Josie, Yokosuka, Japan


Posted Feb 20, 2012, 10:35 pm
My name is Josie and I am a tiny dog living in Berlin.
I think it's my time now, to see some new places and meet lots of new friends!

Posted Feb 22, 2012, 11:37 pm
Today I left my home. It's my first journey. I'm taking part at the GTVT. I'm so excited!!!
All my new brothers + Crawfish + Mr. Furrington cuddled me a lot. I think Cheeks doesn't want to let me go.
Heidelberg, I'm coming!

Posted Feb 26, 2012, 6:45 pm
Dear Mum

Greetings from Heidelberg. I've safely arrived here but had to spend the weekend in my envelope because nuriayasmin wasn't home. However, I was greeted by some very friendly ToyVoyagers and the cat Sammy was also curious and insisted to pose for the photos with us. He wasn't interested in the candies I had brought with me, though, so I shared them with the other TV's only.


Posted Feb 28, 2012, 1:08 pm
Hello Mum

One of my host's new TV's, Lola Rabbit is leaving us today. She will travel to the north of Italy.


Posted Feb 28, 2012, 9:31 pm
Dear Mum

When nuriayasmin returned home from the post-office, she held an envelope in her hand: Another ToyVoyager had arrived. It's a cute coloured rhino called Tamina.

She had brought a beautiful cat postcard as a gift for nuriayasmin with her which we all admired.

Bye, Josie

Posted Feb 29, 2012, 10:36 pm
Dear Mum

Today I visited the city centre of Heidelberg. It was a warm and sunny day. Here are my photos:
The Church of the Holy Spirit
The Town Hall
The Bridge Monkey
The Old Bridge
Geese near the river Neckar
More geese and a view down the river
Spring is in the air ...
The Old Bridge with the castle in the background
Looking down the river from the Old Bridge
Looking up the river from the Old Bridge
Looking to the castle and the city centre from the Old Bridge
The gate of the Old Bridge

Warm regards,

Posted Mar 1, 2012, 6:54 pm
Dear Mum

Today the weather was absolutely beautiful and so I went to Neckarsteinach, a small town near Heidelberg which was founded in the 12th century. It's called the city of the four castles because the ruins of four castles from the Middle Ages are situated in the mountains close to the city. One of the castles is owned privately and still inhabited, the others are just ruins and were abandoned 200 - 300 years ago. So we took a walk along the river Neckar, had a look at the castles and walked in the forest. It was really great and it was so warm that nuriayasmin sat down at the banks of the river and read her book for an hour while I just enjoyed the sunshine and watched some ships pass by.

Lots of love,

Posted Mar 2, 2012, 9:24 pm
Dear Muim

Today Ohkwari left us for France. We all told her good-bye and wished her a good journey.


Posted Mar 3, 2012, 6:53 pm
Dear Mum

Today I visited Worms which is one of the oldest cities of Germany. It started as a Celtic settlement and was then conquered by the Romans. Its cathedral was built in the 12th century. In 1521, Martin Luther was declared an outlaw by the Edict of Worms. The city is also home of the Nibelungen Saga. Worms had a large Jewish community and the Jewish Cemetery is one of the oldest in Europe. However, during Reichskristallnacht in 1938, most of the Jewish quarter was destroyed and nowadays there's only a small Jewish population living in the city. Worms is situated at the river Rhine in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Unfortunately nuriayasmin had forgotten to recharge her camera's battery before we left so we could only take a couple of photos.

Well, I actually fulfilled one of my life missions as we travelled by train but due to the problem with the camera we didn't take a photo so I'm not sure if it counts.
The Martin Luther/Reformation Memorial
The Cathedral
Remains of the wall which used to encircle the whole city
One of the dragon statues which can be found all over the city to remember the Nibelungen Saga, with the river Rhine in the background


Posted Mar 5, 2012, 9:03 pm
Dear Mum

This morning we said good-bye to Voi Nam who will travel the European Toy Voyager Trail. His first host lives in Italy.

Then we accompanied nuriayasmin to Mannheim which is situated about 20 km away from Heidelberg. We passed palace which is nowadays a museum and home of the university.

After nuriayasmin had finished everything she had to do in town, we took a walk along the river Rhine. Just an hour because it was rather cold and windy.

Lots of love,

Posted Mar 8, 2012, 3:25 pm
Dear Mum

Today nuriayasmin's daughter had her wisdom teeth extracted. It took about an hour and as we weren't allowed to enter the operating theater, we spent some time at the Botanical Garden which is situated close to the clinic. We saw some interesting and beautiful plants and flowers. Hope you like my pictures, mum.

Greetings from Josie

Posted Mar 10, 2012, 11:52 am
Dear Mum

I tried to play with the cats but they're both very lazy and sleep most of the time.

Sammy looked up at least.

Shelley just told me to leave her alone and kept on sleeping.

Bye, Josie

Posted Mar 12, 2012, 12:03 am
Dear Mum

About a month ago nuriayasmin's rabbit Lola died and her son Krümel stayed alone here. Nuriayasmin decided she doesn't want to have a new rabbit and as Krümel shouldn't stay alone, she looked for someone to take him and found a nice woman in Seckach whose female rabbit was looking for a partner. So this morning we checked Krümel's transport box and then accompanied him to his new home which meant a journey of about 75 minutes by train.

Keep fine,

Posted Mar 15, 2012, 9:56 pm
Dear Mum

Today was nuriayasmin's only day off this week and as the weather was really beautiful we made another excursion. This time we visited Hambach Castle near Neustadt/Weinstrasse in Rhineland-Palatinate. The castle is known as the birthplace of modern Germany because it was host of the Hambach festival which took place in 1832. On that occasion, over 30,000 people from all ranks came together to protest for national unity and liberty. Even though the festival had no immediate results, it's nowadays seen as the "cradle of democracy" in Germany.

We didn't take the direct way to the castle but chose a small hiking path from where we enjoyed some stunning views on to the surrounding mountains and the city below. Unfortunately it wasn't allowed to take photos at the exhibition but we learnt a lot about German history.

Last not least we posed for the obligatory group photo:

Lots of love,

Posted Mar 16, 2012, 9:52 pm
Dear Mum

A new TV has arrived. His name is Nils and he's the white bear on the right. We spent a wonderful afternoon on the balcony while nuriayasmin was working.


Posted Mar 20, 2012, 8:55 pm
Dear Mum

Today we bought flowers for the balcony and planted them.

Afterwards we all relaxed in the sunshine.

Sunny greetings from Josie

Posted Mar 21, 2012, 10:17 pm
Dear Mum

It was a gorgeous day, there were almost no clouds in the sky. So the whole ToyVoyager gang went to Mannheim and invaded the Luisenpark. The Luisenpark origins from the late 19th century and has been continously extended since then. It's obviously one of Germany's biggest and most beautiful parks.

Nature is slowing becoming more colourful again. I really like that:

Look, how close I got to these pelicans. The colour of their feathers is almost the same like the colour of my fur.

There's a big lake in the middle of the park. And the bird flying above me is a stork.

There are quite a few storks in Luisenpark in spring and summer.

I think this is a piece of art. I've got no idea what it may mean but I like it.

Another piece of art but not my cup of tea.

I couldn't resist to relax on this huge stone for a while.

Once again the lake, this time with the television tower in the background.

I also met some cattle.

And a very curious goat.

And I saw some cute rabbits.

The Chinese Tea House was built in 2001 and looks really beautiful.

Here I am in an artificial cave which is part of the Chinese Garden.

A last photo before we left.

And the obligatory group photo, of course.


Posted Mar 24, 2012, 7:19 pm
Dear Mum

Today nuriayasmin visited a friend in Handschuhsheim, a suburb of Heidelberg, and we took some photos along the way. Handschuhsheim was first mentioned in the codex of the monastery of Lorsch in 765 but people had already settled there for centuries.

This is the Friedenskirche (Peace Church). It's an evangelical church which was built between 1908 and 1910.

The church is situated next to the Tiefburg, a castle from the early Middle Ages which used to be surrounded by water.

There are still a lot of old houses in Handschuhsheim and this one looks quite enchanted, doesn't it?

Nuriayasmin's friend lives in a small street like this one.


Posted Mar 27, 2012, 3:46 pm
Dear Mum

The weather is still warm and sunny, so I had a huge piece of icecream this afternoon.

Then it was time to say good-bye to Sylvia who starts her first journey and will travel to Finland.

I'm not sure when I will continue my journey on this trail but as nuriayasmin will start working nightshifts this evening, I'm going to stay home for the rest of the month and have a good time with the other TV's.


Posted Mar 29, 2012, 7:17 pm
It was time to say good-bye to Tamina who'll be visiting olgamaus next. Have a good journey, little rhino.

Greetings from Josie

Posted Apr 1, 2012, 6:05 pm
Dear Mum

So now it's my time to continue travelling on the German Toy Voyager Trail. I'm a little sad but also looking forward to meeting my next host, other TV's and see more of my home country. Before I left, I was able to say hi to HolgiHH who has just arrived here and is a cute little donkey. Bye, Heidelberg.

Will write you soon.


Posted May 2, 2012, 8:29 pm

today we made a walk in a park. The park is called Nordsternpark. It is in Gelsenkirchen. In 1997 the „Bundesgartenschau“ was in that park. It was really nice there. We went to the platform where you have a nice view and made 2 photos for you!


Posted May 2, 2012, 8:45 pm

today we had a bad case from not knowing where you want to go. BlackCat wanted to visit a nice park in Mülheim a.d. Ruhr and she looked it up online. But when we drove to the address she had found, we weren’t at the park. We were at caste Styrum. But BlackCat wasn’t that sad about it and said we can enjoy our time there. So we did that. And we made some photos for you while spending our time there. I really hope you like them.

We found these flowers in the garden of the castle. I guess spring is finally there, what do you think?

One corner of the garden. I like the tree.

That's the castle itself. I really liked it. Isn't it somehow magical?


Posted May 2, 2012, 8:50 pm
Happy Easter to everyone out there! We coloured some eggs. BlackCat didn’t made photos while doing it, as she was scared we will get colourful because of it. But we made photos with the eggs.

It was fun.


Posted May 2, 2012, 8:55 pm

today was Rishus and Luisas last day here in Essen.

First we all said Goodbye to Rishu.

And then everyone said Goodbye to Luisa.

Bye bye! Have a nice trip!


Posted May 2, 2012, 8:58 pm

today we saw the emblem of Essen and BlackCat made a photo for you to show.


Posted May 2, 2012, 9:05 pm

today we joined BlackCat on her shopping tour in Essen Steele. It is a part of Essen. She had to go to the post office.

On the way to the post office we saw a pet shop and looked at the rabbits who were jumping around in the window.

Then we saw the church next to the post office.

And an old house on the market place in Steele.

And last but not least the shopping street itself.

Lots of love,

Posted May 2, 2012, 9:10 pm

today was the last day of Mr. Pumba being with us. So we all said Goodbye to him!

It was a nice time with him. I hope he has a nice trip!


Posted May 2, 2012, 9:16 pm

surprise, surprise we are in another country.

BlackCat visits her best friend right now and luckily she is living in Utrecht, Netherlands. So we were able to join her while visiting her.

Today we went to the Dom of Utrecht.

This statue was standing next to the cathedral.

And that's the cathedral tower. Isn't it big?

It was nice, really.


Posted May 2, 2012, 9:21 pm

today we went into the city centre of Utrecht again. We just made photos of the „Grachten“, some houses and a statue. When we came back home BlackCat had to write some postcards, so we helped her a little with that. I really hope you like the photos we made for you!


Posted May 2, 2012, 9:26 pm

today we made just a short walk to the windmill near the home of BlackCats best friend. So we had to show something nice again. It was a nice walk and I hope you like the two photos we made at the windmill.


Posted May 2, 2012, 9:34 pm

today BlackCat needed a short break of all the trouble at home. So we all went on a hill and enjoyed the view from there. It is nice how relaxing this can be.


Posted May 15, 2012, 8:12 pm
Hey Mom!

I have reached Noisy's home today.
There was a big HELLO just for me!

Photos will follow!

Posted May 20, 2012, 9:11 pm

today we said Goodbye to Elefantus Claus.

It was really nice to get to know him.

Have a safe trip little friend!


Posted May 20, 2012, 9:15 pm

today we said Goodbye to Mi Nam. I hope she will have a good travel!

Bye bye,

Posted May 20, 2012, 9:18 pm

today I said Goodbye to BlackCat! It was really nice here, but I will visit a new host now. :)

I hope my travel will be fast.


Posted May 29, 2012, 6:17 pm
Hey Mom!

Today I have found a new friend. It is Lina, she is quite new here at ToyVoyagers. Lina is as tiny as I am ;-)

We learned how to make  "PISS-FIX". My host mom said, it is a yummie drink, I cannot believe it because of such a name...

before we can try it, we have to wait 2-3 days :-)

Posted May 29, 2012, 7:42 pm
Lina and I went on a short camping trip  with noisy's daughter and her friends, but the girls made only a few pictures :-(

Posted Jun 5, 2012, 4:14 pm
Today I was allowed to visit a primary school. Each tuesday Noisy is helping some children with their homework.
I looked around in the classroom and found a little teddy sitting there. He told me that the pupil sometimes are very loud and that he's glad when the school is over in the noon at 3:15 pm. But he told me, too, that he has learned a lot of interesting things since he lives in this classroom.
There were posters at the wall showing what to eat in the break, what happens in the nature in June, and much more.

And I looked at the nice pictures and the calender.


Posted Jun 9, 2012, 7:40 pm
The boys were gone playing football, so Lina and I decided to cook something yummi for them, because they are very hungry when they will come home.

We made a pasta salad and sausages -easy to make and very yummi :-)

I really think it tasted good.

After eating we snuggled a long time.

Posted Jun 20, 2012, 8:22 pm
Noisy took 3*Euro, Lina and me to the stable for helping her with the work.

But first she told us about a little guy called Däumling who was been eaten by a cow ---iiiiiiieeeeh---, so we stayed near Noisy's hand.

Noisy was wondering, why there were only a few eggs in the chicken coop and looked where the chicken has lyed the eggs. We found them in the duck coop. All ducks of Noisy were stolen from the fox :-(

the eggs are quite big, nearly as big as I am :-)

We saw Gabriel's rooster and one of his chicken

We went to the cowshed - and stayed near Noisy!

then we looked for the machines...the BIIIIIg machines...

What a hard day! Now we will go to bed and maybe Noisy will tell us the whole story of the Däumling...

sleep well....see you soon.

Posted Jun 24, 2012, 2:27 pm
Just a short trip to Limburg!

Posted Jun 25, 2012, 9:39 pm
Lina and I will travel to our next hosts soon.

We made a walk through Weilburg before we have to say good bye.

this is the Weilburger Technik-Akademie
we played on a playground
took a photo with Grand Duke Adolph
around the castle
inside the courtyard
we walked through the castle's garden
climbed downstairs
to see the Orangerie
found a sundial
had a great view to the Landtor
had fun with these guys  B)
climbed upstairs
walked through this gate
we haven't had any fear even if he looked angry
we crossed the market place
and enjoyed this beautyful view on our way home.

Next week I have to travel to my next host.

Posted Jul 22, 2012, 4:14 pm
Hi mommy  :)

I want to let you know, that i arrived safely at my next host.

Eustachia told me, that tomorrow we're going to travel to Aschaffenburg. I'm looking forward for this! Updates will follow soon.


Posted Aug 22, 2012, 7:54 pm
Hullo, mom!  :D

This is just a short, first notice to tell you that I´ve arrived safely to Nuuksio in Finland and met my new host and my new toyvoyager mates.  :)
There I was sitting in my envelope and trying to guess by the sounds I heard what was happening outside.
My envelope was put into cars and trains and into an airplane, and sometimes I landed upside down and tried to shout for people to be a bit more carefull, but they didn´t hear me.  :thinking:

Only one time when I was pretty angry because there was a heavy newspaper over me the person outside heard me and answered "All right, all right, I take it off, but listen, whoever you are inside that envelope, you should wash your mouth with soap.  :rolleyes:
But then he spotted the wonderful stamp in my envelope. "Oi! Toyvoyager inside!" he said, "in that case it´s ok!"  ;)
After some days I fell asleep, and only woke up next time when my envelope was ripped open and filled with light, and there was a bunch of voyagers putting their heads inside.  :D
I roamed out from the envelope and the whole gang was giving me a wellcome hug and introducing themselves.  :)
Here I´m just standing our noses together with Krystal, and the other voyagers are form left to right Zoe , Tuli, Napoleon and Brownbeard:)
My new friends were then leading me to see a bit of the surroundings.
Guess what, mom! We are living in middle of forest!  :D
There is mushrooms and all!  :D
Tuli and Krystal were showing me the Toyvoyager Gazebo Hennas father made her for christmas present when she was a brat.
I think it looks like a nice place to sit in the evenings, drinking tea or coffee.  :)
Tuli poured me some coffee right away, because she guessed I was feeling a bit exhausted after the long trip.  :)
This is the little cottage where I´m going to live here in Finland.  :D
It is about hundred years old, and there is not even running water. Instead there is a good well on the yard.
We went inside, and there I met also my new host Henna, who was hugging me too and then lifted me into this swing.  :D
Then I was showing the postcard to everyone, and they were all admiring it a lot. "Wow! A special toyvoyager postcard!" "Hey! I´ve never seen anything like this" they were shouting.  B)

I´ll soon write my first update from here, mom!
My new friends all seem to be very nice, and I think I´m going to have a good time here.
A warm hug to you from Josie!  :)


Posted Aug 27, 2012, 10:52 am
Hello, dear mother!  :D

How are you doing?
I´ve settled in the life here and become a member of the gang. ;)
On saturday we went into Porkkala, which is an area in the seashore with nature trails, places to make fire and places to tent.  :)
There we walked along a small bridge onto an island.  :)
And then we headed trough a forest into a toyvoyager-tribe meeting place surrounded with secrecy!  B)
I, as a novice, was told to collect swan feathers.
And then I was given a pole with a squirrel skull to hold!  :thinking:
The tribe initiation ritual started.

I cannot tell you much about it -  as a tribe member my lips are now sealed with powerfull oaths!  B)
I can just tell you I was repeating the words of power after our tribe leader Zoe, and then I was tought the passwords and given the code for the secret language and the coordinates to the secret meeting places.  ;)
Then we were dancing wild, fierce dances around the skull pole.. it was all very thrilling!  :)
All the toyvoyagers who come to spend time here become members of the Nuuksio tribe, and will stay members rest of their life, whereever their travels take them, and they recognice each other by the secret signs.  B)
After the ritualistic part of the day was over, we were all hungry as wolves!  :p
So we were devouring the cookies and the juice Henna has packed for us. (She cannot take part to the tribe rituals, although she has managed to find out some things, says Zoe !)  :rolleyes:
Then we were busying round the island, picking mushrooms and watching everything.  :)
I found a chantarelli!
And there was raspberries growing wild everywhere!  :p
We were running along the fallen trees.  :)
And admiring the brave island flowers.  :)
I stood listening to the rustling of the reeds.
And uttered my opinion about the toilet manners of some elk!  :thinking:
Later in the evening we made up a fire and sat around it telling stories about our travels.  :)
See you soon again, mom!
It´s my turn to do the dishes now!  :rolleyes:

A hug from Josie!

Posted Sep 8, 2012, 6:12 pm
Hei, rakas äiti! (Hi, dear mom!)  :D

How are you?  :)
I´ve been busying here, doing small everyday things.
One day I was for example putting flower bulbs into the flower beds.
I was digging suitable holes for the bulbs, while Napoleon and Krystal were running back and forth, carrying the heavy bulbs and water to the spot.  :)
It was hard work, because the earth here is mixed with clay, because we are here standing on ancient sea bottom.  :thinking:
It is a bit odd to think that about 9000 years ago there was fish swimming where the cottage now stands (or sits, who knows!), but also fun! :D We were discussing about that, and the work went fast!
Soon the hole was deep enough.  :)
We lifted the maggot politely aside (and hid it from Zoe) and rolled the bulb on its place.  :)
Then we covered the bulb with earth and hopped over the earth to make it hard. There was lots of gigling and we we were all more or less stained with earth! How fun! :D
Then I poured water over the place.
The will be beautifull narcissuses next spring!  :)
Then we run to the forest! Partly because we didn´t want Henna to see us in that stained state (she has odd thoughts about baths and such), and partly because we all love the forest!  :)/size]
[size=2]There is so much interesting things to see and do!  :)
I´m learning to recognice some mushrooms.  :)
And I bet some mushrooms are learning to recognise us - they have been seeing us so often lately!  :D
We walked towards the forest towards the lake Lohjanjärvi we knew to be near.
The forest bottom was covered with wonderful manycolored moss, and I found out it is just as comfortable place to rest a bit as it looks like.  ;)
Then we reached a spot from which we could see the lake glimmering behind the trees.  :)
It is a big lake, and in earlier times it was considered to be holy.
We went down to the lake shore, where we were sitting in the sun and, of course, playing a bit in the water.  :D
The roots pushed into the lakeshore formed an exciting cave for us to play in. We were all suddenly pirates or shipwrecked sailors in an isolated island, tring to survive in middle of furious predators!  ;)
Then we visited a real cave called Torholan luola. It is the biggest cave in Finland, and has many natural passage ways. One of them is partly under the lake and is filled with lake water.  :)
Then we climbed the steep hillside up again. Or well, the others were climbing and I was taking a lift in Brownbeards mushroom basket, and he didn´t even notice!  :D
Then we sat for sometime, watching over the horizon and feeling the autumn coming nearer.
I found still more different mushrooms, and Zoe, who is becoming a mushroom expert was telling me what they were and if they were edible or not.
Then we were picking some lingonberries.  :)
And those we put over a blueberrypie we were having with coffee in the forest.  :p
See you soon again, mom!
A warm hug from Josie!
I wish you are having a beautiful early autumn too!  :)


Posted Sep 20, 2012, 1:36 am
Hei, rakas äiti! (hi, dear mom!)  :D

How are you?
I wish the weather there is better than here - it is raining most days, but there has been some sunny days too.  :)
Last weekend we visited Kopparnäs nature conservation area.
It is on the sea shore near a small town called Inkoo, about 35 kilometers from Nuuksio where we live here.  :)

Here I´m observing the map of the area before diving into the wildernes.  ;)
Then we did dive into it, and the wildernes around us infected us too, and soon we found ourselves singing and hopping, mushroom caps as hats on..  :rolleyes:
We found a great block of flats, and played to be cuckoos of a cuckoo clock at noon, singing "Ku ku! Ku ku!" twelve times in queue, so that the whole forest was ringing.  :D
A small toad came to investigate what was happening in her home forest. We told her we were tvoyagers, and she answered "Oh, that explains it, I thought you had escaped from some asylum."  :rolleyes:
The forest is infatuating, and that´s a fact, not just our imagination.
The scientists have noticed that there is lots of ozone released from the bottom of forest, especially humid spruce forest, and that is causing infatuation and even addiction.  ;)

No wonder all finns are a bit kuckoo, they live practically in midst of spruce forest, even when they live in town.  ;)
We stopped to have a small snack.  :)
And then we went on with our loony expedition, making somersaults on the soft moss and teasing the ants, asking "Aren´t you feeling like lazying around a bit today?"  :rolleyes:
We saw many mushrooms and took with us those we recognised to be edible (and tasty!).
These are funnel chanterelles (Cantharellus tubaeformis), and they are really delicious.  :p
This is a red amanita, and we left it where it was, because those are poisonous.
But I wonder, in many illustrations we can see elves or gnomes dancing round them..  :thinking:
Aren´t these mushrooms funny looking?  :D
They are mcrotyphula fistulosa, although it is not common to see black ones.. hey are not poisonous, but not very tasty either, so we left them alone too.
Then I found some sheathed woodtuft (Kuehneromyces mutabilis) and they are very good mushrooms too to make food of.  :)

Just to think all the wonderful mushroom dishes in the near future made us feel fungry, and so we decided it was high time to have something.  ;)
In the conservation area we couldn´t make an open fire, but we happened to have a camp gascooker in our pockets as well as potatoes and some frozen cheese sticks.. and  soon we had an inviting -smelling mix frying on a pan.  ;)
The food was good and we devoured it.  :p
And then we were remembering how we all had been reading books by Enid Blyton in which the kids were always eating huge picnic dinners in some interesting places, like castle ruins or caves behind waterfalls, and how we all had envied those brats.  :D
A punk looking caterpillar came to tell his opinion about Enid Blyton ( he talked sharply about the sexist and racist and patriarchal attitudes in the books), and we gave him a cheesestick.  :)
We reached the seashore, and for our surprise there was a sandy beach.  :)
The warm sand felt wonderful under our paws, and there was a pleasant smell of salt water and algae.  :)

The last warm days of this year are at hand here in Finland.
After the autumn rains the shore and the sea will soon freeze and be covered with ice and snow. But we were enjoing the sun.
We were playing in the shallow water, which was still warm, and climbing over the stones.  :)
I found a tall feather on the beach.  :)
And we put it on the top of a small sand castle we build.  :)
I was playing with the foam and algae and lost a ribbon from my left ear!  :thinking:
Don´t worry though, mom, Henna promised me a new one soon.  :D
I really enjoyed our day on the beach!  :)
But of course we had to leave back to home, and we walked along more rocky shores.
Here we are all posing for camera and saying "cheeeeeese!"  :D
On our way back we stopped in a place called Koski, where we saw this building, which is full of russian graffitis form the time Soviet Union was occupying this part of Finland.
"Koski" mean rapid in finnish, and there really was a small rapid.
I went as near to the running water as I dared.  B)
There was old mill- and generator buildings which had been using the power of the rapid.  :)
The others went to see the buildings, but I was just sitting and listening to the wonderful, wild sound of the water.  :)
It is running to the sea, and I think it was happy.  :D
On the other side of the bridge thewater was much calmer.  :)

We came back to home, but i was hearing the sound of the water still for a long time in my head.

See you soon again, mom! I´m going to sleep now, and in my dreams I´ll go back to the little beach..  :)
Your Josie.  :)

Posted Sep 27, 2012, 8:54 pm
Hei taas, äiti! (Hi again, mother!)  :D
How are you? How is the early autumn going on at home?

Here the nights are already cool, and today it has been raining sleet and snow in Northern Finland.  :thinking:
Here you can see what kind of weather we´ve been having these last weeks with some exceptions, luckily.  :rolleyes:

Do you see how yellow and red the trees have already turned? :)
The lights there far away are the lights of one of the runways of the Helsinki airport.
We climbed over the hill on our search for mushrooms, and were surprised to see the airport.

Zoe, who knows the places best and is usually leading our expeditions, never admits she doesn´t know exactly where we are.
"That airport wasn´t there last time I climbed over this hill!", she said. "They have been moving it!"  :rolleyes:
This is what we found, huge Pestle Puffballs (Lycoperdon excipuliforme), but they were already a bit too old to be eaten.  :rolleyes:

We get so damp with the amount of fog in the air, that we needed to get somewhere to dry ourselves.
In some way or other we ended into a café. How odd.  :rolleyes:
We were having coffee..
.. and buns.  :p
And discussing how the world would be if the airports, buildings and even whole cities were really moving from one place into another. We would go to sleep here near the polar circle and wake up somewhere near equator in the morning without moving a muscle..  :rolleyes:
Last weekend we had one of those exceptions, a sunny day, I mean, and I made my first visit to Helsinki, the capitol city of Finland.
Here I´m in the bus on my way there.  :)

After I bus I took a train, and stepped out in the Helsinki Central railway station.
Here it is.  :)
The building was designed by Eliel Saarinen and opened 1919.
All the voyagers who have been visiting here have come to the same conclusion than I did, when I saw it: Saarinen has propably been listening a lot to radio.  ;)
These statues are lightbearers, whose roots are in the finnish mythology. They stand on boths sides of the main entrance.
I walked a small round in the centrum to get an impression of the city.
In this pic I´m walking on "Esplanadi". It is a very popular place to spend time in the summer evenings - to sit on the benches drinking and then pass out on the lawn.  :thinking:
Now there was just tourists strolling around, just like me.  :D And these beautiful flowerpots.
And a young couple glued to each other, kissing just in the spot wherefrom I would have had the best view for a interesting fountain. I waited and waited them to move, in vain.  :mad:
So I sneaked to bind their shoelaces together, ha ha ha.
Here is the fountain. It is called Havis Amanda.
Four sealions spitting over a naked girl in the middle.  :thinking:

Every year 29.4 the Esplanadi is filled with students finishing their upper secondary school with a big exam called "ylioppilastutkinto". They get a white cap for the sign of getting trough the exam, and they put a similar cap onto the head of Havis Amanda.  :)
Swimming in the fountain is part of the celebration too, needles to say they are drunk as skunks.  :rolleyes:
After the fountain there was the sea and the famous Kauppatori - Market Square.  :)
Originally Kauppatori was a place where fishermen were selling their catch to the town inhabitants - their piers were here too.
Later on it became the market place for whatever products - the farmers from countryside came here to sell their farm products and handicrafts.
I saw there lots of vegetables, berries, fish and mushrooms, some souveniers and handicrafts and many food stands.  :)
Wow!  :thinking: Mom, if we had sold all the mushrooms we´ve been picking on these prices we would be rich!  :p
But it´s even better to eat them ourselves. Cannot eat richnes.  ;)
All the vextables and mushrooms there made me hungry, so I sit down to strengthen myself on the table of one of the many foodstands.  ;)
Then I walked one block towards east to see the Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral.
It is designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, and it was first opened for public in 1840.
Nowadays it´s stairs are one of the favorite place for uni students to hang, the uni being just next to it, and also the most popular spot to start demonstration processions.  ;)
Now there was going on a happening by some historical horse association.
There was horses and charts and equipment used in field works.  :)
What is that thing, mom?
I asked Henna, but she was rather uncertain and said it might be a harrow or might not. "Anyway it is a thing with which they turn the earth in the field kinda upside down, you know" she said..
That much of her expertism.  ;)
We were admiring the horses for some time and then we went back to our cottage in Nuuksio, because we were all feeling a certain emptines in our stomachs already..  :rolleyes:

See you soon, mom!
A hug from Josie.  :stare:


Posted Sep 28, 2012, 8:21 pm
Hi again, dear mom!  :D

It has been raining here so much that our yard here in Nuuksio has turned partly a mud pool.
You know, mom, that kinda brownish, thick mud, which makes funny noises when you hop in it.  ;) Well, we have been hopping a lot, and it shows..
yesterday I noticed my fur was stained. :mad:

It is not fair, mom!  :thinking: Zoe and Brownbeardare both more or less brown and they can be allover in mud without the stains showing! They need to take a bath only when they start to smell funny!  :mad:
And Tuli is a frog.. well, she baths and swims in about every pool we encounter on our expeditions.  :rolleyes:
Anyway, fair or not, I needed to have a bath, and the others were ready to help me.
You see, it´s not so easy to take a bath here. I´m not sure if I´ve told you that we live here without running water.. so the first task was to get water from the well.  :)

The well is a natural spring, only there is this concrete frame put around it so that the water would keep pure. It is always icy cold and tastes wonderful.  :)
We get the water from the well with a bucket which we drop there and then hoist back up from a rope bound to its handle.  :)

Zoe told me in the wintertime when the temperature goes very down, to -20 degrees Celsius or so, it can be difficult to get water from the well, because there is an ice cover which has to be broken first.  Sounds exiting!  B)
Next we had to build up a fire to heat the water, because I certainly wouldn´t have bathed in it otherwise!  :thinking:
So we gathered all sorts of dry twigs and branches..
Soon we had the fire going and the water over it in a big kettle, and we just needed to keep an eye on the fire and feed it with more wood until the water was warm enough.  :)
Henna loaned an old saucer for me to bath in.  :D
The water was wonderfully warm, and Zoe was helping by pouring it over me.
Brownbear brought me soap, and Tuli started to wash my fur with a little sponge.  :D
Of course there was lots of giggling and teasing.  ;) "How come you have a strawberry stain in your tail?!" and "Hey, when have you been eating jam and I´ve not got any?!"
I didn´t know bathing can be this fun. I think in the end Tuli and Brownbeard and Zoe were about as wet as me!  :D
Zoe attacked the last stubborn stain with a brush (I have my doubts if there really was any stain left  ;) ) and then Henna helped to por the heavy tubful of water over me to get rid of the soap. :)
Then Henna wrapped me into a warm towel and I was sitting on a garden chair, enjoying the clean feeling.  ;)
After a while one of Orkku Oravas cousins came and put a magazin into my paws and announced the Salon Fluffy was opening it services, at started to dry my fur with a hairdryer.  :D
And then he poured nicely smelling fur conditioner over me and patted it in, and said "Senhora be ready now!" B)

And so I was.  :D Clean and fresh and smelling good and feeling well! I wish you are too!
Your Josie!  :)

Posted Oct 8, 2012, 8:21 pm
Hyvää iltaa, äiti! (Good evening, mother!)  :D

How is your autumn going?
Ours is going wetly and deliciously and colorfully, meaning it is raining like hell, there is wonderful apples and beautiful autumn foliage.  :)
Here we are in the yard of our little cottage, enjoying the wonderful blessing of the trees.  :)
After eating a month only berries and mushrooms in the forest the apples are a very wellcome variation.

..Ok ok  ;), we have also been eating lots of buns and omelettes, salads and soups, liquorice and icecream. It was Henna who demanded me to add those things, otherwise you would think she´s  starving me.  :rolleyes:
Our method of picking the apples is to climb to jump over them until they fall.
Of course, the more we eat apples, the less we need to jump to make them fall.  ;)
When the sun shines (rarely) there is a wonderful sweet smell under the apple trees.  :)

We always leave the fallen apples for wild animals, and there is lots of thrushes, hares, squirrels and deers coming to eat them.
Sometimes the apples have already started to ferment, and then they are even more popular. It seems some of the animals like to be drunk.  :thinking:
Yesterday it was a more bright day, and we went for a driwe with Hennas friend.
We were reading the map and choosing the route, favouring as small and less-used roads as possible.  :)
Of course on those roads it is not possible to driwe very fast, but that´s just the idea - we have time to see so much more, and many interesting, remote nooks.
Every now and then we stopped on a promising spot, and Henna and her friend run around searching signs of possible stone age dwelling sites.
Meanwhile we were just enjoying the new landscapes and searching for beautiful stones and such.  :)
We found many!  ;)

What odd landscape we encountered after walking trough a small forest area!
We were standing on an esker, formed by a stream which flowed within the huge glacier during ice age.  After the retaining ice walls melted away, stream deposits remained as a long winding ridge ( huh? What do you mean I copied this from Wikipedia?)  ;)
Now there was a huge sandpit and heaps which were formed of stones of certain sizes - small stones on one heap, bigger stones on the next one, even bigger on the third and so on.Here is the machine which is separating the stones according to the size.
On the other side of the sandpit we found an old wooden skijump hill.  :D
Of course we had to climb up there!
There was lots of stairs to climb, but we had even more will to see the views from the top of the tower.  :D
And the view was certainly worth of climbing!  :)
Would you like to jumps from here with skis, mom?  :stare:
I would! Or maybe with a sleigh..  ;)
After admiring the views enough we came back down.
We met a local guy who told us that the topmost part of the tower was burn two years ago because some young people had been there having a barbeque party.  :rolleyes:
The little red building is where the jury of the skijumping competitions is sitting and announcing their marks for the jumpers.  :)

The jumphill is still in use. Many young jumpers start their practise here, before moving to the bigger hills in Lahti.
We continued our trip, and stopped to walk along the shores of this beautiful small lake.
Tuli hopped into the water again, what else. Frogs..  :rolleyes:
But she carried me too on her back across the water, and I was sitting, just like a frog, on a waterlily leaf. Tuli said I would make a good frog.  ;)
And she shared a karjalanpiirakka with me, nom nom!  :p
Then we just sat there, watching the sun going down, silenced by the beauty of it.  :)

I wish you see some beautiful sunsets too!
A warm embrace from your little Josie  :)

Posted Oct 13, 2012, 9:58 pm
Hello again, mom!  :)

Greetings from Herring Fair!  ;)
Helsingin Silakkamarkkinat (Herring Fair of Helsinki) is a tradition, which started latest at 1743, from which year are the oldest known documents about it.  :)
The Fair lasts a week and takes part on the Kauppatori market square.
Both the square and the see in front of it is full of booths selling different fish products, because tens of boats are also turned into booths.  :)
The boats come from everywhere along the finnish coast and the islands, and besides herring the are selling products from many other fish species too - salmon, sprat, northern pike and vendace.  :)
They are selling traditional products, like smoked, salted and dried fish, but also more moders things - fishpickles and even herring pizza.  :D

In bygone times fish was very important source of nutrition for the people living in Helsinki, but troughout wintertime the sea was on ice, which prevented the fishermen from coming to sell their fish into the town - so the townfolk was buing fish for the whole winter in the Herring Fair - mainly salted or dryed.  :)
It was the opening day of the fair when we were there, and there was huge amount of people, lured out from their nests by the sunny weather.  ;)

In the opening they there was also a "herring jury" choosing the best products of the year.  :D
How would you like to be in the herring jury, mom? Tasting about hundred herring products in few hours?  :stare:
Thinking about that possibility there is one very good news for you: There is NO swedish sour herring sold here! Phew!  :p
We were just walking amongst it all - watching people and the boats and the booths, and enjoying the sun and the smell of fish.  :rolleyes:
This boat is selling "leipää" - bread. Traditional "island bread", which is very dark and has triacle in it.
There was also another traditional bread called "kalakukko". Have you ever eaten that, mom? It is a rye bread, inside which is baked a whole bunch of vendaces.  :thinking:
We were listening for some time a hurdy-gurdy played by a blind man.  :)
Some of the bigger boats were working as reastaurants. This old lighthouse ship named "Helsinki" is one of them.  :)
The ship was also to be sold, can you imagine, mom?  :thinking:
Would I win a lottery I would turn it into a toyvoyager cruiser offering seats for plushy passangers! Ooo how that would be great!  B) But sadly I don´t think I´ve that kind of luck. Although, being a toyvoyager is such an interesting life anyway, that it is all in vain to think about such things!  :)
But even so.. can you imagine "Capten Josie I Great" navigating her lightship trough the seven seas?
I can!  :)
Here is another restaurant ship.  :D
Watching people to eat made us feel an emptines in our tummies..  :thinking:
So we sauntered to the restaurant area and bought a platefull of fried vendaces.
Here they are frying them.  ;)
Then we were devouring them.  :p
Our stomachs full, we were still walking and burping and watching everything.  ;)
Then we came back home and ate some more.

I hope you´ve had good meals too! :p
See you soon! Hug from Josie!  :stare:


Posted Oct 20, 2012, 10:01 pm
Hello again, dear mom!  :)

We have all been rather upset here, because of Zoes moms passing away.  :(
We have been comforting Zoe, keeping her in a warm and fluffy voyager -embrace, and it was really a big relief to hear her to say the first witty remark after some uncharacteristically solemn days.  :)

We all send a warm embrace to you and to Zoes little sister Crawfish:)
But the show must go on, and I have many updates to write!
This time I´m showing you pics from our trip to Porvoo. Have you been there, mom?  :)
Here I´m watching the town of Porvoo from the top of an ironage castlehill, after which the whole town has got its name (in swedish Borgå = castle river).  :)
Here I´m standing on one of the bridges leading over the river Porvoo.
The water in the river was very brown at this time of year, when the huge rains have brought lots of earth from the fields, and I certainly didn´t feel like swimming in it, but the fish didn´t seem to mind.  :D
Porvoo is one of the oldest finnish towns, and it is about fifty kilometers to east from Helsinki.
We drowe there in the car of Hennas neighbour, who was more than happy to loan it to get rid of us for some hours.  :stare:
After admiring the riverview enough, we headed for the narrow, cobblestone -paved alleys of the old town.  :)
Here most of the buildings are made of wood and some of the buildings are rather old, although the town had suffered many fires in history.  The biggest fire in the year 1760 was caused by a woman cooking fish soup.  :rolleyes:
This is the old town hall of Porvoo. Nowadays it serves as the Museum of Porvoo town.  :)
It was very funny to walk along the cobblestones.  :D Henna was walking like a giraffe, but we toyvoyagers, we really had to hop from cobble to cobble.
Phew! I´ll be in a super condition after the time in Finland! Can you see my big muscles, mom?  ;)
The old town was very  adorable - the narrow passageways and some of the houses were almost toyvoyager sized, and many people had decorated their windows in charming ways to be nice to watch at for the passers by. We also saw many fat cats. What a nice place!  :)
Here is the mediaeval church of Porvoo. Some young stupidos burned it down some years ago, but now it is restaured again.  :)
We continued our walk trough the cute town, and can you imagine, we met there three nice women who came to ask from what part of world we are from, and told they have a colleague who is also in toyvoyaging.  ;)
It´s great to meet people who have heard of us! We are famous!  B)
We saw some glorious trees in the autumn colours.  :)
And a beautiful small square, where there was a sundial. We went to investigate it.
How do I read time from this, mom?  :thinking:
I have no idea, but I thinks it´s cool! Could I have one on my bedside table?  :stare:
It was already getting dark.. we are not very early risers here, unless we really HAVE to.  :rolleyes:
We were still walking trough the town center and doing some windowshopping. There was some very inviting little shops.
Then we walked onto the next bridge and saw the river Porvoo and the little red warehouses from opposite direction.  :D
We drowe back home, and sang the whole way a finnish song Tuli was teaching to us. It tells about a frog living under a rhubarb leaf in mothers kitchen garden. :)
She promised to teach a finnish song for each one of us according to our species. Maybe it´s my turn soon.  :)

Kisses from your little Josie!  :)
See you soon!


Posted Oct 26, 2012, 4:06 pm
Hello, mother!
How are you?  :)

Guess what? Today it snowed for the first time!  :D
Of course there is only a very thin layer of snow, but anyway, it was great to wake up in the morning and see the earth white!  :D
Vi were visiting the Castle of Turku one day when they had free entrance for students, and Henna managed to coax her neighbor to loan the car to us.  :rolleyes:

So we drowe towards west about an hour and half, and then we were in Turku, and here I´m standing in front of the castle.  :)
This photo is from the castle yard.

There was a guide telling us about the history of the castle.
It´s building started on 1280. The Swedish conquerors of Finland intended it originally as a military fortress.
Later on the castle served as a bastion and administrative centre in of Finland under swedish rule. It was built larger and larger when the centuries passed by.  :rolleyes:
It was very dark inside the castle, and I found it somewhat gloomy too. Most photos we took are so dark you can see hardly anything in them, so I´m just putting here the ones where you can see it is your little Josie in the pic, and not a ghost.
The guide told us there is at least four different ghosts ghosting in the corridores!  :thinking:  :rolleyes:
The castle was really huge, and somewhat maze-like. I felt great to stop to watch the light and greennes outside the castlewalls everytime there was a suitable window.
This is the first one of the two rooms with lightning - the kings dining room. Can you imagine the king eating with only one visitor, lets say, another king - both of them of course sitting in the different table-ends and shouting to each other as a polite small-talk over the dishes?  ;)
We saw many interesting things, and I´m really sorry I cannot show them to you - for example the kings toilet was pretty interesting, and so was the prisoners pit - but both of them were too dark to take any photos.  :thinking:
This is the other room which had lights on - the castle chapel. There was an organist playing while we were there, and it was nice to sit and listen for awhile.  :)
The castle was in very bad condition in the beginning of the 20´th century, but it was renovated troughout many decades, and for example this chapel is painted according to old mediaeval manuscripts describing the original works.  :)
Here we are resting a bit between the many storeys and staircases.  :rolleyes:
Then we climbed the last stairs to the uppermost storey where the is a museum representing many of the items found in the castle and its surroundings during the archaeological excavations  and the reconstruction.  :)
There was lots of gold- and silverware, and other luxury items, which certainly were rare in mediaeval Finland, but even so I think I would rather have lived in a cottage even in mediaeval times than in a castle this gloomy.
The cottage certainly was warmer, and maybe there even was less lice.  ;)
When we had seen everything there was to be seen (except the ghosts - those only move in nighttime, they say) we came out from the castle and spent still some time on the yard.
It was only half an hour to the sunset when we get out, and so it was too late to go and see other parts of the town of Turku, which was a bit of a shame..  but maybe some other time, who knows!  :)
Goodbuy, gloomy Turku castle!  ;)

And a hug to you, mom! See you soon again!  :D
Your Josie

Posted Oct 29, 2012, 7:34 pm
Hip hei, äiti!  :D

I wish you are having a blessed autumn!
We took a train to Helsinki - Henna had to go to the uni library, and we followed her - it´s a bit difficult for us toyvoyagers to use the public transport alone -  the busdriwers don´t often see us when we try to stop a bus and people tend to step over us. Tuli told that one time a kid had even tried to kidnap her!  :thinking:
So, usually we just go with Henna and get into the vehicles without troubles inside her pockets.  ;)
In Helsinki I decided to go for a walk, mainly just to watch the autumn foliage.  :)
I walked trough a part of the town called Linnunlaulu, which means "birdsong", where there is many old wooden houses.  :)
I love dry leaf piles!  :D They smell wonderfully and make a delicious sound when I hop and jump in and on them!
So I walked from pile to pile and diwed into them like a badger, ha ha haa!  B)
I walked trough Kaisaniemi park, where people like to sit in summertime, and where there is many conserts and other happenings.
I came to the Botanical garden and went inside, because there seemed to be many autumn flowers in bloom.  :)
I was running from flower to flower, smelling everything and buzzing back to the last bees.  :D
I cannot tell you what flowers I saw, because I didn´t write their names down, but maybe you know their names - I didn´t care, I was just enjoying their glorious beauty.  :)
"Sleep well over winter!" I said to the flowers, "and wake joyfully up again in the spring!"  :)
"Thank you, little toyvoyager!" they answered "Go and bloom the whole year round!"
I climbed to look a tree full of delicious looking apples, although I saw there a little plake saying "Keep off!"
The apples were delicious too.  ;)
But the next moment I was stuck into a sticky web and screaming like hell, because there was an angry looking, hairy giant spider running towards me!  :o

Luckily she had just became a vegetarian, so she didn´t want to eat me, but she enquired in a rather spicy tone if I thought it was nice to eat other peoples apples.. she was now knitting webs just to "keep such devious little applesnatchers away", said she and then she took the web off and let me go.  :thinking:
I don´t think there is many times I´ve been running that fast!
Just in case she would suddenly forgot all about her new culinaristic ideology I was hiding inside a hollow treetrunk for some minutes.  :rolleyes:
Then I went to take a look inside the hothouses, where there was more wonderfull flowers.  :)
There was also a pond with giant waterlily leaves.  :D
And even some huge waterlilies!  :D
I was admiring the palm trees and end enjoying the tropical atmosphere in middle of finnish October.  ;)
I left the gardens and landed again into the autumn.
I met Brownbeard in one leaf pile, into which he was digging tunnels.  :D We walked then together  towards the place where we had agreed to gettogether with the gang.
We walked past the orthodox Uspenski cathedral. Do you remember it, mom?  :)
And over a bridge, where people put "lovelocks".  :)
We saw some nice buildings.
And more beautiful flowers.  :)
And then we met the rest of the gang and we all went to play Atari -games from the 1980´s.  :D
In my imagination the game characters came out from the computer.  ;)
And then we went to have some buns. I ate five - there never can be too many!  :stare:

See you soon again, dear mom!  :)
Your Josie


Posted Nov 1, 2012, 12:49 am
Hyvää kekriä, äiti! (Happy halloween, mom!)  :)

Here in Finland Halloween with ghosts and bats is a rather young phenomenon, mainly noticed at kindergartens. There is no tradition of kids going to trick- and treating in funny costumes.

Here is an older tradition, called Kekri or Köyri, although it of course has the same roots with halloween/samhain.
In Finland the whole month of November was the month of death.  :thinking: The finnish name Marraskuu means that, "Month of death", and that was time when the dead family members came back home, and they were served trough whole month - given food, took to sauna and told news.  :D

Kekri was a celebration with lots of drinking and ritualized loose sexuality.  ;) We were skipping the latest mentioned one.
We wanted to carve lanterns too, but the pumpkins here are so expensive, that we were using oranges and tangerins instead!  :D
I think they came up quite ok, and besides, when the candles were lit, they spread wonderful citric smell around.  :D
Our kekri celebration consisted mainly of eating good food in the light of our grinning lanterns.  :)
And of drinking and singing an old finnish kekri song again and again.  :)

"Yksi kaksi kolme neljä,          "One two three four, 
anna iloinen olla!                  let be happy!
Jos suru tulee                        If the sorrow comes
niin anna hänen mennä.        let him/her go.
Paarmat ne laulaa                  Horseflies are singing
neljä hiirtä hyppelee              four mice are jumping
kissi lyöpi trummun päälle      the cat is banging the drum
koko maailma pauhaa!"        the whole world is roaring!"
Kippis!  :D
Then we were dancing.  B)
And having a somersault competition. Many somersault competitions, actually. :D
And then I don´t quite remember..  :stare:
I just remember Tuli  telling us of the finnish "trick or treat" custom at Kekri - it was the adults and adolescents going round in traditional costumes, aping animals such as billygoats or cranes and behaving in obscene ways towards everyone, asking boost from neighbours, threatening otherwise to "break down the owen".

We were going to do that, but I don´t remember if we did.  ;)
Hugs from your little wild dog,
Josie.  B)

Posted Nov 1, 2012, 1:02 am
Hyvää kekriä, äiti! (Happy halloween, mom!)  :)

Here in Finland Halloween with ghosts and bats is a rather young phenomenon, mainly noticed at kindergartens. There is no tradition of kids going to trick- and treating in funny costumes.

Here is an older tradition, called Kekri or Köyri, although it of course has the same roots with halloween/samhain.
In Finland the whole month of November was the month of death.  :thinking: The finnish name Marraskuu means that, "Month of death", and that was time when the dead family members came back home, and they were served trough whole month - given food, took to sauna and told news.  :D

Kekri was a celebration with lots of drinking and ritualized loose sexuality.  ;) We were skipping the last thing in the list.
We wanted to carve lanterns too, but the pumpkins here are so expensive, that we were using oranges and tangerins instead!  :D
I think they came up quite ok, and besides, when the candles were lit, they spread wonderful citric smell around.  :D
Our kekri celebration consisted mainly of eating good food in the light of our grinning citruses.  :)
And of drinking and singing an old finnish kekri song.  :) Over and over again.

"Yksi kaksi kolme neljä,          "One two three four, 
anna iloinen olla!                  let be happy!
Jos suru tulee                        If the sorrow comes
niin anna hänen mennä.        let him/her go.
Paarmat ne laulaa                  Horseflies are singing
neljä hiirtä hyppelee              four mice are jumping
kissi lyöpi trummun päälle      the cat is banging the drum
koko maailma pauhaa!"        the whole world is roaring!"
Then we were dancing.  B)
And having a somersault competition.  Many somersault competitions:D
And then I don´t quite remember..  :stare:
I just remember Tuli  telling us of the finnish "trick or treat" custom at Kekri - it was the adults and adolescents going round in traditional costumes, aping animals such as billygoats or cranes and behaving in obscene ways towards everyone, asking boost from neighbours, threatening otherwise to "break down the owen".

We were going to do that, but I don´t remember if we did.  ;)
Hugs from your little wild dog,
Josie  B)


Posted Nov 18, 2012, 6:37 pm
Hello, dear mom!  :D

Your little doggie is in Portugal and has been here allready for two weeks.
I´m sorry I´ve had no possibility to make uploads before, we have been so awfully busy - eating and seeing new places and eating more, you know..  :rolleyes:
So we flew here in the beginning of November. We all had a slight headache for some unknown reason..  :rolleyes:

Here we are on the Helsinki airport watching the planes to be washed.
Our first plane, the plane to Frankfurt was late, and Henna was a bit nervous if we would have enough time to catch our second flight to Lisbon. But we toyvoyagers were just enjoying ourselves - we are so experienced travellers that we don´t care much about were we are - we are always "here" - the "here" just travels from one place to another.  ;)
There is christmas trees all year round in Helsinki airport to stress the fact that Finland is the country where Santa Claus (Joulupukki in finnish) lives, although some unenlightened people imagine him to live in North Pole or who knows where.  :rolleyes:
At last we get into our plane, but sadly we didn´t get a window seat, so we couldn´t take photos trough the window.  :(
So we were just running and climbing over peoples feet and heads and making everyone go crazy by singing a finnish song Tuli taught to us, which has hundred verses, until the airhostesses brought us coffee, and I doubt they had mixed sleeping pills into it because we slept rest of the flight and only woke up for few moments in Frankfurt airport where we took our second flight.  :rolleyes:
So it was already late night when we arrived to Lisbon and saw the river Tejo for first time. Beautiful, isn´t it?  :)
We get into our Portuguese home in Almada, which is in the opposite shore of river Tejo, just opposite Lisbon, and there we ate the wonderful dinner our portuguese friends had prepared just for us - wonderful soup.  :p
And delicious sardine.  :p
Then we were introduced to Sibila, an eighteen year old siamese cat, who has got enough personality and temperament to share with five other cats.  :rolleyes:
Next day we made our first seightseeing round in Lisbon. Zoe, who has already been here many times, was working as our turist guide, with a red sign to follow and all.  :rolleyes:
Here we are watching the "Cais das Colunas", which was the place many centuries ago where portuguese ships returned from their trips to Africa and other faraway areas, loaded with robbed treasures.
It was great to feel the warm sand under our paws.  :)
For local people it is of course winter, but for us, coming from Finland, it is a summer.
We walked to see the Praça do Comercio, which is one of the main squares of Lisbon. In mediaeval times it worked as a place for public hangings, and later as a place where the most important shipping companies were placed.
These pompous buildings are where their headquarters were situated. Nowadays they work mainly as restaurants. There is also a museum telling about the history of the city.  :)
We saw some nice azulejos (tiles) with which the buildings were here  paved in older times.  :) Portuguese people learned the style from the moors during the moorish occupation.
Then we went to see another important square called Rossio.  :)
And the statue of king Dom Pedro V. (And a guy who tried to sell us some interesting looking pills).  :rolleyes:
We climbed into a viewpoint called Portas do Sol (Doors of the sun) to admire the beautiful view over the city of Lisbon.  :)
There was very cute trams passing by every now and then, and Henna told us that part of them had been in traffic since 1930´s. We wanted to make a driwe !  :D
It was very interesting! The driwere was pulling all sort of wheels and handles and the old tram was making huge noises, shaking and rocking along the streets.
The tram took us to Belem, where we saw the monastery of Belem, but it was closed since it was a monday, and we are still going to make a proper visit.  :)
The portuguese royalty was bowing their heads to us, which is quite natural, of course, krhm!  :stare:
We were hanging for awhile in a small, beautiful park.
There is a nice roof, where the colorfull leaves form the pavement. The local old guys sit under in summer evenings playing dominoes or cards, but now it is too cold for them.Not for us, though! But we are a tough gang.  :stare:
Then we came back home and ate some bread from the Alentejo area, which has a head.  ;)

See you again, mom! I try  to write soon!
Your Josie  :)

Posted Nov 27, 2012, 5:03 pm
Bom dia, mãe amada! (Good day, dear mom!)  :D

We have had a great time here in Portugal!  :) We have been seeing many many interesting things and places.
This time I´m going to see you pics from Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, which is a small town about 30 kilometers from Lisbon.
The tickets to the quinta were over our limited budget, so we climbed there over a wall..  :rolleyes:
"Quinta Regaleira is an amazing estate, built by Carvalho Monteiro, who wished to build a place where he could gather symbols that would reflect his interests and ideologies - alchemy, Masonry, the Knights Templary, and the Rosicrucianism. The construction of the current estate commenced in 1904 and most of it was concluded by 1910" says Wikipedia.  :rolleyes:
So, besides the palace itself which you could see behind our backs in the first photo, there is a chapel, many pools, grottoes, towers and underground tunnels and labyrinths.  B)
The park of the quinta is rather big and grows many interesting species of trees, like these giant sequoias. :)

Doesn´t it sound just the place for little  toyvoyager brats to go investigating around, huh?  :stare:
That is exactly what we did, anyway.  :rolleyes:
There was lots of entertaining statues to climb on.  :)
..some of them friendly.  ;)
We investigated every possible little path..
..and climbed every tower there was to climb..
.. and admired the marvellous view over the landscape from up there.  :)
We sat in the sun and listened Henna reading from a book how the mysterious, spiritual cult used the quinta as their meeting point, and how it caused lots of rumours of horrible happenings (like cannibalism) going on in the quinta amongst the deeply catholic inhabitants of the nearby villages.  :rolleyes:
Then we went in search for the underground passages.  :)
We found one hidden gate to the underground world behind this statue of Diana.  :D

The passages themselves were so dark we couldn´t take pics inside them. We had a small flashlight with which it was possible to find our way.
The underground passages and grottos were created for some rituals which took place in the quinta in the beginning of the 20th century.

One of the passages led us to the bottom of this initiative well, where the new members of the cult had to spend a night and go trough a spritual trip.
There was winding stairs out from the well, and here you can see it from a different perspective.  :)
Here we are sitting on the mouth of the well.  :)
All the invetigating and running strated to make us feel a bit hungry..  :rolleyes:
So it was really great we found some chestnuts.  :D
And a nice bench where we sat eating them.  :p
Then we went to see the rest there was to be seen.  ;)
That was all this time, mom.
I try to write again as soon as possible.
Kisses from Josie!  :stare:

Posted Dec 5, 2012, 9:58 pm
Boa tarde, mamã querida! (Good evening, beloved mom!)  :D

There is so much to tell and show to you, mom!
It´s hard to decide what to show you this time.  ;)

.. mm, ok, I´ll tell about our trip to Monsaraz, a small town near spanish border in a province called Alentejo.  :)
We took a train, a bus and an another bus to get to Monsaraz.
Here we are sitting in the train, eating our provicions.  :p
It was very early in the morning, and still pretty dark outside, but we enjoyed the views on villages passing by, anyway. (Yes, yes, all right..  Zoe is shouting that it wasn´t the villages passing by, but us..  :rolleyes:)
Here we ar in Évora, waiting for the first bus to take us to Reguengos de Monsaraz.  :)
The road was running trough huge olive groves and wineyards.  :)
Here we are waiting for the second bus to take us to Monsaraz, enjoying "bicas" in the bus station café.
"Bica" is how they call these small cupfulls of strong coffee.

Travelling is so much nicer when there is cafés and provisions..  ;)
There was lots of little brats going back to their homes in the surrounding countryside from their schools in Reguengos de Monsaraz, and the busdriwer knew them all bu their names and knew where each of the lived..  :)
We arrived at last to Monsaraz.  :)
It is a small mediaeval town, situated on a high point  from where there is a good view over the surrounding countryside.

Most houses and the street pavement are made of chist, as you can easily see in this streetview.  :)
Here we are sitting on the citywall, from where our gaze could reach also the spanish area - not that there was any notable difference.  :D

Round the town was many farms, and we could see flocks of sheep and hear their bells ringing and their "baa"ing - both very pleasant sounds!  :)
We walked around the small town, following the citywalls, peeping into yards (oh what oranges and lemons!) and admiring the landscape.
Here you can see one of the eight gates on the wall.  :)
The streets were totally empty of people, the only person we saw was a young cat.  :)
While walking, we discussed about how it would be to live in a place as small as this.  :rolleyes:
Could be a bit stressing..
But beautiful it certainly was, and maybe that could somehow balance the fact that your every neighbour would know how many panties you have in the closet (or if you don´t have any).  :rolleyes:
Here are part of the fortifications of the town.
Next day we went for a walk in the countryside.
It is hard to believe it is December, mom!  :thinking:
There was flowers and insects buzzing busily everywhere under the olive trees.
Here is some ripe olives to you, mom!  :)
The olive harvesting was going on - we saw many full loads been driwen to the markets.
Here, mom!  :)
We saw also many wineyards, but the wineharvest is already over, and the wine plants have turned yellow and red for the winter.
There is many megalith monuments in the region, and we went to see one of them - Penedo dos casamentos (the stone of marriages) - which is an ancient fertility cult site.
Originally the marriage ritual consisted of the couple climbing over the stone and, umm, spending there the night together, so to say..  :rolleyes:
Later on yong couples were throwing small stones over it, and if they stayed on top of it, the planned marriage was promising.  :)
Here is some more olive trees. Beautiful, isn´t it?
But honestly saying, there wasn´t much else to see..  :rolleyes:
Most of the megalith monuments were in someones private property, and they were all surrounded by fences and had very efficient dogs guarding them..
Here we are climbing a cork oak.  :)
Next day we came back to Laranjeiro, but we had some hours time in Évora to wait for the train, and so we went to see a bit of that town too.  :)
It is much bigger than Monsaraz.
We saw a roman temple, dedicated to goddes Diana. Although, there was an older temple already when the romans came..
Then we did some windowshopping.  ;)
Then we visited a spooky place, Capela dos ossos, where the walls are decorated with bones.  :thinking:
I´m sorry the quality of the photos is rather lousy - it was very dark in there.
I wouldn´t choose this ornamental style into my bedroom.  :rolleyes:

That was all from this time, mom - see you soon again!
Kisses from Josie.  :stare:


Posted Dec 17, 2012, 3:12 pm
Hello, dear mother and all the siblings!  :D

How is your advent time going?
Here it is a bit hard to believe that Christmas is so near,
since outside it is like an average month September in northern Europe.  :rolleyes:

We have been hiking a lot in different landscapes -
this time I´ll show you photos from the westernmost point of mainland Europe.
And I´ve also seen the first of the 7 oceans of the world -
the Atlantic Ocean, that is.  ;)
Cabo da Roca is a small place on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean,
about 35 kilometers north from Lisbon,
and a somewhat important turist site, because of the fact that it is the westermost place of the mainland Europe,
and also because from there opens wonderful landscapes over the sea.  :)

We went there with a train and a bus.
Here we have allready left the "turistical" area somewhere long behind us -
most of the turists just stay near the lighthouse you can see in the background,
but we took one of the small paths circulating in the hills, used by the local people.  :)
It felt like we had suddenly stepped into one the films about "Little Heidi"or "Sound of music",
and soon we were singing happily, although with slightly "tuned" lyrics -
"The hills are alive with the sound of MEWING"  :rolleyes:.
We were aping the yodelling sounds our portuguese hosts cat Sibila is making at nights, you see, and giggling like hell.  :D
We saw some wonderfull flowers - I think these are some sort of wild crocuses,
and that of course suits to the christmastime very well, although the landscape otherwise didn´t much fit my mental pics of Christmas.  :rolleyes:
Only the sheep were missing..  ;)
We climbed over a steep, rocky hill, uh huh, it was hard!  :p
But it was worth of it!!
We met the Atlantic Ocean! And the view was really magnificent!  :D
Here, mom, can I introduce you - Here is my mom, here is the old Lady Atlantis.
Nice to meet you!  ;)
Cabo da Roca was also a holy place in prehistoric times -
there has been found items related to the cults of Moon and Sun,
and it was holy also for the romans who occupied the area.
It is easy to understand, I think.
How could a place this beautiful be anything else than holy?  :stare:
There is still people worshipping the natur spirits here, since every now and then on our hiking trips we have encountered an "altar" -
a table laid for them in some beautiful spot.
Usually there is an opened bottle of wine or beer and fruit or bread to eat, like here, on the table we found in a small rivervalley in Cabo da Roca.  :)
Then we were just wandering around, somewhat stunned views, and dizzy with the sun mirroring from the blue sea.  :)
The wind was rising, and Henna started to be afraid of it blowing us away.
It didn´t, but my ribbons were gone again at some point of the trip..  :rolleyes:
We saw an inviting little sandy beach down there, but it was really getting dangerously windy, and we had to return back towards the inland.
But first we rested a bit behind a hillside.  :)
We took another small path back towards the turist-filled busstop, but on our way we were still enjoying the illusionary feeling of remotenes.  :)
It is a funny thing - here it is really possible to be alone in the universum a kilometers distance from a spot full of turists like ants, because they really behave like ants too - only walk after each other.  ;)
We saw more beautiful flowers on our way.  :)
These must be somekind of asters, or what do you think, mom?  :)
Cabo da Roca was one of the most beautiful places I´ve seen. I think I would like to come here again some day.  :)

See you soon again, mom!
Your adventurous little dog.  ;)

Posted Dec 24, 2012, 7:45 pm
Hyvää Joulua, Feliz Natal, mom!  :D
Here we don´t have snow nor icicles hanging from the roof nor other that kinda natures own christmas decoration, but instead we have forest full off these beautiful red berries.  :)
We have been preparing for christmas by also making decorations of our own for the christmas tree.  :)
We made these little hearts out of clay.
And picked wonderful little pine cones and painted them red. It was very fun! :)
We were watching the presépio (crib) in the centrum of Laranjeiro.
Then we had a traditional portuguese christmas dinner of boiled cabbage, potato and carrot with codfish, over all of which we sprinkled olive oil and lemon.  :p
Then we decorated the tree with our own decorations and with all the traditional balls, chains and such.  :)
When the tree was ready and beautiful, we spotted an elf on the balcony!  :o
Can you believe it, mom?
He was in a hurry not to be seen too clearly, but he had left us a bag full of something!  :D
Christmas chocolates to everyone!  :p
We were eating them and singing christmas carols (not so easy with the mouth full of choc..  :rolleyes: )
We offered some choc for the cat Sibila too, but she haid she would rather have some codfish, than you.
So we gave her some.  :D
Then we were spending LOTS of time in the christmas coffee table, with all sorts of cakes. :p
This one is called Bolo Rei (king cake)
This cake is "tronco" - some kinda relation to the english "yule log".  :p
Almonds and chestnuts!  :p
We have been having a very merry christmas, and I wish you, mom, and all my siblings and toyvoyager friends have had a great time too!  :)

A warm hug from Josie.  :)


Posted Jan 5, 2013, 6:00 pm
Hyvää uutta vuotta, äiti! (Good new year, mom!)  :D

I wish your year has started well!
We have been running and hiking and climbing rocks so
that even ants would look lazy compaired to us!  ;)

Today I´m going to put here photos we took on our trip to the ruins of the moorish castle of Sintra.
We were walking uphill and uphill trough the steep little alleys of the mediaeval town of Sintra.  :)
The alleys turned into narrow stairs leading us trough the forest.  :)
It was a bit rainy day, but luckily there was lots of umbrellas around us..  :rolleyes:
It felt like the stairs would never end!  :thinking:
I think my muscles have grown a lot during this visit.. what do you think about that, mom?
We saw some interesting things on our route, like this "balancing stone".  :)
Then we reached paths not known to many people.  ;)
You can call me "Indiana Josie" if you want.  B)
"Now we have to start to climb!" said Henna
in front of this stone, and I thought she was joking.
She wasn´t.  :rolleyes:
So we climbed under, over and between heaps of gigantic boulders, sometimes along treetrunks or
creepers, upwards and upwards..  B)
When we reached about halfway of our climb, we stopped to win our breath back on a rock called
"Penedo da Amizade" - The Rock of friendship.
Very suitable place to rest a bit with friends.  :)
[size=2]See how high we were allready!  B)
Yo can even see the Atlantic Ocean
as a blue stripe in the horizon.  :)
From the Penedo of Amizade we could also see the walls of the moorish castle where we were heading to. :)
There were some tourists in the castle and when they saw us
climbing on the rocky hillside, they look horrified, cannot imagine why..
Anyway, we were making faces to them.  ;)
At last we reached the castle ruins!  :D
To me it looked like a miniature Wall of China.  ;)
"The castle was constructed during the 8th to 9th century, during the period of Arab occupation of the Iberian peninsula", says the Wikipedia.  :rolleyes:
1147, after the moors had lost Lisbon, the castle surrendered voluntarily to Christian forces.
During the next centuries the castle was serving in military purposes as well as religious ones (there was a hermit monastery at some time), but during the 17th century it was let to ruin, until  the 19th centurys romantic movement motivated the kings to rebuild it into "visually suitable romantic ruin".  :rolleyes:
Later on, some serious archaeological research projects have taken place in the area, the results telling a lot about the mediaeval lifestyle.
Nowadays the castle is a very important turistical attraction.  :)
We were enjoying especially the great views from the castle.
Here you can see the Sintra town down there.  :)
And in this pic there is the silouette of the royal Pena palace behind our backs.  :)
So we climbed again up and down the walls to see everything, and my little paws were starting to complain a bit.  :thinking:
So we were resting a bit before starting our climbing back down again.  :rolleyes:
See you soon again, dear mom!  :D
Kisses from your little Josie.  ;)


Posted Jan 8, 2013, 3:49 pm
Hello, dear mom!  :D

Our host Henna has got a flue, which is a great thing!
Uhm.. of course I don´t mean it is great she is ill..  :rolleyes:
but it is really great that now we have an opportunity to STAY INSIDE couple of days, write our updates and whatnot, instead of running like headles hens trough the forests after her!
Yeah, what troubles does SHE has - we have to take 50 steps while she takes just one!  :thinking:
Would be right for her if she woke up one morning in toyvoyager size!  B)

But now to the update!
First I´ll show you couple of more "sights" from Lisbon.
This is the first one of them - The tower of Belem.
(You cannot imagine how difficult it is to get to Lisbon, mom!
Because Henna says she cannot let us go by ourselves (of course we manage to sneak out every now and then!  :rolleyes:) and she herself only wants to lurk in forests like a hare or something.
To see this tower, for example, we had to buy a bar of marzipan and lure her there by promising it to her after seeing the tower!  :thinking: )

Anyway, the tower was built in early 16th century to protect the mouth of the river Tejo.
Later on it has served as a custom house, a barrack for some troops and a prison to political freethinkers.  :thinking:
Not nice, but it seems to be in the list of World Heritage Sites of Unesco.
In front of the real tower there was another one made in toyvoyager size!  :D I liked that one much more!
We walked past the Belém ferry station, from wich the little ferry takes people to Porto Brandão and Trafaria, both small places consentrated into fishing and fishing industry.
We saw the bridge over Tejo called "Ponte 25 de Abril"-  25th of April Bridge, for the memory of the Carnation Revolution 25.4 1974, which ended the long dictatorship in Portugal.
Before 1974 the Bridge was named after the dictator - Ponte Salazar.
No wonder they wanted to change the name.  :)
When we reached the bridge Henna had finished the marzipan bar, and was already making wild jumps towards any bushes or trees there was in the area, and so we decided we had tortured her enough for one day, and agreed to follow her into more faraway areas.  :rolleyes:
So we run after her, while she was fleeing the horrors of urban areas, and only slowed our speed down when the city was disappearing into the horizon and we found ourselves amongst pasturelands and merry sounds of sheepbells.  ;)
The pasturelands chanced into bushy thickets.
The thickets grew into proper woodland, and soon we realiced we had started to sing while we walked along.  :)
It is true, the forests are good for the soul.
(Although the poor animals of forest, who were horrifiedly fleeing from our singing, were propably thinking the forest would be better for the soul without US.  :rolleyes: )
We encountered a road running trough the forest.
It led us to Colares, and we decided to go and see the franciscan convent they had painted onto the tiles,
Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra da Sintra (Convent of the Holy Cross of the Sintra Mountains) :)
There was a stone cross pointing us the way to the convent.  :)
We had to climb some stairs (everything in this country is build over hills).
And then we saw the convent main door!  :)
As you can see, it is not one of those pompous convents, but a very humble recidence meant for hermit monks, although I found odd the idea of bunch of hermits hermiting together.  ;)
The main entrance opened straightly into this shrine, in front of which the hermits were spending hours every day on their knees.
We spent some minutes INSIDE the shrine, since it had started to rain thinly, and read more about the convent. :)

It was built int 16th century, because some bimbo (the ex-viceroy of India) had been hunting a deer and got lost (hah!) and fell asleep against a rock, and in his dream he has got a "divine revelation" to erect a christian temple on the spot.  :rolleyes:
The walls of convent are covered with cork from the cork trees (I guess the idea was to reduce a bit the freezing coldness of the stonebuilding in wintertime), and so it is often called as "cork convent".
Inside the convent it was very dark and somewhat spooky.
The hermits lived in minuscule rooms (2 X 2 m) without any other furniture than the stone bed, without heating and eating next to nothing, competing in piousnes and humbleness.
The doors behind my back are leading into their little cells.
In downstairs their rooms were also dark, but in the upstairs they had at least windows and felt a bit less dungeon-like. Maybe the monks living upstairs werent quite as pious as the ones living downstairs.  :rolleyes:

Hah, the most pious one of them, Friar Honório, lived in one of the cells until he was 70 years old, and moved then to live in a little hole in the ground outside the convent, and lived there until he was 100 years old eating just bread and water. And why?  :stare: 

Ho hoo, because the devil tried to lure him, in the form of a beautiful girl, into sin, and so he escaped to the hole.  :rolleyes:

Legend of the hermit made a deep impression for example to Lord Byron, who wrote "Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell/In hope to merit heaven, by making earth a hell."

Well, I must say, I believe that to merit heaven it´s more itelligible to try to make the earth a heaven to others than to make your own life a hell..  :rolleyes:
We were testing one of the cork -covered benches, and it really felt warm under our bottoms.  :)
It seems that every now and then some of the monks had gave in in front of the yearning of earthly beauty and decorated the bare walls with ornaments made of seashells and broken plates.
I was happy to see these little signs of life in this gloomy place. ;)
Would you imagine living the whole life in a place like this?  :thinking: I wouldn´t! Unless I could modify the place a bit, of course. Starting by drilling windows, lots of windows trough the walls..  maybe some wallpaper with nice floral print.. :D
There was lit candles in one room, and we sat round them, enjoying the warm pool of light they poured to the gloomynes, and discussed the old question what to take with us on a deserted island or into a place like this.
Here is our list, you can try to quess who get up with what.  ;)

- a ton of pinecones
- a matchbox
- a big sackfull of legos  :rolleyes:
- a bunch of friends
- a rum distillery
The gloomynes started to get on our nerves, and I had a feeling there was a mad monk lurking behind some corner, so we escaped trough one of the windows.  :rolleyes:
It was much better outside! We all felt relieved, and I started to think that the monk who decided to live in a hole chose well after all - he could see the sky, the stars, and feel the wind and smell everything in the wonderfull nature, while the others were almost like buried alive. 
I really don´t see why any god would wish anyone to do something as stupid as that. People are odd.  :thinking:
It is so much better to be a little toyvoyager, and get out the best of this existence, like this wonderfull flower, without the need to twist our brains with noncense.  ;)
We climbed to the roof of the convent, and were really impressed by the odd fact that the place looked so much more sympathetic from outside than inside. And no escape - soon we were deep in discussion about how often that was the truth of other kind of things in life too. The horrible place had put us into that kinda mood.  :thinking:
So we thought it better to continue our walk to some less heavy direction.  ;)
Good by and good riddance, convento dos capuchos - I´m not going to miss you!  :D
So we walked onwards, jumping and soon singing again, and maybe enjoying the natures miracles more than ever before.  :) Zoe suggested that that is why such horrible convents are needed - to remind us that the miracles "are out there".  :rolleyes:
Maybe she is right.  :D

See you soon, dear mom! A hug from Josie  :)


Posted Jan 14, 2013, 3:33 pm
Olá de novo, mãe! (Hi again, mom!)  :D

Como estás? Tudo bem? (How are you? Is everything all right?)
I´m just showing of my new language skills, hmm!  ;)

This is our last week in Portugal, and I´ve many updates to do still!
So - this time it´s turn of our trip to Caparica.
Caparica is a very popular place to spend sunny summer days, nad it is not very far from Laranjeiro where we live here.
We took first a tram, and then we walked trough fields and thickets (what else, crying out loud!  :rolleyes:)
It was a gloomy morning, and while we passed a paprika field it looked like the paprikas had been glowing!  :D
It is really amazing how things grow here round the year, like these cabbages.
We saw already many people planting something in their small kitchen gardens while we passed by.
It´s hard to imagine that soon we´ll be in Finland where there is two meters layer of snow covering the land.  :rolleyes:
We walked past a monastery, but didn´t go in. We have all had enough monasteries for sometime..  :rolleyes:
We came to an area called "Arrabida fossil da Costa da Caparica" - it is an ancient steep seahore cliff, nowadays about a kilometer from the seashore.
There it is possible to observe the fossilic layers of the chalk stone.  B)
Here! :-D Just think of these milliards of little sea critters living in the seabed, now turned into stone!
The area is protected as an  original landscape area and as a nature conservation area, and I´m happy of that. There is not many green areas left in Portugal.  :thinking:
We came down from the arrabida and walked towards the nowadays beach.
We found the tracks of a small beach train, which is running during the summer months.
We followed the tracks, playing to be a steam engines, making all those chuga chuga chuga chuga pufff pioooooooo -sounds, and steamed  past many little beach cottages, where portuguese families come to spend summer weekends.  :)
The cottages are lightly built and humble, without electricity or running water, but during the past decades there has also been built mastodont -sized mega-hotels and  very expensive villa-areas, which are swallowing more and more space.
We came to the beach, which is empty at this time of year (luckily).  :rolleyes:
At summertime there is so much people it´s hard to turn from side to side without bumping against someone.
The sand looked VERY inviting!  :p
Soon we were busy at important tasks like digging holes to the sand in hope of possible hidden treasures (never know!).  :)
And collecting seashells!  :D
There was so many and many of them were big enough for me to live in!
The sun started to set, and we knew it was time to walk back home..
But we sat still watching over the Atlantic Ocean - we knew we would soon be watching over frozen, snow covered Baltic Sea, and it made us miss the sun beforehand.

I´ll be here again soon!
Hugs from Josie  :stare:

Posted Jan 17, 2013, 1:37 pm
Hei taas, rakas äiti! (Hi again, dear mother!) :D

Your little dog is becoming a true polyglott with all this voyaging.
It would be great to visit some day people living in places where they speak really rare languages, like, say , Ter Sami or Kayardild.
Then I would learn the basic phraces and surprise everyone just by opening my mouth, but sadly there doesn´t seem to be people talking Ter Sami or Kayardild here in toyvoyagers.  :mad:
Well, all languages do! Anyone speaking euskara here?  :stare:

I´ll tell you now about a walk we made somewhere in the countryside, trough bushes and over streams and whatnot (how hard was that to guess?).
So, we were heading to see a small pool in middle of nowhere, formed by damming a small stream called Mula. Why? Well, because it is on the map, it seems..
anyway, the first part of our trip we walked along small countryside roads. It was interesting to read the names of the "quintas" = countryside properties when we passed by.  :)
We saw some very surprising things on our rambling, like fern trees!  :thinking: Can you imagine, mom, fern trees in the forest! Where are the dinosaurs?
Of course they are not original species in Portugal, but the royalty of old times had a hobby to plant the most extraordinary things a bit here and there, and some of the plants have increased secretly in the forests during hundreds of years.
The roads were often very beautiful, and totally empty for us to march along singing and telling stupid jokes.  :p Like:
"How do crazy people go through the forest?
They take the psycho path."
We found a cute little waterfall and sat down to listen to its sound.
I love the sound of running water! Well, not if it comes from a tap, you understand, but streams and and rivers and waves.  :)
Look, mom, an eucalyptus flower!  :D
We saw lots of "strawberry trees" (Arbutus unedo).
It has actually nothing to do with strawberries, the berries just look a bit similar, but they taste awful, yak!  :p
The birds are eating them, though, and they are used to make some  beverages and liqueurs, like the portuguese medronho.
What a frustration! They LOOK so delicious!  :thinking:
Zoe was eating them happily, saying they tasted just wonderful in her mouth. Must be in her DNA then - she is a bird, anyway..
The village roads were empty, but the quintas were full of very territory-aware dogs, and they all started to yap like hell when they saw strangers passing by.
Usually it was enough for them to see ME to fell silent, though, they are not used into seeing such canine beauty, you see, and mostly they were just staring open-mouthed when we passed by, but on some yards there was some who started flirting in a clumsy way, saying something like "Little lass has got very beautifull ribbons, hur hur, would she like to come to bind one onto my tail too?"  :rolleyes:
We climbed over a hill to see cross named "Cruz Alta". It has been put there, surprise surprise, because the hill was a holy place in pagan times.. :rolleyes:
It´s like the church was trying to TAME the old gods or something with those crosses. Or like the American astronauts, raising an american flag in the moon..  :rolleyes:
We could see the Pena palace again looming behind the forest.  :)
When we get onto more low-lying terrain, the roads started to turn into small streams.
It has been raining a lot lately.  ;)
We found the small Ribeira da Mula, the Mula Stream, and started to follow it downstream to find the dam.
There was every now and then a small bridge over the stream.  :)
We had a little pause, putting our hot paws into the cool water. It felt great!  :D
We found some interesting looking mushrooms growing on the fallen cork trees.  :)
And then we played to be ourselves mushrooms growing on a tree trunk.  :rolleyes:
Not very interesting life.
The stream was growing a bit bigger and forming little waterfalls.  :)
And then we came to the dam.
I must say it wasn´t very interesting.  :rolleyes:
But I liked our walk there.
And the pool formed there was a friendly looking little pool, such on which it would be nice to be rowing lazily and thoughtlesly around on a warm summer day.  :)
Then we walked back again, and made a shortcut trough the Pena palace garden, climbing over the walls..  :rolleyes:
The garden was the private place of pleasures of the royal family, and there we saw some odd structures.
It was somehow interesting place, but since it happened to be a day when the gardens were shut from public and since we happened to be there anyway without tickets, we had to hide all the time and sneak along mysterious routes, avoiding the gardeners and such, so we couldn´t take many photos.  :rolleyes:
We managed to sneak this near to Pena palace without being seen, but then we heard someone shouting "Hi, you!" and then we were rrrrrrrrrunning like hell, over the wall and inside the thickets and disappeared.  B)

Kisses from your little outlaw.  See you soon!  :stare:

Posted Jan 22, 2013, 1:18 pm
Hello, mom!  :D

We should already be in Finland, but since our flight is trough Frankfurt and Frankfurt airport seems to be under attack of joined snow-forces we are not.  :rolleyes:
Our flights were delayed until tomorrow, let´s see..

But we used our extra day here by visiting Mafra.
We took first the little ferry over Tejo, and then a bus to Mafra.

Mafra is a small town not far from Lisbon, and it is best known because of the Mafra Palace, which is a huge baroque -style convent and royal palace from the 17th century.
The palace is what we went to see too, and here it is.  :rolleyes: Hard to miss, hmm?
We had again the same trouble it being very dark inside the palace to take many photos, but we managed to take some near the windows.
This is one of the big corridors, along which the royal rooms were situated.  :)
We saw royal bedrooms, music rooms, "ladys bouduars", library, smoking salongs and whatnot, all very magnificent and all cold as hell.
We didn´t see any fireplaces anywhere. Maybe they only lived here during summer.  ;)
This is the "unofficial" dining room (when the royal family was just eating by themselves).
And this is the palace kitchen.
There was about a kilometers distance along the corridors and staircases between the kitchen and the diningroom - wasn´t the food cold when it reached the royal family?  :thinking:
I enjoyed more the royal gardens godlfish pond.  ;)
We sat there for a long time, feeding  the colorful fish with breadcrumbs. Maybe this is what the royal kids were doing too.  :D

Now we´ll spend rest of the day watching films and being exited about the (maybe existing) flights tomorrow.  ;)

See you soon again!
Josie  :stare:

Posted Jan 26, 2013, 5:15 pm
Hello, mom! And hi to my bro there!  :D

We are back in Finland, but it is so cold here  I´m freezing!  :thinking:
Finnish winter is clearly not meant for little pinky dogs with tender paws, so I´m going to start my journey back home on monday!
Isn´t that swell!  :D
We took two planes, first one from Lisbon to Frankfurt, where we had to wait for some hours for the next plane to Helsinki.
Here we are watching our plane being washed and cleaned in Frankfurt airport.
We went trough all possible varieties of hot drinks there was in the drink automats.  ;)
In the plane we were sitting on our seat like four little angels at least five and half minutes.  :stare:
Then we couldn´t stand it anymore.
We were watching out from the window for some time, and then we started to run on the aisle. (And to the toilet, after all those hot drinks..  :rolleyes: )
Then we were eating and drinking some more.  :D
And then were watching some more out of the window, trying to spot any ufos possibly flying past, but sadly we didn´t see any. :mad:

We started to argue about how would the people flying the ufo look like - the others were offering their unscientifical opinions how they would look like giant birds with antennas, extraterrestrial rodents with radioactive acorns or interstellar pirates, bah. It´s clear they are pink and fluffy!
Then we were eating and drinking again.  ;)
And running to the toilet.
Then we saw the sunset, anf after that it was dark and we felt suddenly very sleepy, and spent the rest of the trip curled up in Hennas pockets where it is nice and warm. :)
Next day we woke up in the little cottage we knew so well.  :D
But outside the world was totally new.  :thinking:
We desided to go for a walk, to see white-washed, new landscape.
Can you guess where I am walking here, mom?  :stare:
Haha, no you can´t. I´m walking on the ice over the Baltic Sea, and there is an island behind my back.  ;)
It felt somehow a bit exiting to be walking over the sea, and we giggled and danced round the beacons.  :D
But it was very, very cold, and my little paws started to froze!  :thinking:
So it was really great we happened to have matches, water and coffeepot with us.  ;)
The fire and the hot coffee felt wonderful.
It was very beautiful, but I would need a thicker fur, like a husky, to live here.  ;)
When we got back home, Henna loaned us some warm winter clothes.  :rolleyes:
In the evening we had a party, because we all wanted to have a very fun evening together before my leaving back home.
First we were having tea and cake in a civilized manner.  :)
And later on we were having something else.  :rolleyes:
And then we were dancing.  :stare:
And then we formed a toyvoyager pyramid.  :rolleyes:
And then we fell dawn and slept where we fell, and I don´t remember anything after that, although I woke up a red sock in my head, wearing a black false moustache.  :rolleyes:

I´ll still make a short announcement when I´m on my way.
See ou soon, dear mom!

Your Josie


Posted Jan 29, 2013, 9:27 am
Mom, I´m coming home!  :D

Since it is so cold I decided to travel this time in the classical, comfy way - inside an envelope.  :D
So we went to the post office, I hugged all my friends goodbuy, roamed into my envelope and now I´m just waiting to be at home again.

See you very soon, dear mom!
Josie  ;)

Posted Feb 9, 2013, 7:43 pm
I decided not to go home. My adventure isn't over yet. So during my flight I changed the envelope... All my stuff was sent home and I left a little note to my brother Alex. I think he was confused when he opened the envelope.
See you soon with some new adventures. :cyclops:


Posted Feb 17, 2013, 3:42 pm
Hello mum,

today I took a look at the hometown of Murph.

It is only a small town, but it has a big church.

The golden ball in front of the ‚Kurmittelhaus‘  is the sun

All over the town you find planets in the right distance and in the right dimension. This is the earth.

There are many half-timbered houses in Bad Salzdetfurth.

This river flew through the whole city. Maybe I will show you the spring in the next weeks.

There are 2 big salines in the spa gardens. The people used it to produce salt in the past.

This is the famous place of Murph. It is called Summstein – you sit inside of it and bumble. Then the whole body prickles. Very funny!

Next to the Summstein you see the colorful pigeonry, but I didn’t see pigeons.

This is an outdoor swimming pool. It is used in the wintertime, too.

Bad Salzdetfurth is an old miningtown. And you find memories of this time everywhere.

It is a nice town.



Posted Feb 23, 2013, 1:23 pm
Hello mum,

It was very foggy today.

It wasn’t very nice in the forest – so we visited the Park of the Abbey Lamspringe. The Lamme starts here – the river that I saw in Bad Salzdetfurth.

This is the church of the abbey. Really big!

Criminals got this ring around their neck in the past – and were in the pillory.

In this mill they produced mill for the abbey many years ago.

What a wonderful park!

I found the first flowers this year. Snowdrops! Maybe the spring starts now?

Until soon


Posted Mar 2, 2013, 2:03 pm
Hello mum,

the winter is back. It snows all day long. Nevertheless we took a walk.

There is a big castle in Derneburg.

In the forest was a small teahouse.

So many stairs and so much snow – puh…

Unbelievable – there exists a pyramid in the forest inside of Germany.

It is the grave of the former owner of the castle.

There were small houses of fishermen next to many small ponds.

It didn’t look like one – but this was one of the fish ponds.

I liked this house.

This region is really beautiful.

Here you can see how far I walked through the snow.

At home we searched a warm place, because we had to get dry again.

Where is the spring time?



Posted Mar 8, 2013, 5:21 pm
Hello mum,

Eventually we had sunshine! We drove to the Bodensteiner cliffs and wanted to search the spring. We found a little of it.

There was still a lot of snow in the forest. During the summer you see water coming out here.

These cliffs were beautiful, weren’t they?

We saw a lot of holes in the cliffs. Where are they for?

I absolutely wanted to have one more photo with the cliffs.

On the way back we walked along this small river.

The river flows into this lake. We searched a beautiful place and enjoyed the sunshine.

I don’t like the snow anymore. Hopefully it will be warmer soon.

Until soon


Posted Mar 16, 2013, 12:15 pm
Hello mum,

today I visited Alfeld - a small city in Lower Saxony.

This old tower is totally covered. How will it look like in the summertime.

This sculpture is so funny!

This beautiful house is at the market place.

Under the market place a little river is flowing.

This house I liked most.

The ‚heilige Franziskus‘ and the big bell stood next to the church.

Alfeld is a beautiful small town.

Until soon


Posted Mar 23, 2013, 3:12 pm
Hello mum,

today we went to a holy spring. Many people take water from it. It should help against sicknesses.

This was the main spring.

The water was so bright!

Here you see 2 other springs – coming directly out of the hill.

There was a small altar next to the spring. People sacrifices things here, and hope that the spring never stops.

The water from the spring feed this river.

Hopefully it will be warmer soon, because we want to search mushrooms.



Posted Mar 31, 2013, 11:57 am
Hello mum,

it is so frustrating. I don’t want to leave the house. There is snow everywhere. I don’t want to see snow anymore!

Where are the orchids? Where are the morels?

Look here! No bear’s garlic! Only snow!

OK – at least this small spring has a beautiful story.

There should be a small church in the past. One night all bells rang at midnight and the church sank. The next day there was this lake at this place.
We really thought about the truth of this story for a long time. But who knows it?

Well – I will go back home now. And I won’t come out of the house before the winter is over and the snow is away!

Until then


Posted Apr 3, 2013, 5:26 pm
Hello mum,

today it is Easter. Murph wanted to go with us into the forest, where the Easter bunny lives. But look – snow everywhere.

What should we do? Will the Easter bunny put the eggs into the snow?

We decided to ask Bine, what to do? But look what we found at the door!

There were baskets – and they were empty.

Maybe we can find Easter eggs here? Let’s have a look. Keep your fingers crossed. Wow – an Easter egg.

We found the first eggs. There should be more!

I found something!

Murph, look – what I found!

Wow, our baskets were almost full. Dottie’s nose smelt something.

Ui, so many Eastereggs!

Murph called! He saw something bright. What will it be?

Sofia threw everything into our baskets.

Now all baskets were full. It will be yummy!



Posted Apr 9, 2013, 5:06 pm
Hello mum,

there was still snow outside. I didn’t want to go out. But Bine told us that fresh air is good for our health. So I was back in the snow. Near to the parking lot I said hello to this snowman.

Can you see, how much snow we have?

Okay, the lake was really beautiful.

It is already frozen.

On the pier we took a short break.

There was snow on the ice!

We still found Easter eggs. But the chocolate eggs were much better!

Actually they still exist!

Many greetings


Posted Apr 13, 2013, 2:53 pm
Hello mum,

Finally we saw the sun again. In the forest there was still snow. So we didn’t want to go there. We went to a big lake.

There were some people with water skis on it. Can you see the man behind me?

During our walk around the lake we saw this small pyramid.

On the other side there was a big sandy beach. I wanted to go there!

Eventually we found flowers. Weren’t they beautiful?

What will this be?

What a wonderful beach – in the middle of Lower Saxony. Unfortunately it was too cold to take a sunbath here.

But we took a longer rest here.  Coltsfoot at the beach – cool.

Finally it is spring.

Until soon


Posted Apr 17, 2013, 5:15 pm
Hello mum,

Finally the spring started! Last weekend there was snow in the forest. And today we found many flowers. This was amazing! But look: spring snowflakes.


The orchids didn't bloom yet.

What a beautiful cave in this tree.

Another flower: daphne mezereum

And so many kidneyworts.  We urgently wanted to have a photo.

We even found the first mushrooms.

Oh no! What an awful view. Murph was so angry. He hates these machines. They are monsters!

They destroy the whole forest.

It was time to say goodbye to the others. I had a great time here, but now I wanted to go home.

Until soon


Posted May 6, 2013, 10:37 am
Once again I decided not to go home. As I told you before, my adventure isn't over yet. So during my flight I changed the envelope, again... All my stuff was sent home to my brother Alex. I think he was confused when he opened the envelope and I wasn't in it.

See you soon with more adventures.


Posted May 8, 2013, 10:27 am
Hey Mummy,

I arrived in Dortmund this eve!! It was a quite long day for me as I spent the whole day stuck in the mail box. Everyone gave a warm welcome to me and I'm feeling very good at the moment. My new host Kate told me that this is not the only place where she lives. She lives in Bochum as well, a city next to Dortmund. She was born and raised there, so we're gonna spend much time there. I'm so excited to explore both cities :)
I already met another TV, his name is Commodore Quack and he's from Wales. He's a nice guy!!
Some of my buddies which I met at other hosts have already lived here, for example Dottie Mouse and Brownbeard. :)
Well, I'm really tired and I need to catch some sleep now.


Posted May 10, 2013, 6:04 pm
Hey Mummy,

I've been to Oberhausen today :) Oberhausen is a city near Dortmund, it takes about 25 minutes by car to get there.
There's an area called "Neue Mitte" where a big shopping mall, a canal, a theatre and amusement parks are located. Well, today was the Open Day at the "Metronom Theatre", it's a theatre where musicals are shown. :) This season the musical "Ich war noch niemals in New York" (in english: I've never been to New York) is shown there. The songs are all written by Udo Jürgens, an old german singer.
However, as it was the Open Day today I got the chance to get to know what really happens in the world of theatre. I watched a Tech-Show where they told us how the light & sound engineering works, how the performers find their right positions on stage and stuff like that.

Afterwards we walked along the boardwalk at the canal. On the one side of the canal there are many restaurants and bars where we sat down and ate some pizza:) Yummy!!  B)


Posted May 19, 2013, 9:12 am
Hey Mummy,

today we celebrated the birthday of a family member. We expected some guests, so we made a cake :) It was an easy one, it's called "Schmandkuchen". All you need is 2 cartons of heavy sour cream, 1 carton of whipping cream, a packet with pulver for Vanillacreme and the yellow of one egg. Well, and you need a flan case :D

At first, we put the heavy sour cream and the whipping cream into the bowl.

Then we added the pulver of the Vanillacreme. We chose "Paradies Creme".

Then we added the yellow of the egg and then it was time to mix it up!!  B)

Afterwards we spreaded it on the the flan case.

For the topping we used some strawberrys, but normally you can choose whatever you want. Well, at first we washed the strawberrys in the sink.

Then we put them on the cake. Et voilà, this is it. It was really easy and fast, wasn't it? :)

Before our guests arrived, we took a walk with the dog through the forest and the meadows behind our house. It was lovely :)

Here you can see me with Lexie. She belongs to my host and just came back home a few days ago, she traveled through the world for a year :)

As you may know the Ruhr Area was popular for its industry, collieries and mining maaaany years ago. We found something in the forest that looks like an old entry, but I have no idea what it was for. Maybe it was the entry for a mine.

Well, the first guests arrived shortly after we came home. We celebrated together and we had a great time :)


Posted May 22, 2013, 10:41 am
Hi Mum,

today Kate showed me the area of the "Phoenix-See", it's a project in Dortmund Hörde where an old industrial area is being redesigned. From about 1841 until 2001 there were steal and ironworks at this place. In 2006 a project started where the redesigning of this area began. Now there's a big lake and there are many new buildings built around the lake. It's not only new private houses, there's also a new clinic, restaurants, office blocks and stuff like that, but everything's still a huge construction area with many brownfields. It will still take a few years until every building will be finished, but the lake itself is already finished.

Well, the weather was lovely!! The sun was shining and it was warm  B) At some point the weather changed and the sky darkened a little bit, but it was not too bad. As we walked around the lake I saw many nice things like landing stages and an outlook.  :rolleyes:

Next to the lake there's an old converter which was used in the ironworks that was located there. It's placed there to remind of the past.

In the far, far past, there was a castle on this area. It was built somewhen between 1100 and 1200. It's hard to imagine how everything looked like in the past and it gives you a strange feeling to know that this is such a very historic place. Here you can see some remains of the castle.

In 1920 an outer ward was built in the style of the historism, it was used as an administration building for the ironworks. It looks nice, doesn't it? :)

Well, that's it about the Phoenix-See. I had a very nice day there and I enjoyed it alot!! :)


Posted Jun 6, 2013, 12:41 pm
Hey Mummy,

today was a truely wonderful day. The weather was glorious so we decided to take a walk through some fields near our house at evening. Even though it was late at eve, the sun was still shining and it was very warm  B) I enjoyed walking through the fields, the view was wonderful, we could even see houses and other fields in a very far distance!! :)

As we walked back home we passed a riding club. We looked at the horsemen and their horses during their exercises, it was quite nice!! Afterwards we used our chance to take some pictures of the field where the horses were jumping. The sun was slowly going down and the light made everything look so lovely :)

Then we walked home and enjoyed the rest of the evening on the balcony.


Posted Jun 17, 2013, 8:25 am
Hey Mummy,

the weather was wonderful again today so I decided to spend the day in the sun :)
Kate, Commodore Quack and me walked through the fields near our house here in Dortmund again 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 the riding club again that I showed you the last time, sadly there were no horses :(

Josie :)

Posted Jun 17, 2013, 11:52 am
Hey Mummy,

today was a very exciting day!! I spent the evening at the "Starlight Express" in Bochum. It's a musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical is about the world championship of the trains, where many different engines want to win the races. Besides it's about finding self-confidence and true love.

My host told me that the theatre was built from 1986 til 1988 especially for this show, with skating rinks which show rails through the audium, different levels and a great technology. The show opened on the 12th of June in 1988 and is still shown today without any interruptions. A special thing about this show is, that every actor wears roller skates because they play trains.
There's a world record for the most visitors to a musical in a single theatre. I think this is very impressive. :)

Well, the musical is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week and there were some special jubilee shows this week with an aftershowparty, free food and drinks and a band playing live music. :) I was lucky enough to join the main gala on the 12th, where many german celebrities, other bidden guests and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber himself were guests at the theatre. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures that day :(
But I watched another jubilee show today, the food was different today and the general procedure was a bit different, but actually it was nice as well :)

Due to the celebrations they built a huge tent in front of the theatre where you could eat and take pictures in front of a wall, write birthday greetings on this wall and so on.

This is the foyer of the theatre. There's a stage built in the middle of the foyer where the band will perform on the aftershowparty.

Outside of the theatre, at the Stage Door, there's a wall where the fans write their greetings or draw something. It's quite nice, some of the greetings are many years old!! :) One fan even draw a huge picture of the character "Red Caboose". Awesome, don't you think?

Here you can see the stage and the auditorium. It looks amazing and it's so impressive! The theatre is huge and the atmosphere is incredible.

Well, at some point it was time to party  B)
There was lots of food in the tent and there were many people who took pictures in front of the wall.

Well, there's only one thing left to say:
Happy Birthday, Starlight Express!!!

Posted Jun 27, 2013, 3:05 pm
Hey Mum,

Kate took me with her to the city of Dortmund today :) There was a presentation at the "Dortmunder U". It's a high-rise which belonged to the Union Brauerei (Union brewery) in the past, but now it's a famous center for culture and creativity. The "U" on the top of it reminds of the brewery. The building doesn't look very nice, but it looks great inside! Unfortunately I don't have many pictures for you from the inside.

Well, my host told me something about the Dortmunder U and I want to tell you what I learned today. There are many different things in this high-rise, there's a ECCE European Centre for Creative Econonomy, exhibit rooms, a restaurant, a museum, a center for cultural knowledge and some other things. A special thing about this building is the top of it. There are huge LED monitors around the upper floors which show video art of the artist Adolf Winkelmann. Mostly there are animals shown, people, nature, abstract art or other things.
On this picture you can see the back of it :) 

And that's the view of the front :)

There are many flyers in the foyer, and even a tree!! Well, I guess it's an expressionism of something  :D

In front of the building there's the city ring road

Near the Dortmunder U is the "Freizeitzentrum West", short: FZW. There are many concerts from popular groups and solo artists as well as parties for diverse youth subcultures and underground musical scenes. Many well known international bands played their concerts here. It doesn't look that special from the outside, does it?


Posted Jul 4, 2013, 9:45 am
Hey Mum,

I had a very quiet evening, I stayed at home, watched TV and ate some snacks. I ate something that I didn't even know until today, it's a japanese snack that tasted awesome!!
It's called "GGE BBQ Cube" and they're Japanese Ramen Noodle Wheat Crackers. They have a very spicy aftertaste  B)

Later on I went to bed, happy and with a full belly :)


Posted Jul 4, 2013, 10:08 am
Hi Mummy,

how are you today? I have been at the local university today. 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.

There's a small cafeteria on this campus where you can eat, named "Archeteria" ("arch" from "architecture" ) . The way from the cafeteria to the buildings is connected by a red-brick road.

This is the parking place with some of the buildings:

Here you can see some tracks of the H-Bahn (Hochbahn or Hängebahn) and the H-Bahn itself. The H-Bahn is a driverless overhead track which connects the campuses.

Tonight I'm gonna go to the old school of my host. The choir, band and the dance group of the school will perform the musical "Footloose", I'm so excited :)


Posted Jul 6, 2013, 9:29 am
Hey Mummy,

I've been to Essen today, a city near Bochum and Dortmund :) Kate took me with her to do some shopping and showed me the big theatre. The theatre is called "Colosseum Theater" and Kate told me that it's a former industrial building of the ThyssenKrupp AG and it was built in 1900 or 1901!! Gosh, it's so old!!  :stare: From 1996 until 2010 the building was a location for some long-time musicals but since 2010 there are only guest appearances of shows or musicals which stay for a few days or maybe a few weeks.

Next to the theatre, at the other side of the street, is a big shopping mall called "Limbecker Platz". And now guess what! I completed a Life Mission!!! Yaaaay!!!  :D B)
The shopping mall opened in 2008/2009, so it's very new! Mum, it's such a wonderful and huge (3 levels!!) shopping mall with trees, a fountain, playgrounds and a lot more inside of it. Lovely!!  :)

Josie :)

Posted Jul 11, 2013, 4:02 pm
Hey Mummy :)

This evening we walked through the woods in Dortmund near our house :) It was very warm and bright until the late evening, it was so lovely :) :)
The rays of the sun sparkled through the trees, it looked so nice  B)

As we walked through the woods we passed some rails. There are just two trains per hour, we waited for both of them to pass by before we entered the tracks.

Guess what, Mum!! I'm gonna see the singers Robbie Williams and Olly Murs tomorrow!! I'm so excited and I really can't wait!!  :D


Posted Jul 11, 2013, 4:42 pm
Hey Mummy,

as I already told you I was going to see Robbie Williams and Olly Murs today!! Robbie Williams is a british singer and he is very famous here in Europe, but I guess you know that ;) His last tour was in 2006, so it was kinda exciting for him to be on tour again after 7 years!! He just started his tour ("Take the Crown" ) a few weeks ago and he took his friend Olly Murs with him. He is the supporting and opening act of the show.

Well, the concert took place in the Veltinsarena in Gelsenkirchen, the stadium of the football team "FC Schalke 04". What a huge building!!  :o

We were there a bit too early, so we had to wait on our seats for quite a long time. More and more people came in. Look at the huge stage design! It shows the head of Robbie Williams.

Well, Olly Murs started his programme and the crowds went crazy :D He is such a lovely guy and such a great singer!! Maybe you know some songs from him, "Troublemaker" or "Heart skips a beat". After a short break the wonderful Robbie Williams came on stage. The show was epic! The ending of the concert was kinda emotional for everyone. After singing his song "Angels" the band left the stage, he stood there and just started to sing the first few words of the song again without any music and stopped directly. The audience sang the song very loud and at the top of their voices. Robbie just listened calmly, slowly put off his headset and cables, turned around and slowly walked away and left the stage. The audiences continued to sing the wonderful song until the refrain was over. That was the end. I got goose bumps all over my body! The lights turned on and everyone went home. What an evening!!

A special thing is that you could buy a Live-Album of this special concert in Gelsenkirchen right after it was over!! They recorded it and sold it to the audience. I still have no idea how fast that happened!  :o Unbelievable. We listened to it on our way back home  B) It was a nice evening.


Posted Jul 28, 2013, 10:35 am
Hey Mummy,

I've been to Velbert today, it's a small city near Bochum. Due to the hot weather Kate and me decided to cool down with some delicious ice cream  B) Yummy!!! :)

Velbert is such a lovely city, the historic district, the "Altstadt", looks so nice!! :) While we were eating the ice cream I looked to the right and saw this little course of the stream. Doesn't it look nice with the old buildings and the bridge? :)

Well, we didn't do any other things in Velbert, we just came here to eat this ice cream. Well, that sounds a bit strange, doesn't it? But Kate told me that there's the best ice cream ever that's why we drove to Velbert  :D


Posted Jul 28, 2013, 11:10 am
Hi Mum,

Guess what, I was on holiday for a few days!! :) Unfortunately not in another country, but I went camping at the "Biggesee" near the city Olpe. It's not so far away from here, maybe 40 minutes by car. The Biggesee is a reservoir and stores water for the Ruhr Area to regulate the rivers "Ruhr" and "Lenne". Mummy, the nature around the Biggesee is wonderful!! :)
Well, the caravan site is right next to the Biggesee, so I was able to swim in the Biggesee. It was so cool!! Here you can see where we cooled down and went swimming, it was so warm these days!!

But we didn't just swim there, we also took an 2 hour shipping across the lake with a big liner named "Westfalen". On the following pictures you can see the landing stage, the liner and some things that we saw during the shipping :)

Look, I even saw a marina :)

One day I visited the city of Olpe. Well, to be honest, it's not the most exciting city I've ever seen, but it was nice anyway. :) From the historic district you had a beautiful view over the valley :)

I saw an old tower there, it's a remain of the old town wall which used to be around Olpe. This tower is called "Witches' Tower" and it's from the 14th century, so it's very old!!  :stare:

I really had a great time at the camping trip, I loved to relax a bit and enjoy some beautiful nature, meet some nice people and just let the sun shine down on my fur :)


Posted Aug 10, 2013, 10:55 am
Hey Mummy,

how are you today? I hope you're fine  :)
Today I've been to a huge zoo in Gelsenkirchen, it's called "Zoom Erlebniswelt". The zoo has three different "worlds", Asia, Africa and Alaska.  I had so much fun there and I saw soooo many animals!! I loved it. Unfortunately we had some rain from time to time, but well.

I couldn't take pictures of every animal but of some :)

Here you can see some eland antelopes and zebras. They share a huge areal in the zoo.

As we continued our walk we saw some giraffes. Aren't they lovely? They were very hungry  :D

Here are some hippos. I could see into their mouth while they ate, their teeth are immense!!  :stare:

Ooooh and then I saw some racoons! They look so lovely but they can be very dangerous.

Well, here you can see a bear taking a bath  :D The bears have a huge compound, they even have an own waterfall!

Later on I saw some sea lions, they have babies and they look so cute!! I even saw a baby drinking milk from its mother. It made funny noises while it drank, haha.

Well, I had a great time at the zoo and I learnt a lot :)


Posted Sep 4, 2013, 8:34 pm
Hey Mummy,

I enjoyed the sun at the "Ümminger See" today, it's a recreational area here in Bochum. You can walk around the whole lake, and that's what I did today :)
We drove there by car because it's not near my house here in Bochum.

There's a lovely bridge and some beautiful flowers. Doesn't it look nice?  B)

At some point the weather a little bit and I couldn't see the sun anymore  :(

But we decided to continue our walk anyway. It took about an hour to walk around the lake but I could've walked a lot more :) Look at the nice view :)


Posted Sep 5, 2013, 1:31 pm
Hey Mum,

how are you doing today? It's sunny and warm here in Dortmund today so I decided to hang out at the balcony today.  B)

Goronyan came to me and wanted to show me something, he found it in our host's livingroom. I was curious because I didn't know what he was going to show me. He told me that it's a japanese snack, made of Ramen Noodles. Then I remembered that I already knew the snack, I ate it for the first time about 2 months ago, but I ate some to make him happy :)

I hope your day was as sunny as mine!! :)

Posted Oct 1, 2013, 11:16 am
Hello Mum,

it rained the whole night so everything's wet outside :( But we decided to take a walk nevertheless :) Today we walked through the Rombergpark here in Dortmund, it's one of the largest botanical gardens in the world  :)

Here you can see a sculpture where you can climb a rope. I wasn't strong enough to climb it :( But it was wet so I didn't have a chance anyway  :p

Well, as we continued our walk we passed a course of a stream. You may think "Oh god, that looks like there is just mud and dirt in it" but you're wrong ;) The colour of the water is caused by iron. The water is so ferrous that it's red! I have never seen anything like that before.  :o

Love you, Mummy!! :)


Posted Oct 14, 2013, 1:08 pm
Hey Mummy,

I've been to Gelsenkirchen today :) Do you remember the Veltins Arena, the stadium of the popular football club FC Schalke 04? I've already been here 2 months ago to join the concert of Robbie Williams. Well, today I joined the "TV Total Stock Car Crash Challenge". Do you know it? It's an live-event of the television channel Pro7 where german (and some foreign) celebrities take part in a stock car racing. Even Timo Glock, a german Formula 1 driver, took part :) It's the 6th time that my host joined this show.
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. Martin Kesici and Charlotte Roche ended up in a "sudden death" to make out a winner, Charlotte won  :D

This picture was taken about an hour before the show started. Doesn't it look great?

This one was taken during the Rodeo race, the last race where every car takes part.

I had so much fun there even though it was very very cold!! Everyone wore jackets, scarfs and a pair of gloves and two pairs of socks, haha  :D

Love you,

Posted Nov 4, 2013, 6:46 pm
Hey Mummy,

today was my last day here and I'm pretty excited to visit my new host in Paderborn :)

Well, I actually wanted to leave much earlier but there was a sad incident in my current host-family so I couldn't leave... But now I'm ready for something new :)

In the morning a new TV arrived here. Goronyan and me were pretty excited and couldn't wait to say "Hi" to our new guest.

Tadaaa, it's Orkku Orava  :D We talked for a while and shared our experiences until it was time to say goodbye.

It was not only my final day but also Goronyans final day, he will go home to Japan. I wish him all the best for his very long travel!!

Bye bye Ruhrgebiet, hello Paderborn! I will let you know when I arrive at my new host :)


Posted Nov 6, 2013, 4:38 pm
Dear mummy,
today I arrived in Paderborn and was welcomed very warmly by Sargent Froggo, The WotWots and OleOrangescarf.
I showed them my postcard from Dortmund and gave them the sweets  :p and then we sat together round an indoor campfire talking about our TV-experiences...
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Nov 9, 2013, 8:18 pm
Dear mum,
today morning hostmum had to drive to the vet with two canaries of her place of work. While they were on their way we explored the birdcage.
Okay, it was not so bad to sit on a swing but we were all happy to be free ToyVoyagers who explore the world instead of sitting in a cage...
Then we drove to a shop full of musical instruments. Great!
We were allowed to test all the instruments  :D
I liked many of the instruments but I was most enthusiastic about the pink guitar...
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Nov 10, 2013, 5:26 pm
Dear mum,
today I met four different dogs  :D
Hostmum and a friend of her who's got two dogs (Bea and Fynn) visited another friend who renovates an very old house in the middle of a forest. This friend has got the dog 'Krümel' and was visited by a friend with the fourth dog 'Carla'. Three women, four dogs, you understand?
We walked through the forest for reaching the old house.
On the pictures you can see the dogs in this order: Carla, Krümel, Bea, Fynn. They were very friendly and we talked about living as a dog  ;)
In the old house a new heater has been started for the first time. You can see me sitting on the heater 'Bruno' before becoming too hot  :cyclops:
See you, mummy,
yours Josie

Posted Nov 13, 2013, 5:48 pm
Dear mum,
today Mefito came back from his weekend trip. He was in a tree house together with hostparent's friends.
He introduced his new friend Charmin to us and I introduced myself to him and then he showed us the pictures of his adventure.
See you
yours Josie

Posted Nov 15, 2013, 7:26 pm
Dear mummy,
today we made a sightseeing tour through Paderborn city. We drove to Paderborn by bus.
First we visited the cathedral. The first local missionary church was built up in the year 777. The new building of the cathedral took place in 799. As it stands today, the cathedral was erected between 1215-1280. Following the destructions it suffered during the Second World War it was rebuilt to its original design with a few minor alterations.
Of course we visited the 'hare window' in the inner courtyard of the cathedral: three hares with only three ears but every hare has got two ears  ;)
Foundations of the Carolingian and Ottonian-Salic imperial palaces  were exposed from 1964 until the late seventies. The Ottonian-Salic Palace was reconstructed between 1976 and 1978 in accordance with a plan made by an architect. The original building construction with its rising brickwork is clearly identifiable.
Then we visited the market square with some old houses, the Gaukirche with it's eight-cornered tower, the Neptun-fountain and the townhall.
After that we visited river Pader, Germany's shortest river (only 4 km) but 200 springs inside the city.
There was a place where women did the washing up to the fifties of the last century.
While I was sitting there suddenly a goose caught me  :o
"This is not allowed, I'm a tourist!", I shouted and so the goose dropped me, apologized to me and let me sit on her back...puuhh!
Many hugs, yours Josie

Posted Nov 16, 2013, 4:26 pm
Autumn impressions...

Posted Nov 18, 2013, 3:25 pm
Dear mum,
today in the early morning something strange has happened:
we were still sleeping when suddenly we were woken up by a loud voice: "Where is the birthday boy?"
Sitting up I saw a big goblin sitting on a purple horse and having a burning crown is his hands :stare:
First I thought I had taken leave of my senses but my friends  could see the goblin as well. "Where is the birthday boy?" he repeated.
"It's me!" Mefito said. The goblin wanted him to step forward, presented the crown him, congratulated him and disappeared. Wow!
We all couldn't believe it but we could see the crown so it was true.
We told Mefito to put on the crown, then we sang a birthday song for him, hugged him and gave him yummy gummi bears as a present  :D
We sat around the crown discussing the event until hostmum and hostdad came for congratulating Mefito.
Then we started to Paderborn city by bus for having a vegan birthday breakfast in a nice café  :p
On the way back we visited the cathedral again and a miniature of the city.
That's it for now, in the evening we'll drive to a restaurant for having a farewell dinner cause today it isn't only Mefito's birthday but also the last day of The WotWots in Paderborn. Tomorrow they'll start to Essex and hostmum says they shall have a great goodbye  :p
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Nov 19, 2013, 12:08 pm
Dear mummy,
in the evening we drove to the city again for having a nice birthday-and-farewell-dinner in an Indian restaurant  :p
Back home our party began...and ended in the early morning...
very great party  ;)
Yours Josie

Posted Nov 19, 2013, 12:28 pm
Time to say goodbye again  :(
Today noon The WotWots packed their things into small envelopes, then we all hugged them and they crawled into a big envelope.
Goodbye Dotty and Spotty you great friends!!!
Have a good journey. Perhaps we'll see again anytime anywhere...
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Nov 25, 2013, 8:51 pm
Dear mummy,
today afternoon we drove to hostgrandma for wishing her a happy birthday.
Because she's such an enthusiastic pilgrim, hostgranddad gave her a sculpture of St. Jacob as a present, built up by a potter.
On teatime we had yummy cake ('Christstollen', a very good cake you eat at Advent and at Christmas)  :p
And in the evening we had another birthday invitation to friends of hostmum and hostdad. First we had raclette and then we explored the flat and discovered a lot: a nice donkey-pig or something like that, a very kind spider, a caterpillar which never has had enough to eat, a vending machine with chocolat in it  :p , a board full of plastic animals (of course dogs  :)) and at last a cupboard full of stoffies  :D But guess what, nobody wanted to become a ToyVoyager!!! I think they don't know what they're missing...
Many hugs
yours Josie

Posted Nov 27, 2013, 4:12 pm
Dear mummy,
today is a very sad day  :( :(
Hostmum's old dog lady Trixi had to be put down in the morning.
The pictures show her (the black one with the white face) and Sally (who died 17-years-old in January) in Friedrichskoog in 2012 together with some TV-friends.
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Dec 1, 2013, 10:13 am
Dear mummy,
have a nice first Sunday in Advent!
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 2, 2013, 7:44 pm
Dear mummy,
today we visited two Christmas fairs in Altenbeken.
Of course we started with a cup of coffee and a yummy cake  :p
And then we explored the different stands...many nice wooden last hostmum bought two wooden owls (she didn't want to seperate this owl couple...)
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 7, 2013, 9:48 pm
Dear mum,
today evening  we drove to Detmold for visiting the Christmas fair in the open-air museum. In the big area there're many old houses and two windmills you can visit for getting an idea of bygone times.
Today the old houses and mills were illuminated, it looked fantastic!
For finding the path in the dark there were torches at the wayside.
There were many stands with nice things to buy and in the old houses you could buy things, too.
Of course we bought some yummy hot punch  :p
And look what hostmum bought for us: a wooden sledge  :D
Now we're just waiting for some snow...
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Dec 10, 2013, 10:01 pm
Dear mum,
today an envelope has arrived. Cause we were all waiting for SunnyHH and Soeren we were surprised cause the envelope was very small. We lifted the envelope up and concluded that it was too light for comprising an elk...
Then suddenly two little white ears came to light and a nice rabbit crawled out of the envelope and explained that Soeren really wanted to visit Strunki and his old friends. So he turned off to Remscheid.
But we'll meet on December 14th in Dortmund and then he'll come back home SunnyHH explained.
Than we all hugged SunnyHH and we sat together eating yummy chocolate he's brought with him and talking about TV-life...
Love you
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 11, 2013, 4:41 pm
Dear mummy,
yesterday evening hostmum said we could put up a boot in front of the flat door for St. Nicholas. Perhaps he would fill the boot in the night on his way round the world. So we did. Of course we all wanted to see St. Nicholas so we sat behind the door staring through a door gap. "No", hostmum said, "you've got to go to bed and sleep. St. Nicholas won't come to somebody sitting behind the door." So we did. We tried to stay awake but no chance...
In the early morning we raced to the door and the boot has been filled  :D :D
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 11, 2013, 5:05 pm
And in the evening we visited a friend of hostmum for having a comfortable St. Nicholas evening.
First we had a yummy dinner. Suddenly we heard somebody playing the harp. It was a friendly owl. Of course we asked the owl to become a ToyVoyager but unfortunately his mum didn't allow...
Then we explored the flat that was a gold mine for ToyVoyagers as you can see  ;)
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 13, 2013, 4:55 pm
Dear mummy,
today morning we accompanied hostmum to work. It was very cold and cause we drove by bike we were wraped up to the nose.
Hostmum works as a social worker in an old people's home, but unfortunately today she didn't make any music or other interesting things together with the old people but sat in front of her computer the whole morning.
On the way back we had a great view to Neuenbeken, hostmum's home village.
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Dec 13, 2013, 5:15 pm
Dear mummy,
today we drove to Soest by train for visiting the Christmas fair.
So many looked great!
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 16, 2013, 10:54 am
Dear mummy,
today we drove to Dortmund by train for meeting Strunki and olgamaus.
After visiting the a big St. Nicholas, a big Christmas pyramide and the very big Christmas tree we went into a café together with all the other ToyVoyagers. It was great to sit there with GustavHH, Charlotte, Hase, HelmutBluepant, Kirin, Soeren, DottyCroc, Dutchy the Lion, Mefito, SunnyHH, UrselHH, Frederik, OleOrangescarf, Störte, Sargent Froggo and *Nick* talking about our adventures.
When it became dark we visited the Christmas fair with the illuminated big tree, all the lights and was a great day!
Love you,
yours Josie

Posted Dec 16, 2013, 9:00 pm
Dear mummy,
today Soeren told us that he was invited by Murph on yesterday and he'll leave us only two days after meeting  :(
But perhaps meet again...have a good journey!
Love you, mum,
yours Josie

Posted Dec 19, 2013, 7:27 pm
Dear mummy,
today Mefito's and Frederik's little sister Lille has come home.
I was so happy to meet a TV-girl!!! (nothing against the boys but some themes you can discuss with a girl only...)
We all hugged her and I'm sure we'll become good friends!
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 21, 2013, 5:50 pm
Today noon a mysterious parcel arrived. We were not waiting for another ToyVoyager so we wondered what could be in it.
Hostmum said that it was a Christmas parcel from Strunki so we should wait until Christmas. But suddenly we heard a voice: "Set me free!!!"  :o
Under this circumstances of course we were allowed to open the parcel as fast as we could. A funny face appeared. "Hi, I'm Paris the dromedary and I'm no ToyVoyager and I don't want to become a ToyVoyager. I travelled from Christmas fair to Christmas fair my whole life and so I would be very happy to find a real home", Paris the dromedary said.
Hostmum was as happy as we to meet Paris and invited her to stay in her home.
"Great", Paris said, "now I've only to find a place where I can jump up and down but that's not urgent."
And then she showed us a nice postcard, nice Pictures and yummy chocolate she brought with her from Strunki, her TVs and guests  :D Thank you!!!
That's for today
yours Josie

Posted Dec 25, 2013, 11:47 am

And guess what we've got: a shopping trolley filled with yummy chocolate  :D :D :D
For the rest of the evening we were completely occupied by pushing each other in the trolley and eating chocolate  :p
Merry Christmas, mummy,
yours Josie

Posted Dec 27, 2013, 12:09 pm
Guess what, mummy, Lille has given me one of her nice necklaces as a Christmas present!  :D :D
It looks wonderful, doesn't it?
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 28, 2013, 11:06 am
Dear mum,
in the afternoon we drove to hostgrandma and hostgrandpa.
We climbed the Christmas tree and visited the crib. Frederik decided to stay there for the next weeks being a member of the crib.
After playing hostgrandpa's organ for more than two hours we rested in hostgrandma's armchair for a while...
In the evening we went into the city for visiting the illuminated cathedral. Great!
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 28, 2013, 11:20 am
Dear mummy,
today evening we celebrated the second Christmas day together with hostdad's daughters in the flat of the older daughter in Bad Lippspringe.
Look, she's got a Christmas tree with eyes and hat  :D
Yours Josie

Posted Dec 31, 2013, 6:25 pm
Dear mum,
today the sun was shining, optimal conditions for our 'First Silvester Shopping Trolley Outdoor Race'  :D
We went to an hill where Paris marked starting line and finishing line. Than she sat down at the finishing line with her stopwatch...the race could begin!
OleOrangescarf was the first starter. He pushed the trolley, jumped in and raced downhill. "14,99 seconds!" Paris shouted and noted down the result.
Mefito was the next. "14,92!"
Then the first team started: Sargent Froggo pushed the trolley with SunnyHH in it and jumped in..."14,71"!!!
Then Lille and me  started... "14,98!" Paris shouted.
So we had the winners: Sargent Froggo and SunnyHH!!!  :D :D
Back home we had a presentation ceremony. The winners got gold medals and a certificate. Though we didn't win we had so much fun!!!
Yours Josie

Posted Jan 1, 2014, 5:12 pm
We had a Silvester-party at some friends of hostmum and hostdad.
First we played 'Don't be annoyed' (in German 'Mensch ärger dich nicht') with 'Mainzelmännchen' as pieces  ;)
It was very exciting and at last OleOrangescarf was the winner!
Then we visited the crib with a miniature Christmas fair.
At midnight we had great fireworks!! Unfortunately hostmum wasn't really able to took good pictures at the right moment  :cyclops:
All the best, mummy,

Posted Jan 3, 2014, 6:38 pm
Dear mum,
today we said goodbye to Lille and Sargent Froggo. Lille will travel to her next host and Sargent Froggo will travel back home.
Lille, I'll never forget you, perhaps we'll meet again...
Yours Josie

Posted Jan 12, 2014, 11:07 am
Dear mum,
today we decided to help hostmum with the housecleaning.
First we had to do the washing. Together we put the laundry into the washing machine (hoping that hostmum didn't hit on the idea to put us into the machine as well  :cyclops: )
After cleaning we had to pull out the wet clothes of the machine and hung it onto the clotheshorse. Puuuuh, housework is more exhausting than we thought...
Then we helped hostmum doing the hoovering. That wasn't exhausting at all, we sat on the Hoover directing hostmum and spuring her on  ;)
She was very grateful to us for such a fantastic support and so we got yummy chocolate deservedly  :p
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Jan 16, 2014, 5:40 pm
Dear mum,
yesterday a mysterious envelope from Australia arrived.
What could be in? A very flat ToyVoyager?  :cyclops:
SunnyHH opened it and crawled in...and guess what he pulled out: the flying carpet of Mefito's brother Sidney L.
But where was Sidney? The enclosed postcard gave the answer:
Sidney has travelled to Alaksa and has forgotten his flying carpet in Australia!  :o
How has he travelled without flying with his carpet? We must ask him when he'll be back home...
Of course we all tried to start the carpet but unfortunately nothing happened...we didn't know the magic word for starting it  :(
Dear Sidney, come home safely some day, Mefito'll keep your carpet...
Thank you, fleursmum for sending the carpet home  :)
Love you, mum,
yours Josie

Posted Jan 17, 2014, 10:19 pm
Dear mum,
today morning we were just playing hide and seek in the garden when a strange figure appeared  :o
When he came nearer we saw that it was Monsti pulling a pirate ship!! Of course we asked him where he came from with such a ship and then he told us a fantastic story: fitted out with a map he started from his hometown Stuttgart many days ago. He wanted to travel by train, bus and hitchhiking. Wow! The first stage worked very well but after a while he found no Train, no bus, no car and hat to go on travelling by foot  :cyclops: So he walked along some rivers and suddenly he saw an abandoned pirate ship! With this ship he sailed this far on many different rivers! The last kilometre he had to pull the ship and now he was here! Great!
When we looked closely at the ship Mefito recognized: it was the ship of his brother Störte which he had lost on his journey from Austria to Remscheid! What a chance!! He'll be so happy to get back his ship when he'll come home  :D
Then we went in, sat together and talked about our adventures while eating the yummy hamburgers Monsti brought with him  :p
Yours Josie

Posted Jan 22, 2014, 8:40 pm
Dear mum,
today we had to say goodbye to Mefito and SunnyHH who'll travel to RikeH.
Have a good journey, perhaps we'll meet again.
Yours Josie

Posted Jan 24, 2014, 6:06 pm
Dear mum,
today a small envelope from Great Britain has arrived. Who could be in? After a few seconds the secret was out: Bernie a  bear-girl from Australia! Girl-reinforcement  :D !
We all hugged her and then we sat together talking about our adventures the whole night...
Yours Josie

Posted Jan 26, 2014, 4:28 pm
Dear mum,
when we looked out of the window this morning everything was white! The first snow in Paderborn this winter!  :D
OF COURSE we wanted to go out immediately, grabbed our scarfs...ready! First we made four snowangels  :rolleyes:
Then we started to built up a snowman: we girls made a small snowball, the boys a bigger one and all together the biggest. Stacking up the snowballs was not easy but of course we managed it  :) It's a very nice snowman, isn't it?
At last Monsti and OleOrangescarf made Bernie and me happy pulling us on the toboggan  :D
Then we went in and sat together drinking hot tea with honey and eating yummy cakes...
Yours Josie

Posted Feb 2, 2014, 11:36 am
Dear mum,
today we drove to a birthday party of a friend of hostmum.
As you can see we enjoyed ourselves with yummy cakes and fruit salad  :p
Then we met some funny girls and a not so funny guy (Monsti was the only one who wasn't afraid of this strange fellow  :cyclops: )
The party ended with some excellent self-made liqueur...great  :p
See you
yours Josie

Posted Feb 10, 2014, 3:31 pm
Dear mum,
today we drove to the spa Bad Pyrmont for visiting a friend of hostmum.
We walked into the great spa gardens with many old trees, some old avenues, nice lakes and pavilions. How great it would be to visit this park in the spring or in the summer!
There was an old castle in the park with a very old vault and surrounded by water...and an Castle-café in which we had very yummy cakes  :p
In the inner courtyard we met a funny guy standing on his head  :D
And at last we visited two enchanting for the girls and one for the boys  :rolleyes:
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Feb 16, 2014, 6:44 pm
Dear mum,
today we went on a walk for visiting friends of hostparents who live in the middle of the forest near Neuenbeken.
On the first picture you can see where we roughly wanted to go to.
On our way we saw some nice heralds of spring. Looking back we could see hostparent's home village Neuenbeken and in front of us the forest began.
After a while we took a rest on a tree stump full of moss and on a natural 'stonework' which showed how stony is the ground round Paderborn.
The weather was great as you can see  :)
After one and a half hour we reached the half-timbered house.
Yours Josie

Posted Feb 17, 2014, 9:30 pm
Dear mum,
today two postcards have arrived which *Nick* and Störte had sent from Tenerife. One of the postcards showed the whole island with it's most famous places. So we sat in front of the laptop and compared the postcard with the travelogs of *Nick* and Störte cause now we could see for certain the places they visited.
See you
yours Josie

Posted Feb 24, 2014, 7:10 pm
Dear mum,
today the weather was great, so we took a long walk round and up the Velmerstot mountain.
On the top of the Felmastot there was a wooden tower from which we had a great view.
On the way back we crossed a nice stream and took a rest in front of a mysterious cave...
yours Josie

Posted Mar 3, 2014, 9:23 pm
Dear mum,
today it was Bernie's birthday so we woke her up with a birthday-surprise: happy-birthday-candles around her bed  :D
After singing three birthday songs for Bernie she blew up all the candles. Then we all hugged her and gave her our birthday presents: some sweets, a biscuit and a little nice ladybird which shall bring her luck on all her journeys.
See you
yours Josie

Posted Mar 7, 2014, 8:07 pm
North Sea, we're coooooming!!!  :D :D :D

Posted Mar 15, 2014, 9:33 pm
Dear mum,
after a yummy breakfast we started to the North Sea and today noon we arrived hostuncle's flat in Jever at the North Sea.
We were warmly welcomed by Zebresel and Paul the mouse who invited us to sit on the balcony.
After a while we drove to the coast and had a first look to the Sea. Great  :D
We sat there on the beach...only watching without talking...
And we found a sand castle in which we played and had a lot of fun.
Back home Zebresel and Paul invited us to a welcome drink...fantastic  B)
I'm sure we'll have a great time here!
See you
yours Josie

Posted Mar 16, 2014, 4:28 pm
Dear mummy,
today we went to Spiekeroog island by ferry. On the island we first had tea, coffee and cakes in a very nice café. After that it was time for another rest so we sunbathed on an old tree  B)
Then we visited two churches, the old one and the new one that looked like a tent.
The whole afternoon we enjoyed the warm and lovely day on the beach  :rolleyes:
1000 hugs
yours Josie

Posted Mar 17, 2014, 7:11 pm
Dear mum,
today we walked through Jever looking for a bikeshop for borrowing some bikes.
On our way we visited some nice old houses, the palace of Jever, a statue of Mary (last regent of Jever), a statue of a big bull, a statue of a peeing dog  :cyclops: and a nice blooming tree. Suddenly we came into difficulties (a battle in the middle of the town  :o ) but finally we found a bikeshop and with our bikes we started to our first biketour.
Look at the funny sign: a place called 'without-sorrows' must be nice to live there!
And look at the road surface: millions of old stones instead of asphalt!
Love you
yours Josie

Posted Mar 21, 2014, 10:56 am
Dear mum,
today we went on a cycling tour. Following the 'Tour de Fries' we passed typical Friesian farm houses, typical Friesian moats with nice typical reed and typical Friesian cows.
After a while we reached Hooksiel, a coastal place that is filled with tourists during the summer months. We visited the little old harbour, the yacht harbour, the former townhall, a canon  :cyclops: and a funny cow  ;)
After sunbathing in a typical Friesian wicker beach we went into a nice café for drinking typical Friesian black tea (from a typical Friesian tea service) with rock candy. Yummy!
I think it was a typical Friesian very nice day  :D
Yours Josie

Posted Mar 21, 2014, 8:49 pm
Dear mum,
today we went to Langeoog island by ferry. From Langeoog harbour we drove to the centre of the island by a nice old train.
For exploring the island of course we borrowed two bikes. On our way to the beach we met a bull with imposing horns (definitely no typical Frisian bull  ;) ). We visited the water tower and a very funny sign. The beach was as great as our tour through the dunes. We climbed up the highest point of Langeoog and had a great view! When we carried on cycling suddenly a nice seagull landed and said "Hi, I'm Emma and I decided to come with you!" and so she did. Back in Langeoog-town we met a fisherman before it was time to say goodbye to this great island.
Yours Josie

Posted Mar 23, 2014, 11:34 am
Dear mum,
today morning we were just relaxing on the balcony when suddenly somebody rang the doorbell. Who could it be? We walked to the door and opened it and saw a rabbit girl who said: "Hi there, I'm Hanna Hops and I decided to drive home with your hostmum when your holiday's over. I saw her together with you in the book shop in Jever I've lived until now and I thought it's a good idea to start a new phase of my life leaving this place behind me and following you."
With these words she jumped onto the sofa. We followed her and for the rest of the mornig we sat together listening to her experiences and adventures. She's very nice and she knows what she wants, I'm sure.
Yours Josie

Posted Mar 23, 2014, 7:06 pm
Hi mum,
in the afternoon we visited another parts of Jever city: the Jever brewery, a windmill, a cage for people (in former times supposed witches were put under water in such a cage...if they survived under water they were real witches and were killed, if not they were innocent but dead...a total terrible practise... :mad: :mad: :mad:) and a millions-year-old fossil in a not so old wall.
Yours Josie

Posted Mar 24, 2014, 11:48 am
Hi mum,
today it's our last day in Jever so we went on a last cycling tour for saying goodbye to the North Sea.
On our way back we saw this funny sign  :D But I swear we have been neither in Scandinavia nor in the USA and nowhere else than at the North Sea  ;)
In the evening we celebrated the end of our great holiday week in a very good restaurant  :p
Yours Josie

Posted Mar 24, 2014, 11:57 am
Dear mummy,
in the morning it was time to say goodbye to our nice plushie hosts...perhaps we'll see again...
When we started our return journey it started raining...
Yours Josie

Posted Mar 26, 2014, 6:03 pm
Dear mum,
today it's been a very exciting day: in the morning a small parcel arrived. When we opened it Wavy Gravy appeared and Bernie fainted  :cyclops: We asked us why she did so and tried to wake her up. After a while she sat up. Two seconds later Wavy Gravy proposed to her and...she fainted again! We didn't understand anything. When she woke up again she told him that she wanted to marry him OF COURSE! If you asked me, very strange story...Then they sat there very happy and very engaged...Perhaps they'll explain us what happened today when they'll be approachable again.
Yours Josie

Posted Mar 29, 2014, 9:52 pm
Hi mum,
today morning we took a spring walk near Schlangen. There is a forest which is famous for a flower called 'Lerchensporn' in German. The flowers are blooming in white and purple and we saw thousands of looked like a carpet of flowers  :)
And we saw violets and 'Buschwindröschen' and 'Scharbockskraut' and another yellow flower...and Frederik found his first dandelion this year (he loves dandelion).
See you
yours Josie
By the way: Bernie and Wavy Gravy had got to know each other at Yosemite's home. They'h fallen in love but had to part. And now they've met again...that's the reason for their behaviour...

Posted Apr 1, 2014, 9:23 pm
Dear mummy,
yesterday we took a farewell walk cause I'll travel to Japan...
It's always sad to say goodbye but that's TV-life and of course I'm happy to have an invitation to Japan!
It's been a great time in Paderborn, perhaps we'll meet again, my friends!
Japan, I'm cooooming!!!
Yours Josie

Posted Apr 14, 2014, 8:38 am
Konnichiwa!(Hello!) mom.
I arrived in Yokosuka at the evening.
It's still cold here at night(+11c), daytime is warm(+21c).
Yokosuka is located 50 km from Tokyo, and 20 km from Yokohama.
My host and TV Aura, Betty Bear, Rachel, Hansi Hü gave me warm welcome.
I showed to everyone a postcard from Germany.
Everyone said "Wow! It is wonderful view postcard." and My host said "Thank you for postcard,dear mcdaniels."

In Japan, Spring vacation has ended, and the new school term started today.
April is the month when school starts and companies begin a new business year.
Everyone seems little busy.
Bye for now.

Posted Apr 19, 2014, 9:13 am
Hi mom!
It's sunny day.
We came to Kannonzaki park.
First, we greeting an old cat who lives here.
He looks very comfortably by basking.
A short walk, And we found a very mysterious dark cave.
Kind of an old small shrine, any incorporeal supernatural being, Don't you think so?

There's a legend that a large snake lived on this dark cave.
Monk visited small village Kannonzaki in 741.
He heard that a large snake lived in this cave, and afflicts villagers and fishermen, the people of marine transportation.
Monk was killed the large snake. Then large snake was enshrined in this dark cave .
I think we should keep away from this cave.
See you later

Posted Apr 19, 2014, 9:55 am
For go to see the Kannonzaki lighthouse, we went up the stairs earnestly.
Kannonzaki lighthouse is oldest western style lighthouse in Japan.
November 1 is the lighthouse anniversary to commemorate the start of construction date of this lighthouse.
Collapsed in the earthquake of twice, the current lighthouse is the third generation.

We were able to see big tankers comings and goings in Tokyo Bay when we walking beach.
I found Cherry blossom tree in Kannonzaki park here. 
We playing at the beach a little. I have enjoying and relaxed.
See you!

Posted Apr 20, 2014, 4:59 am
We went to Tokyo sightseeing by train.
You can see arrival time of trains at the station(in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean language).

Posted Apr 20, 2014, 7:25 am
We came to the Meiji Shrine(Meiji Jingu).
Mom, I was really surprised!
Do you believe in the spirit photo?
There is a large white orb in my photo.
I heard orb appears in the sacred places such as shrines and temples. Is it just a dust on the lens of camera???
What do you think?

Through promenade in forest, I went to shrine buildings.
It was one of the visiting typical place for foreign tourists here.
Visitors to the shrine can take part in typical Shinto activities, writing out one's wish on an ema.
When we visited the Meiji shrine, we witnessed a Shinto wedding procession which  was led by two priests and two shrine maidens, followed by the couple under a red umbrella and the family and friends.
It was delightful seeing the colorful ceremony in wonderful surroundings.

When you enter the premises of Meiji shrine, you notice barrels of sake wrapped in straw stacked up near the entrance.
This is fascinating design.
To know more about these barrels, read the following text which was written on information board put up near these barrels.
And You can see the otorii, it is the gate of shrines.

Posted Apr 20, 2014, 8:22 am
Shibuya. It is one of Tokyo's most colorful and busy districts.
Wow, There are a lot of people.
You can see the famous crossing in front of Shibuya Station.
It is a crossing where vehicles from all four directions are stopped and allows pedestrians to cross in every direction.

Posted Apr 23, 2014, 1:04 pm
We came to NHK Studio Park.
NHK(Nippon Hoso Kyokai, Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Studio Park is NHK Broadcasting thema park that is open to the public.
It gives visitors a chance to look behind the scenes of NHK broadcasting.
You can know the history of the TV show.
Stage equipment and costumes that were used in the TV show is on display.

Posted Apr 30, 2014, 12:55 am
You can see Tokyo subway route map.
It is like a maze.
Then We went to the Kabuki-za theater.
Kabuki is a part of traditional Japanese classical culture.
We saw ladies wearing Kimono, Kimono is Japanese traditional dress, it is worn during formal events.
It was a good day!
See you.

Posted Apr 30, 2014, 2:41 am
Hello, mom!
Today, April 14th is my toy voyagers friend Rachel's birthday!
We had a surprise birth day party for Rachel.
Look! We made cute cup cake for her.
We sang me the happy birthday song.
Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear little sheep Rachel
Happy Birthday Rachel!!!
We glad that she liked it.  It was a really fun time.

Posted Apr 30, 2014, 3:30 am
It is sunny good day.
We went to the "Ootawa, Tsutsuji no oka(azalea's hills) park".
50,000 azaleas have been planted here, pink and white, red flowers very beautiful, so visitors can enjoy the flowers.
Many Bee had greeted us. They loves honey too much.
Actually, It seems azalea's honey is sweet when my host tasted the azalea's honey in childhood.

Posted Apr 30, 2014, 4:17 am
I will prepare for Betty Bear's trip today.
We repaired  Betty's red tag. It was easy for us.
My host bought her some candies.
We are a little sad to say goodbye to her.
Hope we can meet together sometime.

Posted May 11, 2014, 6:45 am
Hi mom,
We came to Umikaze(It is meaning "sea breeze") park by bicycle because it is a lovely day.
It was five minutes until the park.
Here is very crowded on sunday. Many people visited the park, and enjoyed a barbecue and fishing.
We're playing in the playground equipment.
I found funny clock tower. Let me see...It is eight twenty five in the morning.
You can see a view of the Tokyo Bay. A small island in Tokyo Bay has been called "Saru-shima(It is meaning "Monkeys Island")".
But monkeys do not live on the island now.
A big love and many kisses on Mother's Day!

Posted May 17, 2014, 1:35 am
I will introduce you to some of vending machine in Japan.
You can see various drinks.
Lactic acid bacteria beverage, coffee, cocoa, cafe au lait, tea, green tea, cola, plum juice, mineral water, soup and more. cold or hot, Cans or paper cups or plastic bottles.

Posted May 17, 2014, 2:06 am
Mom, Are you interested in FIFA World Cup 2014?
Usually my host has not interested in football.
However, She has interested in World Cup and stamps.
She showed us to FIFA World Cup stamp sheets, it was issued today at Japan post office.

Posted May 17, 2014, 2:48 am
My toy friend Aura went back to her home in Finland today.
We are a little sad to say goodbye to her.
Hope we can meet together sometime, somewhere.

Posted May 21, 2014, 6:53 am
Hi mom, It is sunny and bright.
We went to Verny park by bicycle, humming to song.
It takes 20 minutes to go to this park by my host's bicycle.
The name of the park called Verny is origin of name from French engineer Verny.
He gave us any support to built a lighthouse and Yokosuka Port facilities in 1865-1867. So this park is built French-style.

Mom, Do you know "Haiku" ?
Haiku is Japanese three-line poetry structured in the set form of 5-7-5 syllables.
Including a seasonal word in it.
It is said that haiku is the world's shortest literature.
One Haiku is written for stone where we are sitting.
Shiki Masaoka(1867-1902) wrote ​​this Haiku, he is one of  great modern Haiku poet.
It is impression of Yokosuka port  when he visited the Yokosuka in 1888.
Haiku has been one of the most important traditional literary forms in Japan.
A contemplative poetry, nature, color, seasons, contrast and surprises.
It has developed as a verse that expresses deep feeling for nature including human beings.
This follows the traditional Japanese idea that people is a part of the natural world.

Many rose are blooming so beautifully at the best now. Pink roses, red and yellow, white roses.
That is a very smells sweet.
My host bought us matcha latte, I drank latte sitting on the bench.
We continued our tour of the park, I found historic gate.
See you!

Posted May 27, 2014, 10:21 am
We decided make a Ramen for lunch.
Ramen is a Japanese noodle and soup dish which originated in China.
Everything looks good.
I’m want to have the Shin-Ramen! It is from Korea, so very spicy Ramen!
This Ramen is too hot for me.
Put a block of dried Ramen into boiled water and boil it with vegetables and meat or sausage and seaweed and bean sprouts for a few minutes.
Add the accompanying soup powder and stir.
It was delicious!

Posted May 27, 2014, 11:19 am
It is a pity that the weather is bad.
We came to Yuigahama beach in Kamakura.
You can see Pacific ocean.
Many people enjoying surfing. Riding waves is so cool!
It's such a beautiful sport to watch when we're walking down beaches.
We must be careful with Hawks.
If I was kidnapped to Hawks,  I may not see you any more.
I heard we could take a lot of Sakuragai(beautiful pink color shellfish) in this beach. But I couldn't found that.
There is a monument of Sakuragai's song.

Posted May 28, 2014, 10:16 am
After we saw the ocean, I walked Komachi street in Kamakura.
I saw burger shop and sandwiches shop, Japanese post box(old type), sewing goods shop "SWANY"(Flowers in the garden of this shop was beautiful), Japanese sweets shop and Studio Ghibli shop.
Mom, My host bought me "Kamakura-yaki".
I would say they are like Japanese pancake(green tea flavor) or muffin with bean paste of black sesami seeds inside.

Posted May 31, 2014, 5:45 am
We went to Anyoin Temple (Kamakura, Kanagawa), Important Cultural Property.
It has been said Masako Hojo(1157 - 1225) built this temple for her husband.
Her husband was a founder and supreme authority of Kamakura shogunate.
A story I heard was, Masako bought a good dream from her young sister.
How to buy a dream, Masako gave her what she want.
Tradition has it that so good things will happen when you bought a good dream from somebody.
Actually, She managed to make a brilliant marriage.
Anyoin is Masako's Buddhist name.

Posted May 31, 2014, 7:28 am
We came to Ankokuronji.
Ankokuronji is one of several temples of the Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism of Kamakura in 1253.
Tourists did not visit much here.
Fresh green garden here is beautiful, wonderful sculptures of the temple.

Posted May 31, 2014, 8:47 am
When we visit Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shirine, I could see Japanese style wedding.
Called "Sho" is one of the musical instrument that is played at the shrine.
You can see "Ema(wooden votive tablet)", it was written one's  wishes on Ema(form of ginkgo).
We had a break with drink water of Cassis flavor.
Flavor water(infused water) now has been very popular in Japan.
Day trip of us is the end here.
Gokigenyou(Have a nice day!)

Posted Jun 2, 2014, 11:06 am
I ate Sushi for lunch at my host's home.

Posted Jun 6, 2014, 10:01 am
Hello mom!
We came here for Hansi's life mission.
Suburbs of Tokyo. It takes around 90 minutes from my host's home to here by train.

It is called The Tokyo Yushun, 81st Nihon Derby(81st Japanese Derby).
Every year, the Japanese Derby records the spectator numbers in excess of 130,000 and is one of the most representative big horse race in Japan.
We have 3 big horse race, It is "Satsuki-sho", "Kikka-sho", "Tokyo Yushun".
"Satsuki-sho" horse race is said that most fast horse is win.
Also "Kikka-sho" horse race is said that most strong horse is win.
This horse race "Tokyo Yushun" is said that most lucky horse is win.
That’s fascinating! isn't it ?
The victory was worth 200,000,000 yen(about 1,438,720 euro)(about 12,087,000 Chinese Yuan).

I got a admission ticket and racing program.
How wonderful the Tokyo race course is!!
We bought a betting slip for #13"Isla Bonita" by observing the horse in the paddock.
I’ll be rooting for Isla Bonita!

You can see this horse race video and result.
Check it video & result.
Tokyo Yushun
(Japanese Derby) (G1)
Tokyo Racecourse"
That race was really awesome!

Have a lovely day!
your Josie

Posted Jan 26, 2015, 5:36 am
We have made plum sirup for the first time this year.
I washed the plums, wiped them well, and took stem of them.
Prepared plums for 500g, rock candy for 1kg, and apple vinegar 200cc and jar.
I put the plums and sugar alternately in the jar, them the plum sirup should be ready after 2 week so.
I can't wait it.

Posted Jan 26, 2015, 5:48 am
Glenn arrived my host's home.
We welcome him. We sat around and talked and drank juice till the late hours of the night.

Posted Jan 28, 2015, 3:03 am
It's cloudy. We went to Kurihama tenjin shirine.

Posted Jan 28, 2015, 3:30 am
Hi mom!
Here is "Fujiko F Fujio Museum" in Kawasaki, called "Doraemon Museum".
Do you know "Doraemon"?
Doraemon is very popular character by Fujiko F Fujio in Japan.
Indoor exhibits, there are cases where recording and picture taking are prohibited. I took some photos with me.

Posted Jan 31, 2015, 5:43 am
Hi, mom.
I ate Sushi for lunch. I don't feel like eating and I'm exhausted after the hot and humid summer.

Posted Jan 31, 2015, 5:59 am
It's cloudy. I went to the Umikaze park by walk about 10 minutes.
Also Dockyard is near here.
We can see Sarushima Island in the distance. There are This park has palm trees.
And I love anything to do with warmer weather, including palm trees.

Posted Jan 31, 2015, 6:51 am
Glenn will go home once.
We said goodbye to Glenn.
I hope to see you again.

Posted Feb 1, 2015, 2:33 am
I strolled through the nature trail in Maeda river.
The Maeda river run slowly between the low mountain.
On the way, I found small yellow mushrooms, so cute!
Finally, I could see a view from Oogusu hill, It is highest peak (242meters) of the Miura peninsula.
I enjoyed the panoramic 360 degree from the top.

Posted Feb 4, 2015, 9:07 am
Today is a national holiday called "bunka no hi", Culture Day.
I went to Yokosuka museum. It was windy and fine day. The sound of ocean waves, the swaying palms and beautiful blue sky, It is on front of Tokyo Bay.
I cannot taking photos within this museum. This courtyard does not prohibited photography. I'm sure I have a great time of art.
bye for now!

Posted Feb 13, 2015, 7:12 am
Hello, mom!
I'm so happy that Toy Voyagers site open again.
It was already evening twilight time when we reached here by bicycle.
We can get a nice view of Mt. Fuji in the distance, and Tokyo bay from here.
Distance between from here to Mt.Fuji is about 100km.
Mt.Fuji top was covered with snow, It is 3776 meters Japan's highest mountain. It is fantastic!
Mt.Fuji is an active volcano, which most recently erupted in 1708.
It is officially open for climbing during July and August via several routes.
see you later.

Posted Feb 22, 2015, 8:09 am
It's cloudy! I went to Yokohama. it's near from my host's home, take 20-30 minutes by train. Yokohama is Japan's second largest city with a population of over three million.
Actually, My host lived this city before moving to Yokosuka. She knows this city inside out , so loves this city.
Let's take a walk to "Minato mirai 21". "Minato Mirai 21"  means "harbor of the future (21st century)".
I saw "American motor fair" when I came front of the Yokohama art museum.
Minato mirai 21 offers many public arts. You can enjoy these arts.
I feel so good when walking and sightseeing. I can get a clear air in winter and smell the sea.
You can see retired sailing ship "Nippon Maru"(built in 1930) that is permanently docked at Minato Mirai and is open to the public.
I just say "See you again" from beautiful flowers bed. 
Big hugs and many kisses and wonderful smile to you!
your Josie

Posted Apr 1, 2015, 7:36 am
Hello, Mom!
I'm in suburb of Tokyo now. It is very good day.
Here is called Takaosan. I went to hiking to hill top of Takaosan.
I could see view of Tokyo and Japanese highest mountain Fuji.
There is a suspension bridge ahead. I was scared of crossing that bridge.
It is getting warmer. Cherry blossoms will bloom soon in Japan.
It must be a beautiful time. I can't wait.
See you soon.
your little Josie

Posted Apr 1, 2015, 8:09 am
Hi, mom!
The days feel like they are getting longer.
My host finished work, so we went to see cherry blossoms.
It seems reached full bloom. It is so beautiful, mom.
Have a good day!!!

Posted May 8, 2015, 7:34 am
The nice weather is continuing. Today's highest temperature is 25 degrees Celsius.
Yesterday, May 5, Children's Day called "Kodomo no hi" and "Tango no sekku", National holiday.
"Tango no sekku" is a traditional event for boys.
We have custom of hanging out carp streamers on Children's Day to pray.
I went to see carp streamers in "Kurihama Hana no kuni".
Colorful carp streamers were flying in the spring wind and blue sky with beautiful flowers.
See you!

Posted May 24, 2015, 4:09 am
It's cloudy. I went to Chuo Park. 

Posted Jun 7, 2015, 8:17 am
I went to the Verny park again.
The last time I came here was a year ago.
This park's roses are take care by many volunteers.
You can see beautiful roses. It was a lovely day!
I hope you are having a great day.

Posted Jul 20, 2015, 10:29 am
It was lovely day.
I went to Hakone. Hakone is one of best sightseeing place.
You can see beautiful lake called "Ashinoko(Lake Ashi)".
It's nice view!
See you soon.

Posted Jul 25, 2015, 4:10 am
We went to the Hakone open air museum.
I really had a great time.
Bye for now.

Posted Oct 4, 2015, 1:44 am
Hello, Mom!
I went to temple in Kamakura.

Posted Oct 4, 2015, 2:06 am
I went to Kannonzaki park with Matcha.
We played by the coast. I had a good time.

Posted Dec 6, 2015, 5:28 am
Hello! Konnichiwa!
We saw many animals at the zoo and had fun.

Posted Jan 9, 2016, 8:28 am
I went to the Kannonzaki park at late afternoon. It was little cold. This park has beach, so we enjoyed walking. And I found a stray cat, narcissuses, and palm trees.

Posted Jan 9, 2016, 8:51 am
I went to southern of Yokosuka. It is suburb of city. You can see  radish and cabbage farmhouse.

Posted Jan 30, 2016, 12:40 pm
It's sunny day.
I went to Yokohama for relax watching movie "Star Wars, The Force Awaken" with my host family. I enjoyed it.
May the force be with you!

Posted Feb 13, 2016, 11:40 pm
It's sunny day! We went to Tokyo. It takes about an hour from Yokosuka to Tokyo by train.
Tokyo is Japan's capital, It is also one of Japan's 47 prefectures.
The population of Tokyo Metropolitan is the largest in the nation and it's about 13,000,000 people.
We visit to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. It's free observation decks.
You can see good panoramic views of Tokyo,It's height of 202 meters.

Posted Feb 27, 2016, 5:55 am
It is cloudy.
I went to the Miura to see early flowering cherry blossoms called "Kawazu zakura" and nanohana (rape blossoms), it takes 30 minute by train.

Posted Mar 19, 2016, 5:30 am
I went to the Jogashima Island park surrounded by the sea.
The sea were shining as if it welcome me.
You can see habitat of Japanese cormorant, and Jogashima lighthouse.

Posted Apr 3, 2016, 12:52 am
Hi! It's cloudy and cold and little windy.
I visited to Kinugasa shrine in Kinugasa Yama park.
Cherry blossoms are now in full bloom here in Yokosuka.

Posted May 3, 2016, 10:26 am
Hi! I took a walk. It's a pleasant today.

Posted May 22, 2016, 10:49 am
Today is Constitution Day in Japan. It is national holiday.
I went to Mikasa park.

Posted May 22, 2016, 11:23 am
I went to Hokokuji temple in Kamakura. Kamakura is called historical town.
Hokokuji Temple is known for the beautiful small bamboo grove.
I like this garden, called Karesansui (dry landscape) which uses no water, but imitates water flow with stones, sand are also designed.
And It was so wonderful bamboo forest and drinking Matcha.
I had a great time!

Posted Jul 10, 2016, 7:00 am
Hi! We had sushi for lunch. ;)

Posted Jul 24, 2016, 2:14 am
I went to Nihonbashi in Tokyo.
Japan post originated here.

Posted Jul 24, 2016, 2:46 am
I went to called "Tokyo citi i".
There were robot named "Pepper" there.
We enjoyed a conversation for a while.
And You can see Tokyo station, Tokyo central post office, Public art ( by Yayoi Kusama), Nijubashi  in front of Imperial  palace.
Bye for now.

Posted Aug 21, 2016, 4:12 am
It's sunny day. I went to the Kannonzaki park. It takes about 10 minutes by car.
You can see Sunflowers (Himawari) .
See you!

Posted Oct 10, 2016, 11:07 am
We went to "Owakudani(The great boiling valley)" Fuji-Hakone-Izu National park.
But the walking and hiking trails around Owakudani are currently closed to tourists, because There are still volcanic gas of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide being emitted.
Owakudani has good views of Mount Fuji on clear days. Today is cloudy and windy. we could not see Mount Fuji.
See you!

Posted Oct 30, 2016, 1:09 am
It is beautiful day! I went to the "National museum of western art" in Tokyo. The building designed by Le Corbusier (1887 -1965). It's one of UNESCO World heritage site.

Posted Nov 23, 2016, 2:06 am
Hi! I went to my host's favorite place. It's the Johgashima park. You can relax at that place.

Posted Nov 23, 2016, 2:24 am
Hello! I went to the Gotokuji temple.
This Gotokuji temple is famous for its Maneki-neko(lucky cat). I enjoyed beautiful autumn leaves.

Posted Mar 4, 2017, 4:44 am
Hello! Today is lovely day. It is sunny, +6c degrees. I went to Kanda-Jimbocho.It is northeast of the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Kanda-Jimbocho has very interesting area. Ochanomizu musical instrument area, the Jimbocho book area, Kanda Myojin Shrine. Finaly, I went to see the Tokyo Skytree. The Tokyo Skytree is height of 634 meters.

Posted Mar 4, 2017, 4:52 am
It's sunny and cold. I went to "a Cruise of Yokosuka naval port". Yokosuka has US naval port. 20,000 American people lives in Yokosuka naval base. I saw submarine, battle ship, Aircraft Carrier "USS Ronald Reagan, CVN-76".

Posted Nov 18, 2017, 12:01 pm
I'm very fine! Today I said goodbye to my host and got ready to travel back to Germany. I had a great time in Japan. When I return to Germany, I want to tell my mom and my family and my friend about it.