Pien, Poeldijk, the Netherlands


Posted Feb 28, 2008, 9:50 pm
I am Pien the little grey Elephant from the Netherlands
I lived for a long time in the Zoo, Blijdorp in Rotterdam, but now it's time for me to SEE THE WORLD!

As you can see I have 4 lifemissions, I would love you to help me complete them!

Today I had a party at the Zoo. I waved every animal goodbye. And know I'm ready to go!


Information about the elephant:

Names of my current elephant friends:

Bye Bye everyone:


My current travellist:
Mosuha - India (Thanks for hosting!!)
2012 - Finland (arrived at the 13th of may!)
ChristinaB - Austria
Olgamaus - Germany

As you can see, there are places left for you to host me!!
Looking forward to meet you

Big Paw

Posted Mar 19, 2008, 7:40 pm
Hi, everyone at home...

wow, imagine, I just arrived in Chennai, India and I already found my favorite place at my hosts flat!

Look at this very nice elephant shelf!!

I can tell u, at the beginning I was some kind of unsure about this travelling thing, but now I am sooooooo happy to get to know the whole world! 

And I love the weather here in india. It's hot and humide, perfect conditions, if u ask me!

In the evening I met Repa, another TV staying at my hosts home and we went out for a very nice dinner at the five star Hotel "The Park". What a welcome.... Repa is a tough guy and he always talks a lot..... but he is very friendly to me and so I think, we will have a great time together....

Tomorrow I will see the indian ozean and I am so much looking forward it!!! Oh, what a life....

Posted Mar 21, 2008, 11:27 am
Ooooooh.... you should see the weather today, it's raining cats and dogs!!!

But yesterday was fun. First we went to a very nice Café, it's called "the Amethyst" and it is a little hide in a beautiful tropical garden.... It is such a quiet and lovely place... and we spent some hours there, had lunch, talked and talked about our lifes and what we will maybe see on our journies.....

After that Mona showed us a place at the beach, where many fishermen live...

She told us, that the Tsunami in decembre 2004 hit also very hard the coast of Chennai and 13.000 people lost their lifes at this time. Many fishermen lost also their boats and little houses at the beaches.... I was really sad, as I heard that.

Mona also said, that after the Tsunami many people arround the world donate a lot of money for the victims and their families, thats why on many boats you find the names of for example european organisations like "Caritas"

But now, some men have got a boat, who didn't have one before the Tsunami and that is really a problem for the other fishermen.... They cannot catch as much fish as before, but they also have to sell it low price, because, now there are so many fishermen.

It's a difficult situation, you can imagine....

Lucky me, I could see the indian ozean for the first time in my life!!! I was imazing.... the waves very very big and it is too dangerous for us to go swimming inside.... But it is beautiful at the beach.....

I hope, I will be there some more often.....
Do you like the pictures I made for you?

Kisses from Pien....

Posted Mar 22, 2008, 6:12 pm
Since today we are three guys at Mona's and Uli's flat....

Chip just arrived from Florida and he is even smaller than me!  :)

He seems to be a clever and aktive little monkey.

We made a funny men evening with King Fisher beer and german Bundesliga Soccer....

I had to promise Chip, not to mention that he drunk 3 bottles of this indian beer by his own!

(After that he had to puke like hell!
But his mommy should not know this..... )

Posted Mar 26, 2008, 6:48 pm
On Eastern Sunday we did, what most christian people do
- we ate a lot!

We went out for a great brunch/lunch buffet, but me and the other tv guys were just crazy about the desserts buffet!

Look at this feast! .....jummy... jaahh......

Posted Mar 26, 2008, 7:50 pm
At the beginning of this week, we all decided to explore a little more of the indian culture.

First, we went out for a typical vegitarian lunch to a restaurant called "Saravanah Bahvan". It is very famous and beloved here in Chennai! We tasted a lot of different things.... most of them were very spicy but delicious.....

Then I found out, that here in India there is a very very famous hindu god called "Ganesh", his face is the face of an elephant! Can you imagine that?!

The legend says, that the god Shiva loved to watch his wife Parvati, when she was taking a bath, but she didn't liked that.

So she made a boy from earth and put some water of the ganges river over him, so he came alive. She called her son Ganesh or Ganesha and told him to watch over the place, while she was bathing. So as Shiva came to see his wife, Ganesh stood in his way, that's why  Shiva beat his head off his shoulders with a sword (how brutal!!).

But than he recognized that it was Parvatis son he killed and he sent his soldiers to bring the head of the first being they could find. So they brought him an elephants head and Shiva brought Ganesh back to life!

Today the hinduism praise Ganesh for his intelligence and he is a very famous god all over india.

Every year there is a special party in september, called Ganesh Charturthi and it takes 11 days!!! The people believe, that in those days the god is visiting the earth... and they all have small up to very big figures of Ganesh at their homes and prays to him even more often during the 11 days.....

At the end of these holidays, all family members bring their figures to the ozean, while they are playing music, singing and dancing on the streets on their ways..... The family's father than brings the Ganesh into the water, where the figure mellts......

Mona was so kind and gave me a picture from the beach of Mumbai last september...... there you can see the people bringing the Ganeshs to the Ozean.....

I think, it's not too bad, to be an elephant in india!!! ;)

At the photos you can also see Chip and me dressed.....

Nooooooooo, this are no girls dress, these are gods dresses!!!! Hindu people dress their little god figures at special days like this!


Posted Mar 30, 2008, 10:28 pm
This weekend was amazing and mommy, I send you lots of sun home!.....

Mona and Uli had some free time and so they invited us, to join them on a trip to a nice beach resort 60km south of Chennai....

We had a lot of fun!!! And it was really relaxing.....

Imagine, we even saw some cows right at the beach.... india is sometimes kind of funny....

Posted Mar 30, 2008, 10:44 pm
Today, on sunday, we also went to a nice place with a lot of old buildings ( 700 AD) , caves, rock-cut temple and figures....

It was so interessting, many of these temples were dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant face god and look at this nice carvings......

I also made some new friends, as I met some very friendly baby goats. It felt like we knew each other since years....

Who knows, maybe we are soulmates and met before, in another life?!


Posted Apr 2, 2008, 7:58 pm
Hello at home...

today I went with my host to buy some bread.
Mona always says, she misses the german bread so much but fortunatly there is a new bakery in town and not far from my hosts flat.

It's called "La Boulangerie" and it is a non-profit company, which wants to teach young men to make bread, croissants, sweets, cake and so on, so that they later can work at a restaurant or hotel.

Mona is very lucky, that they also sell some things, so she can get fresh and tasty "country bread" and does not have to eat white toast every morning.

I also started to fullfill one of my life missions, to learn foreign languages. You now, in india there are 17 official (goverment) languages and lots and lots of different accents.

English is, lucky me, one of the official languages, but here in Tamil Nadu, tamil of cause, is the main language....

Here is, what I've learned so far:


1= onnu
2= irandu
3= muunu
4= naalu
5= anjci
6= aaru
7= eeru
8= eddu
9= ompadu

Can you help me? - means - enakku udawi cejja mudijumaa?

It is a very difficult language, don't you think?!
But I keep trying and you will see some of my homework at my travelnotebook...

Best wishes,


Posted Apr 7, 2008, 4:04 pm
Don't wonder, I am fine...
I just was busy with lerning tamil and with sweating...

During the days it is now between 36 and 40 degrees in Chennai and unfortunatly my hosts AC in the livingroom is
defect...  pfuee...

But look at this nice stone-lady I met on the way to the supermarket...

On saturday we went to an german "Goethe Institut" event, where they showed international short movies about "human rights" ... it was very interesting....

Posted Apr 9, 2008, 8:06 pm
Things are changing arround here...

Chip left yesterday, and before that, I went with him to the nearest temple to pray for a good journey.... and I also prayed for my friends at home, that everyone is fine.... :-)

Today than there were 2 big surprises...

First, there is a new TV in the house... Mandy Sheep....
She is cute, don't you think?

We had a nice long chat about her travels so for, and it was very interessting....

The next surprise was in the evening. A neighbour came by and gave my hosts an invitation for his son's wedding tomorrow....

This family's favorit god is Ganesh as you can see at the invitation.... I translated the informations for Mona and Uli  B)
There for Mona asked me, if I would like to come with them to the wedding and of course, I love to.....

So, tomorrow I will go to a wedding!! I am so excited...

My hosts are more relaxed... it's the 3rd wedding within few weeks.... because it's wedding saison in india....

Posted Apr 14, 2008, 8:12 pm
Happy new year's, mommy!
Yes, you read right, the tamil people celebrated "New Year" this weekend and Uli had this monday one day off, so we went to another nice beach resort called The Dune ....

It is about 160km south of Chennai and is a very nice garden type resort. It's such a quiet and peacefull place and it's extreme eco friendly. They grow their own vegetables and they teach people from the villages how to take care of plants and get good quallity meat, vegatables.... and how to serve guests right. We slept at a bamboo and palm leaves "naturall cool" house right at the ocean side, so we could hear the waves roll the coast all night long.

We all had a very great time with relaxing, pottery, and playing beach volleyball. 

I also played a game called "Genial" with Mandy Sheep in the evening. Mandy won, but anyway it was fun.

During the days Roderich, the new tv at our hosts flat and I decided to jump into the pool. It's also an eco friendly one without any chloride and I needed a bath anyway.... it was sooooooooo refreshing after 36 degrees under india's sun...


Posted Apr 17, 2008, 7:06 pm
Oh wow, great news. My host told me, that  I'll leave next week to continue my journey. I'll go to finland!!!

The other tvs were a little jealous at me, because they all are sweating like hell and would be happy to travel somewhere less hot..... I like the indian weather and will probably miss it a little bit.... But I am happily looking forward to meet my new host.....  :D

Yesterday we had a very nice evening with watching televison "American Idol" and hang out all together...

There is a new guest arrived, his name is Weasley and he is from out of space....

Today I showed him a little around in the house, the building our host live in and the view from the roof terasse...

It's very green here, don't you think?!

At the top of the stairs we found some suitcases and I wondered about that. Mona told me, that is the personal stuff of the watchman, who lives up here and sleeps at the stairs.
In fact, he is even happy to have a roof over his head.

Posted Apr 26, 2008, 4:31 pm
So, that's it, Mommy, my last update from India before I leave to finland, with one crying and one laughing eye.

We took a last nice walk all together today, but I tell you, it was sooooooooo hot.... I felt like melting!

We went to a place called "Valluvar Kottam", this is not only a big hall for events, but also a huge Stone Car looking like a tower.

And guess who is pulling this chariot!

Damn right, some of my friends, the elephants.

I thought, this building is really beautifull during I was melting like an icecube in boiling water....

Later we visited the nice curch of the holy mother mary.

You know, Mona was really sad the last few days. Not only because I am going to leave, but also because one of her best friends back home in Germany died because of Aids.

Mona told me, that he was a very special guy, with a great sense of humor and always on the jump to help other people where ever he could. She said, he was one of the most loveliest humans, she used to know.

The tragedy is, he got the HI virus few years ago, when he helped a young man after an car accident. This young guy was bleeding and didn't breathe, so Mona's friend gave him mouth to mouth breathe, and saved his life. Of cause he didn't know, that this young man was HIV positive and he caught the virus this moment.

Mommy, and everyone else who is reading this, has to promise me, to buy a first Aid breathing mask at the pharmacy and put it into the car for the case of cases. An always wear these aids cloves, when you help hurt people.
Please, never ever forget that, ok?!

In that church Mona and I enlighted a candle for her friend.

And I also enlighted one candle for all of us TVs, travelling with the help of this webside.

May nobody ever get lost, may everybody have a great time, enjoying their lifes, make good friends and carry a peace of love arround the world.

India was great fun and a amazing oportunity for me, to explore different religions and to meet people, who celebrate their believes with a lot of passion and love.

I am really thankfull and feel very blesst, to be a toyvoyager!

Posted May 13, 2008, 1:50 pm
Here I am in Finland! I arrived safely and in good condition. And yes, the temperature isn't hot in here, thermometer shows 12 degrees Celsius. But still, it's almost summer in here, most of the trees are full of green leaves. Here is a pic of me sitting on balcony railing (my host lives on 7th floor) and you can see the fields and forest in the distance.

Posted May 14, 2008, 4:11 pm
Today we made a biking trip to Tikkurila, Vantaa. I saw Heureka which is Finnish Science Centre. Here are two pictures of the building. In the second one you can see some stone boulders in the front, those are samples of different rock types. In the same pic you can see the light reflecting orb on the roof of the building (on right). It is the roof of planetarium.

The third pic is taken in the park just outside Heureka. The River Vantaa glides across Tikkurila. This river is the greatest in Vantaa. You can see how lush it is already in here.

In the fourth image I gaze towards another bridge that crosses the river.

In the last one you can see how the river forms small rapids at some places. This one actually was one of the tiniest rapids. We forgot to take a closer look at the bigger one. :(

Posted May 22, 2008, 6:21 pm
Today was a very exciting day! Another toyvoyager arrived and I have to tell you that I wasn't at all happy at first. This is how all happened:

My host called out to me that we had another guest in the house but she told me to be brave as this new one was of the sort that I wasn't accustomed to. So I peered behind the corner and there it was... A horrible, scary, BIG mouse! I howled in panic and jumped high on top of the pink lamp on the table. My host came running to me and tried to soothe me down, the thing also came and said that it wasn't a mouse but a rat. I said I really can't see the difference between the two. The "rat" as he called himself started talking and talking and finally, I have to say, he had some good points. He said rats and mouses really can't harm an elephant in any way and that they had no reason to. So I encouraged myself and came down. We had a good conversation and believe it or don't, we became friends. This tv's name is Angus.

So now I can say I have overcome my fear of small squeaking creatures. At least this one is ok.

Posted May 22, 2008, 7:08 pm
Hi again! We have been busy today. When I had gotten over the shock we went biking and visited The Church of St. Lawrence (Pyhän Laurin kirkko, in Finnish) which is situated between Vantaa and Helsinki. The church dates back to 1460 A.D. Here is some text my host found as an info for me:

"Helsinge, or Helsinki Parish, is known to have been populated by Swedish-speaking people by the 14th century. Documentary evidence shows that a wooden church stood here as early as 1401. The patron saint of the wooden church was Sankt Lars, better known as Saint Lawrence or Laurentius, a deacon martyred in Rome in the year 258.

The parish village with its church was favourably located on the coastal road between Turku and Viipuri. A branch of the salmon-rich River Vantaa ran through the village as well. A traveller approaching the village on the great coastal road, known as the King’s Road, could see the Church of St. Lawrence from afar, since the village was surrounded by fields, and there were no other big buildings to block the view. Helsinge was an established centre of population by the time Helsinki was founded in parish territory in 1550.

In medieval times, the interior of the Church of St. Lawrence was dark. The windows were smaller than at present, and candles were the only alternative sources of light. There were no pews. The outer walls were whitewashed. Lack of heating made the church cold and damp in wintertime. For the common people the church’s massive stone walls were both a reminder of man’s smallness before God and a visible expression of the combined power of the Roman Catholic Church and her loyal supporter, the secular government."

Anyway, here in the first two pics we are sitting on a beautiful bench in the surrounding cemetery.

Then there is three pics of the church itself. Quite pretty stone church, huh?

And in the last image Angus and I are sitting at the foot of a stone statue that was raised on someones grave.

Posted May 29, 2008, 1:28 pm
Today we were quite bored as Minna, our host, had no time for us. She said she was busy writing an essay on History of Chemistry. So we took a look at one of her books, which was in Finnish. I have to say I didn't understand the text at all! Minna told us not to worry, the book was too much for us as we had never studied Finnish at all. I was interested though and I found a Donald Duck cartoon which was easier to understand because it had pictures. Angus had no patience though, he took a nap while I read the cartoon.

Afterwards Minna teached us some Finnish words and phrases. Here is a few:

Hei = Hi
Kiitos = Thank you
Kyllä = Yes
Ei = No
Hyvää päivää = Good day
Hyvää huomenta = Good morning
Hyvää yötä = Good night
Näkemiin = Goodbye
Mitä kuuluu? = How have you been?
Miten voit? = How are you feeling?
Voin hyvin = I'm fine
Voisitko auttaa minua? = Could you help me , please?
Hyvää päivänjatkoa! = Have a nice day!

Posted Jun 3, 2008, 6:07 pm
Hello again!

Today we went to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and Minna showed some places to us. First we visited the Botanic garden. There were some pretty flowers and plants. Here is a pic of me in front of one of the glasshouses. It's called the Palm House. We didn't go inside though.

In the second pic I'm watching at one shallow pool in the garden.
Third pic is of the museum building and some hillside plants.
There is also a few pics of some pretty flowers, don't remember their names anymore.

After the Botanic Garden we saw the Finnish National Theatre. The statue in front of the theatre shows Aleksis Kivi, Finnish national author and poet. His major novel, Seitsemän veljestä "The seven brothers" (1870), the classic of Finnish culture, has been translated into several languages.

In the last image you can see Angus and me and behind us is the Helsinki Central Railway Station and its clocktower.

Posted Jun 6, 2008, 8:46 pm
Today I said goodbye to my host and Angus. Angus is gonna stay awhile more. I hugged Angus and I hope we will meet again. The chances are good. Now I will be going to Austria! Goodbye Finland!

Posted Jun 16, 2008, 2:35 pm
Pien arrived safely here in Vienna/Austria on Wednesday last week. He needed a little rest for a few days but on Sunday he had enough energy again so he joined us to an amusement park at lake Neusiedler See (in the very eastern part of Austria). It was about fairy tales and Pien and the other Toyvoyagers had alot of fun there!!!

Posted Jul 2, 2008, 10:00 am
We spent a wonderful afternoon at Schönbrunn castle today. The castle was the former summer residence of the Habsburg family and it is situated in a very big park. We had a looong walk there and even went up a little hill where we reached "Gloriette" (the point of view). It was very pretty to look over all the city of Vienna! We also saw the palm house - a very special construction!

Imagine what we did after our long walk! We went to the zoo there!! Unfortunately the battery of the camera finished there so I can only show you this picture of a rhinozeros! But believe me: There were tons of interesting animals to see there (even some elephants - but none of them was as beautiful as I am  )

Posted Jul 2, 2008, 10:40 am
From June 7th to June 29th the European Soccer Championship takes place in Austria and Switzerland. All the people here are very much into soccer at the moment and of course I also cought the "soccer spirit". One day our host took me and my Toyvoyager friends and brought us to the "fan zone" in the city centre. It was great fun to be there (Russia played against Sweden this day) and I felt like a real fan than ;)

Posted Jul 2, 2008, 12:19 pm
Since we had sooo much fun at "Fan Zone" my friends and I decided to play soccer ourselves, too. Pamplemoose, Ted, Cekelat, Dottie Grace, Galen and I were real "stars" and believe me, I made several goals!!

We also explored the flat a bit and found alot of other soccer stuff, too: Flags, balls and even Panini stickers! I didn't expect that there are sooo many pretty players taking part in this championship!!! ;)

Posted Jul 2, 2008, 12:24 pm
Yesterday we went to see the house created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It looks really beautiful and I like it alot! There is nothing special in this house, just normal flats (next time I come to Vienna I'll try to find a host living in there ;) ). Everybody living there has the right to decorate the surrounding of his/her window just as he/she likes - but only as far as the arms reach. Interesting, isn't it?

Posted Jul 14, 2008, 10:33 am
Today we discovered Vienna's beautiful Rosarium. It is located almost in the city centre and has thousands of roses in all colours you can think of. It smelled wonderful there and Galen, Little Tex, Ted, Cekelat, Dottie Grace and I had a really great time there!

Posted Jul 14, 2008, 10:41 am
I am in Upper Austria now in a little place called Gmunden which is situated in an area called "Salzkammergut". My friends and I went there on holiday because our host's family lives close there. It's a very beautiful place situated within the Alps. The landscape is wonderful with the lake and the mountains and all the forests around and Gmunden itself is a pretty romantic little city.

Posted Jul 20, 2008, 8:38 am
Yesterday we went to the zoo again. This time the camera worked so I finally had my photo taken with all the different kinds of elephants living there and I'm very proud that I fullfilled one more of my life missions!!!

Posted Jul 20, 2008, 8:56 am
I did some more sightseeing here in Vienna, too. So I visited the City Hall with its large square where always some events are hold. At the moment it was the center of celebration for all the soccer fans, then it will be changed into an open air opera festival. In winter the Christmas market takes place there and afterwards they build up a big skating court there. Opposite the city hall the Old imperial theatre can be found and not far from it there is the Austrian Parliament.

I also passed by Hofburg which was the residence of the Habsburg family in former times and now it hosts the Austrian national library, several museums and the president's office.

Very close there I discovered twin museums. One is the museum of historical arts, the other one is the museum for natural history. They are built just face to face and really look the same.

Posted Jul 20, 2008, 9:01 am
We continued our sightseeing tour to Karlsplatz where I saw this very special church with the 2 collumns in front of it. There I also discovered one of Vienna's most beautiful subwaystations built in "Jugendstil" (it is a special style from around 1900 and very similar to art nouveau).

Then we went to see the opera - and guess whom I met there! Good old Mozart himself!!!

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:03 pm
Imagine what we did today! We went to Germany!! It was a clowdy day so my hosts decided to take the kids (and me and the other TV of course) and go to Bavaria. There we visited a kind of amusement park. There weren't any carrousells but they built many sceneries of various fairy tales - oh, I have been visiting a park full of fairy tales for the second time now!! All the figures there were able to speak and the fairy tales were told there, so it was really beautiful. Unfortunately it started to rain heavily then so we had to leave quite early.

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:05 pm
I didn't see much of Bavaria since we went back immideately after we visited the park, but what I saw was beautiful. I specially liked these beautifully painted houses - have a look!

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:14 pm
Today the holidays of my host family started. I was told that we would go abroad for almost 4 weeks and then I would continue my journey on my own.

We packed all our stuff and went to Italy today. Oh, what a beautiful country!! We stayed at a place called Lignano. It is situated in the northern part of the country, not far from Venice and Austrians love to spend their holidays there. You know, Austria doesn't have an access to the sea so the fastest way to reach the sea is to go down to Italy. Austrians are usually very welcome in Lignano since they are bringing alot of money down there, so everybody tries to speak a bit of German there to make them feel a bit like at home.

To be honest, we didn't see anything else except Lignano and we spent almost all the time at the beach which was really relaxing. I had a great time with my friends there! Fortunately elephants don't get sunburnt too easily so I was able to stay in the sun for a long time!!

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:17 pm
I'm a very helpful elephant and pretty good in architecture. The Dad of my host family and the kids built a sand castle every day and I helped alot which was sandy but really funny. We also made a marble track and played with it then. Oh, time passed by so quickly!

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:22 pm
We returned from Italy yesterday, washed all our clothes during the night and left again today.

The grand-parents of my host family have a flat at lake Attersee in Upper Austria and my hosts intend to spend the following 3 weeks there.

It is a very beautiful place there. The flat is located directly at the beach and the view from the balcony towards the lake is sooo nice.

We went down to the lake then and had a swim there. Wonderful, I must say. The water was refreshing but very clear and it was fascinating to watch all the sailing ships there.

Can you see the mountains on the last photo? Look how big they are! I will tell you more about them during the next days!

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:29 pm
I told you to have a look at the mountains on the lake-picture in my last update, remember?

Well, today we went up there! But not by cable car as you might think, no, on foot! To be honest, I was carried as well as the other TV which caused almost a crises between my host and her husband (the husband had to carry us up there in his backpack but my host only told him when we were at the top and he was pretty angry about that. First we thought he was angry about US but fortunately we found out then that it was our host he was argueing with. Sometimes humans are really difficult to understand...)

Dear Alexander, it was worth to take us up there all the 1.600 meters!! The view was simply breathtaking, I enjoyed it soooo much! It was the first mountain I ever went up - or was carried up - and I will never forget this adventure!

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:32 pm
Another adventure took place today. My host's father had his 60th birthday a while ago and as a present he got a balloon flight which was today. We all went there to watch him in the air and it was really fascinating to see the start of such a big, big balloon. Everybody was so busy watching it that we almost forgot to take photos...

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:35 pm
It was pretty cold today so we couldn't go swimming. Therefor my hosts decided to go hiking. We didn't climb a mountain today but went to a small lake called "Gosausee" which was beautifully located on the foot of Upper Austria's highest mountain "Dachstein". But when we arrived there it was so clowdy that we couldn't see it.

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:39 pm
We picked some blueberries which we found during our walk and we were really astonished about all the ducks we saw there. They weren't shy at all and even took some bread from the people's hands.

And finally - after quite a long walk - the clowds went away and we were able to see at least some parts of Dachstein then.

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:45 pm
On our way back from Italy we had to go through Styria. There in a little village called Piber the famous Lipizzaner horses always spend their summer holidays. My host likes them alot so we decided to visit them and say "Hello". Unfortunately we were a bit too late so we couldn't watch their training lessons but we saw them on the meadow and watched all the exhibitions about them.

Did you know that they are dark when they are born and get their white fur after some years due to a genetic deficit? Interesting, isn't it?

Posted Aug 19, 2008, 9:47 pm
We came back home from our holidays safely but I was pretty sad about that because today I had to leave Austria and continue my trip. I'm really excited about what is waiting for me at my next host but I'll also miss my friends here.

Good-bye Austria!

Posted Aug 28, 2008, 10:10 pm
Hi Mummy,
I arrived in Remscheid today. I was welcomed by my new host Katja, Bokkie, Hueso, Dieuwerke and Fester. There is also a ladybug, Lady, she was hiding or sleeping somewhere.


I had to stay at the post office overnight because my envelope was too thick for Katja's mail slot. So she had to pick me up at the post office today. I was hungry like a bear so I had a late breakfast first.


In the afternoon Katja took me, Lady and Dieuwerke with her to work. Katja is working in a law firm. We helped her to do her job a little bit more slowly  :D

We played on the telephone


and beleagerd her files.


We found the photocopier!


This picture of our backsides was not so good, we tried it the other way with our noses on the glass.


This copy is looking much better!


From now on we had to sit on a filing cabinet because otherwise Katja had no chance to work with us playing around. From the top of the filing cabinet we had a really good overview.


The weather is not so good here in Remscheid. We hope it will be better at the weekend.


Posted Aug 30, 2008, 3:01 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we took a walk in a  forrest. Remscheid is surrounded by forrests so there are lots of forrests I haven't seen yet.
We walked along a small farm. Two dogs were watching over the yard.


We saw large stacks of wood. Katja told us that in January 2007 a terrible storm destroyed large parts of woodland. Even today not all the fallen trees are taken away.



That golden light in late summer is beautiful.


We saw Schloss Burg, a medieval castle which was built in 12th century. Maybe we will visit this castle some day.



Posted Aug 31, 2008, 8:13 pm
Hi Mummy,

today we visited Cologne. We went there by bus. We arrived in Cologne at 10:30 a.m.

Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in the year 38 BC. Cologne lies on the river Rhine. The city's famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cologne. It is a Gothic church, started in 1248, and completed in 1880. In 1996 it was designated a World Heritage site.

Katja had a wonderful surprise for us. We met fam-united and her family in Cologne! She was also showing Cologne to a lot of happy ToyVoyagers.

Of course we started our tour at Cologne Cathedral.



We wanted to take a look inside the cathedral but there was still church services going on, so we decided to walk around and have lunch first.

We walked to the river Rhine first. The old town is close to the river. A few excursion boats were waiting for passengers.




We found the perfect place to take photos with all ToyVoyagers, both Katja's and Petra's. Have you ever seen so many ToyVoyagers all at once?



We went back into town then to walk to the restaurant we had chosen for lunch. This restaurant belongs to a brewery, Mühlen Kölsch.


Of course we had a "Kölsch" there, a special beer which is only brewed in Cologne.


When we finished lunch we walked back to cathedral. Now we could view the inside.

Cologne Cathedral is one of the world's largest churches, being the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. Construction, with interruptions, of the gothic church began in 1248 and took until 1880 to complete – a period of more than  six hundred years. It is 144.5 metres long, 86.5 m wide and its two towers are 157 m tall.



After viewing the cathedral we went back into town again because the ladies were in need of coffee.

We found a nice cafe.


Here you can see Katja, Petra and all ToyVoyagers who visited Cologne today.


Now we had to walk to the central station. We had to get home by train, Petra and her family went home by car.

We took a last photo of the cathedral, this time even with both towers on the photo.


Here you can see the central station.



We said good-bye to all the other TVs and of course Petra and her family.


Posted Sep 1, 2008, 4:45 pm
Hi Mummy,
we found a wonderful souvenir today.

I bet you won't ever guess what it is  B)

When I come back to you  in a few weeks I'll bring it home.





Posted Sep 2, 2008, 8:21 pm
Hi Mummy,

Katja showed us the town hall today.

The town hall was built in 1906. In world war II it was nearly destroyed but rebuilt later. The tower is 48 m high!

The farmer's market is held on Wednesday and Saturday on the place in front of the town hall.

The lion on the pillar is the heraldic animal of Remscheid.





Posted Sep 7, 2008, 12:17 am
Hi Mummy,

today we  visited Katja’s sister. She is living in Remscheid-Lennep. Lennep suburbanized to Remscheid in the year 1929. Lennep was founded in 12th century, receive its town charter in 1230 A.D. It’s one of the oldest towns in the region “Bergisches Land”. Its medieval city centre is mostly maintained, many houses are listed buildings.

We started a little sightseeing tour in a small park. You can see that autumn is coming.



This wall is part of the city's former fortification.


This weekend the annual city party is held, it's called "Altstadtfest". They have a flea market, live music and the shops are open even on Sunday. Unfotunately the weather was not good today.



Some fire engines were ready for a case of emergency.


We saw lots of cute plushy guys who were looking for a new home. We rescued three of them. Katja took a funny little red guy with her and also two cute little bears. I will show them to you later.

Later we walked through the old town. Let me show you some nice places.




Many fences are overgrown, some of them with grape-vine.


Can you see us sitting in the plant?



We went to the apartment of Katja's sister then. On the balcony we made a group photo with the  three new possible ToyVoyagers.


Now we are all debating about names for those three new friends.



Posted Sep 8, 2008, 7:41 pm
Hi Mummy,
today the weather got better again. In the afternoon, when Katja came home from work, the sun was shining. She wanted to go outside with us but she had to pack the Teddy Bears for Threadbear first.

When the package was pasted and labeled we went to the post office first. The Teddy Bears are travelling now!

The post office is located in one of the old districts of Remscheid, in Hasten.

Here you can find many of the old typical houses.


Katja wanted to show us  the muncipal park. We walked along the "Route of tools" (Trasse des Werkzeugs) to get there. This is a lane for pedestrians that was built on a closed railway line. It was sponsored by local industrial companies. Most of them are metalworking industry, they make all sorts of tools.

You can find many signs and artwork of local artists along this route.

This bank is made from a gigantic screw clamp.


The next photo does not show artwork but an inscription that shows the distance to several destinations along the route.


When we left this route we had to walk straight uphill to get to the muncipal park.


This is the observatory.


The next picture is made in the park.


In spring and summer many flowers are blooming in the park. Now there are only a few kinds of flowers blooming, these for example.


Large parts of the park appear more like a forrest than a park. Here you can see that autumn is coming soon!


On our way back home we walked through another little park. Here you can find a pillar that's showing the crest of Remscheid and the names of the partner towns.


Katja's daughter cooked pasta with tuna sauce for us. We'll go to bed soon.


Posted Sep 10, 2008, 9:42 pm
Hi Mummy,
Katja showed us more of the "Route of tools" today. The weather was fantastic.

When she came home from work she brought an envelope with her. Moley from England  arrived today. He is wearing glasses, he is shortsighted.

In the afternoon we went outside to show Moley a little bit of the vicinity.

From the windows of our living room we can see a church. We wanted to see this church. However it is not possible to take a good  photo in summer. The church (Martin-Luther-church) is surrounded by large trees so we had to take a picture from a distance. This church is an evangelic church and was built in 1893 in the New Gothic style.



Then we walked to the route of tools. At a crossroad you can see these large signs. The first one is showing the crest of Remcheid and a few explanations about the route of tools, the other ones are showing brand labels and products of famous companies in Remscheid.



To give you an imagination how these signs look we took a photo of the shadows those signs make on the ground.


These pictures were originally made by a local artist who died in 1988. The graffiti were made by someone who was propably born after 1988 because this building is standing here for only three years now.


Along the route you can find abandonded factory buildings, at least some of them look as if they were abandonded. In the background you can see the church I showed you before.



This is part of the former slaughterhouse. This complex is under preservation order. Nowadays these buildings are used by different companies.


Today I can show some more artwork. We saw a bank that was made of the axis of an old water wheel and an original sleeper.



We even met the artist who made this bank and also the other one, made of a screw clamp. He asked Katja why she took a photo of the bank (it seems that this does not happen often). She explained the idea of ToyVoyagers to him, he seemed to like it.

We went home then.


Posted Sep 11, 2008, 8:06 pm
Hi Mummy,

we went into the town centre today to buy some things for our dinner. This time we saw the town hall from the rear side. The building site on the left side belongs to the shopping mall which will be enlarged.


Here you can see the water tower. From here the households in the town centre are supplied with water.


The next picture is taken in the shopping mall.


As you can see on the photos there's no longer good weather. Now in the evening it's raining really heavy.


It started to rain again. Such a pity.


Posted Sep 14, 2008, 9:57 pm
Hi Mummy,
we made a fantastic trip today. Katja met her friend Erika at 10:00 a.m. The two ladies had something really special in their minds.

Today it is the "Tag des offenen Denkmals". In english it is called European Heritage Days.

European Heritage Days is a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission involving all 49 signatory states of the European Cultural Convention under the motto, Europe: a common heritage. The annual programme offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. It aims to widen access and foster care for architectural and environmental heritage. This years’s motto is "Archaelogy and building research".

We decided to visit an ancient mine today. In this region ore mining started in 16th century.

There were three different periods of mining: The first one was before Thirty-Years War (1618 - 1648), the second one from 1758 – 1765 and the third one in 1853. Traces of the second period are difficult to find today.

Mining stopped after the first two periods because there was no possibility for smelting in this region. Actually they had watercraft, but the owners of the lot where smelting would have been possible had no interest in building a smelting works. They even were disappropriated. During this time the slag heaps had become so large that it was impossible to smelt the iron core.

Then in 1853 there was a last effort to revive the mines. In World War I parts of the large slag heaps were assimilated.

In a wooded area a local construction engineer excavated a gallery on his own ground. He found the mouth and built a new pit. Today we were able to see the pit. Before photos of the building site were shown. The engineer startet his work in 2002 and in about two or three years the mine should be ready for visitors.

Now I will show you some photos.

Here we are on our way to the forrest where the mine is located. We are standing on a railway bridge here.


This time we walked underneath the railway track, close to our destination.


Suneshine in the forrest ...


A view from above to the pit ...


This is the emblem of the association that arranged this meeting.


This is  the entrance to the pit, hanging above is the closing.


The pit goes down 6 metres and meets the gallery then. It is revetted with concrete.


Here you can see the mouth, unfortunately one of the outside walls crashed so it was not possible to go inside.


We walked then through the forrest to Schloss Burg, an medieval castle in the neighbour town Solingen.


Posted Sep 14, 2008, 10:03 pm
We reached Solingen-Unterburg. On our way through the forrest we saw many mushrooms. We had a lot of rain here last week, that makes mushrooms grow.


We had to walk downhill really steep to get there. You can see many old houses here. A cute cat was lounging in the sun.



Here the Burger Pretzels are made and sold. Burger Pretzels are a local speciality, they are sweet pretzels. This is the "Pretzel bakery".


This is the creek "Eschbach", it's flowing into the river Wupper in this district.


We then walked uphill to the castle. It is located above the river Wupper. Those who don't want to walk take the chair lift.


Schloss Burg, located in Burg an der Wupper (Solingen), is the largest reconstructed castle in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and one of the most popular tourist attraction. Its early history is closely connected to the growth of the Duchy of Berg.

In the beginning of the 12th century (after 1133) count Adolf II von Berg built Schloss Burg on a mountain over the river Wupper.

In 1632 the castle was under siege  by Swedish soldiers. After the Thirty years war, in 1648, Imperial troops destroyed the fortifications of the castle including the keep, walls, and gates. In 1700, the main building was partially reconstructed and thereafter used for administrative purposes. 1849, the castle was sold to be scrapped, decayed, and became a ruin.

Today’s appearance is not exactly the original castle was. The reconstructed castle of today is a major public attraction. It also contains the Museum of the Bergische Land. The surroundings offer hiking trails to the forests and to Unterburg, that is where the village is located, at the foot of the mountain.







When we walked back downhill we took another photo. Here you can see the distance to the other part of this district.


Here we saw an ancient cementary. It was sided here in 18th century with 105 similar looking tombstones. About 50 of them are preserved until today. They are all made of a special sort of sandstone.

On this sign you can read some informations about the cementary.



From here we walked to Muengsten Bridge.

Posted Sep 14, 2008, 10:07 pm
Here we are standing exactly underneath the bridge.


The Müngsten Bridge is the highest steel railroad bridge in Germany. The bridge is 107 metres  high and spans over the valley of the river Wupper, connecting the cities Remscheid and Solingen. Originally the bridge was named Kaiser-Wilhelm-Brücke (emperor Wilhelm bridge), to honour emperor Wilhelm I. After the end of the monarchy the bridge was named after the district between Remscheid and Solingen.

We could see the bridge from a beautiful look-out pavillon.




Can you imagine how long we were walking now? It was about 16.30 p.m. when we reached the pavillon.

Katja showed us our tour in Google Earth. Here you can see a picture of today's tour. It was about 17 km long!

today's tour

I'm sooo tired now! I will go to sleep immediately.



Posted Sep 22, 2008, 8:34 pm
Hi Mummy,

today we helped to make dinner for Katja's pets.  First I thought they were gigantic, fat mice. But they are RATS!

Katja is keeping 6 pet rats.

They are fed in the evening usually. They have some fresh fruits and vegetables then and their usual rat food .

They have sweet corn, cucumber, red grapes, some peas and yoghurt with apricot.



The rats were eating then. I was afraid that they might bite me or throw me out of their cage, but they did not care about us sitting next to them.

First I was sitting high above them, hoping  they would not recognize me.


They were only eating. They had no eyes for me because they are very hoggish.


Later I was brave enough to sit next to a rat house. Jordan was a little bit curious but she stayed inside her house.


This is Karla, she is quite young. She was born in April 2008.


No rat did bite me, they only concentrated on their food. I'm no longer afraid of them (they also don't frighten me).


Posted Sep 22, 2008, 8:50 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we took a walk to the neighbour town Wuppertal. Katja met her friend at her home. They wanted to visit an exhibition there.

These marks are showing hiking trails. The "W" means a trail around Wuppertal which is about 120 km long, the "R" means a trail around Remscheid, which is also called "Roentgenweg", it is 63 km long. "A1" means a shorter hiking trail which starts at one of the parking lots here.


Gelpetal was given it's name by the creek Gelpe which is running through this valley. When you follow the main path through the valley you will reach Wuppertal after 4 or 5 km walking.



Posted Sep 22, 2008, 9:12 pm
We finally reached the Villa Waldfrieden with the sculptures exhibition.

Tony Cragg is a British-born sculptor. He was born in 1949. He bought the estate which contains a lot of woodland and a villa two years ago to build a sculpture park there.

The villa was built in the 1940s by a manufacter who made varnish. The villa was built according to anthroposophic guidelines, without any right angles. The building is under monumental protection today.

In the woodland many sculptures mady by Cragg are installed. The exhibiton as opened in August 2008. On the path to the villa you can see several sculptures already, but you have to pay entrance-fee to see all of them.



The sculptures are made of several materials. Some of them are made of metals, bronze for example, and marble and sandstone.

This is the entrance to the exhibiton


and this is the villa.


From here you can walk through a large park with all the other sculptures.






These two pillars are my favourite:



The next sculpture is about three times as large as an adult man.


In this glass house other works of Cragg are shown.


It was very interesting.

To get home by bus we had to walk to the town centre.

Here we saw the Schwebebahn, a monorail Suspension Railway. The suspension railway travels along a route about 13 kilometres long, about 12 metres above the surface of the river Wupper and approximately 8 m above the city streets. At one point the railway even crosses the A46 motorway. The entire trip takes about 30 minutes.

We were close to the station County Court.





Here we are in a train station, spme metres above the ground.


Our train is coming!




When we arrived home we all were very tired.

Mummy, I'm coming home to you in a few days. I miss you!


Posted Sep 24, 2008, 8:36 pm
Hi Mummy,
today I went with Katja to her workplace in the morning. we had fog outside, the streets were looking really spooky.


Later in the morning I was looking out of the office window. You can see that it's already autumn. You can also feel it - it's getting colder.


Katja promised us that we would take a walk in the afternoon, in Wuppertal, on another closed railway track.

Posted Sep 24, 2008, 9:01 pm
We took to bus to Wuppertal and starting walking on the "Sambatrasse", a closed railway track. In Germany you can find a lot of these so called "Bahntrassen". They are liked by pedestrians and as well by cyclists. Usually you can walk or ride through a town without much contact to traffic and street noise. This route here is about 9 km long.

We started in Wuppertal-Cronenfeld. Here we found these funny signs.


Do you know where Matagalpa is? Of course I know: Matagalpa is in Colombia!

We passed this building. It's a waste incinerator.


We walked along allotment gardens. They looked well-kept, many flowers were blooming here.


It seems that someone found souvenirs along the railway track ...


We saw large stacks of wood, protected against burglary or maybe wild animals.


A part of the Sambatrasse is crossing the Wuppertal Zoo. A bridge is build over the zoo, on the right side you can see the tiger enclosure. We did not see any tigers today, maybe they were hiding somewhere.


We saw this funny sign on the bridge, just behind  the tiger closure. It says

Info for the tigers - Meals on wheels.


The cyclists have to take care ...  :D

We reached the end of the Sambatrasse here.


We are still close to the zoo, you can see it on this beautifully painted house.




We went home by Schwebebahn and bus, but before we had a delicious pizza.

I will pack my things now and will come home soon.


Posted Oct 2, 2008, 8:25 pm
I want to tell I arrived home savely.
Thanks everyone for taking such good care of me!!
I enjoyed each and everything I have done!

Hug Pien (and Lejow)