Smooch, Buitenpost, Netherlands


Posted Jun 26, 2007, 10:07 pm
Smooch is on his way to the Czech-Republic to visit with Ondrej...
He is travelling by airmail I hope..but was quite nervous to leave home for the first time.

But as a Cow he is brave and no Cow-(ard) right? B)
So I know he wil be fine ..and we all wished him a Safe journey.Wendy waved and blowed kisses to him  :p

More later from his guest address ..

Posted Jun 28, 2007, 1:35 pm
Hello from Prague!

I arrived safe and sound. Struppi, Bestik and two other fellows unwrapped me.

As a patriotic cow, I'm carrying my own wooden shoes with me.

I can't wait to see the Charles Bridge - they say it's really nice!

Posted Jun 29, 2007, 4:41 pm
Rumours about the beauty of Charles Bridge were absolutely true.

I started my sightseeing on the Lesser Town Square, where St. Nicholas Church is situated.

The Lesser Town Bridge Towers - the smaller one is older and is called Judith's tower, because it belonged to former Judith's Bridge, destroyed by flood in 1342 (Judith von Thüringen was wife of Bohemian Prince Vladislav II, who built that older bridge).

I and Struppi were a bit tired, so we sat on the edge of the bridge and had some rest.

Let's go on!

I watched the Prague Castle over the Vltava river for a while.

And here is Charles IV, who built the present bridge in 1357.

Now the Charles Bridge is just behind us.

Posted Jul 1, 2007, 11:38 am
I found a great book here! It's called For the Childern and it's full of nice pictures and rhymes by Josef Lada.

Posted Jul 4, 2007, 7:56 am
Struppi challenged me to a chess game, which I simply couldn't refuse. But it was quite difficult to move such big chessmen!

Posted Jul 5, 2007, 8:03 pm
Do you remember the St. Nicholas' Church? Today I decided to climb a belfry that stands next to this church and see Prague from its top. It was quite exhausting, but the view was magnificent.

It's pretty high, isn't it? But I'm still not on the top.

This bell was used to warn citizens of Lesser Town in case of danger (fire, enemy attack etc.).

Who can find the Lesser Town Bridge Towers? (A little hint: I visited them on Friday ;))

Church of Our Lady Under the Chain belongs to Knights of Malta.

Another church - this one is dedicated to St. Thomas.

From St. Nicholas Church, it's not far to the Prague Castle, so I took the occassion to visit this amazing historical complex.

I was a bit hungry; therefore I tried some grass of Prague Castle Gardens. It was very tasty - and among others, I fulfilled one of my life missions!

I also met the Castle Patrol. Do you think they have some uniforms in my size?

The Basilica of Saint George was founded in the 10th century.

It took over six centuries to build St. Vitus Cathedral, but I think it was worth it.

Posted Jul 11, 2007, 7:20 pm
Do you like this building? It's the Municipal House, built in 1912.

The Powder tower is much older (it comes from 15th century). If it reminds you of the Old Town Bridge Tower, you are right - both towers were repaired and partially rebuilt by the same architect in 19th century.

This pig, which probably got lost in the big city, asked me for directions. I hope my suggestions were sufficient.

Posted Jul 12, 2007, 5:21 pm
I really like Prague, but as I decided to travel, I can't stay for a long time at one place. Now I'm on my way southwards - to Slovenia!

Posted Jul 16, 2007, 1:18 pm
Smooch has finally arrived to next destination and he feels happy to be outside of his travel home. He has already gone rollerblading with me, but right now he's having some nice chat with his cow friends. 
When he arrived he was first greeted by a very unusual monster. Smooch has complained about not being able to fight the monster, because this monster wanted to give him a hug. He also wondered what kind of land is this, where monsters are all sweet and friendly.
In the afternoon he will probably rest, as he isn't really enthusiastic about going to the gym with me.

Posted Jul 17, 2007, 9:15 am
Today I decided to type this by myself. It's just more fun that way, don't you think so.
Yesterday afternoon my host convinced me to go to the gym with her, so I went there for moral support. Of course, being as beautiful as I am, I didn't need any workout at all, but I helped my host. Unfortunately her batteries were empty, so there are no photo to prove my great ways of workout cheering.
Today I was woked up really early, at around 6 o' clock, when my host took the monster, who's name is Bon, out for a walk. Being very tired from my travel I decided to rest some more and she didn't mind at all. So I turned around in my bed and sleept till 9 o' clock, when my tummy started to make noises. I then left to eat some breakfast, which was ok. I will now help my host learn some stuff for school and I will finally get some time to chat with her toys. Abd believe me there are loads of friends to meet.

Posted Jul 18, 2007, 6:43 am
Yesterday was a busy afternoon for me. First I helped my host working on the last page of a traveling notebook, that she joined at postcrossing. Then I have spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with my relatives here in Slovenia. I have found out that life here is ok, but that we're soon expecting even hotter weather. Never the less I enjoyed talking to them while being outside.
On the bright side I have found out that there is a possibility of meeting some real cows here. Can't wait :P

Posted Jul 18, 2007, 6:57 am
Today I was once again woken at 6 am, but this time I was invited to go for a walk with my host and Bon. Despite being tired I decided that I needed some fresh air and I wanted to see where I was staying of course. Since I was still a bit sleepy I gladly occupied free pocket in a backpack so that I was carried around.
And I was glad I did so, because we went for a nice walk and I had many beautiful things to see. Even tough this area is more of a poluted area and is not really famous for it's nature, I think that here where I am, the nature isn't as bad as I have expected. That is probably because my host doesn't live in the city, but a few km away from it, out on the countryside.
On this walk I have finally seen some cows, but unfortunately they were hiding in the shadow and I couldn't get totally close to them, because their field was wired. Still I did see them and they saw me and even greeted me nicely.
The walk was really refreshing and I will certainly do it again.
In the afternoon I will probably go to the vet, but do not worry, I am all right. I am completely healthy and happy. But my new friend monster Bon has gotten an allergy of some sort, which causes that his tail really itches and he has been biting it. Since it hasn't gotten any better inspite of the medications, he will probably get a shot today. I really sympathize with him and he is gratefull for that.

Posted Jul 20, 2007, 10:56 am
Yesterday was a busy day. I slept in till around 7.30, when I decided to go with my host to meet her friend. We walked almost 40 minutes and went almost to the valley. Bon went with us of course.  On the way down we saw some nice fields and even a deer, but it ran away to fast to take a picture of me and the deer. On the other hand my host show me a thing called kozolec.  It's nothing special, just a place where farmers dry hay. Kozolec is  a bit typical building for my hosts country, so she wanted to show it to me. I didn't find anything really special about it, but I have been told that there are loads of different varieties of this building. 
I was really tired on the way down so my host gave me something to drink. I got to taste water with the taste of peach and it was way tastier than normal water.
When we came home I was totally tired, but I decided to listen to the conversation between my host and her friend. It was really weird to listen them talking in some foreign language which I haven't understand.  So my host lend me her iPod and I got to listen some Slovenian music. It wasn't bad at all, I actually kind of liked it. 
The afternoon was really hot, so I decided to spent some time with some toyfriends. And belive me, I have made so many friends here. It seems like I came in the toyland.
In the evening I had some movie time. I watched the new Harry Potter movie.
Today I am going out to the gym in the afternoon, but I may go out in the evening.

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 11:39 am
It's been a long time since I last wrote here and the reason for that is that my host has been quite busy and also had some minor camera problems. You might wonder what I have been doing since I last wrote.
My days weren't really filled with adventures.  I have finally managed to see some parts of Trbovlje (tough unfortunatelly all the pictures were ruined by the stupid camera). But since this was the case my host decided to give me some of her postcards, that she collects, about her country. She's really sorry for the troubles but hopes that they will be a nice thing to decorate my owners room. She's got her walls covered with postcards and she somehow imagined that maybe my owner could enjoy seeing some postcards too.
On Friday my host was totally estatic since she is a Harry Potter fan. We checked all websites for any possible clue about the story and we ordered a book in a presale so that she could read it as soon as possible. I  wasn't sure if I wanted to read it, but she convinced me to try it at least.
On Saturday we woke up really soon because we were expecting to see the postman really early, but we were wrong. He never arrived and my host was really angry, because she was supposed to get the book. Luckily for me, she didn't mope around all day, but took me for a walk around. We went to see the near building area, where they're fixing some roads. I even learned how to do some basic things. Since my host is studying engineering she was able to tell me some basic things, but me, being the smart cow, already knew most of them.
But I have also got the chance to see some things connected with the minery tradition of this region. Coal used to be very important for Zasavje and Trbovlje, so my host show me some things connected with it. I have met a mine worker statue and a real old mine lamp, that was used by miners in the past.  She has also told me a legend about Perkmandelc, a troublemaking dwarf that lives in caves, plays jokes on miners but protects them against danger.

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 12:22 pm
On Monday we still didn't received the book, which was really annoying, but my host didn't want to make my stay worthless, so she decided to show me some traditional things from Slovenia.
First she took me to the thing called Lectovo srce or Lebkuchen. That is originally German thing, but seeing the fact that Slovenia has been connected with Germany in the past, they kind of made this German tradition a part of their own. It's basicly a gingerbread cookies, decorated with nuts, honey, almonds,... They can be eaten, but their purpouse is more of decorative one. What is somehow different in Slovenia is that only the front side is decorated, while the backside is empty.
Then I was shown an old coffe maker and some home made alcohol. Slovenia has got a lot of different sorts of alcohol, but it's especially known for it's wine. But I was however more impressed with the old coffe maker, because I don't enjoy alcohol.  I also liked the old wooden rocking seat and old watch, the wool maker and the wine maker.
But what really amazed me was some traditional art. I was shown a butterfly, a flower and a cow horn that was made for cow herders in the past.  I was told that this horn was made for an event called Cow ball, which happened each autumn in Bohinj. It's basicly the time wheb people from Bohinj remember old ways of life, when herders lived in the hills durring spring and summer with their cows and returned to the valley in autumn to spend the winter in the valley. Of course when they returned they had celebrations.

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 12:28 pm
The book is finally here and my host is very, very happy.  We have already started reading it. Do you wonder how long will it take me to read it?!?

Posted Aug 4, 2007, 5:07 pm
This week I arrived to Hungary!!!
I already got to know the family and the pets.:) Everybody loves me and kind to me!:)
Yesterday we went to the city center and visited Szandra's father at his office and made some pictures from the window. As you see on the photos, I'm not alone, Dilbert is also a toyvoyager, he came from England, and we became really good friends.
We are very excited because tomorrow we all travel to Italy for a week! I'm waiting it so much!!! And my host promised me that after we came back, she will show me the capital city, Budapest.
Now, it's time to go. Me and Dilbert help with packing into the bags.

Posted Aug 13, 2007, 12:32 pm
C-i-a-ooo Tutti!;)
We arrived back from Italy yesterday evening.
Me, Dilbert, Simba, Szandra and her family had a very great time together. Today it's 13rd of August, but I thought I update the perevious days of my blog. So, start at the 5th of August:
We started our trip very early morning and we travelled by car. We went thru Croatia and Slovenia. When we stopped for a few minutes in Slovenia I thought for Nikar and for the nice days that we spent together.
We laughted a lot in the car, but in the last few hours I was very tired and decided to sleep a little bit.
We tried to make some photos from the car, however these can't give back the feeling of the beautiful lands.
And when we arrived we walked in the beach and relaxed in the balcony.

Posted Aug 13, 2007, 1:07 pm
Next day we sunbathed on the beach and played in the sand. I wanted to build a sandcastle, but the weather was very hot, so I chose the comfortable bed and the beach umbrella.:)

Posted Aug 13, 2007, 1:15 pm
Dilber and Me collected a lot of shells and we enjoyed seeing the big ships from the bathing platform.

Posted Aug 13, 2007, 1:25 pm
We went for a trip to Chioggia witch is like a little Venecie, but there aren't so big drove as there. I really loved that little city.

Posted Aug 18, 2007, 6:21 pm
The day before yesterday we made a short trip by bicycle and visited the Universtiy of Miskolc. It's called "University city" because there are a lot of departments and buildings.
It can look back on a 270-year-old history.
Szandra helped me to find a pic about the campus locations and there is also an explanation:

1 Main entrance
2 Library
3 Research Institute of Applied Chemistry
4 SZÜV (Computer and Office Management Company)
5 Department of Physical Education
  University Sports Hall
6  Sports Grounds, Tennis Courts, Tennis Club
7 Institute of Information Technology

Car park
Bus route
(No. 12, 20, 22)
Bus route
(No. 2) 

E/1-E/7  Bolyai Student Halls, guest rooms

A/4        Central Building:
Rector's Office, Deans' Offices, Departments of the Faculties of Earth Science and Engineering ,
Mechanical Engineering and Economics

A/1-3, A/5 Departments of the Faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Economics, lecture halls, classrooms

A/6  Departments of the Faculty of Law, Foreign Language Teaching Centre, English and German
Departments of the Faculty of Arts, lecture halls, classrooms

B/1, C/1  Departments of the Faculty of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, lecture halls, classrooms

B/2  Office of the Dean and Departments of the Faculty of Arts, lecture halls, classrooms

B/3, B/4 Centre for Further and Continuing Education
North-Hungarian Regional Centre for Distance Education

C/2, C/3  Workshop building and laboratories

Posted Aug 18, 2007, 6:35 pm
These pictures were taken also in the area of the university.
I loved the mini oil rig.:) It's there because oil engineers are educated also here.


Posted Aug 18, 2007, 6:42 pm
Finally a pic next to the Miskolc-Tapolca slap.:) This part of the city is where Szandra and her family live. Many tourist visit that place, because there are a beautiful big park and a cave bath.

Posted Aug 31, 2007, 3:26 pm
I didn't want to leave Hungary without seeing the capital, Budapest! And this little trip was a great end of the time that I spent in Hungary! I had a glad day, and we had a real nice summer weather!
I wanted to see everything, however we hadn't enough time for that, I saw the main sights of Budapest. We walked thru the Heroes square, went to see the Castle of Vajdahunyad, the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, the Parliament and set down to see the ships on the river Danube. If I should choose, which was the greatest point of the day, I would tell that walking in the park of the Vajdahunyad castle. Everything was so quiet and calm... I asked Szandra to stop for a minute, I just wanted to listen to the twittery of birds. I evoked my home and I became sad for a moment, but than I imagined how many great experiences are coming on my way!!!
Goodbye Hungary, Greece is waiting for me!!! Yeee B)


Posted Aug 31, 2007, 4:51 pm
I try to upload my pics in smaller divisions, because the system didn't let to put them into the right order! :mad: :D

So, here you can see the photos that we made in the park of the Vajdahunyad castle.


Posted Aug 31, 2007, 4:52 pm
The Széchenyi Thermal Spa:


Posted Aug 31, 2007, 4:54 pm
And finally the Parliament and the river Danube:

Posted Sep 11, 2007, 5:03 am
Hello! I am in Greece! I can't wait to meet a new city!!

Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:44 am
Today i decided to go a walk with my friend Phileas and arxitempela"s friend areir to Cyprus Square in Kallithea!
The weather was really hot, so we stopped for a break in front of the central fountain, which was unfortunatelly out of order!!

Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:57 am
Later, we went for a coffee or better for a brownie with ice cream

but I was still hungry, so I choose to taste a "souvlaki", the greek traditional food and now I understand the reason why this food is so popular!!

Posted Oct 17, 2007, 5:11 am
Sunday arxitempela took me a walk in the center of Athens!
We walked in "ermou" street, the shopping and touristic center...

Posted Oct 17, 2007, 5:20 am
And later we met Philea with areir in "Sintagma" square!

Here a photo of me with background the greek Parliament

and here a photo with Philea in front of recycling center

Posted Oct 24, 2007, 6:22 pm
In arxitempela's house, i met and made my friends, her friends

and Duck family

Posted Oct 24, 2007, 6:28 pm
Well, lets serfing in net

Oh, somebody caught me red handed to eat some chocolate...

And now it's to time to rest before I start my new trip!

Posted Oct 28, 2007, 11:19 am
A last walk in the biggest mall in Athens

and out of the mall

and one photo with background the stadium "OAKA",  where the most sports of Olympic games took place

Posted Nov 9, 2007, 9:39 am
I arrived in Vienna/Austria today!!! I'm still a bit tired from the looong journey but I was told that I'll have time to relax during the weekend because my hosts are all a bit ill and so we won't do much during the next days...

But I'm sur I won't get bored here nevertheless because I'm in good company of Cassiopeia, the colourful turtle from Germany, Frankie, a little giraffe from Holland, Decker the friendly British lion, Jade, a crazy Dutch Kremlin and Eddie Bear, my mate also from the UK.

Posted Jan 2, 2008, 9:07 am
Oh, how busy we were to bake Christmas biscuits! There was a wonderful smell everywhere in the flat and they tasted really delicious!

Posted Jan 2, 2008, 10:24 am
We spent a day at the famous "Christkindlmarkt" in front of the City hall. I did a ride on a Merry-go-round, watched all the really beautiful things sold there, visited the crib with the holy family inside and my host was so nice to buy a gingerbread heart for me. That's a tradition there I was told - a very delicious one! Christkindlmarkt is even more beautiful at night but the photos didn't come out...


Posted Jan 2, 2008, 10:46 am
One day we visited "Naschmarkt", the biggest market in Vienna. It was very impressive to see all the different fruits, spices etc they offered there. We bought alot and had a big fruit salad that evening...

Posted Jan 2, 2008, 11:01 am
I also did alot of sightseeing in Vienna. A few our host took me and the other toyvoyagers to the city center.

We saw the old "Hofburg" which was the former residence of the Habsburg family. Nowadays it hosts the Spanish riding school, some museums, the President's office and the national gallery. We also passed by Heldentor which is just next  to Hofburg.

Then we went to Karlsplatz where we visited this wonderful church with its 2 towers and we had a look at one of the most beautiful subway stations in Vienna. It was built in "Jugendstil" which is very similar to Art nouveau but can only be found in Vienna.

We also saw the 2 museums: one is for nature and the other one for historical arts. They are built face to face and look exactly like twins.

Posted Jan 2, 2008, 11:09 am
We continued our sightseeing-tour to the opera (oh, how much would I love to watch a play there but I was told that bears are not allowed in there - what a pitty!) and to the Austrian parliament.

Then I saw the Secession with its golden roof, a kind of Gallery, also built in Jugendstil and the Old Imperial Theatre.

Posted Jan 2, 2008, 8:52 pm
We also visited the big amusement park in Vienna - Prater. What a pitty that it is closed during winter, only the Big Wheel moved, but we had a nice walk alround though...

Posted Jan 2, 2008, 8:56 pm
Our host also took us to the Belvedere castles. There are 2 of them - the upper and the lower one - and they are both built in Baroque style. The Upper one is the more impressive one and it hosts the Austrian National Gallery with pictures from Klimt, Schiele etc.

Posted Jan 2, 2008, 9:03 pm
On our sightseeing tour we also passed by Danube-tower, Austria's highest building and we spent some time again next to the City Hall. There is a big park and during Christmas time all the trees are nicely decorated with lanterns etc.

And do you know what I found next to City Hall? A clock counting down the days until the European Soccer Championship will start. I was told that it will take place in Austria and Switzerland - so maybe I should go back to Vienna in June?

Posted Jan 2, 2008, 9:10 pm
Have you ever heart about Hundertwasser-Haus? It's the most colourful house in Vienna created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. There is nothing special inside just normal flats, but it is soooo beautiful!

Posted Feb 3, 2008, 7:59 am
Today we did a trip to Slovakia and visited Bratislava. How exciting to go abroad not being packed into an envelope but seeing how to pass the boarder

It was a freezy day but we had great fun walking through the city center, visiting the Christmas Market, the opera and then walking up the big hill to the castle. We sat in a restaurant and had a (not very typical) lunch for quite some time so when we came out it was already quite dark. So my host says sorry for the bad quality of the pictures... But in reality Bratislava was a very interesting and beautiful place!

Posted Feb 3, 2008, 8:01 am
I celebrated Christmas in Vienna this year!! With all the traditions they have here, with a little chaos (since I'm staying in a family with 3 little kids) and with alot of joy!

The kids were very excited about Christmas and could hardly wait for the big day to come. So they had an advent calendar with 24 little mooses and every morning I helped them to find the "Moose of the day" - how funny 

We also did alot of preparations and decorations, one day my host even decided to bake a crib from Gingerbread! Hmmmm how delicious - but it came out soo beautiful that nobody wanted to eat it...

Posted Feb 3, 2008, 8:03 am
We had a wonderful Christmas tree - such a big one that it didn't even fit on the photo, ha, ha! There were many decorations on it and some chocolates (well, I helped to organize everything so I was allowed to pick the first chocolate, yummy!)

Christmas Eve itself was very funny! After everything was prepared the "Christkind" came (kids in Austria don't believe in Santa I was told but in the Christkind), we sang some songs (well, I guess the family won't get famous as a choir...) and then we all were allowed to open the presents. They were really lucky to have me with them this year because I helped alot with that!!!


Posted Feb 3, 2008, 8:05 am
After Christmas we left Vienna to go on a winter holiday. First we stayed at my host's parents in Upper Austria which was very nice because there was some snow and I enjoyed to play outdoors alot! Strange thing, this snow... but I got used to it and finally I really liked it!

The family went skiing several times and I joined them to the mountains. Well "mountains"... these were no real mountains (at least not what I expected from Austrian mountains...) rather hills but I was told that we would go to the real mountains pretty soon


Posted Feb 3, 2008, 8:07 am
Well, and that was exactly what we did a few days later. We went to Zell am See, a small town beautifully located within the Alps very close to Austria's highest mountain "Großglockner". And there I found some real mountains!!!

I was allowed to go skiing with my hosts again! We went up to "Schmittenhöhe" (more than 2000 m) by cablecar, which was a completely new experience for me. The view from up there was really amazing towards all the other mountains (some of them are more than 3.500 m high!!)

On the last photo you can see me with some of the other Toyvoyagers I got to know here: Decker, Eddie Bear, Jade, Frankie, Kanga and Cassiopeia.

Posted Feb 3, 2008, 8:09 am
Since my host loves Salzburg and since it was only about 100 km from Zell am See we once went there to do some sightseeing and enjoy a lóng walk through the city center. So I got to see the old fortress on the hill, had a walk through "Getreidegasse", the most famous street in Salzburg where I also saw the house where Mozart was born. Then we went to listen to the bells in a tower called "Glockenspiel", had a look at the big dome and we also visited Mirabell castle. I was told that it is very beautiful to walk through its park in summer when they have tons of flowers growing there!

Posted Feb 3, 2008, 8:12 am
I had a great time in Austria but unfortunately everything nice has an end too, and so I had to continue my trip today. I left Austria for my next destination: the UK! Wow, I'm really curious what I'll experience there ;)

Posted Mar 8, 2008, 1:23 pm
Hi all, just a quick note to say i have arrived in Preston at last, i think i must have been lost in the mail as that was quite a long journey. No pictures yet as my new host just wanted to let everyone know that i am here and okay. Well im off for a well deserved rest after all ive been through !!!! lol !!!
Pictures will be following soon.
Love to all

Smooch x x x

Posted Mar 26, 2008, 6:46 pm
Well Peeps, its not really been nice enough to go anywhere or do anything, so yet again, me and mumble had to play indoors, samson the puppy was very good and came up with a few games (mainly hide and seek). Our Host will hopefully take us out this weekend before we go to our new homes.
Ta Ta For Now
Love Smooch x x x

Posted May 11, 2008, 10:25 pm
I have arrived in London where the weather is very hot indeed. We went for a picnic in Greenwich Park, which was very pleasant under  our shady tree. I sampled some of the grass which was extremely tasty and not dried up at all.

Posted May 12, 2008, 10:27 pm
It was another beautiful sunny day and I was eager to get out and see the sights. My friend Mumble was in London just a couple of weeks ago and he had told me all about some of the best places to go. Taking his advice, I began with an excursion to Trafalgar Square. Because it was so hot I felt very tempted to take a shower in one of the fountains but a sign said that this wasn't allowed and I certainly didn't want the police to arrest me so early in my visit.

Posted May 18, 2008, 4:43 pm
This evening in Greenwich I spied a strange sculpture. I don't know what it is but I quite like it!

Posted May 18, 2008, 4:48 pm
Today I ate some flowers, which were simply delicious. Unfortunately, before I had the chance to sample all of them Travel Ted told me that I had to stop because they belonged to his foster-gran and humans are strange creatures who like to keep flowers in their gardens without eating them at all! Luckily it was ok for me to eat the grass because it was apparently 'overdue for mowing'.

Posted May 29, 2008, 7:01 pm
I had a very busy day of sightseeing around the River Thames.

The first thing I saw was the big wheel called the London Eye, which was erected as part of the millennium celebrations. Nearby were some very strange sculptures by Salvador Dali. I couldn't decide whether I liked them or not. I must say that I didn't really understand what they were all about.


Posted May 29, 2008, 7:06 pm
Over the river I saw a very famous London sight: Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. I decided to cross the bridge for a closer look. This is an area of London called Westminster. I had my picture taken outside Westminster underground station but you can't read the name very well in the picture. Looking back across the river to where I had found the Salvador Dali sculpture gave me a very good view of County Hall, which I though was a very nice buidling. It houses some museums and the London Aquarium.

Posted May 29, 2008, 7:12 pm
Trotting a little further along the Victoria Embankment I came across another rather odd scultpure. This was the 'Battle of Britain Monument', which commemorates the soldiers who took part in one of the most decisive battles during the Second World War. I must say that I thought it slightly scary. Next to it was another war memorial for the Royal Air Force, which had a big golden eagle on the top. I liked that one better.

Posted Jun 4, 2008, 8:40 pm
On my last night in England Travel Ted and I stayed up late dreaming of all the places we still had to visit. Tomorrow morning I will be leaving for France, which is a good start.

Posted Jul 8, 2008, 2:04 pm
Smooch arrived in France after a short travel from England.
She began her stay in France with a visit of Toulouse.
Unfortunately, the wheather was grey.. Anyway, here is she in front of the town hall called the Capitole
You can see the different flags flying in the wind : the european one, the french one, and the red one shows the occitan cross which is the symbol of the town.

On the place, stands a strange tent. In fact it's a Berber tent, wher you can enter and hear story tales...

Smooch stayed a few minutes to listen to one, then she went on her way, visiting the Henri IV courtyard
Look at his statue above...

Then, she went to the old Donjon

and she visited the "Salle des Illustres" with its old paintings she really enjoyed!

She was very proud to see this painting about old work in the fields


Posted Jul 8, 2008, 2:22 pm
Today, Smooch had a rendez-vous, in a french café, where she drank a small cup of strong black coffee

The weather is still grey, but she wanted to have a walk in Toulouse, to carry on her discovering of the town.
This time, we went along the river Garonne.

Behind Smooch on the left is the Pont Neuf, recognizable with its arches.

She had a glance at the telescope

towards the art school

And then, we walk to the Jacobins convent

It's very quiet and silent... Smooch enjoyed the cloister!

But she was also very impressed when she came into the church

There was an exhibition in the old refectory, about Arab sciences but Smooch spent a long time in front of this old book

We just wonder why ??

Posted Jul 28, 2008, 2:41 pm
I`m here in the land of cows and cowbells. Hurrah!!!!! :D

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 2:23 pm
Well I think this place is very beautiful and look I have made friends with lots of other cows - it`s a cow party!!! :D

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 12:36 am
So here I am in La Belle France checking it out. Nice...... but I haven`t seen any cows yet? B)

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 9:21 am
And out of the back door, I found an old Roman citz. Amaying. This place is verz old :D

Posted Aug 28, 2008, 10:35 am
Look at my balancing act - I should be in the circus with all this talent B)

Posted Oct 31, 2008, 12:23 pm
Well I`m about to set out on my travels again - to Swiss Sunshine and I`m looking forward to it. I dòn`t know if you can see in the photo but here there is snow!!! :p Very exciting

Posted Nov 15, 2008, 2:16 pm
Hi! I've just arrived in Fribourg. I hope I'll have a pleasant stay with Swiss_sunshine!

Posted Dec 13, 2008, 1:31 pm
Hey everybody!! I've been very busy in Switzerland that's why I can upload pictures only now. Sorry Mom if you've been worried. I'm all right.
On my first week at Sunshine's I watched a football game on TV. Switzerland against Finland. The swiss team won 2-1.

Posted Dec 13, 2008, 1:35 pm
Last week I visited Fribourg. It's a little town of 35,000 inhabitants famous for the medieval part of the town that you can see on the following pictures. On the third picture you can see one of the swimming pools of Fribourg. It's name is "La Motta". In Summer it's the meeting point of the inhabitants but in Winter, it's closed (of course! It's toooo cold)

Posted Dec 13, 2008, 1:37 pm
Fribourg is also famous for the cathedral St-Nicolas. Its tower is known all in all the country and even in Europa (but by the scholars of Art History!) I went inside it too. It was nice.

Posted Dec 13, 2008, 1:43 pm
The political system of Switzerland is what we call a "direct democratie". It means that each time the government wants to make changes in the Constitution, the people has to vote to say whether it's ok for them or not. We vote 3 or 4 times a year. On the 30th on November Sunshine had to vote for 5 things among them the prohibition of smoking in bars and night clubs, the legalization of marijuana. The results are the following: yes for the interdiction of smoking and no for the marijuana.

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:21 pm
Then last week I vsitied a Fribourg. The most beautiful thing in this little town of 35,000 inhabitants is the medieval part of the town. You can see it on the following pictures taken from the modern part of the city. As you can see it's really green although it's winter but it's being snowing since we took this photo. Now it's white everywhere!!!

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:22 pm
Fribourg is alos know for it's cathedral St-Nicolas whose tower is the symbol of the town. I went inside to see its gothic style. It is not as big as others cathedrals of France or Germany but it's nice.

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:24 pm
Snow, snow and snow everywhere! It snowed again last week. Fribourg has not been so white for a long time. Here some pictures of Super Grover and I in the snow

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:27 pm
Sunshine is a student of Art History and English Literature. She showed me the building of the University of Fribourg where she studies. Fribourg is a town of 35,000 inhabitants as I've already written. In addition to these inhabitants many students live here because 10,000 people study here. Besides there are other schools like school of Architecture, Engeenering, Nurses, primary school teachers, social workers or school of arts. The town is very young! That's nice!

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:29 pm
We took new pictures of the cathedral St-Nicolas. As the city Hall is nearby, I saw it too!

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:31 pm
As Sunshine likes art, we went to the art museum of Fribourg. As it was closed, we only saw the nice building (an old house) and the garden where there are a lot of sculptures. The last one (the colorful) has been made by Niki de St-Phall, a famous woman-sculptor. She was born in Paris from american parents in 1930. In 1971 she married Jean Tinguely, a famous swiss sculptor born in Fribourg, and acquired the swiss citizenship. Jean and Niki, dead now, are the symbols of Fribourg although they lived in Paris! You can see their works in many famous museums all around the world and in Switzerland too

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:33 pm
Some areas of Fribourg are built on little hill like Sunshine's. She wanted to show us the building where she lives from the top of another hill. We walked there. Oh it was not high at all but as the pavement was slippery, it was a bit dangerous to "climb" on there

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:34 pm
And the pictures of Sunshine's area seen from the hill called "Le Guintzet" It's mainly a residential area but there are also a primary school and a church. A few shops like a bakery or a grocery shop and one or two cafés too but the center is so close that we don't need a lot of shops!

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 3:36 pm
It's time to decorate the house of Christmas!! I don't know if it's also a custom in Australia but in Switzerland, under the Christmas tree and in addition to the presents, we put a Christmas Crib. Sunshin's Mom made one herself and it's so big that in the house they don't have a Christmas Tree, only the Crib! The tree is outside on the balcony.

Posted Feb 1, 2009, 9:00 pm
I have arrived - let's see what Munich will look like!

Posted Feb 8, 2009, 10:00 pm
We went for an early morning walk with the dog. The sun was not yet fully out and in the dim light we crossed the brigdge alongside the German Museum and went down to the Isar river. When we arrived we saw that all was covered with ice.

Posted Feb 8, 2009, 10:21 pm
We walked over the ice - very carefully because it is easy to slip and fall. On some areas the ice cracked when we crossed over.

Posted Feb 21, 2009, 9:09 pm
Then we took a rest on a tree and in the Rosengarten, sitting on a bench in the morning sun  :D

Posted Feb 21, 2009, 9:32 pm
Sometimes we take Maggy, our host's dog, for a walk close to the European Patent Office. We are wondering why all those straw bales are tied around the trees?  :thinking:

Posted Feb 21, 2009, 10:08 pm
We passed by the Königsplatz today. We saw the Lenbachhaus (museum for art - they are showing Kandinsky right now) and the Propylaeum.

Posted Feb 21, 2009, 10:31 pm
The weather has changed and it snowed a lot. Now all the ice along the Isar river is covered with snow.

Posted Feb 22, 2009, 9:43 pm
I passed the European Patent Office again and guess what the bales of straw are for - they're used as bumpers for the kids of the neighborhood going down the little slopes with their toboggans so they do not get hurt (if bumping into a tree)!

Posted Mar 17, 2009, 8:59 pm
Today the weather was cold and rainy - so I refused to get out of the nice and comfy backpack and get a photo taken at the Stachus (Karlsplatz).

Posted Mar 17, 2009, 9:27 pm
As usual I went for a walk with Maggy, our host's dog. We were very surprised when the meadows along the Isar river was suddenly dug up. Later we heard that this part of the Isar close to the German Museum is "under renaturation". In the seventies many rivers were put straigth, now they are put back into the previous natural state.

Posted Mar 17, 2009, 9:33 pm
I accompanied my host to her home town. Sulzbach-Rosenberg is a small town in the North-East of Bavaria. Pandamao showed me the town centre, a former cloister, the castle and town-hall.

Posted Mar 23, 2009, 1:22 pm
Good-bye Munich, today I'll leave for the USA :-)

Posted Mar 31, 2009, 6:53 pm
I made it to Wisconsin!!  :D

Today, despite my arrival making her happy, it was cloudy and windy and also a bit chilly, so we stayed in, watched a movie and I got to taste an ice cream cone. She says she's going to show me more of the "Dairy State".

Smooch :)

Posted Apr 10, 2009, 12:51 am
Today we thought was just another day ... but little did she and I know that we were going to get 2 more travelers ...Nat Noy and Lewis! They came all the way from the last host in Australia!

She was feeling in the mood for a sweet so we all made brownies with marshmallows ... and we got to lick the bowl!

More later! :)

Posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:01 pm
Today I passed by one of the old town gates of Munich - the Isartor. These days a museum is inside.

Posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:05 pm
Soon I'll be leaving Munich and my host said that I have to see at least Marienplatz in the city centre before moving to a new location. I especially liked the glockenspiel in the town hall's tower.

Posted Apr 11, 2009, 6:58 pm
We went out sightseeing today ... it was gorgeous weather!  B)

First stop was to see the official city welcome. The statue is of men playing the sport lacrosse and the flags are American flag, Wisconsin state flag and city flag.

Then we stopped at a park where she showed us where the local baseball team plays. We sat for a photo on a very big baseball bat. We went to a park just down the road... I got to go down the slide and swung on a swing! :)

Posted Apr 11, 2009, 7:15 pm
Next stop was at the Riverside Park which is on the Mississippi River. She was surprised that the local paddle wheeler boat was in the water. It does local tours and eco-tours.

Had to pose for a picture with Hiawatha; she says this was Native American land.

We posed for a friendship picture in the friendship gardens at the park. :)

Saw one of the duck that hang around the park outside the river cleaning himself.

Then I got to see the two blue bridges that connect Wisconsin to Minnesota.

Here is me with a big American flag!  B)

Posted Apr 11, 2009, 7:35 pm
Here I am seeing more ducks in the water. There are a lot of ducks that hang around the park. People like to bring down bread crumbs and feed them.

The children are statues that welcome those who dock here. During the summer there are tourist boats that visit La Crosse.

Posing for a picture with my friends in front of the bridges. :)

A beautiful picture of the Mississippi River looking northwest towards Minnesota.

And a picture of me with a statue of the American Bald Eagle as we leave the park.

Posted Apr 11, 2009, 7:49 pm
On the drive home I got to see something huge!! Don't worry, I was good and didn't drink any.


Posted Apr 19, 2009, 4:47 pm
Today was such a beautiful day so we went out sightseeing.  B)

This is a sign that explains the area that she lives in is called. My picture in front of an example of the coulees.

We then went to another landmark place. But first had to take my picture with the American flag that was flying very beautifully!


Grandad's Bluff is a favorite landmark here since it looks all over the city and more! (more of those pics in next section)

Posted Apr 19, 2009, 4:52 pm
Here I am overlooking beautiful La Crosse in the springtime! We can even see the land from Iowa and Minnesota!  :stare: The pictures are from south to north. The trail that is shown on the first picture, has been closed for a couple years since they had bad flooding the last couple years and it's not safe to go down it (it was fenced off).

Posted Apr 19, 2009, 5:14 pm
Going down from Grandad's Bluff is tree lined and also very twisty and has lots of corners. We had to drive carefully! But we made it safely down.


More adventures on another day!

Posted Apr 27, 2009, 4:21 pm
Today we had another voyager show up!

Emil is here as he travels through the US.

We sat and told him all that we had seen so far. He's anxious to go and see things now!

Posted Apr 27, 2009, 6:31 pm
We tagged along with Emil but stayed in the background since we saw the sights that he saw but we did come out for a picnic in the park.

It was a nice, sunny, and warm day! (32*C/90*F)  B)

After lunch, we got to see a barge go by on the Mississippi River!

More adventures later... when it's cooled off! :)

Posted May 5, 2009, 5:57 pm
It was a very nice day out so we went along with our lovely host to run an errand which was also quite a drive... we got to see a lot!

First thing she showed us was something they call "Ten Mile Hill." It's just 10 miles long from one end to the other. Sounds intimidating though! You can see that they had to carve into the bluffs to make the road.

At one point on the road, we had to watch out for farm equipment.


Posted May 5, 2009, 6:24 pm
Small town (population ~2000) of Westby, Wisconsin!


Since we are in the country, we found a big ear of corn! Really it's a big advertisement for a company and made out of recycled milk jugs.


After she was done at the dentist, we were driving and saw an Amish horse and buggy. The Amish don't rely on what we call modern conveniences such as electricity and cars.

Posted May 5, 2009, 6:58 pm
She took us down a twisty road in the country to see something amazing...

A ski jump! In February every year, skiers from all over the world come to this place to practice for the Olympics.

We then headed for home but she stopped to show us ... Wisconsin Cows!


Posted May 5, 2009, 7:23 pm
I found a Wisconsin cow that looks like me! :)

We stopped and learned something about the area. What the sign says:

This point is near the center of the 90,000 acre Coon Creek Watershed, the nation’s first large-scale demonstration of soil and water conservation. The area was selected for this purpose by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (then Soil Erosion Service) in October 1933. Technicians of the S.C.S. and the University of Wisconsin pooled their knowledge with experience of local farm leaders to establish a pattern of land use now prevalent throughout the Midwest. Planned practices in effect include improvement of woodlands, wildlife habitat and pastures, better rotations and fertilization, strip cropping, terracing, and gully and stream bank erosion control. The outcome is a tribute to the wisdom, courage and foresight of the farm families who adopted the modern methods of conservation farming illustrated here.

Then we posed in some pretty grass with flowers.  :)

She found a place that would be a good place to stay, if I wasn't staying with her already. ;)

Will write more when we go out again!  :)

Posted May 18, 2009, 11:47 pm

I know it's been awhile since I've written but I am still here and today we were a help to her. We got to help out with some laundry that she had to do at the laundromat.


More soon ... I promise.

Posted May 19, 2009, 8:50 pm
Today was a nice warm day so we went out for a treat, mainly because she said we were a great bunch of visitors :D!

A local landmark that even made it on to cable tv (she said if you get the Food channel it's on a show with a woman who went to college here, Sandra Lee). Rudy's is the best place! We got our food brought to us by rollerskating waitresses.  We all split an order of onion rings and an ice cold root beer.


Posted May 19, 2009, 9:26 pm
After our wonderful treat, we went down to Riverside Park and saw the different flowers blooming in the gardens since there wasn't much when we were down there before.

We then looked in on the fish in the pond. :)
The waterfall leads into the fish pond. It was nice and cool there!

Another picture at a cool place. A water fountain which represents all the rivers that flow into the Mississippi River.

Posted May 19, 2009, 9:58 pm
Remember the blue bridges that we saw from Riverside Park? We went over one!! So I got to cross the Mississippi River!

This is me in Minnesota! Right over the border, it doesn't look much different than Wisconsin.


She had to show us that there are really two seasons here (haha): Winter and Road Construction. So we got to see the orange cones that limit driving lanes.

The final picture is us on the Interstate 90 coming back into La Crosse. (not that much to see)

Posted May 20, 2009, 10:24 pm
It was hard to say "Goodbye" to the friends I made here but they are going to be doing their own traveling!

She's going to be taking me on her road trip further into Minnesota, so I'll be having more to show from there when I get back.


Posted May 29, 2009, 9:33 pm
My host and I rode in the back seat so we didn't get to do many photos on the trip going up but we did stop to eat lunch and I thought I should pose with who cooked our meal.

The next photo opportunity was when we reached the "big city" near where we were staying.

We finally reached our destination and were welcomed in Greek and Norwegian. :)

I immediately got to meet George (the dog), and then had a treat of homemade chocolate chip cookies and lemonade.

Posted May 29, 2009, 9:51 pm
I got to see one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota... Norway Lake. Isn't it pretty?


After seeing the lake, I got another photo with George. (who was stretching after a nap)

We then just sat around and visited.

Posted May 29, 2009, 9:54 pm
I then got to watch the sun set on the lake. You can see it as it peeks out of the clouds.


Posted May 29, 2009, 10:07 pm
I got to watch how a traditional Norwegian dish was made. It was referred to by many names but it's all the same. Pronounced ku-mla, it's got many different spellings. (komla is the way her family spells it)

Step 1: Peel Lots of potatoes! :)
Step 2: Rice them or grind them in to flakes.
Step 3: Mix in flour to form a kind of dumpling shape and size.
Step 4: Put in boiling broth (hams were boiled for this occasion and taken out).
Step 5: Stir lightly to keep them from sticking and cook until solid.

Then it's time to eat! (best with lots of butter!)

Posted May 29, 2009, 10:13 pm
I wanted to show you the place where I got to sleep when I was there... a very nice room that was named Lake Florida.

It was a beautiful night so I had my picture taken right after sunset.
That night we had fun roasting marshmallows at the fire pit near the lake! :D

I got to meet another dog then... Charlie. He's got spots like me! :)

Posted May 29, 2009, 11:14 pm
We took a drive to Sunburg. A town with a population of 105! I posed "downtown" where you can see the post office, hardware store and a couple other stores. There is also a corn processing plant before getting into town.

I even got to see some "Minnesota" cows! :)

A drive out into the country to see another attraction (and a bit of history). I had to pose with some "baby corn". They say "Knee high before the 4th of July" is a good determination on how well the corn is growing, it's already beyond my knees!



Posted May 29, 2009, 11:27 pm
We saw an old church that has a bit of a family history. Her great-great-grandparents helped build this church. What the plaque says:

The Old Log Church
Until 1868 the rapidly growing Norway Lake Settlement had no regular place of worship. In the fall of that year a church of logs was hastily constructed. It would serve as the Norway Lake Church until 1875 with Rev. L.J. Markhus as the pastor.
It can be considered as the “mother church” of six present day Lutheran congregations in the area: East Norway Lake, First, Hope, Monson Lake, South Lake Johanna, and West Lake.
In Memory of Orlynn Mankell

The church has a plain front and the back has the cross on it. We could peek inside and see how it was originally set up. However the pictures weren't that great. One does show the wooden benches/pews though.
The other building was a house at one time in the settlement. Close up shot of how sturdy it was built even though it was made quick.

Posted May 29, 2009, 11:34 pm
The final stop that we went to was a chapel that a couple of her great-uncles made by hand. It's small but it is very nice. I was thankful for seeing it.


Posted May 29, 2009, 11:48 pm
Saw some pretty flowers up by the chapel. Peek-a-boo!  :p

This was our last night staying up here. So they did a grill-out. Doesn't that look good?! :D

Will write more when I get home and have rested up from all this sightseeing!

Smooch  :rolleyes:

Posted May 29, 2009, 11:51 pm
Today we had a new visitor!

UrselHH just arrived from Australia! I started to tell her what she's going to see soon!

We'll be going out soon since the weather keeps improving.


Posted Jun 17, 2009, 2:50 am
I had to rest up from seeing all that and today we went out. I was joining her and UrselHH in driving to Winona (pronounced Win-o-na), MN, for lunch with her sister.

Of course, we had to drive through some construction...

After posing for the city signs, she showed us the formation on the bluff that's called Sugarloaf. (Though she doesn't know why).


At her sister's workplace, there's a baby grand piano, so I got to play a little! :)

Then it was lunch time!

Posted Jun 17, 2009, 2:56 am
We then drove back a different way into Wisconsin. (We went over the blue bridges like I did previously).

There was more information there that she hasn't seen before so we learned about it too... what it says:

The Upper Mississippi   
From Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to Cairo, Illinois, the upper Mississippi River flows through America’s heartland for over 1100 miles. Its currents have borne the Indian’s canoe, the explorer’s dugout, and the trader’s packet. Jacques Marquette, Louis Jolliet, and Zebulon Pike tested its strength. Mark Twain gave it life in literature. Paddle-wheelers by the hundreds ferried lesser-known passengers over its waters during the halcyon days of steam boating in the 19th century. Into the Great River pour the St. Croix, Chippewa, Black, Wisconsin, Rock, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio. Along its banks have flourished St. Paul, Winona, La Crosse, Davenport, Keokuk, Quincy, and St. Louis. For a time diminished in importance by the railroads, the Great River came back into its own in the 20th century through dredging and damming. The present nine-foot channel and series of locks and dams allow 300-foot barges to transport coal, cement, grain, and other products vital to the region’s economic well-being. Imposing in size and beauty, violent and muddy in flood-stage, calm and serene on a summer morn, the Great River sustains life and livelihood within itself, along its banks, and upward in the hinterlands east and west.

We had to check the map... just to make sure we weren't lost. ;)

A final stop at a friend's place to meet the cat, who was more interested in UrselHH than me, before we came home. She's planning more adventure later this week.

Smooch :)

Posted Jun 22, 2009, 11:20 pm
Tonight we got a treat... a baseball game! Remember me by the baseball bat? That is where the game was played.

First we ate some snacks before going in. The game program was also looked at while we munched.

We had great seats! Right behind the home dugout!  B)

In between innings, they play little games. This one was funny. They are tossing toilet seats into a plunger. It's like the game of horseshoes but with very different tools! :D

This is when the home team (the Loggers) was up to bat.

One of the team mascots ... Louie... was happy to pose with us!


Posted Jun 22, 2009, 11:41 pm
Another mascot, the Logger Dog, posed with us also!  :D

Then it started to get dark, so they turned on the lights. This way we could see the whole field.

We scored a home run! He hit it way out of the field!!  B)

She snuck a picture of us with the owner of the team. He is also a State Representative (politician). He does work during the game, throwing up packages of peanuts, popcorn and of course, cracker jacks!

This is after we got home from the game... they won 7-5!! We had to pose with the ticket.

Posted Jun 22, 2009, 11:52 pm
Today we rested and then traveled to her sister's place. It's a nice drive to there.

We stopped and saw a historical landmark and learned more. What it says:
Decorah Peak
The rock-crested hill to the east was named after One-Eyed Decorah, a Winnebago chief who, according to tradition, took refuge in a cave near the peak after being wounded in a Chippewa attack on his village. He remained in hiding throughout the bloody engagement and then at nightfall made his way down the Black River to another Winnebago settlement. The next day he returned, surprised the celebrating Chippewa and routed them. With other Wisconsin chiefs Decorah signed a treaty with the United States at Prairie du Chien on August 19, 1825, establishing tribal boundaries in the hope of securing “a firm and perpetual peace.” He achieved his greatest renown after the Black Hawk War when he accompanied the defeated Black Hawk and the Prophet to Prairie du Chien, where on August 27, 1932, the two Sauk leaders surrendered.

Then the picture of the hill.

We then went into town... can you see me on the town square's gazebo?? ;)

Posted Jun 22, 2009, 11:58 pm
Galesville is known for their apple orchards so the town square's gazebo had this as a decoration.

At another stop in town, we saw a little bunny rabbit (look just left of the cover). He was munching on some grass.

A very beautiful little lake! :)

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 12:19 am
More pictures from the lake.  :)

A picture of how warm it is here... on the bank sign. 87*F (30.5*C)! This is on the main street down the center of town.

At her sister's place, we went for a walk down a small trail that is right next to their property. It was very pretty and green!


We then spent time visiting with her relatives so no pictures.
Write more soon!!
Smooch  :p

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 12:29 am
Sitting inside staying cool  B) ... she's planning on going out but right now it's very hot outside. She's going to show us a lot more when it cools down. (Right now the temperature feels like 100*F/37.8*C)

Posted Jun 29, 2009, 9:23 pm
We got out and traveled a little bit today.

She had to go to the dentist but made time for us to do some sightseeing. Even though I had the picture of me next to the corn in Minnestoa, I wanted this picture. It's gotten bigger!


The welcome sign to the small town where her dentist is (population 1000) and the water tower that is in reserves.

After the dentist, we saw a real Amish buggy.

UrselHH wanted to see some cheese places so I went along too... this is the first place.
They can't do tours of how they make cheese but you can watch it live on a TV screen.

Posted Jun 29, 2009, 9:25 pm
Next cheese stop. :)

She noticed some planters that were for sale. ;) (shhh! she wasn't suppose to take pictures really) They could be my friends!

Posted Jun 29, 2009, 9:29 pm
Back in Westby!
This time I got to see more than just the sign and the big corn cob. I got to pose in front of the mascot for the small town. The area was settled by Norwegians mainly so here's me with a Viking.


This is the welcome/tourist information center. Cute building isn't it? :)

Then we went back home...

Posted Jun 29, 2009, 9:48 pm
Back home again... she stopped at the store and got some more cheese to sample. These are cheese curds (the place that makes them, in Westby, was out of them!). They are good when warmed up a little by being left out ... they squeak then!


We then had a box show up and surprise! It's another voyager! :) This is Kazys.


Posted Jul 8, 2009, 3:35 am
Just wanted to pop on and say Hi! :)

I wanted to show you that we've been watching her tomato plant grow on her deck! It's gotten big! Too bad there are just 2 small tomatoes right now.

More later!
Smooch :)

Posted Jul 13, 2009, 5:59 pm
I just found out that I will be joining my wonderful host as she goes on a trip up to Minneapolis, MN! We will be seeing the Titanic exhibit and also get a tour of a flour factory. I'll be posting a lot of pictures when we get back. Taking off tomorrow for an overnight!


Posted Jul 20, 2009, 8:44 pm
Hi! :) We'll I'm back in Minnesota now but at a new location. We traveled through the capital, but due to sitting in back and having lousy weather, no pictures from the car.

This is the Science Museum in St. Paul. She was planning on taking a lot of picture with us there but found out that she couldn't!


So here 's a picture on the outside! :)

That night, after going through the exhibit of Titanic, we ordered pizza!

Off to sleep since we have a lot to see tomorrow! :)

Posted Jul 20, 2009, 9:00 pm
Today we got an education!  B)

Ever wonder how flour is made? Today I found out. It was fun too! :p

Trains were essential in the transportation of flour when it was first milled. So here we are in front of a rail car that has barrels of what they would have carried.

What the sign says:
Until the 1860s Minnesota’s primary “highway system” was its rivers. Large shipments of grain and other products were loaded on riverboats and sent on their way. Just after the Civil War, however, there was a railroad building boom. By 1873, Minnesota’s shipping network had been transformed into a system of rail lines that moved products fast and more reliably than riverboats.
Minnesota’s boom was part of the national trend - railroad entrepreneurs were making tracks across the country – but the state’s growing wheat and flour trade also fueled it. Wheat farmers wanted to get their harvests to market. Traders in Chicago and Milwaukee wanted Minneapolis flour. Local merchants wanted to boost the Twin Cities’ reputations as a business center. The time was right for rail lines to cross the state.
In some parts of the country, rail lines were established and settlers followed. In Minnesota and Dakota, however, communities sometimes grew in anticipation of rail lines. In 1871, for example, a Northern Pacific line was completed to ship wheat from Moorhead, a Red River Valley town waiting for a rail connection, to Duluth, already a key export center on Lake Superior.

This map shows where all the flour was sent to.
On the way down to the actual exhibit, she saw some artistic stained glass windows that she thought were cool... so I posed for a picture with them.


Posted Jul 20, 2009, 9:35 pm
First lesson was knowing that they used to use millstones to grind flour. This is me on one. It's huge!!  :stare:

Here I am now with a kernel of wheat. :)
What the sign says:
Meet the Wheat
This is a single grain – or berry – of hard spring wheat. Don’t be fooled by its bland appearance. When you attempt to grind it into flour, it puts up quite a fight.
Hard spring wheat thrives in the Red River Valley and in the northern plains extending into Canada. It’s called “hard” because its tough bran shell withstands harsh temperatures and strong winds. It’s called “spring wheat’ because farmers plant it in the spring and harvest it in the fall (“Winter wheat” by contrast is planted in the fall and harvested in the spring in warmer climates.)
Hard spring wheat has both good and bad qualities. On the good side, it survives growing conditions that kill most wheat varieties and has lots of gluten – a protein that gives structure to bread. Its bad quality is its hard bran shell, which shatters when ground. Back in the mid-1800’s few people thought of bran as health food. It was considered inedible, and few people wanted flour with bran bits. Hard spring wheat had a bad reputation in the flour industry until Minneapolis millers got the tools to transform it into fine white flour.

Here I am with the most used item in America ... Bisquick! :) The walls were painted with the first box and the latest box advertisements.

Posted Jul 20, 2009, 9:46 pm
This is me next to a roller mill. The sign says what it is for:
This is a roller mill.
What it does:
Roller mills work in groups, grinding wheat kernels into finer and finer bits of flour.
How it works:
Step 1: The first roller mill in the groups shoots streams of raw wheat kernels between pairs of spinning rollers. The outsides of the rollers have wide, deep grooves that split the wheat kernels vertically, cracking the bran shell and breaking each tiny kernel into bits. This is called the “first break.”
Step 2: The cracked wheat kernels – called middlings – go to a middlings purifier, which blows away the bran shells.
Step 3: The middlings, now without their bran shells, go to a second roller mill, with roller spaced closer together than the first one. The grooves on the second set of rollers are also slightly smoother than the first set, to grind smaller pieces of wheat. The process repeats itself the bits of wheat are ground up finer and finer, then sent back to the middlings purifier, where remaining bran pieces and other unwanted particles are blown away.
When is it finished?
In this “gradual reduction” process, steps 2 and 3 are repeated until satisfactory flour is made. The finest flour goes through a half-dozen “breaks.” Coarser flour requires fewer breaks.
So what?
Rollers revolutionized the milling industry by replacing millstones. Although millstones had been used for centuries, rollers are simply more efficient. Because they make it easy to separate out bran rather than crush it early in the milling process, rollers make a higher percentage of fine, white flour than millstones ever could. Rollers are also lighter and easier to maintain than millstones.

The next step is ... and of course I had to know! :)
What it does:
The middlings purifier sifts out the part of the wheat kernel used to make flour.
How it works:
Wheat kernels are already cracked open in a roller mill are sent to a middlings purifier, where they roll across a series of vibrating sieves. Air shoots up from under the sieves and blows away the kernels’ light, unusable bran shells. The heavier “middlings” from which white flour is made fall through the sieves to the bottom of the purifier and are sent back to the roller mills.
When is it finished?
That depends on the quality of the flour being made. Ground wheat can’t be called flour until its particles are 0.006 inch in diameter. A cup of all-purpose flour contains more than 100 million particles. Finer flour, used in cakes and pastries, has even more particles per cup.
So what?
The middlings purifier was a neat solution to a huge problem for Minneapolis millers: how to separate the bran from hard spring wheat. There were two reasons why Minneapolis millers wanted to mill hard spring wheat. First, it flourished on the Minnesota prairie. Second, it contains a high percentage of gluten, a protein that gives bread substance. The middling purifier was essential for turning tough-shelled wheat into silky white flour.

And the last part, which is a funny looking thing! :p is a dust collector!
What it does:
The dust collector is like a giant vacuum cleaner that sucks up flour dust.
How it works:
Milling machines, especially the middling purifier, sends a lot of fine flour dust into the air. This dust-laden air is sent through the openings on the dust collector, each of which is fitted with a tightly woven cloth “sock.” The dust is caught in the socks, then knocked off them and carried away by conveyor to be disposed of safely.
So what?
Flour dust mixed with air is highly flammable: a single spark in a confined space can cause the dust to explode. Before there were dust collectors, millers used exhaust fans to blow flour dust into isolated rooms. After a massive flour-dust explosion in 1878 leveled the first Washburn A Mill on this site, millers understood that simply isolating the dust wasn’t enough. Dust collectors were soon found in mills nationwide, along with sweepers – workers who kept floors dust free.

See how smart I'm getting? ;)

Posted Jul 20, 2009, 10:14 pm
Some miscellaneous pictures that were taken around the mill.

In the "outside courtyard" there were remnants from the last explosion that happened. People now host parties here so that is the reason for the lights.

Then we found some sayings on some pillars inside. :)

Posted Jul 20, 2009, 10:23 pm
Last couple pictures.

The 'waterfalls' in the background are called "St. Anthony Falls."
Then as we were going down to leave, we noticed a line of people ... on Segways! doing a tour. It looked like fun!  :D

Posted Jul 20, 2009, 10:32 pm
She almost forgot to do our pictures with the wheat!! :)

We endured the rush-hour traffic out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and was tired from all that we learned but we still had to drive home from where we left our car.

(The trip was about 4 hours with the traffic!)

This allowed us though to see some awesome sunsets!
We even had a plane fly right over us.  :stare:

Then 10-mile hill in the dark.  B)

When we got home she wanted to do pictures with the Titanic stuff that she got while there since we couldn't do pictures at the Museum. The ticket was handed to us upon entering and we found out what passengers we were and we found out at the end if we survived and got in lifeboats or perished. We found out that this person survived. It was real names of real survivors and those who didn't make it, so it was very realistic.

More Later!
Smooch :p


Posted Nov 22, 2009, 9:14 am
Hi Mum,

I'm so sorry, that you haven't heard a word from me earlier. I had a good time here already and a lot of fun with the other toyvoyager guests. I promiss to be more online from now on.

Here you see me and my friends waiting for the start of our travel to Oelsnitz, Vogtland, where we want to stay for one week.

Posted Nov 22, 2009, 11:22 am
We made a rest at the DB museum in Nürnberg.

I read a letter about locomotives.

Then I saw many locomotives and waggons.

I read about the train of Ludwig II.


Posted Nov 22, 2009, 11:55 am

Oelsnitz is a town in the Vogtlandkreis district, in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the river Weiße Elster, 9 km south of Plauen. We stay in a beautiful house called Finsterbusch's Häusl.

Posted Nov 22, 2009, 12:09 pm
On our way to Kingenthal we passed at the Muldenberg river dam. It provides about 100 000 people with water. The dam wall has the longest mural crown of all river dams in Saxony. It was built in 1920 - 1925.

The weather was very cold and windy and it drizzled. So we hurried back to the car.

Posted Nov 22, 2009, 12:25 pm
Klingenthal is a town in the Vogtlandkreis district, in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is situated directly on the border with the Czech Republic opposite the Czech town of Kraslice, 29 km southeast of Plauen, and 33 km northwest of Karlovy Vary.

The Aschberg ("cinder mountain") towers above the town at 936 m. The extremely elongated town, 10.5 km from end to end, is surrounded by numerous woods of firs.

The town is bisected by the Döbra and Zwota rivers. These two rivers unite at the Czech-German border to form the Svatava river, which in turn flows into the Ohře river at Sokolov.

Klingenthal's inhabitants number 8,996 (September 30, 2005). The town is famed for its manufacture of musical instruments and is a well-known ski resort.

We visited the Vogtland-Arena, a wellknown ski jump in Germany. The first ski jump was opened in 1959, the new Vogtland-Arena was opened in 2006. 

I was really impressed by the altitude of it.

With this train we drove up the hill.

Wow, isn't it high?

I would love to meet some of those ski flyer, but unhappily there is no training today.


Posted Nov 22, 2009, 1:34 pm
In the evening my host and one of her sons took as on a walk along the Pirk river dam. Maybe just enjoy the photos as our hosts did it in reality.

Posted Nov 23, 2009, 9:12 pm
Göltzschtalbrücke (Göltzsch valley bridge) is the largest brick bridge in the world. The railway bridge is 574m long and was built between 1846 and 1851 using more than 26 million bricks. When it was finished, it was also the highest railway bridge in the world. It is currently part of the high-speed Dresden-Plauen line, close to stop Netzschkau.wikipedia

Posted Nov 28, 2009, 7:44 am
For lunch we drove to the Kuhberg, the highest point in northern Saxony. Our lunch wasn't that great and also watching the play train wasn't fun. We only saw some crashs. We wanted to go to the top of the tower, but it was too expensive. So all in all this place was annoying.

Posted Nov 28, 2009, 8:09 am
The Elstertalbrücke is the second largest brick bridge in the world after the Göltzschtalbrücke. The railway bridge is 279 m long and was built between 1846 and 1851 using more than 12 million bricks.

Posted Nov 28, 2009, 10:24 am
Today we visited the Exhibition of German Astronautics
The main request of this exhibition, wich is unique in Germany, is to show to lot of people the use of space travel and space research for mankind. It starts with the history of space travel. That means visitors can get information about the knowledge and development of astronomy and the dream of mankind to leave our home planet earth. More-over, there are presented first flight and rocket experi-ments. But you can see much more; as there are first artifical probes, the first Soviet and American men in space, the programme of landing on the moon or different space stations. As you will be informed about satellites and probes which are near our planet and those which are sent to other galaxies. At the end of our exhibition you will come to documents about the space station MIR and future projects like an international space station and manned mission to mars.


Posted Nov 28, 2009, 12:58 pm
Later we drove to Plauen to try to find a special beer glas of Sternquell brewery.

Close to the brewery we saw this bridge, the Syratalviadukt.

Posted Nov 28, 2009, 1:15 pm
Then we visited the St. Johannis church.

Posted Nov 28, 2009, 2:46 pm
Then we visited the museum of lace from Plauen in the old city hall.

For 120 years, Plauen lace has been a world famous Saxon textile product. Plauen lace and embroideries have their roots in a century-old tradition of making textiles in and around Plauen. Already in the 15th century Plauen was a centre of the clothmaking craft and cotton-weaving. The embroidery craft dates back to as early as 1780.

With the invention a machine capable of making machine-embroidered forms of lace in 1880, the development was open for an economic upswing in the Vogtland, in particular in the town of Plauen. The lace known as "Plauener Spitze" was to conquer the world.

At the World Exhibition in 1900 in Paris, Plauen lace was awarded the Grand Prix. Today more than 150 companies are working in this industrial sector. On national and international markets, Plauener Spitze is in demand again. The scope of supply ranges from room textiles, such as curtains and table laundry, to ladywear, lingerie and underwear.


Posted Nov 28, 2009, 4:33 pm
At the Daetz-Centrum in the palais of Lichtenstein, Saxony, we saw many wooden sculptures from more than 30 countries. Its name comes from its founders Marlene and Peter Daetz.

It was founded in 2001 and presents more than 550 wooden sculptures from 5 continents and represents the knowledge of wooden art and artwork from all over the world.

Posted Dec 4, 2009, 8:42 am
Then we drove to Zwickau to visit the Horch museum, the place where August Horch worked for decades. Right in the heart of the former Audi plant, one of the birthplaces of automotive history from Horch to Audi and further on to the “Trabant”, you can experience legendary automotive history.

Horch museum wrote: It is not only August Horch who is honored on the two floors of the exhibition area. The visitors may familiarize themselves with the manifold developments made during more than a century of automobile production
in Zwickau.

The highlights of Saxony’s automotive art, such as the 1911 Horch Phaeton, will fascinate you just like the DKW F1 micro car with the first standard front wheel drive ever, a sensational vehicle in its time, the elegant Horch luxury models or the Audi and Wanderer automobiles.


Posted Dec 4, 2009, 12:19 pm
The Zum Friedefürsten church is a baroque Lutheran round church in Klingenthal. It has an octagonal floorplan and is the largest of its kind in Saxony. The church is the most important historical monument in Klingenthal and dominates the town center.


Posted Dec 6, 2009, 6:04 pm
On our way to our holiday house, we took this photo of the landscape.

Then we drove to Czech Republic just to take a photo of the sign. Our car is in Czech Republic, while we are in Germany to take the photo - I think, it's a bit crazy.


Posted Dec 6, 2009, 6:28 pm
Schöneck (also: Schöneck/Vogtl.) is a town in the Vogtlandkreis district, in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is situated 18 km southeast of Plauen, and 35 km north of Cheb. Schöneck belongs to the so called "Musikwinkel", maybe translated music area, to which also belongs Klingenthal, Markneukirchen and Erlbach. Since 1962 it is a place for recreation and winter sports.

We stopped at the neobaroque city hall.

We only visited a place called "alter Söll", where you have a great view over the landscape, even with sight to Fichtelgebirge.

Posted Dec 6, 2009, 7:09 pm
So this is the last day of October, time for us to say goodbye to Oelsnitz and our beautiful house. We needed some more diesel, so we drove to Czech Republic, because we were close to the border. There diesel is cheaper than in Germany. I think, more people had this idea to buy it there, because we had to wait more than half an hour before we were at the diesel fuel pump.

It had frost outside, so it was rather cold in the car too.

Posted Dec 7, 2009, 9:09 pm
Later we helped getting finished with decorating the house. There are so many nice little things to put up and maybe you will see more photos of everything later.

This is my hosts' favorite window decoration.

Here you see the advent calendar for our hosts' daughter. This year there are ships sailing on the sea.

There is a really frosty decoration in front of the entrance. I like it.

Finally here is the cake. It tastes great.

And here you see the decoration of the kitchen window.

Posted Jan 2, 2010, 9:26 pm
It is the first day, that my host has time to bake some Christmas cookies. We were allowed to help her. Everyone had a special job to do. She put the Christmas CD into the CD player and we sang the songs together with her.

We start to prepare the dough for Husarenkrapferl and Vanillekipferl (crescent-shaped pastry or roll with vanilla) and Kokosmakronen (coconut macaroons) . I think, these are really funny names.

Posted Jan 2, 2010, 9:30 pm
Today we have beautiful, but cold weather and we asked our host, if she would have time to show us some places in Bruchsal. She packed us in her rucksack. We still had about -12°C, what is rather cold in this region.

Bruchsal (orig. Bruohselle, Bruaselle) is a city at the western edge of the Kraichgau, approximately 20 km Northeast of Karlsruhe in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on Bertha Benz Memorial Route.
Bruchsal is the largest city in the district of Karlsruhe and is known for being Europe's largest asparagus producer and one of the economic centers of the region of Karlsruhe

Bruchsal is located at the edge of the Upper Rhine River Plains and the Kraichgau along the Saalbach, which is a small tributary of the Rhine that joins it between Philippsburg and Oberhausen.
Ancient era and early Middle Ages
Excavations and artifacts that were discovered evidence a settlement existing on the Michelsberg (Untergrombach) as early as 4000 BC during the Neolithic. In the core of Bruchsal the oldest settlement discovered was dated back to 640 AD. It is located near the present Peterskirche, where I stay right now. The first mention of Bruchsal in official documents occurred in 976 when the King came to town. And during October of the year 980, Otto II and his Court stayed at the King's palace in Bruchsal for several days

1248 was the first time Bruchsal was referred to as a city and in 1278 St. Peters Church is mentioned for the first time. After extensive damage to both, the Palace and the Peterskirch were reconstructed in 1320. The Bergfried (an outlook and defensive tower bastion) was erected in 1358 and the city wall was completed in 1452. In 1460 the first coin was pressed in Bruchsal.

By April 24, 1711 Bruchsal had recovered sufficiently to play host to Prince Eugene of Savoy of the Habsburg Court in Vienna. Then in 1716 the Bishop of Speyer, Heinrich von Rollingen, moved his residence into the Bruchsal Palace. This move elevated the city's status to that of an official residence of the Diocese of Speyer. At the same time, Bruchsal became the seat of the "Vizedomamt", the most important office held by the Diocese on the West bank of the Rhine. In 1719 Cardinal Damian Hugo von Schönborn became the new Bishop and after settling in he commissioned in (1722), among others, the new baroque château and the new Peters Church (from 1742). Both were built and, in part, designed by Balthasar Neumann. In the Bishop's honor, the Southern gate out of the château grounds is referred to as Damian's Gate to this day.

In the afternoon of March 1, 1945, Bruchsal was bombed. In addition to the 1,000 lives that perished that day, the entire inner city and the baroque château were destroyed. The baroque palace was rebuilt in the 70th.

That's enough of history now. I'm not sure, whether you want to read everything, but I thought, Petra should write a bit about Bruchsal's history. She used wikipedia and you will find more history and information there.

We went to see the palace. You see some small houses in front of the palace, which belong to the soon opened Christmas market. It is the back side of the palace.

The tower on the right side belongs to the catholic church St. Damian and Hugo.

There's a nice pond in the park, which is frozen right now.

There are some of the most beautiful and oldest houses of Bruchsal in Franz-Bläsi-Straße.

Posted Jan 2, 2010, 9:32 pm
The Belvedere (Bruchsal) was originally designed as a Manor for fun and games, to which a shooting house was added for use in the shooting competitions often held by the Court. As time went by, the Manor was nicknamed Belvedere by the city's residents, as it enjoyed the best view of the city. The Belvedere is part of the City Gardens.

view out of a window:

Posted Jan 2, 2010, 9:35 pm
Snow! How nice and beautiful, even when it is only a whiff of snow.

Here is a view out of a window, where my hosts live. You see the top of the tower of the city church and next to it, you see cranes where they build a new shopping center.

Looking to the other side you see this beautiful building, which is called Sancta Maria. I hope, to have a closer view soon.

The large building is the music school. The part of the red tower belongs to the Bergfried, the tower of the old castle, and the small small part of the tower to its left is the tower of St. Damian and Hugo.

Then we closed the window, because it still is really cold outside. My hosts love to decorate the windows with paper crafts.

Then we went downstairs to warm up next to the oven in the livingroom.

I asked my host, whether she would like to take a photo with me and the Adventskranz (advent wreath) and she did.

Posted Jan 2, 2010, 9:37 pm
My host said, that now it would be more than urgent to bake some more cookies or we only would have four sorts. You see, that Sweetsy arrived at our home today and also Princess Sarah. Sweetsy brought some wonderful gingerbread cookies with him. But four sorts of cookies aren't enough for all of us, so we told her, that we all would help together and get some more done.

Here we read the recipe for our host's favorite gingerbread recipe. Sweetsy was so happy, that at his first day he had the chance to try another gingerbread recipe: Zigeunerschnitten. The recipe is handwritten in our host's book, because it is a family recipe from her grandparents. She said, that she never found this recipe somewhere else, but maybe someone knows this recipe too?

At first Pinkz helped to weigh the butter.

Then BineHH helped to add the sugar for the dough.

Galo said, that if it comes to eggs, it would be his turn. We all were a bit nervous, because we didn't know, if he could stand it.

Hey, Galo! What's the matter!

Wake up! We knew it! It was too hard for him!

After a while Galo felt better and we all went back to our places.

Now Jennifer added almonds.

Sweetsy added raisins.

We had to have a break in preparing the dough for Zigeunerschnitten, because we forgot to buy some necessary ingredients. So we went on with preparing other cookies.

Jimmy_D helped to prick out the Spitzbuben cookies.

Scotty and I helped to roll the dough for Zimtsterne (star-shaped cinnamon cookies).

Ceryni tried to help to form Nougatkipfert.

Finally one other family member bought the missing ingredients for Zigeunerschnitten and we had been able to finish the dough.

Scotty added candied lemon peel and candied orange peel to the dough.

Spooky used the spoon to add cacao powder to the dough.

Then it was time to add the cinnamon.

At last it was time to add the flour.

Pinkz stirred the dough.

The result is a really heavy brown dough.

Galo and I rolled the dough on the baking plate. It is hard work.

After baking the air smelled of gingerbread, yummy. Nevertheless we still had to decorate the Zigeunerschnitten.

After the Zigeunerschnitten were cold enough we cut them into smaller pieces and put them in a box.

We also decorated the Nougatkipferl

and Husarenkrapferl


Posted Jan 2, 2010, 9:38 pm
Here you have another view out of a window in the attic. It shows the view to the church St. Peter, which is next to the graveyard.

Posted Jan 2, 2010, 9:40 pm
Merry Christmas to everyone at home.

For Holy Eve we have chicken fricassee for dinner. This is a traditional food in my hosts' family.

Later after singing Christmas songs and unwrapping presents we had time to eat some Christmas cookies.

Posted Jan 3, 2010, 2:42 pm
I wish you all a happy new year. There is no big party at my hosts' home, so you only see a photo with me and a part of the Christmas tree.

Posted Apr 16, 2010, 5:05 pm
Hi Mummy,
I came to Remscheid last week. Here I am - proceeding my journey. My new host Katja promised to show me around before I will come home for a while.

We took a photo in the vicinity of my current home and went to Katja's workplace.

When we were there, I got an invitation to spend the weekend with Katja's sister who is going to visit friends in Hanau, a city in Hesse, close to Frankfurt am Main.

You will hear more of me next week.


Posted Apr 26, 2010, 7:11 pm
Hi Mummy,
we are celebrating a really important commemoration day today: The Day of German Beer. Since 1984 the issuance of the "Reinheitsgebot"  (German Beer Purity Law) is celebrated by the German brewers.

We also did :D




Posted Apr 27, 2010, 1:34 pm
Hello Mummy,
as I told you I went with Katja's sister Ina to visit friends in Hesse. Those friends are living in a small town called Markoebel. First I had a look out of the window.

I relaxed on the balcony.

We went out into the garden to enjoy the sunshine. I found some flowers, here is forsythia ...

... and here are daisies. Yummy!

Later we went to Hanau to visit a castle.

Posted Apr 27, 2010, 1:42 pm
In Hanau we visited Schloss Philippsruhe. This castle was built in the years 1700 until 1725 for Count Philipp Reinhard. A museum is situated here nowadays.

Thankfully this  lion was asleep. He would have considered me as his lunch otherwise.

They have a really pretty fence here :)

We went back to Markoebel than.

Posted Apr 27, 2010, 7:58 pm
We spent the afternoon in the garden. There were lots of flowers and blooming shrubs.

I had a look at the baby plants in the green house.

Bye for today


Posted Apr 27, 2010, 8:09 pm
Hi Mummy,
we had sunshine again today. so I did what a cow loves the most: Playing on the lawn.

I learned to fly with the help of a trampoline!

Later I met two nice animals, one of it has a cow-pattern :D

We shared some grass and the carrots.


Posted Apr 27, 2010, 8:27 pm
Hi Mummy,
today I was brought back to Katja. I met her at her workplace. She had a funny new ToyVoyager with her: Bernd The Bread. He behaves like Dr. House - always grouching and sort of depressive and fatalistic. He has some weird manners like staring at the wall. I tried to cheer him up, so I asked him if he wanted to make a photocopy with me.

Look! It looks exactly like me! Bernd did not like the photo. (I don't care about that - I won't let him rain on my parade :) )

Later we went into town. First stop was the city hall. Its tower is 48 m high. The city hall was originally built in 1906, it was nearly destroyed in WW II and rebuilt in a more modern style in the postwar years.

The lion is the heraldic animal of Remscheid - here you can see a proud lion on a pillar.

This is the central bus station.

From a bridge I have a good overlook.

This is one of the central places, at the end of the shopping street.

The shopping street is nothing special - it looks like most pedestrian areas.

Here you can see the main entrance of the shopping mall with a large fountain in front of it. The fountain is still covered because in the night it is quite cold - almost freezing temperature.

We had to return to work than.


Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:11 am
It is snowing! I'm so looking forward to playing in the snow, but it is night and my host told me, that it is time to go to bed.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:12 am
I love to see all the snow. I hope, that we will find time to go out, but my host's husband is really ill and I think, that I will have no luck. Please help praying, that he feels better soon.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:14 am
Today it is time to do some homework. My host helps her children writing vocabulary cards, while they do their homeworks. Here you see Latin vocabularies.

We went to the church St. Peter to have a short rest from writing and of course to enjoy the snow.

Here you see the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:16 am
Today we went on a short walk around the Michaelsberg, which belongs to Untergrombach. It's a nice place, when there is snow.

The houses on the right side in the far belong to Bruchsal.

These houses belong to Untergrombach. Behind the dust in the far are the Palatinate Mountains.

This chapel is on top of the Michaelsberg. Many people like to marry there.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:17 am
Last night we got snow again. It is sad, that the old snow just melted away, so there are still only a few centimeters of snow.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:19 am
Today I saw "New Moon" in the cinema. I really liked it. Not too far from the cinema I saw this church. It is called Lutherkirche, an evangelic church.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:20 am
Help, Mum. Yesterday we watched this one house burning, that has a little framework. It is the house in the middle of the photo. The flames were really high and we all are still trembling. Thank God, nobody lives in this house and nobody got hurt otherwise we wouldn't have taken this photo.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:21 am
My host had a disc prolaps in her neck and she felt and still feels really bad. So our activities are rare right now, but today we went on a short walk around this beautiful sea. We really enjoyed it.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:22 am
My host's most activities are watching tv, reading and walking up and down in the house. She doesn't go out alone, still afraid, because she feels so dizzy. So here we watched one of her favourite tv series: McLeods Daughters'. She prefers the ones with Claire:)

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:29 am
Today my host's husband took me on a little sightseeing tour in Bruchsal. Bruchsal was first named in 976, but surely it is much older.

You see the church tower of the church St. Damian and Hugo behind me. The church is mostly called Hofkirche, because it belongs to the palace.

You see, that we had this grey weather again. It didn't make sense to wait longer for better photogenic weather. So we decided, that today had to be the day to get it done. This is the back side of the palace, by the way. You see a part of the big ponds, still no water in it, because it still is rather cold.

Here we're still standing at the same place but with view to the palace garden.

Bruchsal Palace was built by Damian Hugo von Schönborn, the Bishop of Speyer, beginning in 1720, and is one of a series of baroque residence palaces established in Southwestern Germany following the end of the Palatinate War of Succession and the preceding armed (and therefore destructive) conflicts. Von Schönborn did not rebuild the old Speyer residence destroyed in 1689, but instead decided on a representative new building modeled on Versailles. With the location in Bruchsal, the holder of religious and secular power also avoided continual conflicts with the Protestant "Reichsstadt" (free imperial city) of Speyer.
During the second world war the palace was destroyed completely and so was the church. Both were rebuilt but the inside of the church isn't baroque anymore, what is really sad. In the palace you can visit the Deutsches Musikautomaten-Museum and the city museum.

Here we stand at the front side of the palace and behind me you see the church building and a little part of the church tower. On the right side is the palace entrance.

Here we're still standing at the same place. The building on the right side is a part of the church and the left building is the county court of Bruchsal.

That's the building on the opposite side of the church. Here is the Kammermusiksaal.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:34 am
Today we went for a little walk in a wood next to a small animal park. My host's son went with her and so she took us with them. We enjoyed the lovely weather again.

Posted May 1, 2010, 9:52 pm
Hi Mummy,
today it's the International Worker's Day, so Katja suggested to visit a very important former workplace, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen. To get there, we met Katja's friend Erika and went to Essen by bus and train.

We met in Remscheid-Hasten.

Erika brought a birthday present for Katja, she was celebrating her birthday last week. Erika covered pieces of bananas with dark chocolate and decorated them with real flowers, with ground ivy, in German they are called "Gundermann".  Those plants are edible, in ancient times they were used as a preservation spell against plague and also as a medical plant.

Of course everyone tasted them, they were delicious :)


Posted May 3, 2010, 9:55 pm
We reached Essen and went to Zeche Zollverein by tram.

The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is a large former industrial site in the city of Essen. It has been inscribed into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since December 2001.

The first coal mine on the premises was founded in 1847, mining activities took place from 1851 until 1986.

The two parts of the site, Zollverein Coal Mine and Zollverein Coking Plant ranked among the largest of their kinds in Europe. The Zollverein Coking Plant was erected in the late 1950's, closed in 1993. Shaft 12, built in Bauhaus style, was opened in 1932 and is considered an architectural and technical masterpiece, called "the most beautiful coal mine in the world". After it had been closed down in late 1986, shaft 12 was declared as a memorial. You can see it on the very first photo.

You can walk in the area everywhere, so we took a walk around.

We decided to visit the coking plant than, we had to walk a few minutes to get there. Soon we reached to coking plant Zollverein.

Wow! They have a Ferris Wheel here!

You cannot imagine how large those tubes are!

Everything is gigantic here - there are screws which are larger than Ceryni.

Have a look at this chimney - you'll h ave a stiff neck when you look to the end of the chimney.

We reached the end of the coking complex. The artificial channel is opened for ice skating in winter.

We walked back on the rear side of the coking plant.

We went to the visitor's center than which is situated in the former coal washing plant. You can see the old machines here. It is quite dark here in this part of the complex.

We found a beer garden on the estate, we all needed refreshing.

When we went back to the central station, we had to wait for our train. We made good use of our time :D

I am glad that I do not have to work in a coal mine.


Posted May 6, 2010, 1:18 pm
Hi Mummy,

we took a walk in the afternoon. Although the sun was shining it was rather cold. We went to the municipal park first to have a look at the ducks. We hoped to see cute ducklings but it seems there are still no ducklings.

The rhododendron is alredy blooming.

This memorial is dedicated to the dead of severals wars earlier than World War I.

We left the park than and walked to one of the oldest districts, to Hasten. You can find those typical old houses here, also old factories among dwellings.

This district is surrounded by woodland.

To walk home we had to walk uphill for an eternity.


Posted May 16, 2010, 10:48 am
Hi Mummy,
we took a walk today in the Northern suburbs of Remscheid. We stared our trip in the district Hasten, deep in the Morsbach Valley. This creek is called "Morsbach".

Here you can find some beautiful historical houses which are under monument protection.

This water wheel belongs to an old smithy, which is now a museum.

Several creeks are running through this valley, this one is dammed up to a fishing pond.

We walked uphill through a shady forest ...

... until it turned into a sunny forest :)

From here you have a good look at the city centre of Remscheid, situated on its hill. You can see the tower of the city hall and the water tower.

We walked through a small hamlet.

Fruit trees are blooming here.

Once again the city centre in the distance.

There are still no cows on the meadow, it is still too cold in the night. But there are already some horses outside, enjoying the sunshine.

We walked home than.


Posted May 16, 2010, 10:50 am
Hi Mummy,
I'm on my way to my next host now. Katja told me that she is living near Lake Constance and that there are lots of meadows.


Posted May 17, 2010, 11:40 am
Today I arrived in Aach / souther Germany. Here I met my new host Sissi and some other TVs :)

I took some socks for Sissi's son with me:

and of course we tried them at once:

Posted Jun 5, 2010, 5:56 pm

Today was such a hot day!!! But we went outside anyway. We drove to a western meeting in Nenzingen. A friend of Sissi’s family is in a western shooting-club and once a year they make a big meeting. A lot of people are coming and many are camping and live there like people in the western period (18th / 19th century in south-western of the USA). Some are also disguised as Natice Americans.

We spent some hours there and it was really interesting!

Look: it's me in front of the sign.

And here I am at the entrance:

As said a lot of people are camping here and they show how people lived in former times.

Just a view of the tents.

When we came home we had some mail: and of course we were all very excited because Sissi told us we're expecting a new guest!!!

It was Klaus who came to us!

Posted Jul 5, 2010, 8:53 am
Hello - I'm back from the family vacations  :D

We spent some days at the island Langeoog. Langeoog is one of the seven inhabited East Frisian Islands at the edge of the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea in the southern North Sea, located between Baltrum Island (west), and Spiekeroog  (east). The name Langeoog means Long Island in the Low German dialect.

We drove 8 hours by car to Bensersiel in northern Germany. We spent the time in a suitcase and slept most of the time. There we went over to Langeoog by a ferry and finally we took the train to arrive at the village.

Sissi and her family rented a small appartment. Here are some photos.

The first days the weather was not so good so we had fun reading all these books.

But fortunatelly on Monday the sun came out and we could go to the beach.

Look - we found a couple of mussels:

The week went by so soon. Every morning and avery evening we spent at the beach.
We also rented such a beach chair they have there:

and Sissi bought some stuff to play in the sand.

Julian had t sleep from 12 to 2 every afternoon so we hang around at the balcony:

One day we also went to the Water-tower - the landmark of Langeoog.

From there we could look down to the dunes and the north sea.

One day at the beach we also found strange traces. Do you know whom they belong to???

They belong to a duck:

I really had lots of fun here at the other end of Germany.

Posted Jul 27, 2010, 12:38 pm
Hello  :D

Today we made a walk / trip around Aach.
We took the car  ;)

We tried to find a street without any big cars because Julian (almost 2 yrs old) went with us. (In fact it's his car we used ;) )

We found a street where no cars and no motorcycles are allowed. You can see the sign here: Though actually there was a motorcycle driving...

We walked a bit around and took the car in between. Here are some impressions:

Look what we found: . Sissi told us that this footprint could belong to a missing tv she once had. So we cried "PENNY-BOOOOOO", but no answer  :(

Then we went to a playground and hang around there a bit before going home.

Posted Sep 1, 2010, 6:56 pm
Smooch and I went to the playground today.

We had to check our ages - it mached. And so did the clock :).

We took a ride on a lion:

and had fun on the swing:

We also took the slide

and tried some other great playing tools:

Posted Jun 19, 2011, 7:27 pm
If possible can anyone send find Smooch and send him home please !!


PM  me for my address :

:"he is our only toyvoyager  of our granddaughter who  passed"