Matcha, Yokosuka, Japan


Posted Feb 18, 2013, 6:24 am
I'm Matcha means Japanese green tea. I am  twin brother of the frog. I'd like to discover the world. I'll show you my hometown Yokosuka.
Yokosuka is located one hour by train of Tokyo and Yokohama and  historical town Kamakura.
We have although the U.S. naval port.Yokosuka is very few tourist attractions.However I think my mentor know many secret tourist attraction.
Please send a PM to my mentor if you're interested in hosting me.


Posted Feb 22, 2013, 3:21 am
Matcha makes a cake with his brother .

Posted Feb 22, 2013, 3:37 am
White owl delivered  a letter  to the Matcha.
It was a letter from Germany to invite Matcha.
Matcha looks so very happy.
Matcha's brother  showed many postcard of Postcrossing that arrived from Germany.
Also searching at the ipad mini.
We looked  the weather forecast for his travel safety.

Posted Feb 22, 2013, 3:50 am
Prior to departure from Japan
He enjoyed his home and hometown slowly.
And, Matcha ate his favorite Udon(Japanese noodles).

Posted Feb 22, 2013, 4:01 am
Matcha go to Strunki in Germany.
We hope for the safety of the journey.
Have fun! ;)

Posted Mar 6, 2013, 12:11 am
Hi Mum,

I luckily arrived now in Remscheid and I am very happy, how nice the plushies here are to me.

I met Fabler Björn the nice bear from IKEA, Soeren, the funny moose-elk and "Her Highness of the long ears" Charlotte, the hare bunny.

Look, how they gave me a warm welcome, the first flowers from the garden, snowbells and guess what: We had some tea together and they made me some small sushies and we ate some sweets together.

And after the tea the whole crew sent me to bed and made me sleep so that I was able to recreate from the long journey.

See You soon, dear mum, I love You and I look forward for the adventures I will have here:)

Yours matcha

Posted Mar 9, 2013, 4:17 pm
Hello Mummy,

today we went with our crew to a place of Wuppertal called the South-Hills, from where you have a full view of the eastern part of  the valley, Barmen. Unfortunatuly the weather-conditions were not as good as it should be, some of the pictures are a little dark and cloudy. But strunki told us, that this is the typical weather here in the Bergisch-Land. We had about 10°C and it did not rain.

In Wuppertal live almost 350.00 Citizens on almost 170.000 Km² and it is the Maintown of the Bergisch Land. The Main townparts are Barmen and Elberfeld and they fusioned togehter with Ronsdorf, Vohwinkel and Cronenberg in the early 30ths of the last century. They started textile-industrialism in the late 19th century and in the Town funded a lot of firms and factories expanded. But on the other hand you only need 5 Minutes to be in the forest or in some parks. It is a very green town.

After looking over Wuppertal, we went on to Ronsdorf where we bought some red and orange sweet bell pepper and some meat on the market.

In Ronsdorf we visited a little park inside the smalltown and played a little bit in the playground there.

On our way home to Remscheid finally we stopped by an old villa, a house as the best example of an typical style of so called "Bergischer Barock" with lots of ornaments, an impressive Main Door and green window shutters.

And in the evening we started cooking :p

Posted Mar 10, 2013, 9:21 am
Today we plushies did the cooking again and it was a great adventure:
We filled the sweet bell pepper with the meat we bougth on the market.

I cut the onions japanese style. Banzai!

Charlotte fought brave with the mixer, it was a huge one and we all supported her during her figth :cyclops:

And we had a lot of fun doing this together and the results are very yumyum:)

Posted Mar 17, 2013, 1:07 pm
Hi Mum:)

today we made a cream cheesecake with blueberries when we noticed, that HelmutBluepant would come back home this weekend.

First we wet the gelatine and seperated the blueberry-juice for heating them together. The blueberries we gave on a baked pastry case. After mixing the juice with the gelatine we mixed the cream cheese, we poured it on the blueberries and decorated with some fresh ones.

But it took some time and so I decided to cook a fast noodle-soup japanese style, and the plushies liked it very much, yum yum:)

I look very foreward to meet Helmut here and to make a friendship with him.

There You can see us all when we track Helmuts way home.

Posted Mar 17, 2013, 1:20 pm
Oh Mum,

I have to tell You that I met two other magnetic plushies!

They are two bunnies called Brown an White (the bigger one is White and the small bunny is White)

Brown had a little problem, he was not able to climb back to White and he asked me to help them this night.

What a fun for me to play with them on the frigde:)

Posted Mar 17, 2013, 10:52 pm
Hi Mum,

today we made a trip to Wuppertal for going on the Schwebebahn (suspension railway). It is more than 110 years old, but don´t worry, they rebuilt and modernised a lot since about 10 Years;)

If You want to know more about it, here is the link to wiki:)

It was a great adventure and I would love to drive with again :p

Love You and give You a kiss :D

Posted Mar 17, 2013, 10:58 pm
In the evening we had a great hello: HelmutBluepant came back home and we all were very happy that he came in good condition.

For this nice event we celebrated a little barbecue :p

Posted Mar 18, 2013, 5:55 pm
Dear Mum,

Today we had to say goodbye to Fabler Björn.

We were sad a little bit that Fabler had to leave, but we know, the he enjoyed the time with us and that he loves to come home now.

Wish You a good journey back home.

Posted Mar 20, 2013, 8:03 pm
Hi Mum,

this evening we had a lot of fun at the skittle-hall, where strunki plays skittle, or nine-pins every four weeks.

You have to roll the skittles ball to the nine pins and aim of the game is to hit as many as possible.

And can You imagine, I also played skittle and I was quite good :cyclops:


Posted Mar 23, 2013, 9:04 pm
Hi Mum,

here in Remscheid is is still very cold, the temperatures are hardly about 0 C°. And so we had ice on the pond in the garden and we decided to skate on the ice a little bit.

In the afternoon the ice became thinner (too thin for heavy HelmutBluepant) :cyclops: and so we continued on the thicker ice of the rainwater-tank :)

We had a lot of fun while Soeren pulled our sleigh. :rolleyes:

And before we werde too cold, we went back to the house and enjoyed our hot chocolate with marshmellows :p

See You soon, Love and Kisses
Yours Matcha :D

Posted Mar 26, 2013, 9:07 pm
Hello Mum,

today we made a little round-trip through Remscheid.

Here You can see the historic houses in the Clarenbachstr. near the tool-museum.

The next huge building is the town-hall and on the right hand, almost in the middle of the market-place, a high stone-statue of a Lion, our typical heraldic animal of the Bergisches Land.

Posted Mar 26, 2013, 9:53 pm
The next stop we took at the famous Bridge of Müngsten.

It is the oldest ironbridge in Germany and almost 100 years old.
It connects the towns Remscheid and Solingen by railway and crosses the valley of the Wupper. Before the bridge was built, people had to go a far way by train. The bridge is still in use, can you see the train above me?

Under the bridge we visited the "Brückenpark" and went a footway along the Wupper.

Posted Mar 26, 2013, 10:28 pm
The third station today was Schloss Burg in Solingen-Burg.

There we visited the old Mediveal Castle of the counts of Berg that was rebuilt in the late 19th. century. The statue you see shows Count Engelbert of Berg. By this noble family the region is named Bergisches Land, not because they have some small mountains and hills here :D

And there we got a typical souvenir: The Burger Bretzel, a sweet small backed Pretzel that is also part of the "Bergisch Coffee Table" as the "Dröppelminna" a huge oldfashioned pot for coffee.

Posted Mar 26, 2013, 11:33 pm
In the late afternoon we went back.

And what a surprise: We had an almost traditional Bergisch Coffee Table, a  Bergische afternoon coffee spread (Kaffeetafel)

So Kaffeetafel is not just an ordinary coffee and cake, but also includes waffles, spread thickly with creamed sweet rice and sprinkled with cinnamon, raisin bread or black bread with butter, sugar beet syrup and Bergisch soft cheese, black bread with smoked jam, cheese, pretzel and zwieback to dip in the coffee. :p And even a Dröppelminna we had for our Coffee.

Unfortenatuly we did not have the sweet raisin bread, but it was sooo much to eat fur us plushies, only Helmut was able to eat the most :cyclops:

Posted Mar 30, 2013, 3:30 pm
Hello Mum,

today here in Germany is a silent celebration day before Easter, the so called "Good Friday", in German "Karfreitag" when Jesus was crucified.

Altough it is still very cold here, we went to the "Zoom World of Experience" in Gelsenkirchen and I enjoyed watching so much animals in near-by natural habitats.

They have three Areas there, an Asia, Africa and Alaska. Because it was so cold, we saw the most animals outside in the Alaska-Area.

So let´s start our roundtrip and look, what animals I was able to discover:

In Asia I saw the blue crowned pigeon [Goura cristata],
flying foxes [family Pteropodidae],
green wood partridge [Rollulus rouloul],
orang-utan [Pongo pygmaeus] and
grey hanoman-langurs  [Semnopithecus sp.]

In the african area we had the chance to make a trip by boat, although unfortnately the most animals, only the suricats [Suricata suricatta] were not outside, we saw some other inside the african warm-house:
(African) gray parrot [Psittacus erithacus],
common chimpanzee [Pan troglodytes],
hippopotamus [Hippopotamus amphibius]
and some cichlids from the Lake Malawi in a aquarium

And finally in Alaska we saw the most animals outside:
lynx [genus Lynx],
snow owl [Bubo scandiacus],
raccoons [Procyon lotor],
wolfes [canis],
caribou [Rangifer tarandus],
brown bear [Ursus arctos],
Sealions [Otariinae],
polar bears [Ursus maritimus]
and a snow goose [Anser caerulescens]
and last but not least: We found the moose or elks [Alces], so Soeren was able to fulfill one of his life missions and we were very happy for him:)

Posted Mar 31, 2013, 9:27 am
Hello Mum,

today we did something special for Easter Celebrating:

We ornated some little Twigs with coloured eggs made of wood and paper.

and we coloured some boiled chicken eggs for the Easter breakfeast tomorrow:)

Look, how nice all the colourful things are:)

Posted Mar 31, 2013, 7:11 pm
Happy Easter to all of you and especially for You, Mum :D

Charlotte played Easterbunny togehter with HelmutBluepant and invited Soeren and me to Strunkis Warmhouse where they had hidden some easter suprises for us.

I found a violet bag full with chocolate eggs and a huge paper-egg with a golden chocolate-bunny in it. We had so much fun to look for the chocolate and had a opulent easter-breakfast alltogehter.  :p

And we hope, that spring will still come...


Posted Apr 1, 2013, 8:02 pm
Hello Mum:)

The weather today was very nice, the sun did shine and it was not as cold as the days ago.

In Leverkusen, that´s at the Rhine between Cologne and Düsseldorf, we vistited the japanese Garden inbetween the Bayer-Area, because there the temperatures a few higher than in Bergisch Land and so the vegetation is a little bit more developed.

The japanese Garden there was founded by one of the owners from BAYER in the early 20th Century, who loved the japanese garden architecture and the bonsai very much. And he opened the garden for the public.

We saw very lovely early spring flowers, lots of violet and yellow crocus, liverleafs, tulip, iris, bluestars and some more. And even some kois we saw.

The atmosphere there reminded me at home and so i enjoyed my stay here in Germany very much and i made new friends here, but i will look forward to come back as soon as possible to you, Mum :D

Posted Apr 1, 2013, 10:33 pm
Our second visit today was Schloss Benrath in the south of Düsseldorf.

This lovely palais de plaisire was built in the 18th century and a lot of people love the park and its surrounding that is near to the rhine.

We went from the rhine though the park to the palais.

And we had a lot of fun playing on the stone-lions :D

Posted Apr 5, 2013, 4:55 pm
Hello Mum,

today we gave a farewell to Soeren, the funny elk who pulled our sleigh so nice.

We had our Yoga-lesson with some little balloons when the news came in, that he has an invitation to Denmark. :cyclops:

And so we had a last mousse au chocolate together and waved him good bye. :p

And as Soeren left I felt that it would good to come home back to You and so I told Strunki that although I had a great time here in Remscheid, I have the wish to see You soon as possible and so after this weekend I will go on my journey coming home :D


Posted Apr 6, 2013, 9:32 pm
Hello Mum,

today we had so much work to do in the kitchen :p

First we baked a Applecake Bergisch Style with Raisins and a little bit cinnamon. Strunkis husband loves the cake and because it is his birthdax tomorrow, ist is the present for him from uns plushies :cyclops:

Posted Apr 6, 2013, 9:45 pm
As a second aim we made two salads together, I did a tomatosalad Italian style with mozzarella and fresh basilicum. Helmut helped me and Charlotte did a fresh cucumbersalad with Yoghurt-dressing.


Posted Apr 6, 2013, 10:00 pm
After so much work we recreated and played a popular game "Men don´t worry".

Posted Apr 7, 2013, 10:37 pm
Hi Mummy,

Today we had beautiful sunshine with 13°C and we drove to Cologne to the Rhine-Park, especially to the "Tanzbrunnen" (Dance-Fountain) a half open-air area next to the Rhine-Park.

Though the Rhine-Park drove a small mini-railway

There was a plant-market and we enjoyed the sun, the market-stands and the colourful life in cologne.

And I was so happy to see the famous Dome. We had a beautiful view of the Skyline of Cologne from there :D

Posted Apr 10, 2013, 10:10 pm
Hello Mum,

today I will go on my journey back home to You:)

I loved the time here in Germany but now I am very happy when I come back home and can tell You about my adventures.

Charlotte and Helmut gave me a wonderful fare well and helped me to climb into the envelope.

Lots of kisses, see You soon
Yours Matcha


Posted Apr 12, 2013, 6:00 pm
Dear Matcha,

You are now on Your long journey back home to Japan and we all here think of You and hope the best, that You will arrive safe and that You will hurry back to Your Mentor Cocoaby.

Now look what we found between all of the pictures taken by us: A few last ones where You sit together with Your new made friends here, smiling and full of joy :D

Theank You very much for spending Your time with us, we never forget You and perhaps we see again...sometimes?...somewhere?
Domo arigato

Charlotte, HelmutBluepant with Strunki

Posted Apr 16, 2013, 2:31 pm
Matcha came back to home today from Germany.
He talked precious memories.
Charlotte gave me a beautiful flower and good tea time.
Green window shutters,Cooking with everyone,
Adventure of refrigerator, The Schwebebahn!
barbecue with HelmutBluepant,
Skittle, a lot of fun while Soeren pulled our sleigh.
Bridge of Müngsten,
Matcha really like the Burger Bretzel!
Matcha see rare animals at Zoom World of Experience.
One of Life mission accomplished.
I have experienced first Easter.
It was wonderful!
Japanese Garden, Schloss Benrath, Yoga-lesson.
baked a Apple cake, made salads,
played a game "Men don´t worry" and went the Rhine-Park.
Everyone and Houjicha(brother of Matcha) was listening to talk with  eyes shining.
It was wonderful adventure story.
Matcha said "Danke  schön, Strunki and Charlotte and Helmut .
I sometimes shed tears remembering your kindness."
Matcha rest a little.
And He also will continue to trip.
(Japan Time : 22:30)

Posted Apr 18, 2013, 9:32 am
My mentor learned later that  magnet can not send by airmail.
Matcha have magnet in his hands and his feet.
He was able the adventures of the refrigerator  playing in the playground equipment made ​​of iron in the park.
He want traveling around the world on an airplane than shipping service.
Emergency Surgery was required for him.
My mentor was great toy docter.
Surgery was successful safely.
He is able to continue the journey.

Posted Apr 18, 2013, 10:07 am
My mentor gave me great news that the invitation has been received from fam-united.
I also can go to Germany and I am very happy.
I looked at the sky in the west of Japan.
I think there will be a lot of wonderful thing.
My mentor bought me bookmarks to the next host thankfully because she seems to like reading.
I said "good bye" to everyone and jumped into the envelope .
I headed to Germany!

Posted Jun 2, 2013, 8:33 pm
We are on the way to Bad Wildbad, where our host's husband has an appointment. As the weather was so terrible again during the last weeks, we took the chance to take some photos today.

Posted Jun 2, 2013, 8:49 pm
Bad Wildbad is a town in Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The town was named only Wildbad until 1991, when it was given its current name ("Bad" is German for "bath", a reference to the town's status as a spa town). It is picturesquely situated 420 m above sea level, in the romantic pine-clad gorge of the Enz, a tributary of the Neckar in the Black Forest, 45 km west of Stuttgart and 23 east of Baden-Baden by rail. (wikipedia)

Posted Jun 2, 2013, 9:00 pm
Today I'm on a sightseeing trip by car - the weather had been terrible during the last days, but today it is a little bit better.

Here you see one of Bruchsal's oldest streets: Württemberger-Straße.

Posted Jun 3, 2013, 4:31 pm
Then we drove to Heidelsheim, which is one of Bruchsal's surburbs. Heidelsheim belongs to Bruchsal since 1974. The river Saalbach also flows through Heidelsheim. The small city was first named in 770 A.D.

Posted Jun 3, 2013, 4:52 pm
We drove to Blaustein on the Autobahn. My hosts' one son lives in this town, which is close to Ulm. Here you see some impressions during our drive, which took about 2 hours one way. You still see thick clouds in the sky.

This parking house was built over the autobahn. It is next to Stuttgart airport.

Posted Jun 3, 2013, 5:10 pm
It seems, that sightseeing means to look out of windows or driving cars. The weather was too cold and we only had a little time in Blaustein before we had to drive back to Bruchsal again, so here you can see just a view over the roofs.

Posted Jun 3, 2013, 7:07 pm
Two more hours in the car, then we were in Bruchsal again.

Posted Jul 13, 2013, 1:21 pm
Hello Mum,

I spend a great time here at the moment. But unfortunately the internet doesn't work.

Today I met some relatives - and they gave us the opportunity to upload one photo.

See me with Uncle Erwin, Aunt Traute, Murph and GustavHH.

More (and nicer) updates will follow next week. I have so many nice photos to show you.


Posted Jul 17, 2013, 1:55 pm
Hello mum,

Today I arrived at the home of Murph and his friend GustavHH. They helped me out of my envelope.

Both prepared a small welcome party for me.

Murph had a special surprise for me. We had Sushi. But Murph and GustavHH didn’t know how to use the chopsticks.

I showed it.

But it was too difficult for both.

So we all used our fingers. It was faster and we had so much fun!

I arrived in time for their holiday.

The flat looked beautiful.

We will have a nice time here.

Many greetings


Posted Jul 17, 2013, 3:27 pm
Hello mum,

It was my first trip during the holiday – and I took this train.

Can you imagine where I went to? Not now? But maybe now?

Right – I was on the highest mountain of Northern Germany: the Brocken. First we visited the garden on the Brocken.

Even here there were blooming flowers.

I absolutely wanted to show you two photos of the train? Didn’t it look wonderful?

We had sunny weather – and had a great view. This is the direction to Torfhaus.

This tower was really high.

A funny sign – it seems that witches are dancing here.

Now you can see the place for sky jumping.

A bug destroys many of the spruces here – they looked scary, don’t they?

This was another famous building on the Brocken.

Then it was time to drive home. This loco will pull our train back into the valley.

What a wonderful trip!

Until soon


Posted Jul 18, 2013, 4:25 pm
Hello mum,

Today I went to the rosarium in Sangerhausen.

It is the biggest collection of roses of the world!

These are water lilies!

We definitely wanted to have a photo with this funny character.

More roses

And other beautiful flowers, too.

A wonderful fountain.

And surely more and more roses! You cannot imagine the wonderful smell here.  :)

We needed a short rest.

Roses are really beautiful!

… but not as beautiful as this lady…  B)

So many roses, such a good smell… :rolleyes:

Let’s see, what we will do next



Posted Jul 19, 2013, 4:42 pm
Hello mum,

Today I want to show you the village where we are on holiday. This is the animal of the emblem.

I really loved this spring.

There were very old and big spruces in the forest. We wanted to see it.

What a disappointment. The old trees died.

In the spa garden we found a beautiful pond.

There were many fishes in it. Can you see it?

Isn’t this small river beautiful?

On the pond there were many water lilies.

At the end we found a mushroom, although it was very dry here.




Posted Jul 20, 2013, 3:03 pm
Hello mum,

Today we took a trip into the forest.

There were many blooming wild orchids.

Here you can see an orchid at close range.

What a beautiful forest.

Have you ever seen a brown fly agaric? It really exists!

We took a rest at this hut.

Maybe you know this plant – it was the wild thyme.

Until soon


Posted Jul 21, 2013, 7:15 pm
The weather is really nice, if you don't count the heavy clouds, so we decided to go on a drive to two of Bruchsal's suburbs: Untergrombach and Obergrombach. At first we wanted to visit the chapel on Michaelsberg, a small hill which belongs to Untergrombach. It was too crowded there, because there was a wedding.
So we only took a photo of the small hills of Kraichgau.

Posted Jul 21, 2013, 8:15 pm
Then we drove to Obergrombach.
At first we enjoyed the nice view over the vineyards to Obergrombach.

Our plan was to take more photos, but it started raining again. So here's only one more photo of Obergrombach with a beautiful half timbered house.

Posted Jul 21, 2013, 9:28 pm
Today we decided to bake a rhubarb cake. Our host allowed us to do it all alone without her help. So please take a look at the recipe. We explain it step by step:

At first we had to find a place - we are quite a few

Of course we aren't all traveling. Some of us are here as active toyvoyagers, but many of us are guests, who decided to stay here as long as the owners don't find time to get in contact with our host. And of course some of us live here, but we all have one thing in common - we are toyvoyagers.
At next we had to get the eggs. We need six eggs for the cake.

It was Sausi Karl's job to beat the eggs.

Then one of us - don't know who - added 50g sugar for each egg, so it was 300 g sugar. It's quite a lot, we know.

Madam Miff added one packet of vanilla sugar to the dough.

Of course we had to beat the dough again, but we couldn't handle the camera while beating the dough.
Matcha and Ted added 300g flour and one packet of baking powder.

Then we had to stir the dough again until it was fluffy.

Melek helped

and Nathalie

Then I prepared the dish for the dough. We baked without bottom on a foil.

Nathalie was still busy stiring the dough.

And then we filled it in the dish.

Then we all were sitting there and waiting for the cake to get baken in the oven. Man it was boring at first. But we didn't expect, that half an hour can be such a short time, when so many tvs are together.

After this break we had to prepare the rhubarb, because we wanted to fill the cake with rhubarb cream.

Little Dragon helped to skin it.

And I helped to cut it in pieces.

Billy helped me to stay on the pot during cutting the rhubarb pieces.

Then we had to prepare some ingrediences for the cream. We needed two packets of vanilly pudding powder, one egg white and one yolk. We had to stir the egg white.

Before adding the stirred egg white, we had to add the pudding powder. We had added a little bit of water to it and shook it until it was smooth. Then we added the pudding powder to the cooked rhubarb. We also added the yolk.

Then Louis the Rat added the stirred egg white and gently folded it in.

Finally we cut the cake in two layers and filled the cream on the first and then on the second layer and put the last layer on top of it.

Posted Jul 22, 2013, 4:03 pm
Hello mum,

Wow, we found the paradise for TVs! Everything is in our size here. We could have a wonderful life in this house.

This is an old prison.

A beautiful church.

Another beautiful house! Should we live here?

This church is build from wood. Very beautiful!

These colorful pillars stood in the middle of the TV-Country.

Even the Brocken is here!

Another church  B)

And we have a train station, too.

A very big church…

We have a wonderful view of the Brocken at this house. Maybe we should move into it?

Supermarkets are here, too.

We can visit witches with this cable car.

Well – we have to work in this quarry…

… to have enough money for our new home!  :)

Goodbye mum, I will stay here!


Posted Jul 22, 2013, 8:57 pm
Today the weather was nice again, so I decided to go on a sightseeing tour in Bruchsal.
At first we walked to the church St.Peter. On our way we passed by this relief.

In front of a kindergarden I found this nice mosaic.

The church is next to the graveyard. To walk through the graveyard is very difficult for older people, who have problems, because the ways are rather steep.

Opposite the church you see these two statues.

Around the church you find some of Bruchsal's oldest streets and houses. Bruchsal was first named in 996, but it surely is older than that. The first settlement was around year 640 in the area of this St. Peter. During World War II. Bruchsal was nearly completely destroyed, so you only find a few old houses nowadays.

This is an old restaurant with a nice beer garden.

The river Saalbach flows through Bruchsal. It's usually abou 30cm high.

We came to this interesting building and my host told me, that it was the former slaughterhouse. Nowadays there is a supermarket and a restaurant.

Then we walked back to river Saalbach.

We found a beautiful caterpillar on the way.

Big clouds are coming - will they bring more rain again?

We finished our round and now we nearly stand at the same place, where at first we read, how high the river Saalbach was. We saw these two beautiful houses there.

Here is a part, where the river is divided in two parts, one of it is called Annabach. There is a small barrage between them.

We walked over a small bridge next to the barrage.

On our way back home we had to cross the river once more. We are sorry, that we cut Nepomuk's head.

Württemberger Straße is one of the oldest streets of Bruchsal. You still can find some really old houses here.

Now we are back home nearly. This is also a street with old houses. It is called Friedhofstraße, because it leads to the graveyard, what means Friedhof in German.

We took this photo while standing at the same place just turning around. In the far you can see that big house with the special roof? We will go there now.

The house is called Santa Maria. You can read about it on the sign.

Posted Jul 24, 2013, 4:11 pm
Hello mum,

Ok, we didn’t stay in the ‚Kleiner Harz‘…  ;)  Our last planned trip was too amazing – we didn’t want to miss it. We went to the place where the witches dance.

On our way to it we saw this great Climbing Park.

But we had no time for it! We wanted to take the cable car!

We took this cable car to the ‚Hexentanzplatz‘.

We saw funny sculptures. First the devil!

What should this be?

Eventuallly we saw a witch. She is a very famous witch.

We enjoyed this wonderful view during our walk around the Hexentanzplatz.

Then we had to go home.

This cable car took us back into the valley.

Wow, how exciting!

A view out of the window of the gondola!

And see this! The Gondola’s floor is out of glass! Great!

Tomorrow we have to go home. Our holiday here will be finished.

Until soon


Posted Jul 26, 2013, 6:26 pm
Hello mum,

Today GustavHH left. He will travel to Bavaria.

We wish him a lot of fun and a fast trip.

And today a new guest arrived. Who will it be?

It was Manganinnie.

Although it was very hot, we took a walk along a river. Bine had a new camera and wanted to try it out.

We found wild thyme. It was really rare here.

And we saw beautiful trees and flowers.

It was a really wonderful river.

Then we went into the forest. We wanted to search mushrooms. And we found a lurid bolete, even though it was so dry.

This mushroom grows in the summer time, when it is really hot. Unfortunately I don’t know the English name for it.

I only knew these flowers in gardens.

At the end we found bitter beech boletes. It is rare here, but it is not eatable.

We urgently need rain, because we want to find more mushrooms. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Many greetings


Posted Aug 2, 2013, 5:00 pm
Hello mum,

it is a hot day today. Nevertheless we took a walk.

There is a big castle in Derneburg.

In the forest was a small teahouse.

So many stairs…

Unbelievable – there exists a pyramid in the forest inside of Germany. It is the grave of the former owner of the castle.

I liked this house.

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.

This region is really beautiful.



Posted Aug 2, 2013, 8:45 pm
You've seen the dark clouds  in my last update? Today I will show you our little river Saalbach again. It was half past 11, when we took these photos. The river usually is about 30 cm high and now it is 140cm :(
I will not write much and just show some photos.

Posted Aug 2, 2013, 8:52 pm
At eight o'clock p.m. it was like this. The water was much higher. Maybe you remember some places where we had been on 30th May or in the morning of today.

The way with the little bridge, which leads to the small island, was closed now.

I'm still behind the barrier, because it was much safer there.

We took this photo standing on the bridge - hard to believe, that it was only a few hours ago, that we walked along the way under the bridge (maybe you remember the photo?)

Posted Aug 6, 2013, 5:03 pm
Hello mum,

today I took a look at the hometown of Murph. Here you can see the emblem of the town.

Bad Salzdetfurth is an old miningtown.

And you find memories of this time everywhere.

There are 2 big salines in the spa gardens.

The people used it to produce salt in the past.

I really loved this beautiful fountain.

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.

Bad Salzdetfurth is a really nice city.

Until soon


Posted Aug 9, 2013, 4:19 pm
Hello mum,

I am so excited. Maybe I will complete one of my life missions today. It is so hot and too dry here. But maybe we will find mushrooms – so let’s start.

First we found this big mushroom. Sadly Murph didn’t know its English name.

There were many butterflies in the forest.

And here they were! Unbelievable! We found velvet bittlegills. They were very yummy.

I was allowed to cut all! I’m so happy!

The first basket was full. Will we find more?

We found one ruby bolete. We allowed it to stay in the forest.

Wasn’t this map butterfly beautiful?

Mum, it has to rain. I want to find more mushrooms with Murph.  B)

Keep your fingers crossed for us!


Posted Aug 16, 2013, 3:10 pm
Hello mum,

Wow – what was this on Bine's arm? It looked interesting. A music festival! Imagine that, Bine didn't want to take us with her!  :stare:

But we convinced her that we should come with her – and here we were!  It was the Mera Luna on the airfield of Hildesheim.  B)

There were so many people – and most of them wore black clothes.

We went to the stage – the music started!

Wow – there were really many people!

We urgently wanted to go back to the stage and hear music. It went dark, so we were not able to take more photos – Bine's camera was not able to do it. But we hadn't the time for photos.

What a wonderful event!  :D

Many greetings


Posted Aug 23, 2013, 3:50 pm
Hello mum,

today we visited the Park of the Abbey Lamspringe .

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

This sculpture is so funny.

This is the church of the abbey. Really big!

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

What a wonderful park!

Many greetings


Posted Aug 24, 2013, 11:11 am
I had the chance to go to school today and learn more about the federal state Baden-Württemberg. Bruchsal is a town in Baden-Württemberg.

Parts of river Rhine flow through Baden-Württemberg. It is the longest river in Germany with about 1,232 kilometres (766 miles).

There are also parts of Limes. A limes was a border defence or delimiting system of Ancient Rome. It marked the boundaries of the Roman Empire.

There are many people in Baden-Württemberg, who love Sports. Some of them even took part in Olympic Games. On pupil told us more about them.

Schwetzingen is a German town situated in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg, around 10 km (6.2 mi) southwest of Heidelberg and 15 km (9.3 mi) southeast of Mannheim. It was mentioned as "Suezzingen" for the first time in 766, recorded in the late twelfth-century Codex Aureus of Lorsch, but there are already traces of settlement from the Stone Age. Schwetzingen Castle is the city's most famous landmark. Its gardens are also notable, as there are elements of French Baroque and the English garden style.

Ulm is situated on the River Danube and was founded around 850. Ulm is primarily known for having the church with the tallest steeple in the world, the Gothic minster (Ulm Minster, German: Ulmer Münster) and as the birthplace of Albert Einstein.

Bruchsal is situated at the border to the hilly region of Kraichgau and Rhineland Planes.

Of course we can't forget the Black Forest, when we talk about Baden-Württemberg. There are the Southern and Northern Black Forest. In the south part you find the highest mountain of Baden-Württemberg is Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres (4,898 ft).

Typical for the Black Forest are the Black Forest Houses.

Mannheim is situated at the rivers Rhine and Neckar. It is the second or third largest city of Baden-Württemberg. Mannheim is unusual among German cities in that its streets and avenues are laid out in a grid pattern, leading to its nickname "die Quadratestadt" ("city of the squares"). The eighteenth century Mannheim Palace, former home of the Prince-elector of the Palatinate, now houses the University of Mannheim.

The civic symbol of Mannheim is der Wasserturm, a water tower just east of the city centre.

Mannheim is the starting and finishing point of the Bertha Benz Memorial Route.

Lake Constance (German: Bodensee) is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee ("upper lake"), the Untersee ("lower lake"), and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein.

The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps. Specifically, its shorelines lie in the German federal states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg

One girl even needed two posters to show so many interesting places of Swabian Jura. It is a low mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, extending 220 km (140 mi) from southwest to northeast and 40 to 70 km (25 to 43 mi) in width. It is named after the region of Swabia.

Stuttgart is the main city of Baden-Württemberg and the largest city, too, with a population of 613,392. (2011) Stuttgart is spread across a variety of hills (some of them vineyards), valleys and parks – unusual for a German city and often a source of surprise to visitors who primarily associate the city with its industrial reputation as the 'cradle of the automobile'.

Posted Aug 24, 2013, 12:48 pm
Once more we went for a walk through Bruchsal, because I still haven't seen some places here.

At first we walked through the Buergerpark. This park was created at the end of the 1980s when the city centre was re-designed and the Bürgerzentrum (community centre) built. There are two memorials to the Nazi victims; a third embodies international understanding, drawing upon Bruchsal’s town twinnings.

Here you see the tower of the ancient castle.

This is a reminder for the Nazi Victims.

Huttenstraße is one of the few streets with really old houses.

After a few minutes we reached our destination: The baroque palace of Bruchsal.
Schloss Bruchsal is one of the most beautiful Baroque palaces in Germany and the only episcopal Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine. The foundation stone was laid in 1722 by Cardinal Damian Hugo von Schönborn, Prince Bishop of Speyer, who made the palace the centre of his absolutist dominion.
After being almost completely destroyed in the final days of World War II, the main tract was painstakingly reconstructed according to the original design and work was completed in 1975, including the magnificent dome, Marble Hall and Prince's Hall. The staircase designed by Balthasar Neumann is considered to be an architectural tour-de-force and has been described as the "finest staircase in the world".

Today, the palace is home to the Town Museum as well as the German Museum of Musical Automata.
The Chamber Music Hall provides the impressive setting for the Bruchsaler Schlosskonzerte.

On the right side you see the tower of the palace church, which is not next to the church, but at the end of a hallway, which leads to the church.

I'm standing in front of the backside of the palace.

There are four halberds as guards to the palace garden.

The palace garden, arranged symmetrically along the axis of the main tract, was originally viewed as an outdoor extension of the living spaces inside the palace with the plants serving as a living building material. The garden was intended to reflect the power and glory of its owner, which explains the extravagant fountains and sculptures. Work started on the upper garden in 1721 at the same time as the palace. From 1760, the garden was gradually transformed into a landscaped park following the English model yet without abandoning the basic Baroque structure. Today, the palace garden continues to provide an atmospheric setting for open-air concerts and the Bruchsal Summer Festival of Music and Drama.

Take part in an guided tour through the Palace Sonderführung,
visit an Open-Air-Concert or the Summer Theatre of Bruchsal Badischen Landesbühne.

At one crossing in the garden you find four statues of the four seasons. This statue is summer.

At another crossing I've seen the four statues of four elements: water, fire, earth and wind. This statue is fire.

View back to the palace.

I found a nice place to sit down a bit in the rosegarden.

Then we walked down the alley of chestnut trees.

On the right side of the left building I found a sun dial.

We walked through a gate to go to the front part of the palace.

Even Mozart was here with his father a long long time ago.

The building in the middle is the county court.

The building on the left side is the church and you can see the tower behind it. Sadly the church isn't baroque anymore. The costs were just too high to rebuilt it the way it was.

We leave the palace, but not the palace area.

Adjoining the outbuildings on the northern periphery of the palace is the Damianstor, a gatehouse featuring a low central archway flanked by two low side wings that secures the palace grounds to the north. Happily, it was escaped significant damage on 1 March 1945 and still provides a striking entrance to the palace grounds and the town centre. The upper rooms in the gatehouse were used as a prison at one time. The two entrances at the sides are later 19th century additions.

Today, the local art society "Das Damianstor" stages various exhibitions of contemporary art in the sections of the building directly above the gate arch.

I read about the palace - there's a lot more text in German than in English.

I'm looking at the county court.

This fountain is in front of the county court. It is called Amalienbrunnen.

Posted Aug 24, 2013, 2:14 pm
Then we walked  to the "Stadtgarten", which is a park with another beautiful baroque building called the Belvedere.

This fountain is called Ferdinand-Keller-Brunnen.

My hosts and I love this lime tree.

The Belvedere on the edge of the "Stadtgarten" was built by Leonhard Stahl in 1756 as a hunting lodge for Prince Bishop Franz Christoph von Hutten. The location was chosen so that the lodge would command an unspoiled view of the palace, town and Rhine rift valley beyond.

Behind the trees you maybe see a part of the Belvedere. There were many people around training for a play, so we didn't want to take photos there

This street leads along the Stadtgarten and you have a nice view over Bruchsal's houses from there. The large tower you see on the left is the only remnant of the ancient castle.

The green roof belongs to a part of the older people's house. In the far you can see the two towers of St. Peter.

The yellow-white house also is part of the older people's house. In the far on the left you see a grey building. It is the private grammer school St. Paulusheim, which belongs to padres of the Pallotti order. All houses between here and St. Paulusheim belong to the older people's house.

We were standing next to this building, while we took the photos before.

Then we walked downstairs and I found this Pieta.

Looking the way up again I could see the Wingerthaeusle, which was mentioned on the sign before.

Between two buildings of the older people's house I found this carillon, which plays once every day.

Here we are standing next to the grammar school St. Paulusheim, which I mentioned before.

We walked down the stairs again to go back to Huttenstraße. The house on the right still belongs to the older people's house. It is really large.

On the foot of the stair I found this sign, where I read more about St. Paulusheim.

Then we walked along Klostergasse, which is a small street with nice old houses. There was a sign about Ceratiten on a wall of a house. The lower part of this house's facade was built with limestone, which included ceratites, a type of ammonoid fossils.

I like this doorknocker.

Here we see the river Saalbach again.

Only a few minutes to walk now and we are back home.

Posted Aug 24, 2013, 2:51 pm
Freilichtbühne Ötigheim is an open-air theatre in Baden-Württemberg. We were there to see "Schwarzwaldmädel", which was really nice. Nevertheless we sat too far away to take more photos.

Posted Aug 30, 2013, 4:06 pm
Hello mum,

Will there be more mushrooms? It was still very dry. But the big surprise: many lurid boletes.

They were too big for our baskets!

But look – unfortunately there were many grubs in it! So they had to stay here  :(  Can you see it? The mushrooms went blue!

But these here were good. The name is dotted stem bolete. They were very yummy – but too big for us. Holgi took them home for us  :D.

Will this mushroom be yummy?

Murph told us to smell it!

Ugh, the mushrooms smelt like vinegar. The bitter beech boletes are not delicious...

…but very beautiful!

At the end we found this rare mushroom. Unfortunately we don't know its English name.

At home we cleaned the mushrooms!

Tomorrow we will have delicious mushrooms!

Until soon


Posted Sep 3, 2013, 4:49 pm
Hello mum,

Today was my last day with Murph. We took a long walk through wonderful landscapes.

Unfortunately the blackberries weren’t ripe, because we would have loved to taste it.

Didn’t this meadow look wonderful?

There should be many butterflies and rare flowers here.

This here was really interesting. It is a Robin’s pincushion. Insects grow inside and stay there during the wintertime.

In Lower Saxony you rarely find juniper heathlands.

The common juniper pricked.  :(

But it was very beautiful.

This plant is rarely to find in the wilderness here, too. It is the chiltern gentian.

Then it was time to say goodbye. We had a really nice time together.

I jumped into my envelope and now I am on my way to Finland.

Hopefully until soon!


Posted Sep 8, 2013, 3:17 pm
Hello again, beloved mom far away!  :D

It is your little globetrotter frog making his first update from Finland!
But this is just a short one, mainly to let you know I´ve arrived safely.  :)
It was already dark evening when I came to Finland.
I was walking over fields and trough a big forest, searching for
a little red cottage in middle of it.
When it got really dark and the stars started to twinkle on the sky, a friendly glowworm loaned me her lantern.
I loved my nightly walk trough the good-smelling nature!  :)
After a long walk trough the woodland, I saw another light shining between the trees
and headed towards it, my heart jumping with exitement!  :)
There was a group of toyvoyagers!  :D
They had lit a lantern onto the forest behind the little cottage,
for me to be able to find my way trough the darknes!
I had come to the right place!
They all gave me a wellcoming hug, and then I followed them inside and met
also my new host Henna, who also hugged me and said something like
"Awwwwwwwwwww, how you are a CUTE little frog!"  :stare:
That made me to blush a bit.
Then I suddenly felt very sleepy, and my new friends
showed me the bed where I could sleep in.  :)
I fell asleep very soon and dreamed beautiful dreams about glowworms, and glowing mushrooms growing in the densest thickets of the forests around..  :)

I wish you sleep well too and have beautiful dreams!
See you again very soon!
Your Matcha  :)


Posted Sep 14, 2013, 9:19 pm
Hei, rakas äiti! (Hi, dear mom!)  :)

How are you?

I´ve been familiarizing myself with the lifestyle
and surroundings here.
I´m now going to show you photos we have been taking
walking in the nearby areas of the small cottage where we live in.  :)
Here is our little cottage.  ;)
It is in the Nuuksio forest area, and originally it has been the home
of a poor family tilling a small field around it and keeping some sheeps.  :)
The cottage is about hundred years old.
It doesn´t have running water, but there is a good well
on the yard and an outhouse toilet on the backyard.  :)

As you can see, it really is in middle of forest, and just few steps
from the Nuuksio National Wildernes Area.  :)
There is some old apple trees and berry bushes
round the cottage.  :)
If we walk towards North or East from the cottage,
we´re walking inside the forest. :)
I have been investigating everything in the
There is lots of different mushrooms and interesting plants and
insects to see.

In the forest live hares and deers and elks, foxes, badgers and raccoon dogs, lynxes and bears, and sometimes they visit the yard.
I saw a very big anthill, like a city.
I was watching the ants busying themselves, carrying pine needles and
dead insects around.
But I also spotted two lazy ants, just loithering on a pine branch, tut tut!  ;)
I like to loither myself too, ha haa!

While we walk around, we are talking about this and that and getting to know each other better
and better.
I like all the toyvoyagers here!  :)
But I must say it is specially nice to have a frog friend!
With Tuli we can fall deep in froggish discussions about the best
tasting insects in Japan and Finland,
about the memories of our longtailed tadpole childhood,
and make comparisons between different types of lakebottoms
and hibernating experiences.
All important things you can only share with another frog!
So we are greatly enjoying each others company.  :D
We walked along and every now and then we picked some edible mushrooms or ate some berries.
All the toyvoyagers coming here start to learn to recognice
mushrooms, herbs and wild vegetables.
There´s not much possibility to avoid that, since that´s what
we mainly eat here!  ;)

These are Kuehneromyces mutabilis, which grow on the trunks
of leaf trees.
They are delicious! :p
These mushrooms are not edible, they are slightly poisonous.
But they are so cute!  :)
They are also hallusinogenic, and in earlier times witches and shamans
were using them to get into contact with the spirit world..
What wonderful blueberries!  :p
Here in Finland they have "everymans rights", which means that
everyone has the right to walk where ever in the nature, be the land private owned or not, and right to pick berries and
mushrooms for free too.
Isn´t that great!  :)
Ooh, lingonberries too!  :D
There is many little streams running trough the forest, from lake to lake.  :)
We started to follow this one.
It grew wider and wider.
And run under a bridge. (And so did we too!) :)
It led us onto a lakeshore.
The lake is called Pitkäjärvi (Long lake).
There was some boats enjoying the sun on the shore.  :)
We followed their example.  :D
Henna told us that after the last ice age this lake was a fjord of the sea.
There is a stoneage rockpainting on one shore of the lake,
but it can only be seen from a boat or walking over the ice in winter.
There grew lots of reeds.
The fishes are often hiding in the shallow water between the reeds.
It is like a forest to them!  :)
We encountered a small road, which took
us out from the forest.
This is the big village road, along which the buses run to the village.
We walked along the road and saw everything
there is to be seen in the village.
Like fields.  :rolleyes:
And few houses.
This is the Nuuksio school.
There is about thirty students, aged between seven and twelve.  :)
We saw also some horses, and then we had
seen everything there is to see in the village!  ;)

The forest is much more interesting!
We walked back home trough a birch thicket.

See you soon again, mom!
Good weekend to you!
Your little froggie!  :stare:


Posted Sep 29, 2013, 8:51 am
Hyvää huomenta, rakas äiti! (Good morning, dear mother!)  :D

How are you?
I´m very well and we have been visiting some interesting places.  :)
Last weekend we visited Linnanmäki amusement park
in Helsinki.  :)
We were first walking around the park,
watching the different rides and listening to people screaming.  :D
Besides people bumping onto each other, coming dizzy from the rides, or eating candy floss, there was
also some nice flowers and fountains to be seen.
I think this one looks like a peacocks tail.  :)
We wanted to try some rides too, but it wasn´t
so easy to find an understanding about the rides!
Some of them looked a bit too horrible, and others just a bit too boring.  :thinking:
But then we saw one ride we all wanted
certainly to visit - this cute old carousel with swings!  :D
So, there we went, and it was so wonderful
we went there about ten times more!  ;)
Whee! I could come here every day!  :)
Next we visited this ghosthouse, and there
we were screaming too!
Sadly it was too dark inside to take pics, but I can tell that
we saw monsters attacking us behind corners, and
horrible ghosts flying across the ceiling!  :o
So we wanted something more relaxing, and
took a ride in the Ferris wheel.  :)
It had cute little gondolas in which we
rised higher and higher towards the sky.  :)
From the top we saw a beautiful view over
Helsinki.  :)
Back upon the earth again.
We passed this ride, because it looked quite too horrible,
but Henna went in, and we watched her to come out,
rather green-faced but grinning.  ;)
Then we were going round and round in
teacups, and the others had fun, telling it suited me very well,
since my name means "green tea".  :D
We watched a beautiful old animal carousel,
in which people sit over elephants and giraffees and whatnot.  :)
We took a ride around the area in a small
monorail train.
The evening was already turning dark, and
we knew we sould leave back to home soon.

Surprisingly Henna said she wanted to take another round
in the monorail.
We were a bit surprised, but followed her to sit in a wagon..
But she was fooling us!
It wasn´t the monorail at all, it was the rollercoaster,
and soon we were all screaming and giggling like hell! :D
It was both horrible and fantastic!

What a great way to finish a great day!  :)

See you soon again, dear mom!
Many hugs from your little Matcha!  :stare:

Posted Oct 5, 2013, 10:14 pm
Hyvää iltaa, rakas äiti! (Good evening, dear mother!)  :D

How are you?
We have had some coolish days here, and in the nights
the temperature has already dropped below zero
celsius degrees.
But we just put another blanket over us and curl against
each other and sleep quite happily.  :)
Last weekend we visited an
outdoor recreation area on the seashore in Porkkala,
about twenty kilometers from here.  :)

I was studying the map carefully not get lost!
We walked over a rocky area towards the sea.
It was a somewhat gloomy morning, and we were running
and jumping to keep warm.
We walked past a dead, standing tree. They are important,
because the rare flying squirrels like to make their nests
inside them.  :)
We came to the shore.
There was some fog over the water and the horizon looked grey,
but I think there is its own special kind of beauty in that kind
of weather.  :)
The rocks were really smooth and felt soft
under my paws.
Henna explained it was the huge mass of ice during the ice age
which polished the finnish shores.  :)
We wandered along the strand, admiring the beautiful views and investigating small details,
like this oval little pool.  :)
Had the weather been warmer, it would have been an excellent
swimming pool for us!
We saw small islands emerging from the mist.
To me they looked like the fairy islands, which appear from
under the wawes in certain times and then disappear again.  :)
I was delighted by the white foam the sea
was pushing over the rocks.
According to the Greece mythology Afrodite, the goddess of love,
was born from such foam.
Not so very different from the frogspawn, hmm?  ;)
No wonder we are so lovely!  :stare:
There was lots of green algae growing in the sea bottom - pretty much the same shade than I am.  :)
Porkkala area is owned by the communs of Helsinki,
Espoo and Kirkkonummi, and it is prohibited to build houses here,
because it is reserved for all people to refresh themselves
in the beautiful shore area.
It is possible to tent here for free, and there is places
to lit up an open fire to make food or coffee.  :)
We hiked on a higher terrain, from which
we get a wonderful view over the sea.
About 80 kilometers to south behind the gulf of Finland is Estonia.
Sweden in farer away in the west.
I was beginning to feel a certain emptines
in my stomach, and I started to give mild hints about it, by making
such questions as "I wonder where they have those places to lit  up fire to make food?"  :stare:
The other got my meaning and realised their
stomachs were empty too, and soon we had a fire going on.
The sun also started to peek trough the clouds.  :)
We heated Carelian pastries over the fire.
They are traditional food from the Eastern Finland.
The crust is made of rye dough, and inside there is either
barley, potato, carrot or rice filling.  :)
After the pastries we had some coffee
and sat round the fire, enjoying the warmth.  :)
Then we had some croissants as a dessert.  :p
The sun had sailed properly out from the clouds,
and wiped the fog away, and we headed for the little sandy beach
to really enjoy it.
We climbed a pine and wondered how it
would feel to be bird or bat and live up the trees.
(Well of course Zoe is a bird, but as a kiwi she lives on the ground.)
The sand was getting deliciously hot
under our paws.
Here we seldom have sunny autumn days. Mainly it is raining -
so when the sun comes out we really appreciate it.  :)
We watched some people coming across the sea with a small boat.
They got onto the shore and went to make some coffee too.
Finns are really crazy about coffee.  :rolleyes:
They are the biggest coffee consumers per capita on the globe..
We climbed onto the now warm rocks to
bathe in the sun and let the food digest.  :)
The wawes were singing and there was some last insects of the summer buzzing, the rock was so warm under my back, and I was watching the clouds grazing on the blue
pasturelands of the sky.. ..and so I fell asleep.  :)
Henna woke us up a bit later and said it was high time to go home, since we were all so sleepy.

Hyvää yötä! Good night to you too, dear mom!
Many kisses from your little Matcha!  :)


Posted Oct 14, 2013, 3:20 pm
Hyvää syysiltaa, rakas äiti! (Good autumn evening, dear mother!)  ;)

I heard you are having hot weather at home!
Here we don´t have that kind of troubles.  ;)

On weekend we were on a sightseeing walk in Helsinki, and also went to watch
around in the herring fair - a happening where they´re
selling and eating different herring products.  :rolleyes:
Before our sightseeing I had been reading
books about Helsinki.
So I already knew a lot about the capitol of Finland, krhm!

For example I knew that the area called Kamppi, from where
we started our walk, was originally mainly used as a military area, with barracks and training fields, which the name refers to.
(The name "Kamppi" is derived from the Swedish word for battle, "Kampen")  B) )
Nowadays there is the bus station, a shopping centre and a culture
But my wide studies about the city of Helsinki had not enlightened
me about the mindblowing fact, that there is ropewalking supermans
residing in its premices!  :thinking:
I wanted to see the Kamppi Chapel Of Silence,
which won the International Architecture Award
For The Best New Global Design 2010.

It was built totally out of wood, and from outside it looked,
to my opinion, like some dinosaur egg!  :rolleyes:
But inside it was really worth of its name -
cosy and peacefull - really like inside an egg, actually.  :)
We promenaded next to see one of the
most important statues of Helsinki - Kolme Seppää (Three Blacksmiths).
It is a sculpture by Felix Nylund, situated in Helsinki in Three Smiths Square.
I think it is a beautiful statue, but does anyone else find it slightly
odd that the smiths are naked?  :rolleyes:
We walked along Aleksanterinkatu street.
This is the main Christmas street. Of course there is no hint about
it at this time of year, but at yuletide this street has the most
beautiful lights and decorations, and Joulupukki (Santa Claus)
comes every year to the opening ceremonies.  :)
We strolled past The National Library of Finland, which is the foremost research library in Finland and the most important of the libraries of the University of Helsinki.
Henna almost run past it, saying that she´s become allergic
to it after sitting in it 15 years.  :thinking:
We came to the The Senate Square
(Senaatintori) and saw the Lutheran Cathedral.
The whole complex is a design by Carl Ludvig Engel.

Originally the whole area was a swamp, and when they started to
build the cathedral, people were convinced it would sink.

As a frog, I would maybe prefer the swamp, although the cathedral
is beautiful too.  ;)
A statue of Emperor Alexander II is located in the center of the square.
The Russian Czar was greatly loved by the finns, because he gave
to Finland bigger autonomy than the swedes had ever done.
1889 started the darker years, and a long fight over the independence, and the statue became a symbol of quiet resistance, with people of Helsinki protesting to the decrees of Nicholas II leaving flowers at the foot of the statue of his grandfather, then known in Finland as "the good czar".  :)
We climbed the stairs of the Lutheran Cathedral
and watched the views.
The square has always been an important spot for demonstrations,
and the high stairs of the cathedral are a popular place to hang on
on the summer evenings.
On wintertime the stairs are covered with snow and serve as a slide!  :D
Helsinki Cathedral (Helsingin tuomiokirkko),  was  built 1830-1852.

I didn´t see any signs of it being sinking!  :rolleyes:
We saw some nice street art when we
continued our walk.  :)
We reached the nice esplanade  named Esplanadi, colloquially called "Espa". ;)
It is the number one spot for citizens of Helsinki to come to have
picnics in summertime.
The statue just and just visible in the photo is presenting the National
Poet of Finland, Johan Ludvig Runeberg.
Nowadays he serves as a platform for pigeons.  :rolleyes:
This cute little statue by Viktor Jansson is
Kalapojat (fish boys).  :)
I only see one boy, unles the fish is a young male too, which
would explain the plural.  :rolleyes:
There was still some late flowers in bloom.
Soon the winter will be here, and then there is only ice flowers
blooming on the windows.

Here is Havis Amanda, one of sculptor Ville Vallgren's Parisian Art Nouveau works.
It was erected 1908, and its nakedness and seductiveness were considered inappropriate.  :rolleyes:
It is showing a mermaid rising from the sea, surrounded by four
sea lions.
I think it is beautiful, and I guess the sea lions are quite good company.  ;)
We continued our stroll and went to see
Uspenskin katedraali, an Eastern Orthodox cathedral in Helsinki, Finland, "dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary)."
Whatever that means!  :rolleyes:
The cathedral has several valuable icons, among others St. Nicolas – The Wonder Maker, which was stolen on 16 August 2007 between midday and 1 p.m. in broad daylight.  :thinking:

The icon is now being searched for in Finland as well as abroad.
The finder is promised a big reward. So, if you happened to
encounter it somewhere..!  ;)
The golden domes of the cathedral were
glimmering in the sun so that pigeons got dizzy.
Better stay on the top of the head of Runeberg.  ;)
We went back down to the Kauppatori market
There was even more people than usually
on a sunny day, because of the herring fair.  :)
The herring fair (Silakkamarkkinat) is an annual event held in Helsinki in October every year.
During the herring fair, many archipelagans arrive in the Eteläsatama harbour to sell fish and other archipelago products directly from their boats.  :)
The event is very old; according to common knowledge it was first held in 1743.

The event has been forgotten from time to time, for various reasons, but in the 1980s it was revived and has become very popular.  :)
The fair lasts a week, and it is all about herring.  :rolleyes:

There are fishermen coming along the coast in their fishingboats
to sell the herring, but most of them also sell different herring
products they´re producing.  :)
There´s herring in glass jars with varying ingredients and spices,
smoked herring, herring pies, kalakukko, of course, and traditional
island bread, called black bread, which contains blood.  :thinking:
It was really hard to get any kind of photos
of the herring stands - there was so many people blocking the view.
I don´t know.. fish is good for our health and some of it is quite tasty,
but I wouldn´t go raving mad about it and fighting to get my herring!  :rolleyes:
Besides the fishingboats and stands selling fish, there was many boats serving as restaurants selling beer
and fish dishes.  :)
We walked around watching the boats and people and activities going on.
Every year during the fair there´s a jury picking
the best herring product of the year.
How would you like to be in the jury, mom?
Tasting maybe 200 different herringy things in one morning?  :stare:
Besides the best herring product, there is also
a competition for the most beautiful fishing boat every year.  :rolleyes:
I personally enjoyed more the blue sky and sea
and the shrieking of the daring seagulls than the herrings.  :rolleyes:
There was also a nature wellfare organization
giving people information about what fish to eat and what not,
considering that there´s nowadays for example many endangered
tuna species, not to speak of sardins, which have been
overfished the past hundred years.  :(
Then we visited an old lighthouse boat,
which has also been turned into a sailing restaurant.  :)
There was a brass band playing on board,
and it all looked quite nice, but we were starting to get hungry,
and so we headed towards home again.  :)
On our way there we stopped to have some
pancakes with jam and whipped cream.  :p

I wish you´ve had some too!
Unless you prefer herring.  ;)
Kisses!  :stare:

Posted Oct 18, 2013, 8:08 pm
Hei taas, rakas äiti! (Hello again, dear mom!)  :)

The autumn is really here now.
The leaftrees have turned yellow and orange, and in the morning
we had the first sleet rain this year.  :D
Here I´m admiring the colors around the cottage.
In Finnish, the time when the colours of the nature are changing
in the autumn is called "ruska".  :)
We were roaming and playing and doing
somersaults in the golden leaves!  :D
It was so beautiful, that we went for a walk to see more "ruska".
We went for a walk in Laajalahti Nature Reserve
It is an important bird nesting area with broad reedbed and shoreline groves and meadows and a trail for nature observers.  :)
We followed the trail trough varying beautiful
In more humid areas there was wooden duckboards to walk along.
Every now and then there was information
plakes telling about the landscape, plants and animals surrounding
us.  :)
Walking amongst the high reeds we could
hear the sounds of waterbirds resting in midst of their long flight to south for winter.
We could not see then, nor could they see us, and maybe that was good!
A crane, for example, would have taken me and Tuli as a nice snack, before realising us to be toyvoyagers - not ordinary frogs.  :thinking:
We sat on the railing and imagined how
it would feel to be a migratory bird and fly thousands of kilometers
every autumn from Finland to Africa.  :thinking:
The bird certainly don´t need a gym!
Zoe commented that actually she is a migratory bird, since she flies
every autumn from Finland to Portugal, and Tuli said she thinks
Zoe would benefit from attending a gym, and then Zoe was running
after Tuli along the rail.  :rolleyes:
On one turn of the trail we saw a gazebo
amongst the trees.  :)
What a fantastic place that must be in summertime
to sit eating a snack and listening to the birds!
We went inside to see around.
We didn´t have a snack with us (what a shame!),
and the only sounds I could listen to were the highpitched toyvoyagerous
shouting when my mates saw what was inside the gazebo.
There was Uranus!  :thinking:
Who would have thought there was room for a planet inside!
From the gazebo windows we could get
a good view over the wonderfully coloured foliage of the autumn
forest.  :)
The fallen leaves looked to me like a
golden carpet spread over the earth.  :)
We walked forward, and Tuli was teaching
us to sing a Finnish autumn song.

Lehti puusta variseepi    The leaves are dropping from trees
päivä yötä pakenee.          the day is escaping the night.
Lintu pieni syksyn tullen    When the autumn comes, the little bird
kesämaille rientelee.          flees to the lands of summer.
We were singing it sitting over a fallen tree,
and can you imagine, an ant hurrying past told us it was beautiful!  :stare:
The trail led us out from the nature reserve
area, and we waved our farewells to the waterbirds (and to
Uranus).  :rolleyes:
We reached a park full of golden maples.
Just look, mom!
Isn´t this stunning?  :D
I would love to have a similar carpet on the floor of our home
than there was under the trees in the park!
From under these trees I wave to you too!
See you soon again!
Keep well!
Your loving little frog  :stare:


Posted Oct 21, 2013, 9:12 am
Hyvää huomenta, rakas äiti! (Good morning, dear mother!)  :)

Mitä kuuluu? (How are you?)
I was reading Auras updates and heard that you´ve had there a
landslide and a typhoon! Gee!  :thinking:
We are here very happy nothing bad happened to you!  :)

We went yesterday for a walk here in the surroundings, and then happened
something very fun, and I´m now going to tell you about it!  :)
In the morning the earth was lightly white!
It had been snowing a bit during the night.
When the sun rise the snow melted away, but in the Northern
Finland there is already half meter of snow.  :)
We walked along a narrow, peaceful
The day was turning to be sunny and the birds were singing
cheerfully on the pine tops when we walked past.  :)
We were watching the birds, and the sky looked so blue we wanted to climb the treetops ourselves too.  :)
See how high up we were!
A crow saw us sitting on the tree branches and stopped to talk
with us.
"Gee! Wow! How come there is two frogs, a sheep, a kiwi bird and a teddybear high up in the tree?" she asked.
"We´re toyvoyagers!" we answered, "we can be where ever!"
Then we came down again, and the forest
surrounding the small road was so beautiful, that I sat, leaning
on a tree trunk, just enjoying the view and the sun and the smells
of the forest - the decaying leaves and the earth itself.  :)
We reached the small Salaoja stream, which run
to the lake Sahajärvi.
The name of the stream comes of a small species of fish, called salakka (bleak), living in it.  :)
We were playing on the little stream, hopping
from stone to stone, screaming and giggling.  :D
And then we were making bridges of
tree branches and balancing ourselves over them.  :)
We left the stream and walked along the shore of the lake.
We saw many rowing boats on the bank, and a desire to get
rowing on the lake conquered our fluffy hearts!  :thinking:
But alas! The boats were all so very big!
We tried, but there was no way to move
such a big boat!  :(
What frustration!
But then..! Look, mom, what we found!  :thinking:
We could hardly believe our eyes!
A toyvoyager -size rowing boat waiting for us!  :D
Must be a very smart, civilized and enlightened person who
has left it there!
We pushed the boat in great hurry onto the
water!  :D
When the boat started to float we all rushed in at the same time, eager to get on board, and ended up into a great pile on the bottom of the boat..  :rolleyes:
The cargo was too big and too unbalanced!
The boat lurched and one voyager flew to the water!  :thinking:
"Voyager overboard! Voyager overboard!" we shouted in panic,
but the I realised it was Tuli, and as a frog she just swam
easily back onto the shore, phew!  :)
But the accident made us realise we should
be more carefull and take turns!  :rolleyes:
So we went on boating three at a time, and it went well!  :)
First I had some troubles with the oars,
and the others were teasing me."Is this a carusell or why are we moving in circles?"  :rolleyes:
There was fishes who came to stare us.
"Hey, guys, come and see! Frogs in a boat!"
"Yeah, fishes!" we answered, "Why don´t you do something
surprising some time? " ;)
The weather was very calm, and there was
no waves at all - it felt like we were gliding on the surface of
a mirror.  :)
After rowing around the lake my arms
started to feel a bit tired. I think my muscles are bigger than
they were!  ;)
We sat still for sometime watching the beautiful
lake view, and then we left back home.
We came home in a great mood. :)

I would love to take you rowing some time!
Kisses from Matcha!  :stare:


Posted Nov 1, 2013, 9:54 pm
Hyvää Kekriä, äiti!  ;)

Kekri is the traditional finnish celebration of the last day of October.
It is related to the celtic samhain and more modern Halloween.

The Kekri was the end of the work-year, when all the harvest was done, the animals were slaughtered, the berries and mushrooms were
collected, and the larders were full.
So there was more food than any other time of the year, and a good
reason to celebrate.  :)
We went for a trip into the Porkkala area,
and on our way there Henna told us that the harvest celebration was just half of the Kekri.
The Kekri was also the last possibility to celebrate for a long time,
since the whole month of November is a month of the dead.
Even the finnish name for November (Marraskuu) means "The month of death".
Tuli told me that during the whole November the dead people are on the move, visiting their old homes and
keeping an eye on their descendants.
They were served food and the sauna was heated fro them throughout
the whole month, and the living people had to behave in a very
subdued manner and keep up their best behavior and manners.

So, in Kekri people were drinking and dancing and uhm, doing certain
fertility rites.  :rolleyes:
I must say after hearing all that talk about
spirits moving upon earth made me feel a bit creepy.
I was watching behind my back more than usually, but didn´t see
anything.  :)
It was a beautiful, lightly misty day,
and the sea looked beautifully grey. :)
We made up a fire and heated some glögi
over it.  :)
That is a warm drink the finns like to have in winter.
It is a bit similar than the german glüchwine.  :)
It tasted good and felt great!  :)
Then we walked round the forest collecting herbs
for a magical potion.  ;)
While collecting, we hummed a secret
toyvoyager chant we have to chant when collecting herbs for
Kekri potion.
I´m sorry I can´t tell you more, it´s a toyvoyager thing!  ;)
When we were loaded with various herbs,
we sat in front of the fire warming our paws.
On our way home we stopped on the yard
of a desolated house and climbed onto its attic, because we still
needed some ingredients, like spiderweb.
We felt all a bit nervous in the attick, it was like we had heard
odd whispering sounds and felt sudden gusts of cold air,
but we didn´t see anything.
Well, it was just an old house, full of rejected stuff.  :)
Like some old paintings leaning against the walls with broken frames..
At one point I felt like something touching
my head!
But I couldn´t see anyone!  :thinking:
I asked the others if they also felt we weren´t
there alone, and they answered that hell yes, we´re in a big bunch
of toyvoyagers and no one can feel like being alone in one!  :rolleyes:
At last we had all the nessessary ingeredients!

"Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble!
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digged i' th' dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat and slips of yew
Slivered in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab.
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron!"  ;)

Well, our ingredients weren´t quite that horrible!  :D
Then we carved some oranges and one
turnip to make lanterns, and when the evening came we lit
candles in them.  :)
And then we went inside to celebrate the
We ate and sung and drink our magical
potion, and that made us dance so that we couldn´t stop
the whole night!  :D
So we sung and danced and drank some more!

Here you can see us dancing

See you soon again!
Hug from Matcha!  :D

Posted Nov 1, 2013, 9:58 pm
Hyvää Kekriä, äiti!  ;)

Kekri is the traditional finnish celebration of the last day of October.
It is related to the celtic samhain and more modern Halloween.

The Kekri was the end of the work-year, when all the harvest was done, the animals were slaughtered, the berries and mushrooms were
collected, and the larders were full.
So there was more food than any other time of the year, and a good
reason to celebrate.  :)
We went for a trip into the Porkkala area,
and on our way there Henna told us that the harvest celebration was just half of the Kekri.
The Kekri was also the last possibility to celebrate for a long time,
since the whole month of November is a month of the dead.
Even the finnish name for November (Marraskuu) means "The month of death".
Tuli told me that during the whole November the dead people are on the move, visiting their old homes and
keeping an eye on their descendants.
They were served food and the sauna was heated fro them throughout
the whole month, and the living people had to behave in a very
subdued manner and keep up their best behavior and manners.

So, in Kekri people were drinking and dancing and uhm, doing certain
fertility rites.  :rolleyes:
I must say after hearing all that talk about
spirits moving upon earth made me feel a bit creepy.
I was watching behind my back more than usually, but didn´t see
anything.  :)
It was a beautiful, lightly misty day,
and the sea looked beautifully grey. :)
We made up a fire and heated some glögi
over it.  :)
That is a warm drink the finns like to have in winter.
It is a bit similar than the german glüchwine.  :)
It tasted good and felt great!  :)
Then we walked round the forest collecting herbs
for a magical potion.  ;)
While collecting, we hummed a secret
toyvoyager chant we have to chant when collecting herbs for
Kekri potion.
I´m sorry I can´t tell you more, it´s a toyvoyager thing!  ;)
When we were loaded with various herbs,
we sat in front of the fire warming our paws.
On our way home we stopped on the yard
of a desolated house and climbed onto its attic, because we still
needed some ingredients, like spiderweb.
We felt all a bit nervous in the attick, it was like we had heard
odd whispering sounds and felt sudden gusts of cold air,
but we didn´t see anything.
Well, it was just an old house, full of rejected stuff.  :)
Like some old paintings leaning against the walls with broken frames..
At one point I felt like something touching
my head!
But I couldn´t see anyone!  :thinking:
I asked the others if they also felt we weren´t
there alone, and they answered that hell yes, we´re in a big bunch
of toyvoyagers and no one can feel like being alone in one!  :rolleyes:
At last we had all the nessessary ingeredients!

"Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble!
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digged i' th' dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat and slips of yew
Slivered in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab.
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron!"  ;)

Well, our ingredients weren´t quite that horrible!  :D
Then we carved some oranges and one
turnip to make lanterns, and when the evening came we lit
candles in them.  :)
And then we went inside to celebrate the
We ate and sung and drink our magical
potion, and that made us dance so that we couldn´t stop
the whole night!  :D
So we sung and danced and drank some more!

Here you can see us dancing

See you soon again!
Hug from Matcha!  :D

Posted Nov 21, 2013, 9:44 am
Tere hommikust, kallis ema!  :D
(That is estonian and means "Good morning, dear mother"
Estonian language has to do with my todays update.  ;)
One morning Henna kidnapped us into her backbag
so early, that we didn´t even wake up.
We were dozing of peacefully until Henna woke us up.
"Hi you lazy little brats! Open your eyes and check were we are!"

So I put my head out from the backbag - it was still dark outside and my eyes weren´t properly open,
but I could see we were entering one of the Viking Line boats!  :thinking:
(It is the red one in the pic).
"Hey! What´s up?" I shouted and then everybody else came to
a peep out too, and then we were all shouting at the same time, and Henna could hardly explain that she needed to visit the
uni library in Tallinn, which is the capitol city of Estonia, and that
meanwhile we could stroll in the citys Old Town part.
Great!  :D
Inside the boat we walked along many narrow
corridors and looked for our own little cabin, where we could rest or watch television if we happened to feel like it.  :)
Hah! No one of us wanted to sit in the cabin
watching television, but can you imagine, that´s just what Henna did!  :thinking:

After watching a really boring political document for some time she
fell into sleep on the couch and started to snore.
Who is the lazy brat here, I just ask!?  ;)
We sat on the small window and watched the morning turning from dark to grey and rainy, and listened to Hennas
snoring for some time. Although it was entertaining (she makes funny noices)
we soon wanted to see wider horizons and went out onto the deck.  :rolleyes:
Here I´m somewhere in middle of the Finnish Gulf of
the Baltic Sea.
The distance between Tallin and Helsinki is only eighty kilometers,
and the crossing over took us two and half hours.

We wandered along the corridors and scared people by running between their
feet and such, and let Henna to sleep until we were in the Tallinn
harbour. (She claimed she never slept, just rested her eyes, hah!)  :D
The first thing we saw of the medieval Tallinn was this cannon tower called Paks Margareeta (Fat Margaret).
It is one of the many towers in the town wall, which surrounds
the Old Town.  :)
On its one side is the Great Sea Gate, trough
which we entered the Old Town.  :)
Tallinn Old Town became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site  in 1997,
and is often referred to as the “medieval pearl of Europe”.
Unlike other capital cities in Europe, Tallinn has managed to preserve the completeness and structure of it’s medieval and Hanseatic origin.
Most of the cobblestone streets and properties, important state and church buildings, citizens’ and merchant’s  residences, barns and warehouses dating back as far as to 11th century, are preserved in their original form.  :)
We walked past Oleviste Church.
On 15th and 16th century, the church with it’s 159m high tower was the highest building in the world! Ha ha!  :D
We saw a very interesting car!  :thinking:
The was plake announcing it to be "a moving art gallery", and so
it looked like too!  :)
Here I am in Raekoja plats.
The big building behind me is the Raekoja, Town Hall.

There has been a town hall in Tallinn since at least 1322 and a town square next to it ever since then.
The hall was rebuilt from 1402 to 1404 into its current form, and a Christmas tree display has been held in the square since 1441, making the Tallinn Christmas tree display over 570 years old.  :)
Then we saw another church called
Pühavaimu kirik (The Church of the Holy Ghost).
Building of the church probably started sometime during the first half of the 13th century, and the church is mentioned in written sources for the first time in 1319.  :)
This is the beautiful door of the guild house of
The Brotherhood of Blackheads.
It was an association of local unmarried merchants, ship owners, and foreigners in the medieval times.
The brotherhood traces its origin to a group of foreign merchants who, according to the legend, had participated in the defense of Reval (present-day Tallinn) during the St. George's Night Uprising between 1343 and 1345 when the indigenous population of Estonia unsuccessfully tried to exterminate all foreigners and eradicate Christianity from Estonia.
We saw still one church, Jaani kirik.
(Lots of churches in Tallinn!)  :rolleyes:
Then we came back to the Town Square from
another direction and saw the famous restaurant Olde Hansa,
which serves medieval food.
:( It looked very inviting, but sadly had to leave allready back towards the harbour,
because we our boat back to Helsinki was leaving soon and we still
had to Henna out from the library, where she was buried under papers.  :rolleyes:

See you soon again, mom, and again in a different part of Europe!  :D
Your travelling frog Matcha  :)

Posted Nov 25, 2013, 8:21 am
Bom dia, querida mãe! Beijinhos de Portugal!  :D
(Good day, dear mom, greetings from Portugal!)
As you can see, I´m learning a lot of European languages these days!  ;)
After coming back from Tallinn, Henna kidnapped us again,
and soon we found ourselves in the Helsinki airport!  :o
To be honest, I think it was time to leave
Nuuksio behind us.. it was already beginning to be too cold for frogs!

We waited in the airport about two hours for our flight.
I met there Muumipeikko (Moomin) and Nuuskamuikkunen (Snufkin) in front of a shop!  :D
The flight to Lisbon took five hours, and first
we were running under peoples seats and binding their shoelaces
together and such, but then we started to feel a bit sleepy.  :rolleyes:
I fell asleep watching the clouds..  :)
It was already late evening when we arrived to Lisbon.
We had a supper of castanhas assadas (roasted chestnuts).  :p
And juicy slices of mango! Njam njam!
This country seems promising to me!  ;)
Can you imagine - next morning we were
travelling again!  :thinking:
We took a bus towards south, a small town called Pias in the area
of Alentejo, where Hennas portuguese friends parents have a house.
It was about 200 kilometers distance, and
I was mainly admiring the views along the road.
We passed many olive groves.  :)
Here is the house in which we spent some days.
It is a very typical portuguese country house - they´re all chalked
white, and usually they have only one floor.
There has always been a lack of wood to build, so the houses have
been growing sideways, not upwards.  ;)
There is traditionally no heating in the house, except
the big fireplace in the kitchen.
Nowadays there´s of course also electronical heaters in the bedrooms,
but in the old times everyone packed to sleep in the kitchen in cold
winter nights.
There was a fantastic bougeanvillea growing
on one side of the house.  :)
We went to investigate everything in the yard.There was all sort of fruit trees, and Henna told us to pick some
to eat later.  :)
We picked some tangerines and made the day of a granny in the
neighbouring yard, when she saw us up in the tree.  :rolleyes:
See how much tangerines!
Can you even imagine how many kilos we were eat.. uhm, picking?  :rolleyes:
These are marmelos (quinces).
Originally the word "marmelade" meant only jam made of these
fruit, told Hennas friend. 
They were ripe, so picked some of them too.  :rolleyes:
The lemons were still green, and we left them
to ripen more.  :)
The passion fruit trees were hanging their branches low
with the weight of the fruit, and we decided to lighten their burden
a bit!  :D (You can see we had altruistic motives!)
Here we are transporting our loot to the shade
of the wall.  :rolleyes:
Uh huh! This is a well-earned moment of rest!  :stare:
Then we started to pick olives!  :D
Our paws (and everything else) was soon colored dark purple with the juice from the ripe olives.
Here is what I picked.  B)
Then we spent some juicy times amongst oranges.  :p
Here I´m investigating if there´s any figs in the fig tree. Sadly, there wasn´t.
After all the hard work (and eating) it was time
for a little siesta.  :)
And time for playing too!  :D
Then we ate MORE fruit.  ;)
In the evening we tried to diwe into the night life
of the town, but there wasn´t any.  :rolleyes:
So we made our own night life by watching
the moon.  :)
Then we lit a fire into the big fireplace and
sat late in front of it talking.  :)

See you soon again, mom!
Next time I´ll tell you about our day in a small town called Serpa. ;)
Kisses from Matcha and greetings from Henna!

Posted Dec 1, 2013, 1:54 pm
Bom dia de novo, querida mãe!  :D
(Good day again, dear mother!)

I hope you´re well.
I´m soon ready to leave towards Germany, but I still have to write couple of updates from here before I go.  :)
On our way away from the little town of Pias
we stopped in another small town called Serpa for couple of hours
to switch from bus to bus.
We used the two hours by walking around.  :)
We encountered the similar narrow streets
enclosed by rows of houses chalked white, and little grannies
peeping trough the curtains everything that moves along the streets.  :rolleyes:
Those grannies don´t miss anything!
In some places the police has enrolled them to do cooperation.  ;)
Really, I´m not fooling.
I could really feel the eyes on my back.
These towns are so small and so much aside from the main highways, that there is
not many outsiders visiting them, and the inhabitants all know each others faces.
So a bunch of turists is a real sight for the locals - not to speak of a bunch of toyvoyagers.  :rolleyes:
We walked trough a beautiful little park with palm trees.  :)
On its other side we saw three olive trees, which
are believed to be about thousand years old.  :thinking:
Just imagine it! Living beings who have been wittnessing
birth of cities, many earthquakes and medieval plagues, and still
they´re carrying fruit every winter!
Look, mom! So many olives from a thousand year old tree!  :D
Then we continued our walk between the rows of houses.
They are so white, that on a sunny weather they can even blind you momentarily!

We saw the ruins of a castle looming ahead and went nearer to see it.
The town of Serpa existed already before the Roman occupation
of Portugal - its beginning is in the calcolithic periods urbanization.
The romans inhabited the town, and so did the moors in the 12th century.

The castle was built round the town by the portuguese kings in the 13th century.  :)
The name of the town - Serpa - means either a snake or a dragon, and we could see the pic of a dragon in the emblem of the town over the
castle gate, but it is too small for you to see it in the pic.  :)
We walked forward along many more narrow alleys and got lost.  :rolleyes:
But getting lost is one of the best things in travelling, don´t you agree?  ;)
By getting lost we see so many things we wouldn´t see otherwise.
Getting lost we found accidentally this beautiful church,
Igreja de Santa Maria de Serpa.  :)
It was built in the 15th century over a mosque built by the moors come centuries before.  :rolleyes:
We admired the impressive road to the museum of Serpa,
between a gate foremd by two huge stones, but we didn´t have time to go in,
we had to go back to the bus station.
So we run again trough the little alleys and the stares of the
grannies.. :rolleyes:
We got to the station in time, and mingled with the locals.  ;)

See you very soon again, dear mom!
Your Matcha  :)


Posted Dec 3, 2013, 4:21 pm
Boa tarde, mamã amada!
É o Matcha que está a escrever.  :)
(Good afternoon, dear mom!
It is Matcha who is writing.)
We made a trip into the region of Évora to help
Henna in her task of collecting material for her masters thesis she
is writing about the megalithic culture in neolithic Portugal.  ;)

We stayed in a small hostel in Évora town and drowe around in
a hired car in search for the megaliths and other stone heaps Henna has a passion for.  :rolleyes:

In this photo I´m standing on Alto do São Bento watching over the
town of Évora.  :)
Why we came here, on this high ground is because
here is the beginning of the city of Évora, about five thousand years ago.
Here was a big well defended village which grew into the town
which then became the nowadays Évora.
Now there is only old windmills and couple of small farms and the
town of Évora has moved couple of kilometers away.  :)
There is thousands of dolmens in Portugal,
and the Évora region is one of the densest concentrations of them.

Dolmens are here called "anta", and they were built 7000 - 5000 years ago.  :thinking:

This is the first anta we visited, Anta Grande de Comenda da Igreja. :)
The dolmens were used as collective graves
for the neolithic societies, but actually they were much more.
Antas were built to serve as wombs of the Mother Earth.
Dead people were buried into them so that they could later reborn
back upon earth..  :)
This is a bigger anta we went to see.
Actually it is the biggest anta in Iberia - Anta Grande do Zambujeiro.

Anta Grande do Zambujeiro was declared a national monument by the Portuguese government in the 1971.
It is composed of 8 mauled granite stones, all 6-8m in height (above ground), with the largest at the rear almost 4m wide.
The whole structure has been originally covered by a huge mound.  :thinking:
It is hard to understand how people were able to
build something like this without any modern day machinery!
To see these monuments we had to driwe
along really small lanes and paths in the deep countryside, and
our small hired Smart -car wasn´t the best vehicle for those routes,
but we saw very beautiful landscapes.
Most of the monuments were situated in midst of cork oaks.  :)
The evenings we spent in our small hostel room, which was in a very old house.
The night were very cold, and we had five blankets in the bed!  :rolleyes:
Our small toilet was built into an old clothe closet, and we had to climb a stair to get in there.
At nights I missed a pot under the bed, when roaming out from underr
our five blankets and climbing the stair to get into the freezing
cold toilet!  :rolleyes:
We slept all tight together to keep warm, and even
kept the scarfs round our necks!  :rolleyes:
When it get too boring to be sitting in our room,
we went to walk along the streets of Évora.
Sadly I can´t show any daylight pics to you from town, because
we used every possible minute of daylight to run after the megalithts..  :rolleyes:
Here is the main square and town hall of Évora.  :)
There was a "Cepo de Natal" burning there every evening.
It is a portuguese version of a Christmas log. A whole trunk of an oak or an olive tree is burned in the main square of many towns
every evening about a month until Christmas.
People come to stand around it to keep warm and to chat and eat
roasted chestnuts.  :)
Here we are in a small café which also had
a fire burning in the hearth.  :)
The old houses here don´t have any kind of heating, and even
if they have, they are built in such a way that they don´t keep the
Many old people come to spend time in cafés or round the cepo just to be warm. It is a bit sad..
but this is the way they are used to live for centuries.  :thinking:
This is another day on our trip.
We are walking trough a small town called Alandroal.
It is famous for its woven carpets.
But we climbed to see the castle of Alandroal.
Its building started 1298, and it is a fine example of Mudéjar art, which means it is a fortification commissioned by Christian elites but built by a stonemason or architect of Islamic origin.  :)
In climbing up there we got a nice view on the
surrounding countryside.
We could hear the sheap bells from down there, but otherwise it
was quite silent.  :)
I like that sound!
On top of the hill, inside the castle wall there
was a church.
And other small buildings and towers.  :)
And even more beautiful and wider landscape.  :)
This is the Menhir of Almendres.
It is about four meters tall, and is situated about a kilometer away from the Cromelegue of Almendres stone cirkle.
When the sun sun rices on the winter solstice day the shadow of
the menhir points towards the highest stone of the stone cirkle, which in its turn is casting a shadow towards the Anta Grande do
Zambujeiro we visited earlier..  :thinking:
Pretty interesting!  B)
Here is the Cromeleque dos Almendres stone cirkle, which was maybe the most interesting site we visited.  :)
The site consists actually of two stone circles, and it was built in two phases between 5000 and 4000 e.a.a, which makes it two thousand years older than the famous Stonehenge in UK and the oldest known stone cirkle in Europe!  B)

The result is an oval of 92 stones, which measures 30m x 60m.
It includes various markings such as cup marks, spirals and circles which can still just be seen on some of the stones.
Most of these are propbaly symbols of planets.  :)
Originally there was over 100 monoliths, but people have been
taking them away to use in building.  :thinking:
Here is one of the stones with carvings we managed to spot.  B)
The Almendres monoliths are directed to show both important lunar and solar dates and alignments with other
megalithic constructions.
It has stones that face both the sunrise and sunset of the equinoxes.  :)
If nothing else, this place I will remember from my trip to Portugal!  :)
See you soon again, dear mom!
My next updateis propably the last I write from Portugal, and in it
we´re back to Lisbon again.  :)

Many kisses, muitos beijinhos, from Matcha!  :)

Posted Dec 8, 2013, 9:33 pm
Olá, mãezinha! (Hi, dear mom!)  :D

This is my last update from Portugal!
Next time we´ll meet when I´m already in Germany with Rike!  :)
After our trip to Évora we came to Almada, which is
a smaller city just next to the capitol city of Lisbon.
This is where Henna lives while she is in Portugal.  :)

Before going to see the wonders of Lisbon we walked a bit around
in Almada.
This is a church Igreja de São Tiago.  :)
There is many old houses in Almada, some of them in a bad condition and many of them empty, which is a shame, I think.
There is still more green areas left than in Lisbon, and many people are growing cabbages and other vegetables
in the backyards of the blocks of flats.  :)
We got a view on the river Tejo over this kitchengarden.
We started to search our way towards the rivershore.
We passed the portico of the Lisnave shipyard, which
was one of the biggest ship builders in Europe in its time.
Now it has been shut for some years.
On the riverfront we found a small sandy beach,
and there we saw a jellyfish.
Even Zoe didn´t feel like eating it.  :rolleyes:
The bridge behind me is the Ponte Vinte e Cinco de Abril (25 of April Bridge), which connects Almada to Lisbon.
It is named after the 25.4 1974 revolution, which ended the time
of dictatorship in Portugal.  :)
We could see the city of Lisbon on the opposite
bank of the river.
We decided to go there.  :)
We took a small ferry, which are crossing the river
from Almada to Lisbon about every fifteen minutes.
They are called "cacilheiros".  :)
After crossing the river the first
place we saw in Lisbon side  of the river was the town hall and square.
It was here where the first Republic was proclaimed on 5 October 1910. :)
We walked onwards and came to the next important square, The Praça do Comércio, Commerce Square.

The statue in the middle is picturing  King José I, by Machado de Castro (1775). The King on his horse is symbolically crushing snakes on his path, and I really don´t know why,
since I don´t like crushing any animals, not even snakes,
although they sometimes eat frogs.  :thinking:
The square played an important role in the
economy of Lisbon.
The buildings round the square were filled with government bureaus that regulated customs and port activities.

In the picture is the triumphal arch called  Arco da Rua Augusta.  :)
The square is situated in the shoreline of Tejo,
and this was also the spot where the ships arrived loaded with
spices and other valuable things overseas.  :)
These two pillars are left on their place to remind
people of the nautical activities of the past times.  :)
This is Sé de Lisboa, the main cathedral of Lisbon.
Its building started 1147, but since that it has been modified several times and it has survived many earthquakes.  :)
We stepped in to the cathedral.
Here I´m standing on the main aisle.  :)
We met there some interesting folks from
different times.
This is Nossa Senhora de Fátima, who appeared six times to three shepherd
children in 1917 near a village called Fátima.
The children described her as "a woman brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun".  :rolleyes:
The woman shared three secrets with the children, and to her later
apparitions has been linked the miracle of "dancing sun".

Nowadays Fátima is a big cult centre with hundred thousand people
flocking there every year.
We also met there a dead portuguese King from the 15th century.
He was holding a sword on his arms and we were carefull not to wake
him up.  :rolleyes:
There was also a dead queen, and she was
reading a book.
I went to see what she was reading, but it seemed to be some rather
boring religious text starting with "Miserere" - have mercy.

I hope she has not been reading the same book all these centuries!  :thinking:
The little dog of the queen was on her feet
gnawing a chickenhead.  :rolleyes:
The next creature we met had escaped
from the laboratory of a mad genetic scientist.
He was partly a lion, a bat and a lizard, but he was quite a nice
chap and told us exciting things about the secret nightlife in the
Such an ancient place with many people buried there has of course
its share of the ghosts of Lisbon..  B)
Before we left the cathedral, the others
lit a candle to the saints to ask a safe trip to Germany for me.
I think it was very sweet of them.  :)
Next we went to see a nice little garden and a viewpoint with a bergola and blue tiles, which are typical to portuguese
From the bergola we got a beautiful view over
the old town of Lisbon toward the river Tejo.  :)

This is a popular place to spend time, and in summer evenings it is
invaded by youngsters drinking beer.
Here you can see the tiles properly.

We sat  there for some time enjoying the sun.  :)
We continued then our sightseeing and went
to see the Rossio Square.
It has been one of its main squares since the Middle Ages. It has been the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions, and is now a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists.
This is one of its beautiful fountains.  :)
From Rossio we walked to see the Elevador de Santa Justa (the Santa Justa lift).
It connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square.)
It was inaugurated 1901, and since then it has been a big turist
attraction.  ;)
We took the lift up, where we could watch
again over Lisbon, but this time from a different direction.  :)
This is the view towards the river Tejo.  :)
And this is the view towards the medieval castle são Jorge.  :)
We went to see the ruins of Carmo Convent, which
was destroyed in the earthquake of 1775. The whole Convent  and its famous library of 5000 rare books were all lost.  :(

Nowadays the ruined Carmo Church is used as an archaeological museum.
We saw there many interesting objects which were saved from the ruins after the earthquake.  :)
This plake asks us to drop money inside to
help the souls of the people buried here by shortening the time
they spend in purgatory.  :D
We sailed with a ship.
And surprised an old fountainhead so much he
forgot to shut his mouth.  :rolleyes:
He had never before seen toyvoyagers.  ;)
After leaving the ruins we walked along the streets,
and stopped to watch a woman frying and selling chestnuts from
a special wagon with cahrgoal burning inside.  :)
We saw many VERY interesting looking pastry
shops.  :p
Every now and then we were passed by one of the cute, famous Lisbon trams.
Oldest ones of them have been trafficing on the streets since 1930´s.  :)
We took a ride in one of them.  :)
Here I´m inside the tram.
It was making loud noices and wobling a lot while moving, and it was
interesting to watch the driwer to handle all the pedals and wheels
and buttons.  :D
We hopped out from the tram in a part of the
city called Belém, and there I saw this statue of Vasco da Gama, who
was the first european who sailed round Africa to India.
We walked trough a beautiful park.
Next interesting thing we saw was the Jerónimos
monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos.
It was classified in 1983 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hi, mom, it was the second one!  ;)
The monastery was built by the Infante Henry the Navigator around 1459.
When Vasco da Cama returned 1497 from his trip to east his ships
loaded with gold, he landed on the shore of Belem and went to
the monastery to thank the god for the safe trip.
After that the monastery came a place for all portuguese sailors
to spend the night in praying before leaving for long seavoyages.  :)
The main door of the monastery is very impressive.
"The tympanum, above the double door, displays, in half-relief, two scenes from the life of Saint Jerome: on the left, the removal of the thorn from the lion's paw and, on the right, the saints experience in the desert. In the spandrel between these scenes is the coat-of-arms of king Manuel I, while the archivolt and tympanum are covered in Manueline symbols and elements. The Madonna (Santa Maria de Belém) is located on a pedestal on top of the archivolt, surmounted by the archangel Michael, while above the portal there is a cross of the Order of Christ." says Wikipedia.  (I´m not quite sure what a
tympanum is. :rolleyes:
The sun was getting lower, and we still
wanted to see another World heritage site, so we marched
onwards.  ;)
Here is Torre de Belém (Belém Tower).
It was my third World Heritage site!  ;)

Belém Tower is a symbol of Portugal's maritime glory, a stone fortress on the bank of the river Tejo dating from 1514.
It was part of the defence system guarding the mouth of river Tejo
and the gate to the city of Lisbon.
Later in history it served for example as a prison.
However, it looked somehow romantical in the
light of the soon setting sun, and we sat there for a long time listening
to the shouting of the seaguls and watching the sun getting lower. :)
Then we walked slowly back towards the  city center and saw again the Ponte Vinte e Cinco de Abril, this time
from the other shore of the river.
We walked still trough the center and saw this big park
called Parque Eduardo VII, and then we saw some streets in the
Christmas lightning.  :)
we got still one more nice view over the city from a viewpoint called Portas do Sol (Gates of the sun).  :)
This is Avenida da Liberdade, one of the most important esplanades in Lisbon.
We greeted a portuguese writer and poet Rosa Araújo.
And then we saw Arco da Rua Augusta again,
now in night lightning.  :)
We ended our Lisbon sightseeing to the Tejo riverfront and saw the last rays of sun before it dived into the
Atlantic ocean.
My last day in Portugal was a happy one.  :)

Many kisses for you, mom!
Matcha  :stare:

Posted Dec 14, 2013, 5:52 pm
Hello Mum, 

I arrived in Sülfeld. Dicker Kumpel gave me a warm welcome.

Then he introduced me to his other guests.

I showed my card, the little snowman and the sweets I brought with me.

Dicker Kumpel got this great Christmas Crib. Everybody loves to play with it.

Far away on a hill we saw the three wise men!

I am sure that I will have a great time here - and in 10 days we will celebrate Christmas!


Posted Dec 15, 2013, 8:39 pm
Hello Mum,

The weather was awful outside so I decided to explore Dicker Kumpel's home. Christmas is coming soon and he decorated the rooms with nice things.

I started with some lighted wooden decorations. First I met Santa Claus.

This one is typical for a region called Erz Mountains.

And I loved this snowman.

I visited another Christmas Crib.

There were three funny guys hanging around on the lamp. The first one was a reindeer.

The second one was Santa Claus.

The third guy was a polar bear.

The rest of the evening I spent in front of this Christmas pyramid. It is so lovely!


Posted Dec 19, 2013, 7:39 pm
Hello Mum,

We went to a town called Bad Segeberg.

First we stopped at this nice place – I think that Santa Claus is living here.

Look – a fountain with a funny guy on it.

During the summer time they show Winnetou in the open air theatre - and you see stakes in the town.

And they had some nice decorated small houses everywhere.

I loved the big Christmas tree…

… and of course the carousel next to it.

There was another Christmas tree on this big place – unfortunately it was not lighted up to now.

Our last stop was in front of the nice church here.

Back home a new guest arrived – HelmutBluePant.

He brought Christmas Gifts for all of us – great!

We just thought about starting to unpack our gifts when RikeH arrived. She told us: It is not Christmas now – and took all our gifts with her.

It seems to us that we have to wait until Christmas.


Posted Dec 23, 2013, 8:24 pm
Hello Mum, 

Happy Birthday to you!!!

In Germany we celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December. Today it was time to decorate the Christmas tree. Look – we had sunny weather – RikeH loves sunshine – but told me that we will have problems with some photos because of the light.

Look – there is our tree.

Here you can see our decoration.

I loved these balls.

These are the wooden things.

Here are the small ones for the upper part of the tree.

These are some ornaments RikeH likes very much.

And some of these she brought from her journeys, most of it is from Denmark.

Witching hour! No – it is not a ghost – it is me. There is still the problem with the sunshine in the living-room.
But I wanted to show you a photo of our Christmas tree.

This is the decoration I love most!

And this is an important part of the Christmas tree – the bird was always in the Christmas tree of RikeH's grandma.
And now it has a place of honour in RikeH's tree.

Mum, I am so excited – tomorrow it is Christmas!


Posted Dec 28, 2013, 4:05 pm
Hello Mum,
It is Christmas! And look! A child is born!

First Dicker Kumpel read the Nativity Story for all of us.

We all sang Christmas Songs – the last one was Silent Night.

Eventually the two most important guests arrived. Santa Claus was busy, but he sent his two friends Rudi the reindeer and Snowy the snowman.

I started with a Christmas Poem and sang a song.

I am sure they loved it – because I got some chocolate.

We all wanted a group photo with Snowy and Rudi.

Then Helmutbluepant’s big moment came. He had a lot of gifts for us.

I loved the snowman.

We all had a great time!

Merry Christmas dear Mum!

Posted Dec 29, 2013, 6:55 pm
Hi Mum,

Today we took a walk through Sülfeld. First I learnt something about an old canal here.

There is a small park in Sülfeld…

… with a little lake. Maybe I will see it frozen in the wintertime.

Behind me you can see the old school with a beautiful big Christmas tree.

This is the emblem of Sülfeld.

I went to the church.

On the other side of the street there is the old pharmacy.

In front of Dicker Kumpel’s house there were funny Christmas guys. We talked a lot.


Posted Jan 2, 2014, 8:13 pm
Hi Mum,

In the afternoon we visited Dicker Kumpel’s grandma. I loved the candlelight.

Look – there are wonderful wooden things out of the Erzgebirge.

And a really small Christmas crib.


Dicker Kumpel’s grandma had a very nice Christmas tree.


Posted Jan 4, 2014, 6:21 pm
Hello Mum,

It was a great day today! Murph, Soeren, TobiHH and Sean came and visited us.

Murph had gifts for us!

Yummy chocolate!

Christmas is great!

We talked the whole day – but then it was time to say goodbye.

It was so great to meet the other TVs.

We had a big TV-hug. Hopefully I will see the others somewhere again.


Posted Jan 7, 2014, 3:51 pm
Hello Mum,

Look – the Christmas tree has colored lights today – time for a party!

Dicker Kumpel decorated our chair.

Then he brought the important things – drinks and food.

After our dinner we played Helmut’s new game. It was great!

After the game Dicker Kumpel came with the prices!

Look! I won the beautiful shamrock!

At midnight we went out to welcome the New Year.

Happy New Year to all of you!


Posted Jan 9, 2014, 12:21 pm
Hello Mum,

Today we went to a nice nature park near to Sülfeld.

First I saw this black alder. They have interesting roots, because they live in wetlands.

Look –I found a mushroom!

The park is great – here I had to solve a puzzle. What kind of tree will this be?

Then I saw this raised stand. What will I see from there?

I saw many different animals from there – can you see the biggest one – a boar?

And there – a badger!

I saw a squirrel, too – but maybe you couldn’t see it? So I went closer to it.

There were many storms here in the last weeks – this tree felt down.

More mushrooms!

Then we went to this lovely lake.

I learnt a lot about the animals living here.

What a wonderful place.

On our way back to the car I talked with this funny woodpecker.

Then we found a place for long jump!

I was really good – with a jump of 0,5 meters.

We stopped at a slide.

This was fun!


Posted Jan 15, 2014, 4:06 pm
Hello Mum,

The weather is awful most of the time at the moment – so we had to find something nice inside the house. We went to play billiards. Dicker Kumpel explained us the rules.

Then it was my time!

It was really funny

And I won 6:3!

Then I explored the room. I think that a horse lived here in the past.

I tried to call you – but I didn’t remember your number…

And this was a great place, too.

Hopefully the weather will be nicer soon.


Posted Feb 2, 2014, 11:20 am
Hello Mum,

I spent a nice time here in Sülfeld, but now it was time to say goodbye to Dicker Kumpel.

HolgiHH came and told me about my next host. He spent some time with her last year.

We had a big TV-hug!

Until soon

Posted Feb 4, 2014, 11:17 pm
Hey :)!

Today I arrived at Fabi's home, but not alone. Marmalade arrived at the same time as me. We met Jasper at her home, but had to say goodbye to him right away as he will go on his own travel again tomorrow.

I am excited for my time with Fabi and I hope we'll have a lot of fun.


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 1:50 pm

today we got to join BlackCat for school and had a walk around her school.
On the first photo you can see her school. It's a really modern building. There is a park right in front of it as you can see on photo two.
We visited IKEA which is close to her school and on our way to the bus stop.
The Colloseum Theater is the place where they show musicals in Essen. It's a really lovely place and BlackCat loves going to musicals there.
The big round place is called "Berliner Platz" and is really chaotic for car drivers, at least I think so.
Limbecker Platz is a shopping centre which is kinda new (maybe 4 years old) and has all kind of shops.
The bear statue is for the "Berliner Platz" - Bär means bear in German and is spoken like the Ber in Berliner Platz. So it kinda symbols the place.
We saw the university (the colorful buildings) and an ambulance drove past us.
And last but not least we got to see the emblem of Essen.
A lot to see on our walk from the school to the bus stop.


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 1:58 pm

today MiaoMiao arrived at BlackCats home. I hope we will have lots of fun together in the next weeks. We'll see.


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 2:00 pm
Hey :),

today we had a short walk and saw an old house and a church. The church is called St. Laurentius and BlackCat always had to go there for school.


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 2:09 pm

we visited a friend of BlackCat this weekend and it was a lot of fun. She still had her winter decoration outside.
Her town is a really small one and we loved looking at everything. My favorite place actually was the inside of the church, which looks so lovely, don't you think so?


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 2:44 pm

today BlackCat decided that it was time for me to get another life mission checked.
We went to coal mine Zollverein which is a UNESCO WHS!
We took a lot of photos there. Just look at them and I hope you like them. It was lots of fun to be there.
Go to this link: for more information about it.


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 2:49 pm

today we had a short walk with BlackCat, which was actually quite fun.
We saw a pitman statue and some colorful graffitis, the house is the townhall of Steele (the part of Essen where we had the walk).


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

today we went to the zoo. We took so many photos there, that it would be a hell of a work to tell you all the animals we saw, but I can tell you some of our highlights and you can look at the photos!
We saw the dolphin show, which was quite the fun. The koalas were really cute in my opinion. I also liked the Chinese garden. And at the end we were on a monkey island where the monkeys were running around free. That was interesting.
The other animals were all cool as well though. I hope you like our photos.


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 3:59 pm

today we had a walk in the forest near BlackCats home and then walked to the water tower and then to Steele (a part of Essen) to take the bus home. In Steele we saw the church St. Laurentius. It was a nice spring day, so we enjoyed the warm weather and I hope you'll enjoy our photos.


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 4:03 pm

today I was at the main station with BlackCat and there was an exhibition about UNESCO WHS in Germany on stamps. So we took some photos with the stamps, so you can see how they look. I thought it was really interesting to see all those stamps.


Posted Apr 3, 2014, 4:04 pm

today was my last day in Essen. I am on my way to my next host now and I hope I will arrive soon!

I saw goodbye to Marmalade and MiaoMiao and started my travel.


Posted May 1, 2014, 10:30 pm
Hi mum!

After spending a few days to myself relaxing ( my new host Niki has been very busy revising for exams ) Niki was finally free to take some pictures of me and my newest friend Gozer.

We had some guests over for dinner so we helped Niki our making her favourite meal, sweet and sour. Niki has a taste for Chinese food, but prefers to make it her own way.

First we helped her brown off the chicken ( we didn't want anyone getting food poisoning!)

We then added the sauce. It was store bought, because Niki explained that she was hopeless at making her own!

We let it cook for a while before plating it up for our guests. Looks delicious!

Bye for now, I hope to update you soon!


Posted May 25, 2014, 5:57 pm

It was Niki's birthday the other day so we had to celebrate. She's been very busy lately so It was nice to have a day off!

In the morning we helped her to open her birthday presents which were wrapped with lovely green paper. I had so much fun helping her rip it off!

Later on we then ate cake ( which was eaten too fast for us to have a picture taken with it, it was delicious!) and went to the cinema to see x-men with Niki and her family.

The film was great and the nachos were tasty!

Bye for now,

Posted Mar 17, 2015, 3:30 am

This is a photo of when we were watching the World Cup.Every day I watch the World Cup in the summer,There are a lot of people focus on the world cup in China,They all get up in the middle of the night watching the World Cup,so crazy.
I'm so sad that day the Japanese team was knocked out of.Germany won the World Cup !

We drink and eat the cake.We congratulate them to victory.I hope the next World Cup of Japanese team can play better. :)

Posted Mar 17, 2015, 9:24 am

We drove to Henan to travel,PAPA said,Henan  is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is yu, named after Yuzhou Province , a Han Dynasty province (zhou) that included parts of Henan. The name Henan means "south of the Yellow River"

Today we went to the yuntai mountain.
The Yuntai is located the Henan Province Xiuwu County by the northern12 kilometers place,the prominent peak is the fruit of a medicinalcornel peak,the elevation 1,304 meters,because of suddenly,looks like a cauldron,covers above the group peak,is called inthe ancient times "covers Pusan" and further because to stand tall anderect for its ,the forest cover,the ravine common fog windsaround,therefore is called "the Yuntai"

Here the air is very good,We also saw the monkeys,I feel very interesting :D

Posted Mar 18, 2015, 9:51 am
HI~Today we went to Taihang Mountains Grand Canyon.

Located in the east of Mount Taihang, the Taihang Grand Canyon is within the boundary of the Shibanyan County, Linzhou City of Henan Province. In China, the mountains in the south are elegant, while those of the north are imposing. Mount Taihang is regarded as one of the most magnificent mountains in the north.

The Photo  shows the scenery of Taihang Grand Canyon in Linzhou city, central China's Henan Province. With various shapes of high cliffs, peaks and hills, the 50-kilometer-long canyon presents a unique scenery of mystery.

I also an excellent lookout for a bird's eye view of the Taihang Mountain.The scenery is beautiful beyond description. :D
We spent a happy  trip for a week then We drove back to Beijing.

Posted Mar 27, 2015, 6:15 am

Today is a Chinese New Year!!
We were watching the Spring Festival evening show.Every Chinese will watch this TV show today evening.
The people have already made special purchases for the festival beforehand.
The street is dressed very beautiful. :D
Few people in the streets of Beijing, the people  had back to hometowns.

I wish everyone  happy Spring Festival! :D

Posted Apr 2, 2015, 12:01 pm
I am in Japan!!! I'm back home!
I would like to say my thanks to HoBi, Eohippus, RikeH, BlackCat, Battery_Star, papa_always.
Thank you very very much!
They gave me wonderful time.
I'm really glad to see my brother again!
Thank you again for all.

Posted Apr 9, 2015, 9:55 am
Today we went to White Cloud Temple.
  This Temple is the chief temple of The Three Ancestral Temple of the Quan Zhen Daoist tradition.

Now it have been listed as a historical site under the protection of the Chinese government and it houses the Chinese Daoist Association, the Institue of Chinese Daoist Culture, the Chinese Daoist college and the Editorial Department of The Journal of The Chinese Taoism.

In photos  bidage is Wo Feng Bridge,Was initially built in the forty-fifth year(1706) under the regime of Kangxi, Emperor Shengzu in the Qing Dynasty, and was rebuilt in 1988. There are coins and bronze bells hanging aiong both sides of the bridge openings. Visitors may pray for good luck by throwing coins to hit the bronze bells, and the act is called “hitting the gold coin”, which has become one of the folk activities through which tourists and prayers pray for good luck.

There are many Temple in here.Inside the temple to the different gods,each of the gods and goddesses of different things,people went to the temple to pray for the god's protection,You can ask the gods and make wish. :D
Did you know what was the wish I made in the temple? :p

Posted Apr 15, 2015, 1:49 am
The cherry blossoms are blooming beautifully now.
Blue skies, cherry blossoms, along the walkway, It was so beautiful.
I really had a wonderful time.

Posted May 8, 2015, 7:39 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 Jul 20, 2015, 10:27 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, 4:01 am
We went to the Hakone open air museum.
I really had a great time.
Bye for now.

Posted Oct 4, 2015, 1:57 am
I went to Kannonzaki park with Josie.
We played by the coast. I had a great time.

Posted Nov 3, 2015, 1:09 am
I am going on a trip to Canada.
I've been looking forward to this day.
I'm so excited.
See you!

Posted Nov 23, 2015, 3:31 am
Hi Mum,

I am in Canada :D. Today there was suddenly a lot of action around my travelling quarters :o.

And when I came out I found a crowd of TVs welcoming me to Calgary :). They were very impressed with the chocolate I brought with me B). They were even more impressed that I managed not to eat all of it on my way here ;).

As it always happens in this cases, the night went by chatting and eating ;).

Posted Dec 1, 2015, 2:48 am
Hi Mum,

winter is definitely here and today we went checking out the fresh snow outside of Calgary ;). When we parked the car it was obvious that there was no shortage of it.

As we moved up the trail all the forest was clad in white :)...

...and occasionally we could see that the it looked pretty much the same all around us.

When we reached the highest point of the day the clouds were really nice and opened up to let us enjoy the view :).

However they were not nice for long :rolleyes:, and soon we could not seen 10 m away, so we slowly headed back home.

Posted Dec 20, 2015, 3:34 pm
Hi Mum,

We had a bit more snow this week, but today it was quite clear, so we went for a nice walk in the foothills :). Well, actually there was a bit more snow than we expected during the first part of the walk, which caused smaug to be a bit grumpy :rolleyes:. Anyway, eventually we reached the top of Eagle Hill, where we had a great view of the valley we just followed…

…and of the Bow Valley gap into the Rockies :D.

As it happens, the wind was pretty much gale force :stare:, so smaug was having some trouble keeping us from taking off and after a couple of near misses, we decided that the inside of the backpack was the place to be in these conditions :rolleyes:.

Posted Dec 20, 2015, 3:44 pm
Hi Mum,

Guess what, we are going on holiday :D! Today we finished packing our suitecase and headed for the airport :).

See you soon from somewhere else ;)!

Posted Jan 3, 2016, 2:30 am
Hi Mum,

I’m in Italy :D! Well, at least so I have been told :rolleyes:. Anyway, time to have a hearty breakfast and when I recover from the jetlag I will investigate further ;).

Posted Jan 3, 2016, 3:11 am
Hi Mum,

OK, sammino explained us that we were planning to do some skiing :D, but not a single flake of snow (or drop of water for what it matters) has appeared around here in almost two months :stare:. As a result, skiing, despite a lot of artificial snow been prepared and a good number of runs available, does not sound as great as it normally would :rolleyes:, so, to avoid those breakfasts turning us in little barrels ;), we are doing a bit of hiking instead :). Today we went close to town and we soon stumbled in what seemed to be a pit with stone walls.

As it happens, it appears that in the past it was an oven used to make lime that could eventually be turned into quicklime :o.

After that it was mostly uphill going without any “cultural” excuse for catching our breath :rolleyes:, but at last we reached the summit from where we could enjoy great views west :),…

…, north…

…and east.

We assumed the south looked great too, but the sun is a bit low this time of the year and it was parked just there. So looking south just ended in a few burned retinas :rolleyes:.

Posted Jan 5, 2016, 9:36 pm
Hi Mum,

Today we went to a nice peak close to town :). Early on we found this lovely tiny house :stare:. We knocked at the door and peeped through the windows to see if someone was home, but no one answered :rolleyes: so eventually we moved on.

Much, much later we reached the summit where the view was, of course, great :).

We could also see this lovely lake…

…and Trento in the distance :D.

We found a summit log too! It was kind of hard to get it out of its case :rolleyes:

…but we eventually managed to take it out and left a sign of our presence here B).

On the way down we even found a lovely and quiet spot where we could enjoy a little snack ;).

Posted Jan 6, 2016, 3:36 am
Hi Mum,

Today we went out for another short walk near town :). As we were walking in the forest we came by this boulder. As it happens, it is not just a boulder sitting in the forest :stare:. Well technically it is :rolleyes:, but it is also an erratic boulder, that has nothing to do with the rocks found in this area and that was probably dropped here by a glacier at the end of the last ice age :o.

Later on we found another interesting item. This was a rain shelter used by shepherds working in this area a long time ago :o. It looked frightfully uncomfortable, so we decided against waiting for a rain shower to test how waterproof it is :rolleyes:.

On the way we found a summit log, despite the fact that we were barely over halfway to the summit (this is a strange trail indeed ;)). Nevertheless we decided that, of course,  we should sign it B).

At last we reached the actual summit. There was no summit log here, but we found a lovely spot to rest and enjoy the sunshine while eating a little treat :D.

Back home in the afternoon we had a surprise: Landroval and Sigfrido had just arrived home for the holidays :D. As usual, a long night of chatting followed ;).

Posted Jan 18, 2016, 2:34 am
Hi Mum,

Merry Christmas :D!

Tonight we are celebrating Christmas Eve :). There was quite a lot of food on the table :), but our attention focused mostly on dessert ;).

Posted Jan 18, 2016, 2:44 am
Hi Mum,

Today we are heading to the airport to fly back to Canada, so this morning we said goodbye to Tatanka and Sigfrido who will stay in Europe :).

Posted Jan 18, 2016, 3:05 am
Hi Mum,

We have quite a long connection in Frankfurt, but luckily we managed to convince smaug to get a few supplies that will help making the wait less boring ;).

Posted Jan 24, 2016, 1:14 am
Hi Mum,

Happy New Year :D!

We are a still bit too tired and jet-lagged to engage in big celebrations, but at least we still have some of the tasty supplies we grabbed yesterday at the airport ;).

Posted Jan 24, 2016, 1:46 am
Hi Mum,

After a few days of "funny" weather, today it was beautifully sunny, so we headed to the mountains :). When we arrived at the parking lot we noticed that it was a bit cold :stare: and we therefore suggested to go back home and admire the sunny sky from an indoor location :rolleyes:.

Nevertheless, smaug would not listen and said that we were going to be fine. So after a bit walking we found a nice spot to peek at the landscape from between the trees.

Later we found an even nicer viewpoint :).

At that point we begged sammino to convince smaug to take us back to the car before our frozen limbs started falling off :o and eventually we spent the afternoon at home trying to thaw out :rolleyes:.

Posted Jan 24, 2016, 2:10 am
Hi Mum,

Today it was time to say goodbye to all my friends here in Calgary and get ready to travel back home :). And the great thing is that I will not travel alone since Landroval will come with me :D.

Before I left sammino gave me a big hug and wished me a safe journey :).

See you soon :D!

Posted Jan 30, 2016, 12:57 pm
I have arrived in Japan! I had a really fantastic time.
Thank you so much, dear smaug!
It's getting late. See you soon.

Posted Jan 30, 2016, 1:03 pm
Wow! Today I am packed and ready to travel to the Russia!!!
See you again!

Posted Feb 13, 2016, 8:53 pm
Hi Mum!

So here am I in Russia, yey! :D ;)
Everything is fine! I was given a warm welcome by Galiya apa and her family as well as by Gustav, another toyvoy! Everybody thanks you for your present, the chocolate was very tasty indeed! :p

Warm hugs!

Posted Feb 23, 2016, 8:29 pm
Hello Mum! or Selam! That's in Tatar! :)

I'm fine!:) Today we went to a local postcrossers' meeting)) So some pictures here))

Posted Mar 7, 2016, 11:09 am
Hi Mum!

Sorry for my writing not so often :rolleyes: I'm having my pictures taken and I just can't reach the laptop to update my travelogue))

Today we vizited a master class on flower arrangement, it was beautiful!)))

Love you!

Posted Mar 19, 2016, 6:31 pm
Hello Mummy! :rolleyes:

Today we went to a small Tatar village called Kyzyl Yeshler where Galiya apa's parents own a house. They visit it at the weekends usually. It was nice :) Here are some pictures!

Miss you,

Posted Apr 4, 2016, 11:32 am
Hi Mum! :rolleyes:
Today Galiya apa had something to do in the city centre, so we also went for a walk there!
Going out of the metro:

The Qol Sharif mosque:

The Bolaq canal:

Up the hill!

The Kazan Kremlin (the World Heritage by the way B)):

Where to go?:)

The National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan:

The Kremlin street:

One of the buildings of the the State University where Galiya apa studied (the high one in the background)

The National Library in the foreground. It is an old mansion with very beautiful interiors!

The University street:

I hope you enjoyed this walk as I did ;)
Love you,


Posted Apr 10, 2016, 4:55 pm
Hi Mummy!

I've tasted Hibiscus tea today! Galiya apa's husband went for an educational trip to Egypt where this tea is very widespread! I loved it :rolleyes: And I had some chocolate and halva spread to taste from there too ;)

Posted Apr 21, 2016, 7:12 pm
Hello Mum!
Galiya apa went to show her son an exhibition of wild birds held in a trade and entertainment center and I joined them, of course :rolleyes:
Some pictures below!
Hugs and kisses!


Posted Jun 10, 2016, 3:23 pm
Hi Mummy!
I'm not lost :rolleyes: Galiya apa had difficult times, her son's allergy worsened, but now everything is fine, and I'm back with my updates)

We went for a walk and to eat out in the old Tatar district before the holy month of Ramadan.

On our way past the Tatar State Academic theatre (with the blue roof):

The sculpture is dedicated to a fairy tale called "Shurale" written by a famous Tatar poet G.Tukay.

The Qaban lake:

The old Tatar district:

Galiya apa went to the Mardjani mosque to pray. It's the oldest mosque in Kazan since Ivan the Terrible conquered it, the ones built before that were destroyed.
(a small museum inside)

At the cafe:

That's all for now! Bye! Love you!

Posted Jun 23, 2016, 9:34 pm
Hi Mum!

We went to a "Jurassic park"! The park is situated near the Kazanka river and in front of the big new "Kazan-Arena" stadium. All the dinosaurs are moving and making noises, it's a pity I can't show you that on the photos :rolleyes: So, just look and enjoy ;)


Posted Jul 9, 2016, 11:42 pm
Hi Mummy!!
This is my last update here in Kazan :thinking: :( Galiya apa can't host toyvoys at the moment, but I'm really happy I was here :rolleyes:
So, this weekend we went to the teddy bears' museum situated in the entertainment complex called "Tugan awylym" (it's translated from Tatar as "Home village").
Love you too Mum!:) See you soon!

Posted Jul 29, 2016, 9:37 pm
Hi Mum!
I'm returning back home! I'm taking a Tatar surprise with me!;) Wait and see!

Posted Aug 11, 2016, 12:25 am
I'm back home! I had a great time in Russia. Thank you so much, Vunder!

Posted Aug 21, 2016, 4:10 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, 11:12 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 Nov 23, 2016, 2:37 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, 2:39 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, 4:42 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, 4:51 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".