 hours to Exploration Place in Wichita, where they played and played, then went into a big room with the judge and finalized the adoption of two children (on National Adoption Day). Then, they went and played and played some more! Commodore Quack thought it was a pretty good day!

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 4:47 am
Commodore Quack had so much fun at the RiverTree Chilli Cookoff and Wii Bowling Tournament! The food was delicious and the humans were having so much fun!

Posted Nov 23, 2011, 3:58 am
Host mom and the kids got creative in the sewing room, so Commodore Quack went to greet the results of their work... the Snow Joes!

Posted Nov 24, 2011, 2:03 am
Host mom took the TVs to see the Santa house on the town square. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Posted Nov 24, 2011, 4:39 pm
Host mom was cooking delicious things this morning and told Commodore Quack he could help with the chocolate pie! She said that today is Thanksgiving, when Americans gather with loved ones to share a feast and reflect on the things they are grateful for. Host mom told him that one thing she is really grateful for is to have good friends.

Posted Nov 25, 2011, 4:00 am
After a delicious Thanksgiving meal, host mom and some of the kids went for a hike, to find a cemetery that is about 200 years old. They had to climb over barbed wire fences and through a forest of thorny trees. But, they saw beautiful scenery along the way!

Posted Nov 26, 2011, 4:45 am
Commodore Quack went arm chair traveling today, looking through the postcards that host mom has gotten from participating in postcrossings!

Posted Nov 27, 2011, 1:57 am
Commodore Quack was so excited to learn that Santa Claus was finally coming to town! The host family took him and the other TVs to meet Santa in person!

Posted Nov 27, 2011, 4:07 am
Commodore Quack was very curious about host mom's new sewing project!

Posted Nov 27, 2011, 3:25 pm
Commodore Quack  helped decorate the Christmas tree. The TVs all thought it turned out great!

Posted Nov 29, 2011, 5:06 am
Commodore Quack and the other TVs investigated host mom's current sewing projects :)

Posted Dec 1, 2011, 2:30 am
Commodore Quack didn't get to go into Wal-mart today, but he did help unload the groceries when host mom got to the car.

Posted Dec 2, 2011, 1:30 am
Host mom took Commodore Quack and the other TVs to see the Canada geese at the south lake in Garnett. She said the geese winter here, and in a couple of months, there will be goslings!

Posted Dec 3, 2011, 3:31 pm
The car is packed and everyone is ready to go! Commodore Quack is excited for a road trip!

Posted Dec 3, 2011, 3:34 pm
Commodore Quack arrived in Springdale, AR for Arkansas Anime Fest! The host family unloaded the car, went to Waffle House, and goofed around!

Posted Dec 4, 2011, 4:18 am
Commodore Quack had a lot of fun checking out all the people and events at Arkansas Anime Fest today! He really liked exploring the vendor room.

Posted Dec 5, 2011, 2:20 am
On the way home from the Arkansas Anime Festival, the host family stopped to take the TVs to the Precious Moments Chapel. It is a beautiful place, and very peaceful there.

Posted Dec 6, 2011, 5:05 am
Commodore Quack was very curious about host mom's new project!

Posted Dec 7, 2011, 1:19 am
Commodore Quack thought the first snow was a bit hard on the parsley.

Posted Dec 9, 2011, 3:37 am
Commodore Quack got to see the ethanol plant in Garnett today. They distill corn to make ethanol fuel, as well as a very high protein cattle feed. It always smells like delicious yeast around the ethanol plant.

Posted Dec 10, 2011, 3:29 am
Host mom took Commodore Quack to the Neosho River, by the dam, to see how the season's change has affected the landscape.

Posted Dec 11, 2011, 6:51 am
Commodore Quack visited Chanute today and got to see the cement plant.

Posted Dec 12, 2011, 3:46 am
Commodore Quack met some very unusual sushi today. It began to wiggle and jiggle, and all the TVs clustered around... and it turned back into a fish!

Posted Dec 13, 2011, 3:37 am
Yummmm... Commodore Quack liked the look and smell of dinner, with all that delicious cheese. :)

Posted Dec 14, 2011, 5:09 am
Commodore Quack went to the middle school Christmas concert today!

Posted Dec 15, 2011, 3:24 am
Commodore Quack went to host mom's Iola office Christmas party. The guy in the naughty hat is host mom's boss... eyeing up his competition for the ugly sweater contest! Commodore Quack couldn't wait to eat. :)

Posted Dec 17, 2011, 3:40 am
Commodore Quack isn't sure whether he wants to nibble the sushi or swim with the fish.

Posted Dec 18, 2011, 3:42 am
Commodore Quack and the other TVs visited the Strawberry Hill Museum in Kansas City, Kansas! They were all disappointed that there were no pictures allowed inside because it was so amazing, with all the cultural displays, but they did get some of the outside!

Posted Dec 18, 2011, 3:44 am
Commodore Quack enjoyed his trip to Ghengis Khan Mongolian BBQ!

Posted Dec 20, 2011, 4:48 am
After a long day of shopping, the host family took Commodore Quack out to China Star!

Posted Dec 20, 2011, 4:49 am
Commodore Quack had so much fun learning about line dancing and indoor "snowball" fights at the Classique dance studio Christmas party!

Posted Dec 21, 2011, 4:28 am
Commodore Quack enjoyed the elementary school's Christmas program! The theme was peace on earth.

Posted Dec 23, 2011, 3:26 am
Commodore Quack helped with organizing and wrapping Christmas presents! :)

Posted Dec 23, 2011, 3:28 am
Commodore Quack went to host mom's Garnett office Christmas party and joined in the festivities! :)

Posted Dec 24, 2011, 6:15 am
Commodore Quack enjoyed Pizza Hut for lunch!

Posted Dec 25, 2011, 4:14 am
Commodore Quack went to church with his host family today. There was a special Christmas service, with traditional songs, Christmas themed stories, and a Nativity play!

Posted Dec 25, 2011, 4:16 am
Commodore Quack and the other TVs stopped off at Garnett's South Lake to enjoy the afternoon sunshine and appreciate nature.

Posted Dec 26, 2011, 2:43 am
Christmas! :) Commodore Quack had so much fun watching presents be unwrapped! :)

Posted Dec 29, 2011, 2:15 am
Commodore Quack hung out with the boys this afternoon!

Posted Dec 30, 2011, 3:35 am
Commodore Quack hung out with the kids again today! They went to the elementary school playground. The school just got a new fort, which was made and donated by one of the janitors! The kids said he must love them! :)

Posted Dec 31, 2011, 4:31 am
Host mom painted her daughter's fingernails!

Posted Dec 31, 2011, 9:57 pm
Commodore Quack helped make the last breakfast of the year! It was a delicious sandwich made with slices of granny smith apple, peanut butter, and toasted raisin bread! :)

Posted Jan 1, 2012, 6:06 am
Commodore Quack met ferrets today!

Posted Jan 1, 2012, 9:51 pm
Commodore Quack wondered what on earth this strange hat would be used for!!

Posted Jan 3, 2012, 2:32 am
Commodore Quack went to Aquarium Wholesale and watched the saltwater fish today. He waited very patiently for this shy yellow one to come out of its cave.

Posted Jan 5, 2012, 2:51 am
Commodore Quack perused the book shelves in host mom's office today.

Posted Jan 6, 2012, 4:20 am
Commodore Quack ran errands in Garnett with host mom today. The town hall is very pretty!

Posted Jan 7, 2012, 2:56 am
Commodore Quack is getting very, very curious about what this strange thing might be!

Posted Jan 7, 2012, 11:06 pm
One of the TVs in our group has a life goal of visiting cemeteries, so host mom took us to see the old Iola cemetery. Some of the headstones date back to the 1800s. Some of them are quite elaborate, while others are quite plain!

Posted Jan 10, 2012, 4:40 am
Commodore Quack helped host mom figure out how to use her new Christmas present! Yummy! :)

Posted Jan 10, 2012, 4:43 am
Commodore Quack went to youth group with the host family. There were songs, crafts, and lots of fun! The kids seemed to really enjoy singing "This Little Light of Mine" with flashlights in the dark!

Posted Jan 10, 2012, 4:44 am
Host mom said the weird thing in the kitchen is called "Exploud" and it's a Pokemon.

Posted Jan 11, 2012, 1:27 am
Commodore Quack wonders how these strange boots will turn out... he won't find out because he's leaving for Canada tomorrow!

Posted Jan 30, 2012, 3:45 am
Hi Mum,

I am in Canada :D! Today I felt a strange burst of activity around my envelope as if many little hands were trying to open it :rolleyes:.

And when I eventually came out of it I found a group of TVs looking at me :stare:. They are Jujube and Cherry Lola from the US, Sweetsy from Germany and sammino, a stay at home TV. They gave me a warm welcome :D and we spent the night chatting about our travels :).

Posted Feb 2, 2012, 4:55 am
Hi Mum,

Today we were bored to stay at home so, despite the weather forecast not being exactly beautiful, we convinced smaug to head to the mountains :). It was actually a bit cold and cloudy, so we hid in the backpack until we reached the first stop of our day, Rawson Lake. The lake was frozen solid and covered with snow (like everything else around it :rolleyes:) but, half covered by clouds,  we could see the imposing face of Mount Sarrail at the back of it.

On the opposite side of the lake we could see our destination, that ridge up there.

So, up we went in the middle of the trees. Breaking trail in the deep snow was hard we left smaug taking care of that ;).

Once we reached the top, the clouds were getting thicker and lower, but we still could see the frozen shapes of Kananaskis Lakes.

On the way down we had a great idea: instead of sticking with smaug at his painfully slow pace, we decided to practise glissading on the snow and wait for him at the bottom. It was so much fun :D!

On second thought, maybe it wasn’t the best idea ever :rolleyes:. Oouch!

After this little accident we humbly went back in the backpack ad nursed our wounded pride with some chocolate for the rest of the day ;).

Posted Feb 21, 2012, 2:35 am
Hi Mum,

Today smaug had some time for us, so he took us up to the mountains to snowshoe a bit :).  We soon started questioning his trail selection strategy as it seemed that for the whole day the sun was always on the opposite side of the valley, but he seemed unfazed by our complaints :rolleyes:.

It was funny that, while we had to proceed in deep snow,...

...some of the peaks around us were almost snow-free :stare:.

On the way we stopped to talk to this friendly bird and asked for directions :).

Eventually we reached our destination, which unfortunately was battered by the wind and clad in clouds :rolleyes:...except for the direction from which we had just come. So we took a photo and quickly took cover ;).

Posted Feb 29, 2012, 4:54 am
Hi Mum,

It was fairly cold and snowing here in Calgary this weekend, so we stayed in town and went just to stretch our legs along the river, which is mostly but not completely frozen.

Not surprisingly not many people were around :rolleyes:.

On the way we stopped to check how construction of the Peace Bridge is seems there are chances that it might open less than 2 years late from the expected date :stare:.

Later on, we politely explained to sammino that while we were sort of comfortable with the -15C :o, the wind was starting to bite a bit, particularly since we haven’t got specific arctic survival training :rolleyes:. So we took a final look at downtown Calgary and headed back home...

...where we spent the afternoon nice an warm playing computer games :D.

Posted Mar 11, 2012, 10:11 pm
Hi Mum,

Today was a nice and warm day so we went for a short walk to the foothills :). It was actually nice and warm in Calgary, but only nice and freaking windy a bit higher up :rolleyes:. Luckily most of the time we were walking between trees...

...passing by the occasional viewpoint :).

Once we reached the highest and most exposed spot of our little trip it got very, very windy, so we took a couple of shots trying not to get blown away and then took cover for the rest of the day ;).

Posted Mar 25, 2012, 7:50 pm
Hi Mum,

Today eventually smaug had some time for us, so, even if the weather wasn’t exactly great, we went for a short hike in the snow :). After a a bit of walking we crossed this lovely canyon :D.

Then we reached the best viewpoint of the day: apparently on a normal day this would be a great view of the lake and of the mountains behind it....not today :rolleyes:.

So we kept going along the trail.

Later on we decided to walk down to the lakeshore where the view was a bit clearer...although it was hard to tell what was lake and what was shore ;).

And at that point the camera’s battery surrendered to the cold and, despite our best efforts, there was no way  to revive it. So I’m afraid I will not be able to document all the lovely fog and clouds :rolleyes: that we enjoyed during the rest of the day.

Posted Mar 29, 2012, 4:14 am
Hi Mum,

Today smaug came home with a parcel that looked very likely to be the travelling quarters of a new guest :), so we got very excited.

And it was a new guest indeed, Petit Lapin :D, a nice rabbit from Germany who is traveling the Round Robin 16.  He showed us the lovely cards that he brought with him :), and then we spent the night chatting about past and future travelling ;).

Posted Apr 8, 2012, 5:16 am
Hi Mum,

Today a new guest arrived in Calgary :). Smaug brought back home an envelope and we immediately knew that it was a TV.

And yes, a TV it was, Melek a nice hedgehog from Germany :)...and he brought with him a lovely card and some delicious sweets :D. Of course the chocolate helped a lot in keeping high our sugar levels as we spent the night chatting ;).

Posted Apr 8, 2012, 11:42 pm
Hi Mum,

Not only today is a holiday, but the weather looked gorgeous this morning, so we went for a bit of outdoor exercise :).  We picked a trail in the trees not too far from Calgary.

The trees around us where still covered with the snow fallen last night  :D.

As we moved uphill the view even improved.

By the time we reached the highest point of our day the weather has taken a sudden turn...for the worse :stare:, and the snow started falling.

Soon the light snow turned into a heavy snowfall, so we took shelter under a tree. As we were cheering ourselves up with some tea and a chocolate bar ;), we asked sammino if it was normal for the weather to switch from incredibly clear and blue sky into a blizzard in a couple of hours. He just answered : “Welcome to Calgary” :rolleyes:.

Posted Apr 10, 2012, 4:34 am
Hi Mum,

Happy Easter :D!

We were hoping to celebrate with some gigantic chocolate egg :p, but smaug was concerned about our diet , so we just got small TV sized egges :rolleyes:....still there was enough of them for everyone ;).

Posted Apr 19, 2012, 5:02 am
Hi Mum,

Today we all said goodbye and wished a safe journey to Jujube who is travelling to her next host in the US.

Posted Apr 25, 2012, 5:06 am
Hi Mum,

Today we are having a little taste of summer B), so we expected to go to the mountains and find the snow gone for good...well almost :rolleyes:. We spent the first part of our day in this nice little valley from where we could see the runs at Nakiska ski resort...all still open :stare:.

Moving on we entered a forest where the snow didn’t really seem in the mood to disappear.

Eventually we reached the top of this trail, from where we had nice views in the direction we came from...

...and on the opposite side, to the East :).

South of us we could see Midnight Peak. sammino explained to us that, without snow, it would be a nice walkable ridge :)...but not now with all that snow, maybe in a few weeks....maybe :rolleyes:.

Posted Apr 30, 2012, 4:53 am
Hi Mum,

Today sammino turned into an adult eagle :stare:, (wow, I wonder how many places I will have visited by the time I turned 18 :)), so we decided to throw a little birthday party for him ;). First we blindfolded him and took him to the “party room”.

Here we showed him the cake we had prepared :),...

..., the “themed” card that we got him, and we also, of course, sang Happy Birthday for him :).

He even got a present from his friend Sigfrido in France who sent him a little lovely artwork :o.

After singing and laughing it was time to get to the real business, the cake :rolleyes:...which turned out to be delicious :D.

Posted May 5, 2012, 6:08 am
Hi Mum,

Today once again the weather was reasonably warm, so we went for a short hike :). We actually have been in the same area a few weeks ago when it was covered with snow, but today the lower parts of the trail were almost bone dry :stare:.

Of course there were plenty of spots where the snow was still unchallenged :rolleyes:.

Eventually we reached a nice viewpoint at the top of a ridge where we could see the mountains in the west :)...

...and even the prairies far in the east.

And, as usual, it soon started snowing, so we hastily made our way back home :rolleyes:.

Posted May 7, 2012, 3:38 am
Hi Mum,

Today we said goodbye and wished a safe trip to Petit Lapin who is travelling to the US to his next host in the RR-16 :).

Posted May 9, 2012, 4:33 am
Hi Mum,

Guess what?! A new guest arrived in Calgary today :). smaug came home with a strange parcel that got us very excited.

And, as soon as we managed to open it :rolleyes:, a new TV popped out, Greeny delMonte a nice bear from Germany :). Even if he was a bit jet-lagged we wanted to know everything about his travels, so we spent the night up while helping ourselves with the delicious treats that he brought with him from Japan ;).

Posted May 14, 2012, 4:25 am
Hi Mum,

Spring is coming here in Calgary :). We had a bit snow during the week, but today it was warm (so to speak :rolleyes:) and sunny, so we headed to the mountains. Our trail passed by a lovely viewpoint over Lake Minnewanka :).

Later we dived into the trees, but soon we started gaining elevation and saw the lake again.

Eventually we reached our destination, the site of an abandoned fire lookout. Here we could see the valley leading to Aylmer Pass,...

...Mt Aylmer,...

...and again Lake Minnewanka which, in the upper part, was still partly frozen :stare:.

On the way back we stopped on the lake shore to enjoy the sun :). The water looked so crystal clear that we were tempted to go for a swim :D...then we remembered the ice that was still covering part of the lake and decided that maybe we should postpone the swimming for a few months :rolleyes:.

Posted May 17, 2012, 5:12 am
Hi Mum,

Today smaug came home with a small parcel and told us that we should probably be the ones opening it :stare:, so we got very curious.

After working a bit to get it open, a new guest appeared :D: Elisa a nice sheep from Germany :). Of course we want to know everything about her it’s going to be a very late night ;).

Posted May 29, 2012, 4:21 am
Hi Mum,

Today smaug took us out for another trip to the mountains :). Our destination was a valley west of Calgary. After walking some times in the tree we reached the valley...which is more or less the (mostly) dry bed of a seasonal creek.

Moving on we could see snowy mountains around us...

...and Nihahi Ridge just behind us.

After fighting a bit with deep snow and thick trees we reached the northeast ridge of Mt Fullerton :). Here we could see the valley that we just left far below us...

...again Nihahi Ridge...

...and the summit of Mt Fullerton.

At this point we made a surprise to Melek and organized a sudden birthday party for him :D. Of course we sang Happy Birhday...

...and had some special sweets ready. Unfortunately smaug couldn’t be talked into bringing a cake up here :rolleyes:, so we had to do with some chocolate cookies ;).

Posted Jun 2, 2012, 7:35 pm
Hi Mum,

Guess what?! Another guest arrived today (it’s getting crowded around here ;)). Once again smaug came home and told us that there was a parcel for us :).

And, as we managed to open it, a new TV popped out of it, Tatanka, a nice buffalo from Germany :). He showed us the wonderful presents :D that he brought along and then we spent the evening chatting and listening about his recent travels ;).

Posted Jun 14, 2012, 4:33 am
Hi Mum,

These days neither the weather (always bad in the weekend) nor smaug (always at work) are helping much in keeping us entertained :(, but luckily, as for yesterday, we have some distraction: football :D! The Euro Cup 2012 have started and we have plenty of matches to watch on TV :). With Wales not being in the tournament I don’t really care about the winner (....although I don't think I'll be cheering on England ;)), but our little German colony today was super-excited when Germany were ready to take on Portugal... we started watching the game all together.

They got even more excited when Germany scored....

...and when the match was eventually over.

Just too bad that smaug didn’t leave any appropriate victory-party food supplies...maybe for the next match ;).

Posted Jun 18, 2012, 3:39 am
Hi Mum,
Guess what, a new a guest arrived in Calgary today :).  Smaug came home with a parcel...

...and, when me managed to open it, a TV jumped out of it, Tucker a nice turtle from Germany :). He brought with him a lovely card and some delicious chocolate :D. Of course we spent the evening chatting and occasionally having a bite of that chocolate ;).

Posted Jun 18, 2012, 4:36 am
Hi Mum,

Today, after a few quiet weekends :rolleyes:, smaug took us again up to the mountains :). As it often happens, the first part of the morning was spent between trees...a wonderful excuse to let smaug do the walking, take a little nap in his bag and make up for the sleep lost due to the early wake up ;). Eventually we reached a spot with a bit of view where we could look at both the mountains around us...

...and the prairies far away in the east :).

The weather didn’t look very nice so we thought it was time to head back and maybe enjoy a nice hot chocolate :D, but smaug said there was no reason not to try reach our target of the day, that peak up there :stare:.

So, off we went. Listening to the wind howling outside the rucksack was a bit concerning :o, but somehow we reached the top and managed to take a few photos in the wind before hiding back inside. From up there we could see the Nakiska ski area...

...mountains both south and north...

...and again the prairies in the distance :).

Posted Jun 23, 2012, 5:01 am
Hi Mum,

Today we all gathered together to say goodbye and wish a safe trip to Cherry Lola and Greeny delMonte who are travelling to their next hosts in Germany and the US :).

Posted Jun 23, 2012, 7:59 pm
Hi Mum,

Today sammino told us to get ready to go for a trip :D. He didn’t really give us any detail, other than the fact that it will be many long hours before we find out our destination :stare:.

Posted Jun 30, 2012, 11:44 am
Hi Mum,

Guess what!? I’m back in Europe :D! After an awfully long trip including a missed connection :rolleyes: I eventually fell asleep and this morning I woke up in northern Italy....and with a lovely breakfast ready in front of me :D.

Refreshed and with a full belly ;), we were ready for sammino to introduce us to some of the local residents.

There’s even a twin of sammino...although a tad bigger ;).

As it is quite hot, we decided to finish recovering from the trip and spend the day chitchatting on the window sill, where we can enjoy  a bit of breeze :).

Posted Jun 30, 2012, 9:07 pm
Hi Mum,

It’s freaking hot here :stare:, and having just arrived from Canada it feels even hotter :rolleyes:. So I guess it’s no surprise that we are spending most of the time sheltered indoor ;). Today, to keep ourselves entertained, we decided to play some roulette. The professional skills of our feathered croupier appeared to be at the very least questionable :rolleyes:, but generally luck seemed to ignore me, so I am afraid I can't come back home in a private jet yet :(.

After that we decided to do something more challenging and organised a chess tournament :). It was a real battle of minds and, of course, I was the best B).

Later we explored a bit the bookshelves and found this old atlas, which seemed a bit strange: I didn’t remember Germany to be so big when I last checked a map :stare:.

Posted Jul 9, 2012, 1:57 am
Hi Mum,

Today another guest arrived, Orpheus :), one of smaug’s TVs who will spend a few days with us.

Posted Jul 9, 2012, 3:06 am
Hi Mum,

Today we had a very important football match to watch: the Euro Cup semi-final between Germany and Italy :). With Wales not in the tournament I thought that it was appropriate for me to show appreciation for the local hospitality by joining sammino, Orpheus and Sigfrido in supporting Italy ;).

...and, by the time the teams came on the pitch, there were easily identifiable German and Italian camps :rolleyes: in front of the TV, and emotions were running high.

My camp was very happy as Italy swept Germany away :D...

...and sammino went a bit wild on the celebrations :rolleyes:.

Posted Jul 9, 2012, 3:49 am
Hi Mum,

After just a few days, today we had to say goodbye to Orpheus and Sigfrido who are travelling to Rome...lucky them ;).

Posted Jul 18, 2012, 4:43 am
Hi Mum,

Today we headed into the heart of the dolomites :D, where early in the morning we were welcomed by pouring rain :rolleyes:, and as we left the parking lot there were limited signs of improvement.

Still, we started walking up a narrow valley and when we came out of the trees things got better :). We were following a very nice trail...

...with lovely peaks surrounding us all the time :).

As we gained elevation, the view improved further...

...and we eventually saw the highest point of our day, a narrow pass at the top of the valley.

Once we got up there we saw a plateau that apparently we had to cross (hey, that bird who obviously wanted to meet me :D)...

...and more mountains around us :).

A few hours later :rolleyes:, we were looking at the same plateau from the opposite side...

...before diving down this wonderful valley and go back to the car, where we arrived just minutes before the rain came back, perfect timing ;).

Posted Jul 24, 2012, 4:36 am
Hi Mum,

I’m back in Canada :D! Alas, the holiday ended soon :rolleyes:, but when we arrived in Calgary we found a surprise: an envelope that looked like there was a new guest inside :).

And yes, there was actually a new guest :), Shooga, a nice TV from Germany and she brought a wonderful card with her :).

But today it was also goodbye time as we wished a safe trip to Melek who jumped in his envelope and started travelling to his next host.

Posted Jul 30, 2012, 2:20 am
Hi Mum,

Today the weather didn’t look too good, but it was actually quite warm, so we headed to the mountains for a little hike...hoping not to get drenched by rain :rolleyes:. The first part of the day wasn’t too exciting, until we started to see something between the trees.

Eventually we reached a ridge were the view was much better :): we had some nice rock walls in front of us...

...and could see the Bow valley far in the distance.

We asked sammino if that peak was our destination, but he told us that it was just a little hump along the ridge :stare:.

On the way we got distracted looking at the many flowers, we really like these little ones :).

At last we reached the top where the view was a bit of a disappointment :rolleyes:.

It was so foggy that the only thing we could barely see was the ridge that we had just walked up from.

Interesting enough, despite the elevation, it was full of mosquitoes...and fairly vicious ones too. So we hastily found cover in the bag and left the blood thirsty bugs to feast on smaug ;).

Posted Jul 30, 2012, 4:14 am
Hi Mum,

For once the weather was gorgeous during the weekend so, of course, we headed to the mountains. After a bit of walking we reached our first view point, where we had the side of Mt. Glasgow just in front of us :).

From here our path followed this nice valley...

...that soon became very wide.

This place looked somehow familiar :stare:, and sammino pointed out that we have been here a couple of months ago when the deep snow thwarted our attempt to hike up Mt. Fullerton over there.

From here the valley started getting narrower...

...and then even narrower and narrower :rolleyes:. But the view improved: we had a good look at the back of Mt. Fullerton...

...and some glimpses of the top of Mt. Howard.

Eventually we reached a nice little cirque where we had a great view...

...and could also see the headwater of the creek that we followed the whole day, with Mt. Howard slopes on he right.

As we were ready to start heading home sammino told us that we were going to be bold :stare: and push for the summit of Mt. Howard. We were not that convinced about this being bold business :rolleyes:, but once we reached the top the view was wonderful in every direction :).

What a day :D!

Posted Jul 31, 2012, 3:45 am
Hi Mum,

Today was a big farewell day as we all gathered together to say goodbye and wish a safe journey to Elisa, Tatanka and Tucker who are all moving into new adventures :).

Posted Aug 20, 2012, 4:24 am
Hi Mum,

Today the weather was gorgeous, so we headed deep into in the mountains :). We actually left fairly early and slept comfortably in smaug’s bag until he woke us up (rather abruptly :rolleyes:) and told us that it was time to take some photos. So we came out and found ourselves on some sort of slope with a nice view on the opposite side of the valley :).

Still we got a bit concerned as our presumed destination seemed a touch out of reach.

But we went on and, as we gained elevation, we started seeing Peyto Lake in front of us...

...and Bow Lake far in the looked like this mountain was actually going to live up to its name ;).

And the summit didn’t look that far anymore.

Eventualy we got to the top and the view was spectacular :D. We could see Bow Lake and the Wapta Icefields in the south,...

...Peyto Lake just below us...

...and the valley heading north to Saskatchewan Crossing.

At this point, disappointingly, sammino told us that we had just reached a false summit :stare: and that the true summit was at the end of that ridge.

So we moved on and reached the real top, where the view was still good, but probably not as good as before :rolleyes:.

But it was a nice sheltered place for lunch :).

While eating we checked our daily progresses and noticed we were well above 3000 m, so we asked sammino if we were going to need oxygen masks B), but he said that we were likely going to survive without them.

Eventually it was time to go back, but we took a final photo of our “conquest” ;) before jumping in the car.

What a day :D!

Posted Sep 4, 2012, 12:06 am
Hi Mum,

Today the weather wasn’t really nice, but still it was warm enough to go out for a short hike...hoping not to get pelted with rain :rolleyes:.  After some time between trees we started having a nice view of the Elbow valley in the east...

....and west :).

Later we found a nice view spot along the ridge that we were following.

Eventually we reached the highest spot on the ridge, from where the clouds in all directions seemed to be getting darker and darker :stare:... we decided to hastily move back to the car :rolleyes:.

Posted Sep 4, 2012, 12:20 am
Hi Mum,

Today we all said goodbye and wished a safe journey to Sweetsy, who is ready to travel home :).

Posted Sep 4, 2012, 12:59 am
Hi Mum,

Today we went for a gorgeous trip to the mountains :). The drive to the trailhead was bit long but, after the first usual boring tree covered part of the trail we reached Sherbrooke Lake where the view improved.

Here we had our first glimpse of our target for the day :stare:...and the reflections in the lake were beautiful :D.

As we gained elevation we passed by some wonderful waterfalls :).

Eventually we reached a little pass from where we could look back at the final section of the valley that we just left...

...and on the opposite side we could see glaciers :).

The summit of Mt. Niles seemed definitely out of reach, but sammino insisted that it was going to be a walk in the park :rolleyes:, so we pressed on.

And we made it! The view, of course was amazing :). We could see Emerald Lake and the Little Yoho Valley in the west,...

...the Waputik Icefield,...

...the peaks along the Continental Divide in the north,...

...Sherbrooke Lake far in the south...

...and even the Bow Valley in the distance :).

Of course, we all signed the summit log B).

Once back at the car we took a final photo at Wapta Lake with the sunset light, then we fell asleep and left smaug to take care of getting us back home deep in the night :rolleyes:.

What a day :D!

Posted Sep 4, 2012, 1:29 am
Hi Mum,

Today I said goodbye to my friends here in Calgary and got ready to start travelling to my new host :).

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

Posted Sep 10, 2012, 11:59 am
Hey Mum,

I arrived in Germany today :) I'm so happy to finally get out of the dark envelope. The first thing that I saw was the bright sun, oh what a lovely weather here in Dortmund  B) It took me a little to arrive here because I had to stop at the customhouse during my travel. But well, here I am now :)

I brought some things from Canada for my new host with me, Kate absolutely loves the postcard and the magnet. :)

Well, soon after the excitement of the arrival died down, I noticed a huge pain in my back... It must have happened during my travel, I didn't notice it at the beginning. Thank god my new host gave first aid and now I feel much better. :)

Let me tell you something about Dortmund, the city where I am right now.
Dortmund is located in western Germany. It's the 8th largest city in Germany and has a population of 580,956. The city is part of the "Ruhr Area", the largest urban agglomeration in Germany, which is named after the river "Ruhr" that flows in this Area.
Here you can see a map of Germany, the red thing marks the Ruhr Area.

Let's take a closer look. Here is a map of the Ruhr Area. Do you see the city "Bochum" next to Dortmund? I'll spend a lot of time there because my host lives there as well. She was born and raised there and moved to Dortmund 2 years ago, but she stays in Bochum at her parents every weekend and most of the week during her semester break.

I stayed in Canada with one of Kate's TV's, Tucker. What a small world :)
Alright, I need some sleep now, the journey was so tiring.

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 13, 2012, 11:51 am
Hey Mummy,

it's a rainy day today, just like the last two days... My host had an oral exam this morning, so I spent the morning with exploring the flat as she studied.
I found a nice sheet metal sign with a picture of the Titanic and 4 important people. Oh I wish I could go on board of such a big ship like this one day. Well, but please without sinking...  :rolleyes:

Edward John Smith was a great captain, everyone loved him. It's so sad that he died when the Titanic sank.

I think I found a new favourite place in the flat, the bathroom  :D Everything's related to the sea, even the toilet lid, haha! Most of it is placed on the washing machine.

And look what I found!! A CD with sounds of the sea. I love it. Dortmund isn't near a sea, so I have to put up with this CD.

Alright, about 9.15am we went to the university, it's called "Technische Universität Dortmund", in english it's "technical university of Dortmund". It exists since 1968 and has 2 campuses. The northern campus is much bigger than the southern campus, but the southern one is more familiar. At the northern campus are the natural sciences, the humane discipline and everything related to music. At the southern campus is the whole constructing stuff, like architecture, spatial planning and civil engineering.
We just visited the southern campus today, because my host studies only there. :)
This is the back view of the southern campus. The building on the right is the building of my host's faculty:

On our way back home we passed a DIY market called "Hellweg".

Near our home is a huge museum, called "Zeche Zollern" ("Zollern II/IV Colliery"). It was built from 1898 until 1904. After the closing of the colliery in 1969 it became a very important museum.

That's it about my morning here in Dortmund. I think I won't do very much today, just relaxing, cleaning the flat and stuff like that.

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 15, 2012, 8:28 pm
Hey Mummy,

I visited a small cemetery today. It belongs to a district in Bochum called "Grumme", that's where I live here in Bochum. The cemetery isn't very modern, but it's nice there :)

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 17, 2012, 7:17 pm
Hey Mum,

another TV arrived today, his name is TezTez and he's from Austria. He seems to be very nice and I think we're gonna have a good time here in Germany. :)

I've been to a memorial with my host yesterday. It was very touching, but out of respect I didn't take any pictures.

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 18, 2012, 5:50 pm
Hey Mum,
Kate took a long walk with TezTez, me and her dog today. It was so lovely, we started at the Zeche Zollern (I’ve been there a few days ago), we passed many fields and walked through a forest. Besides we made a stop at a castle set on a lake, called “Haus Dellwig”. It was built in the 13th century, was destroyed in the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) and was rebuilt from 1658 to 1690. It’s a lovely place, everything’s so quiet and peaceful, there are no cars or people but many animals and it's surrounded by nature. :)

Starting at Zeche Zollern :)

This is my host's dog, a Jack Russell terrier named "Lady"

This was the first field that we passed

This picture was taken in the forest, there's the "Dellwiger Bach", it's a stream.

As we continued our walk we passed through an allotment-garden area.

There was a lovely colourful bench :)

Later we passed another field.

The castle came closer and closer, we were almost there!!

And finally, this is the castle. It's a lovely building :) Here you can see the back view and the side-view:

This is some old agricultural equipment in front of the castle:

Here you can see the entrance of the castle, the inner courtyard and the castle itself. It's lovely, isn't it?

There was an Egyptian goose, it absolutely wasn't bothered about us walking around there.  :D

Next to the castle was a paddock with some horses.

On our way back home we walked through a forest again. There were some steepish stairs!! It doesn't look that steepish on the pictures, but I swear it was very hard to go up there.  :stare:

After a long walk we came home and now I'm really tired. I enjoyed the fresh air and the landscape and I'm happy that I saw this nice castle :)

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 22, 2012, 8:53 pm
Hi Mummy,

the weather was lovely today so we decided to visit the zoo here in Dortmund. It's a huge zoo with many animals, it was so much fun!!
I couldn't take pictures with all the animals there, some were too far away to take a nice picture with me and the animals. Well, but I did take some pictures :)

Here you can see me with a rhino from close up, from a distance and the rhino itself :)

There's an amazonhouse with 3 levels. The climate in this house is like in a rainforest, there were some animals who just walked / flew through this house without any cages or something like that. One of the animals was a big iguana :)

Here you can see a camel :)

Let's come to the lions, it was the most funniest part of the zoo. There are two lion cubs, named "Lolek" and "Bolek". They were so cute!! They squabbled and played with some toys, it was so much fun!! :D

Next to the lions were the tigers. This one had to stay in this bleak cage for a few minutes because the zookeeper cleaned his terrain outdoors.

This is a part of the terrain of the siamangs. Siamangs are apes / gibbons with black pelage.

Well, it was very interesting and I learned much about animals from all over the world.  :) My favourite animals were the lions, the penguins and the meerkats.
Oh and you won't believe what happened!! A bird just shat on my host's head as we looked at the giraffes. I couldn't stop laughing but Kate wasn't very amused..  :p  :D
Alright, it was a long day and I need some sleep now.

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 25, 2012, 8:58 pm
Hey Mummy,

a new TV arrived today, her name is Germanya and she only travels through Germany. TezTez and me welcomed her :)

In the afternoon we took a walk through a forest to enjoy the nice weather :) It was great, there were some stacked boles and a beautiful tree that fell over sometime. I climbed on it :)

Alright, that's it for today.

Commodore Quack

Posted Sep 29, 2012, 5:03 pm
Heeey Mummy :)

You know what day it is? It's my birthdaaay!!!! Yaaaay  B)
TezTez, Germanya and my host sang a Happy-Birthday-Song for me and I got a present. I really had no idea what it was and I was very excited :)

I unwrapped it and saw a necklace with a wheel!! They said I got a wheel because of my love for boats and the sea. What a lovely idea.

I gave TezTez and Germanya a big hug and gave thanks to them. I wouldn't have thought that I get such a nice present :)

In the afternoon Kate showed us the theatre of the musical "Starlight Express" in Bochum. The theatre is very close to our home here in Bochum, it's just 10 minutes by foot. My host is a huge fan :) It was composed by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. It's a musical about the world championship of some trains. Engines from all over the world try to win the championship, the maincharacters are Greaseball - the Diesel engine, Electra - the electric engine and Rusty - the steam engine. Besides it's about finding some self-confidence and the true love.
It will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year!! It's the musical with the longest repertory season in Germany (it opened in Germany in 1988) and there's a world record for the most visitors to a musical in a single theatre. This theatre was especially built for this show. The musical is also currently on tour through the UK, maybe you'll get the chance to see it. :)

This is a train which is placed on the forecourt of the theatre, apposite to the theme of the musical :)

Alright, I'm gonna celebrate my birthday with TezTez and Germanya now. Have a nice evening!! :)

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 1, 2012, 6:54 pm
Hey Mummy :)

The weather was absolutely beautiful today!! The weather forecast for the next days isn't good, it says that it'll rain as from tomorrow, so we decided to enjoy the last sunny day. We took a walk around a lake, it was so nice!!  B)
We crossed a little bridge, I think it looks pretty with the trees on both endings.

This is the big lake :)

Here you can see a small pond which is next to the lake:

There was a tree with a hole, it was so cosy in there.  :rolleyes:

Oh what a lovely day, the sunshine combinded with the lake and the setting was awesome  B)
I really hope you had a nice day.

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 3, 2012, 11:24 am
Hey Mum!!

You won't believe it, we made a trip to the german North Sea coast :) We visited many little towns in the East Frisia region. We started in Greetsiel. There are twin windmills which are very very old.

Afterwards we visited a small town called "Neßmersiel". Well, it's more a holiday resort than a normal town. My host used to spend her holidays there many years since she was a child. Neßmersiel belongs to the county of Aurich.

There's an old sluice, but it's not used anymore. Besides there's an old windmill. The sails of the windmill don't exist anymore, so it doesn't work :D

Neßmersiel lies directly behind a dike, cows are grazing there during the day.

Our next stop was in Neuharlingersiel. It's a lovely fishing village with a small harbour. My host told me that there are more boats normally, it looks a bit 'empty' on this picture.

And finally our last stop was in Carolinensiel, another lovely fishing village. We saw a paddle steamer there!! It was so nice :)

In Carolinensiel were many more boats than in Neuharlingersiel :)

Oh it was such a lovely day. I loved being on the coast, seeing so many boats and scenting the air of the sea. :) But it was a loooong day... The journey there took more than 3 and a half hours by car and the return journey took more than 3 1/2 hours as well. That's 7 hours just for the journey there and back, not included the ways between Greetsiel, Neßmersiel, Neuharlingersiel and Carolinensiel. So many hours in the car, gosh, it was exhausting! But it was totally worth it :)

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 12, 2012, 8:15 pm
Hey Mum!!

Long time no speak, I'm so sorry!!! My host is very busy at the moment :(
It was time for some shopping today!! :) The shopping centre that we visited is called "Ruhr Park", named after the river "Ruhr" which flows through the Ruhr Area.

Commodore Quack :)

Posted Oct 12, 2012, 8:18 pm
Hey Mum,

today wasn't a special day, I just spent the time at home while my host had to be at the university. As she came home I helped her writing some postcards, she's a postcrosser :) The one with the cat and the mouse goes to the USA, the other one goes to Russia.

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 12, 2012, 8:26 pm
Heeey Mummy!! :)

My host showed me the german mining museum ("Deutsches Bergbau Museum" ) in Bochum today. It's one of the most important museums about mining worldwide. Aside from the normal museum you can go on the shaft tower and there's a recreated adit in a depth of 20 meters which you can explore. The length of the tunnel is about 2,5km.  :o
Bochum and the whole Ruhr Area were famous for mining and industry. In the past, there were lots of collieries and steel productions in the Ruhr Area. Most of the collieries don't exist anymore.
This is me in front of the museum and the shaft tower :)

And this is something that is related to mining but I have no idea what its exact name is :D

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 15, 2012, 11:56 am
Hey Mum!!

Kate had a surprise for me and you won’t believe what we did today!! We went to the “TV Total Stock Car Crash Challenge”! It’s a huge television event where german (and some foreign) celebrities take part in a stock car racing. It takes place in the “Veltins Arena” in Gelsenkirchen, the football stadium of the popular football club “FC Schalke 04”. The host of this show is Stefan Raab, one of the most famous TV hosts here in Germany. There are 10 teams with 3 drivers each. Guess what, Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil took part too! Since 2005 there’s one TV Total Stock Car Crash Challenge per year, so this is the 8th time, it’s the 5th time that my host was there :)

It’s kinda complicated to explain exactly what it is but I wanna try it. There are 3 different car-classes (1500 cm³, 1900 cm³ and 3000 cm³).
In the first heat are 3 races (one race for each class) where the drivers get points for every lap. The driver who first finishes 10 rounds is the winner.
In the second heat are 3 races as well. The drivers get points for every lap AND they get points when they overturn or spin another car. Every race lasts 10 minutes, the driver with the most points after 10 minutes wins the race.
After these 2 heats there’s the “Caravan Crash Cup”. As you can imagine the goal of it is to destroy the caravans of the other drivers.
The last race is the “Rodeo”. It’s the most exciting race of the day. Every car (no matter which class) that is still fit do drive (many cars get destroyed in the second heat) takes part in this race. They have to destroy the other cars (by overturning, spinning, ramming and things like that) until one single car is left. The driver of this car is the winner. There were 2 winners this year for the first time! Adrian Sutil and Timo Scheider (a DTM driver) ended up in a "sudden death" to make out a winner, but both cars broke at the same time! Crazy!

The Veltins Arena is a strange arena, you can’t pay cash there so you need to buy a “Knappenkarte” first and then you can buy your food and drinks with it. This is the Knappenkarte of last year’s event. The man that you can see on the card is the host, Stefan Raab.

Here you can see the arena with the race course and the pit of the team "Software Pyramide" on the left. The seats in front of us were empty when I took this picture because we were there veeery early and had to wait 2 hours until the beginning, but better too early than too late, right? :)

The box of the TV host Steven Gätjen, who moderated the show for the TV viewer and for the 50.000 people in the arena, was right next to us!! It was so exciting to see all the german celebrities walking and standing near us. Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures of it :(

It was a fun night even though it was bitterly cold (even Steven Gätjen wore a winter jacket) and I was very tired at the end. We stayed there from about 6pm untlil 2.15am next morning!!!

Alright, that's it about my evening. Sorry for the long post ;)

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 17, 2012, 1:22 pm
Hey there Mum,
how are you? I hope you're fine!!
Autumn's slowly comming to Germany these days. The leaves start to become colourful, it rains much and the people start to decorate everything. :)

I spent some time outdoors today and I found many mushrooms :)

Look, the leaves became red :)

This is a restaurant which is next to our house here in Bochum, it's called "Gasthaus Goeke". It's more than 100 years old and my host says that the food is delicious :)

This is the catholic church of the district where we live.

This is the view from a window. Isn't it nice?? :) Look at the different colours of the trees of the forest. I can't wait until they become much more colourful and turn deeper red, orange and yellow, but I think I have to wait a few more days or weeks until it happens.

Look, a straw man :) He's placed in front of our door.

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 18, 2012, 6:27 pm
Hey Mummy,

the weather was absolutely glorious today so we decided to take a walk through some forests, a cemetery and fields. Oh I loved it  B)

When we were at home we wrote some postcards for postcrossing :)

Afterwards I helped Kate to stick some photos in a photo album. Previous to it I took a look at the photos that were already in it.
Here you can see me with pictures which were taken in Paris and Howth (Ireland):

Here you can see me helping to stick a photo in the album, it was taken at the Loch Ness in Scotland :)

Commodore Quack

Posted Oct 20, 2012, 9:20 pm
“And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.”
- John 16:22

In remembrance of kcrawfish, may she rest in peace and ascend to heaven.

Posted Oct 22, 2012, 9:52 pm
Hey Mummy,

we've been to Recklinghausen this evening. It's a city near Dortmund and Bochum, about 15 or 20 minutes by car. There's a special event these days, it's called "Recklinghausen leuchtet", in english it's something like "Recklinghausen shines". There are many light installations in the inner city which illuminate 46 houses. Everything looks so lovely! I absolutely loved being there and I could've spent many hours there. I couldn't take pictures with all of them, it was way too much!! So, some pictures are with me, some are just with my shape (haha) and some are just private photos that my host took, but we wanted to show you how lovely everything looked :)

This is the town hall of Recklinghausen. The illumination changed every few seconds, I think this one was the nicest :) It shows a very old map of a part of Germany (and a bit of Great Britain on the left, the reddish thing).

This is an old pharmacy :)

I think this was a law office, but I'm not quite sure :D Besides of the nice lights, there was a ghost that flew along the building (also an illumination), it was so cute!! Unfortunately I couldn't take a picture of the ghost :(

Here you can see the entrance of a hotel. It looked much nicer than in this picture and it was a huge building, but there were so many people in front of the hotel and I didn't want them to be seen in the pictures.

I don't know exactly what this building is for... Anyhow, it shows a scene of the bible, the feeding of the five thousand and the multiplication of the loaves (well, and the fishes, that's why you see so many fishes there).

This is the house of a jeweller. It's one of my favourite buildings here in Recklinghausen, it's so colourful :) Haha, can you find me or my shape? :D

Well, there were maaaaany installations, maybe I'll go back to Recklinghausen at the end of the week and take some other pictures for you, mummy :)
It's late now and I need some sleep. Have a nice evening!!

Commodore Quack


Posted Nov 1, 2012, 9:17 pm
Hello Mummy,

long time no speak, I'm so sorry!! It didn't happen very much the last days... The other TV's and me helped Kate to bake a huge biscuit today!! A friend of my host has birthday on saturday and one of his presents is this huge biscuit. It's a special one, but you'll see it later ;)

Well, first we had to mix the ingredients.

Afterwards we had to wrap the batter in saran wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Aaaand here it is!!! It's a huge guitar and a record. Isn't it great?? :)

Well, we had way too much batter so we made some small biscuits out of the remains.

This is the guitar after it came out of the oven. Well, it looked a bit bleakly and boring so we had to posh it up with some colours (with chocolate and so on) :)

And this is the result, but it doesn't look as nice as we thought it would.

Commodore Quack

Posted Nov 7, 2012, 3:22 pm
Hey Mummy,

my host is very busy at the moment so I stayed at home the last days. It's very rainy, cold and gloomy outdoors so I just cuddled up on the sofa with a blanket and a hot-water bottle. The others joined me :) Ooooh the joy of a cosy spot and the pleasant feeling of warmth...

Commodore Quack

Posted Nov 10, 2012, 8:36 pm
Hey Mum,

I spent some time in the city this evening, there's so much to see at night :) RedSwan joined us with the TV's that she's hosting, Leif E and her own TV Collenferð.
There's a metro station called "Lohring" with some pretty nice light installations :) The floor is made of glass with lamps under it and there's a big yellow "x" on the enamel wall. I think it looks quite nice :)
Here you can see the metro station and a group photo:

This is at the metro station at the city hall, it's a guy named Carl Arnold Kortum who lived from 1745 - 1824.

Well, this is the german mining museum by night, I've already been here on the 12th of October so I won't tell you anything about it again ;)

Our last stop was at the Bermuda3Eck, the "Bermuda triangle". It's a very popular bar district in the inner city of Bochum with heaps of bars, it's so nice!! There's a lot of activity every evening, hundreds of people come here every evening to have a fun night out, drinking alcohol and to wine and dine. On the following picture you can see the end of the Bermuda3Eck with a huge lettering on top of a building so people can see it from further afar. A special thing about this building is that there's a big outdoor skate park on top of the building. You can reach it by entering the store for skater on the ground floor. Pretty cool!! Maybe I'll be able to take another picture during the day.

That's it about my evening in Bochum so far :)

I miss you!!

Commodore Quack

Posted Nov 15, 2012, 3:58 pm
Hey Mummy,

today I visited the university here in Dortmund. It's called TU Dortmund (TU = technical university). It exists since 1968 and has 2 campuses. The northern campus is bigger than the southern campus, but the southern one is more familiar.
At the northern campus are the natural sciences, the humane discipline and everything related to music. At the southern campus is the whole constructing stuff, like architecture, spatial planning and civil engineering.
I just visited the southern campus today, because my hosts studies spatial planning there.

Here you can see some of the buildings of the southern campus, the building on the right is the one of my host's faculty of spatial planning. Besides you can see the H-Bahn (Hochbahn or Hängebahn). The H-Bahn is an overhead track which connects the campuses.

Here you can see an information board with the names of the professors and the information where their offices are.

We had some free hours today so we spent some time in a lounge which is especially for the students of my hosts faculty. There are some old sofas and some coffee tables :) Well it's not very modern and the air isn't really fresh but it's comfortable  :p

Well, later that day we had to say goodbye to TezTez, he'll continue his journey :) I hope I'll meet him again someday!!

Commodore Quack

Posted Nov 20, 2012, 11:43 am
Hey Mum,

my host bought some postcards for Postcrossing today :) There are some pretty nice cards, don't you think?

Commodore Quack

Posted Nov 27, 2012, 10:34 pm
Hey Mummy,

Sorry for being such a faithless friend in the past few days, things are very busy at the moment. :(
Well, it's a rainy day but Kate had something to do in the inner city, so she took me with her today. She showed me the townhall of Bochum. The architect Karl Roth started to build it in 1926, since then the building grew more and more and some buildings were added. :)

Commodore Quack

Posted Dec 1, 2012, 11:24 pm
Hey Mummy :)

It's the 1st day of December and it's time for some christmas spirit!! :)
We visited the christmas market here in the inner city of Bochum this evening, it was lovely! There's not only the normal christmas market, there's even a medieval christmas market!!
The savings bank installed some lights in the form of a christmas tree :)

There are many stalls on the christmas market and you can buy everything you want there, it starts with food and drinks but there are also stalls for candles, jewellery, clothes, gifts in any shape or form, toys and much more.
There are many stalls where you can buy "Glühwein" (mulled claret / glogg), but there's one special stall. It's in the form of a christmas pyramid, it's so nice!!

As we moved on we noticed the first snow of the year here in Bochum :)

Everything was very wet so we decided to take cover from snow in a stall at the medieval market. There worked a woman, dressed in medieval clothes, and she produced a belt for a customer all by herself.

Well, as the weather wasn't so nice I couldn't take many pictures but I hope to visit the christmas market again to catch the atmosphere in some more and better pictures.

Commodore Quack

Posted Dec 2, 2012, 9:50 pm
Happy first sunday of advent!!! :)

Posted Dec 10, 2012, 10:54 am
Happy second sunday of advent :)

I just wanna show you some christmas decorations of my home here in Bochum :)

I really hope that you have a lovely christmas time with all your beloved ones!!

Commodore Quack

Posted Dec 14, 2012, 9:00 pm
Hey Mum!! :)

We had some snow this morning :) Everything was covered with this white powder, it looks so nice!! Well, my host's car was covered as well so we came a little too late to university because we had to scrape away the snow^^
In the afternoon there was much more snow but I didn't take any pictures, it was so cold!!


Commodore Quack

Posted Dec 22, 2012, 10:24 am
Hey Mummy,

Christmas Eve is getting closer and closer. I'm already so excited!! As I spent Christmas in the USA last year everything's a bit different for me this year, because here in Germany Christmas Eve is the "main Christmas day" not the 25th. People go the church on Christmas Eve, have the Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, they get their gifts on Christmas Eve and well, almost everything happens on Christmas Eve. On the 25th - Christmas Day - Kate and her family will visit some relatives who live in an other part of Germany.

However, I helped Kate to wrap some Christmas gifts for her family today :)

Did you already wrap some gifts, Mummy?

Commodore Quack

Posted Dec 24, 2012, 8:40 pm
Merry Christmas, Mummy!

It's Christmas Eve and that means, that it was time for gifts and spending time with the family.
Well, in this family here it's kinda "tradition" that Kate decorates the Christmas tree in the morning of the 24th, so I helped her :)

This is how the tree looked before we started to decorate it:

Then we started to decorate the tree, it was so much fun :)

This is Kates favourite tree decoration, it's a golden ornament with illustrations of the irish history. Kate bought it in Ireland last year.

And this is our Christmas tree after we finished decorating. I think it looks nice :)

At evening we went to church and afterwards it was time to hand out the presents. Afterwards it was time for Christmas dinner :) These are the presents that my host got.

We don't have Christmas Crackers here in Germany (well, at least not in the region where I live right now) so I couldn't fulfil my mission :( But I had a great day anyway.

Merry Christmas, Mum. I hope you'll spend some nice hours and days with your family and your lovelies.

Commodore Quack

Posted Dec 27, 2012, 6:54 pm
Hello Mummy,

it's raining cats and dogs today, but we took a long walk anyway. As we strolled through the park we ended up at the synagogue of Bochum for the jewish community. It's relatively new, it opened in 2007.

Next to the synagogue is the planetarium. It's called "Zeiss Planetarium Bochum". It's one of the most modern planetariums worldwide at the moment, even though it doesn't really look like it'd be so modern. Well, it does look a bit gloomy on this picture because of the rain, but normally it's a quite nice place.

Afterwards we passed an old church. It's called "Lutherkirche" and was built in 1911/1912. You know, almost every building in Bochum got destroyed in World War II and this church is one of the few buildings that remained and reminds of the history before World War II. It looks nice, doesn't it? :)

On our way back home we passed the Bismarck tower. Kate told me something about Bismarck towers, I didn't know anything about them. Bismarck towers (in german it means "Bismarcktürme") are a unique genre of German monuments, built to honour the ex-chancellor of Prussia, Otto von Bismarck. 240 towers were built between 1869 and 1934 across the German Empire, 173 of them still remain.

Well, even though the weather was bad and the pictures look very gloomy, it was a nice afternoon and I enjoyed to catch some fresh air. :)

Commodore Quack

Posted Jan 1, 2013, 1:03 pm
Hey Mummy,

it's New Year's Eve and the year 2013 is slowly getting closer. When I look back at the year 2012 it was a quite good year for me. I visited many new places and got to know many nice TVs and hosts, that's exactly how I wanted to spend my year.
However, I didn't celebrate New Year's Eve at a big party as my host had to work and just came home about 11.25pm, so we didn't have the time to go out. But we had a nice evening anyways.

I hope you had a great New Year's Eve, Mummy!!

Commodore Quack

Posted Jan 1, 2013, 6:30 pm

I'm wishing you all the best for the new year, may all your wishes come true!!

This morning we watched the popular Vienna New Year's Concert live on TV, which is broadcasted in 73 countries around the world. It's a concert of classical music that takes place each year in the morning of January 1 in Vienna, the capital of Austria.

Commodore Quack

Posted Jan 13, 2013, 9:35 am
My dearest Mummy,

how do you feel today? How did you spend your first 2 weeks of the year? Well I didn't do much, my host was very busy but today we took a walk :) It was very cold and the ground was frozen, but I enjoyed it anyway.
We passed a bridge and had a look at an autobahn (motorway).

Then we reached a forest. The trees look so naked during the wintertime  :stare:

The way led us to a big lawn. A few years ago this lawn was a field but for any reason it's no longer there.

Afterwards we passed the training ground of the youth section of the football club "VFL Bochum". Kate told me that they have 2 or 3 training fields.

At the end we passed another forest from where we were able to sneak a peek at our district. :)

As we arrived at home I immediately slipped under the covers. Brrrr!! It was so cold!!!

Commodore Quack

Posted Jan 16, 2013, 1:22 pm
Hey Mummy,

it's been very cold the last days and we have soooo much snow here!! I wish we would have had so much snow on Christmas Eve :( But well, that's how it is right now. The traffic situation is horrible because of the snowfall!! There are many accidents with many casualties these days...
But let's have a look at the positive things of the snow. I was finally able to build a snowman :) I couldn't find something for the face of the snowman but at least he has some arms  :D  :p

Snowy greetings,
Commodore Quack

Posted Feb 6, 2013, 9:10 pm
Hello Mummy,

long time no speak, I'm so sorry :( My host is very busy and there aren't many things for me to do at the moment. But I'm fine and happy, I'm having a great time with my friend Germanya :)

Well, after about 2 weeks without snow I woke up today to see a winter wonderland. I was very surprised as it was relatively warm yesterday, but anyway. My host's car was blocked by snow and it took a long time to uncover it. The snow was almost as high as me!!

I told you about my host's dog a few months ago, didn't I? She is wounded on her paw and needs a bandage now. She's very annoyed of it and hates it!! Poor Lady, but I think the blue bandage really suits her :D

Love and you
Commodore Quack xx

Posted Feb 14, 2013, 11:30 am
Hey Mummy,

the weather was so nice today that we decided to take a walk :) It was bloody cold but the air was very fresh :) I even met some duck friends :)

During our walk we met some children dressed in costumes, they looked adorable!! It's Carnival Monday today so they celebrate Carnival at school and at a Carnival Parade.
Unfortunately Kate did not have enough time to go to a Carnival Parade with Germanya and me, but she allowed us to watch the Cologne Carnival Parade live on TV. :)

In many parts of Germany it's a tradition to eat "Berliner" on Carnival Monday, it's an doughnut without the central hole and with a marmelade or jam filling. Yummy!!  B)

Commodore Quack

Posted Feb 26, 2013, 11:05 am
Hey Mummy,

Kate allowed Germanya and me to stay awake late this night to watch TV, because today was the day of the 85th Academy Awards!! It took place in Los Angeles, USA, so due to the different time zones the actual event started about 2:30am here in Germany!! The broadcast of the Red Carpet started about 1:30am I think. It was hard to stay awake but it was worth it!! Seth Macfarlane hosted the Oscars this year and he did a great job, even though some of his jokes were a little too shady. It was a great event and it was so nice to see so many actors and actresses with so beautiful dresses :)

Here are some pics of the Red Carpet:

This was during the ceremony, doesn't Jennifer Aniston look stunning?? Jennifer and Channing would make such a beautiful couple!!

At some point, about 4:30am we fell asleep and Kate covered us with her blanket.

Congrats to everyone who won an Oscar that night!!

Commodore Quack

Posted Apr 5, 2013, 6:17 pm
Happy Easter, Mummy!!!

Posted Apr 14, 2013, 8:49 pm
Hey Mummy,

spring arrived in Germany!! The weather was wonderful today, the sun was shining and it was more than 20 degrees!!  B) We enjoyed the day at the "Halde Hoheward", a spoil tip in a city called "Herten", at the border between the cities Herten and Recklinghausen.
At the top of the spoil tip is some kind of an horizon-observatory. We had a fantastic view from there!! :)

Well, to reach the spoil tip we had to cross the dragon-bridge. The bridge itself embodies the body of the dragon and at the end of the bridge there's his neck and his head.

We slowly made our way up to the top but we took a little rest in between to take some pictures :) Can you see the shaft tower? It already belongs to the city of Recklinghausen, so as you can see the spoil tip is really at the border of Recklinghausen and Herten. Later you can see a better picture of the shaft tower.

Then we finally reached the top. What a nice view!!

There's a big sundial with an obelisk, unfortunately some dirty fellows defaced it with graffiti :( I think it looks quite nice, there are many plates let in the ground which point the times of the day, the entering of the sun into the different zodiac signs and so on.

As I already told you there's an horizon-observatory at the top. It opened on 20th of December 2008 but it's closed since the beginning of January 2009 for everyone as someone made a fault when it was built. Now they say it's in danger of collapsing, what a bad planning...

Look what I found!! A small lizard, isn't it cute?  :D

Later we made our way to the shaft tower that you already saw on another picture. I saw a May pole!! A sign that spring arrived here :)

In the background you can see the spoil tip.

This is the old shaft tower. It belonged to the coal mine "Zeche Recklinghausen II" which doesn't exist anymore, the shaft tower and the building are the only things that are left of the coal mine. Wow, when you look at this it's hard to imagine how the area looked like in the past.

As we made our way back to the car we passed some kind of a car dump.

Well, that's it for today :)

Love you!!
Commodore Quack

Posted Apr 19, 2013, 11:28 pm
Hey Mum!!

First of all:
I really hope you had an awesome day!! I wish I could be with you on this special day, but I'm giving you a virtual hug!!  :)

I have been to Herten again this evening, but this time I didn't go for a walk. Kate didn't tell me what we were going to do when she put me in her car. We stopped at the "Zeche Ewald" in Herten, it's a disused coal mine. One of the old buildings is now used as some kind of a theatre. Kate surprised me with some tickets for a travesty show. I wasn't sure what to think about it as I never really took an interest in something like this before...  :thinking:
But well, the show was named "Viva Las Vegas" and it took place in the "RevuePalast" (Revue Palace), a theatre for travesty shows. A travesty show is a show where men are dressed as women and they sing / dance / act / mime to a recording.
Here you can see the rear of the theatre, the entrance of the theatre and a mining car which is placed next to the entrance:

There are tables in the audium so you can drink something, this is not very usual here in Germany. We had the best seats in the whole theatre, we sat in the middle of the first row, so everything happened right in front of us and sometimes even the guys or the costumes brushed my body!! :)

The architecture is stunning, in the theatre itself they used the old walls of the coal mine and everything reminds of the old times!! Here you can see a seating area which is located on the way to the restrooms below ground, the red lines on the floor mark the old tracks of the mining cars!! Don't wonder at the colour of the pictures, there was red light ;)

Well, even though I worried a little bit that I wouldn't like it, I think it was quite funny!! I didn't understand some things, sometimes Kate and the whole audience laughed very hard and I didn't know what was going on, maybe I'm still a bit too young for this kind of humour...  ;) Here you can see 2 of the guys who were on stage this evening:

It was an eventful day and I'm really tired now, I think I need some sleep now.

Good night, Mummy!! Miss you!!

Commodore Quack

Posted Apr 20, 2013, 9:10 pm
Hey Mummy,

today we went to Oberhausen, to be exact we visited the "CentrO Oberhausen", a big shopping mall with many shops, distributed over 2 levels. The setting around the mall is quite nice. There's a theatre, a small "SeaLife" adventure park, a "Legoland Discovery Centre"and a canal with a boardwalk. On the one side of the canal there are maaaany restaurants and bars, it's really nice to sit there and enjoy the sun.  B)

Commodore Quack

Posted May 6, 2013, 1:13 pm
Oh what a beautiful weather!! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the birds are singing.  B)
It was very warm today so we spent the day at the "Kemnader See", it's a recreational area at a huge catchment lake between the cities Bochum, Hattingen and Witten.
We took some picnic blankets, games and food with us and made ourself comfortable at the sea. It was so lovely!!

Afterwards we rented a pedal boat, it was so great to sail the sea!! I had so much fun  :D

I hope the weather in Wales is as good as here!  B)

Commodore Quack

Posted Jun 17, 2013, 8:20 am
Hey Mummy,

the weather was glorious today so I decided to spend the day in the sun :)
Kate, Josie and me walked through the fields near our house here in Dortmund and we ended up in the middle of nowhere somewhere between Dortmund and Bochum.  :D

After walking a bit we reached a forest. Thank god, because it was pretty hot that day and the trees brought some cooling :)

Later on we passed a riding club, sadly there were no horses :( But this place looks nice nevertheless :)

Commodore Quack

Posted Jul 3, 2013, 1:15 am
Hi Mum,
I've arrived in Ronkonkoma, Long Island, New York! :p :p Since it is very late and I'm quite tired from my long trip, I will wait until tomorrow to post some pictures. So good night for now,
Commodore Quack