Penny, Santos, Brazil


Posted Mar 26, 2009, 1:40 pm
Hello everyone! I'm Penny Kitten.  :D 
I can't wait to start traveling the world and seeing all sorts of new things.  My mentor said I will have a lot of fun doing, I really hope that she is right.

If you would like to host me, please send a PM to Steph.  She'll be glad to send me along.

Travel List:
sararingham in Australia. (Had a fantastic time! Thank you, Sara!)
RikeH in Germany (Loved it here! Thank you, Rike!)
AnjaM in Germany (had a wonderful time at the medievel festivals! Thank you, Anja!)
Delenna in Finland (had a great time! Thank you, Kati!!)
BlackCat in Germany (had so much fun seeing all the sights as well as the trip to China!! Thank you Fabienne!!)
JaymeC in Japan (loved Japan! It was so pretty! Thank you!)
TaisAfinskaia in Russia(currently here!)

Posted Mar 28, 2009, 2:47 am
Last night, my mom tried to assure me how much fun I would have!  She let me look at Chance's travelog, her other TV.  I saw some pretty neat things on his, including him DRIVING a car with ANOTHER TV!!  :o

Needless to say, I was a bit jealous, but I'll get over it because next I was shown the response to my message on the forum! I'm already lined up to go to three different people (two different countries)!!  :D
The first is Australia, where I will be visiting sararingham.  I decided I needed to do a bit of research before I set out on my journey.

After that, I will be visiting two different people in Germany. RikeH and AnjaM.  My mom told me that she took German in school, so we went over a few of the important things that I would need to know when I get there.  I won't be going until May, so I really hope that I remember them before I get there  :thinking:

Well, I must be going to bed.  We're going shopping for my luggage this weekend.

Posted Mar 30, 2009, 3:15 pm

Welp, today I've been sent on way to Australia!  B) I hope I have as good of a time as I think I will! Until then, I'm taking a nap in this nice bubblewrap envelope.  It's tiny, like me!  :D

Posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:43 am
Hi mom! I've arrived in Australia - and just in time, as it's started to finally cool down for the autumn type weather... nice to see - Sara says it's been very hot lately and you could barely go out and do anything... so finally... and I arrived in good time because they're going somewhere special tomorrow... I wonder where that is... Well I'll write again soon I'm going to get some rest... I'm quite tired! Miss you mom! <3

Posted Apr 12, 2009, 8:38 am
Today we went on another road trip to Abercrombie Caves... Sara enjoys going to caves, but this time she was able to take the toyvoyagers along... sadly she wasn't allowed to really take photos of the toyvoyagers within the caves. So Sara took a photo of us on the road to Abercrombie Caves... here I am, it's very full of eucalyptus trees isn't it? Very pretty...

...and we're finally here... feels like we've been on the road forever!

Very quickly once we got through the entrance we saw a whole bunch of animal crossing signs, these are the main ones though, so kangaroo and wombat crossing... I wonder if we'll see anything... it's a very twisty road, we've got to be very careful, it's a very dangerous road...

Thankfully we got down safely and got our tickets to do a tour in one of the caves called the 'bush rangers cave'... you can read about that cave and the history of the ribbon gang right here. The ribbon gang hid out in the caves for about 10 days before being captured and eventually hanged (because of horse theft and murder)... it's a very interesting read about the cave... but we came out of the office and saw this strange sign... there must be a lot of kangaroos in this area...

Sadly we didn't see any kangaroos at all - there was a lot of people camping, Sara thinks they might have scared the kangaroos into the bush having so many people around... oh well, we did see lots of ducks and cockatoos though...

Now we're just waiting in line to get into the caves... we're just waiting for the tour guide... quick! It's starting to rain really hard on us... thankfully for us only the people got wet, we were all in Sara's bag so we didn't get lost...

Finally we're in the caves... here are some pictures Sara took within the main self-guided tour archway cave... we had to walk through this cave to get to the bush rangers cave...

This is the exit of the archway self-guided tour cave... and just around the corner is the main cave we're getting the tour through... but something interesting is this is what is called the "grand arch" it's the largest grand arch in the Southern Hemisphere... even more interesting is we are 500m under the ground right now... how often are you that far under the ground, and can still see sunlight? Pretty crazy right? Well onto the bush rangers cave...

Now we're finally in the bush rangers cave... there are a lot of very small passage ways and there was an area in the caves where there was quite a number of bats... here's the "bat chamber"...
See how on the left side of the photo the rock is very dark? Well, that's where the bats are most often... so there's a lot of... bat poo there... we actually had one fly quite low near Sara's head... but weird enough out of the 50 people around Sara she was the only one that seemed to notice it... crazy huh?

Moving on there's a few more things to see in here...

Then we had to make our way back through the main cave we went through initially and then went back to the car... quickly after the tour we didn't take too many photos. Sara was just trying to stay as dry as possible (or keep her camera as dry as possible) as it was pouring down rain at that point... time to head home...

Something interesting on the way home... we saw an echidna... it was on the side of the road in the long grass... sadly Sara couldn't stop and get photos since it was a very narrow road and it was wet out... so sadly no photos of him... Sara wanted photos quite badly since she'd never seen a wild echidna before. :-) Well, write again soon... tomorrow is Easter down here! :-)

Posted Apr 12, 2009, 8:44 am
I just wanted to wish you a very happy Easter Sunday from all of us down here in Australia! :-) Miss you mom! Write again soon! :-)

Posted Apr 13, 2009, 8:46 am
Today is Hugo and Iago's last day in Orange... they're headed out to Sydney in the morning. I'm quite excited for them! :-) It was nice to meet them anyways... today has been a pretty quiet day outside, it's been rainy and foggy outside... so we drew our names on the sun room window...

...and watched the rain... although it doesn't look too nice it's very welcome here in Orange, with our level 5 water restrictions... :-) I think Winter has finally arrived to the Central West... :-)

Sara assures us we'll still have fun while we're here even while it's raining... write again soon mom! :-) Miss you!

Posted Apr 15, 2009, 7:58 am
Today all of us toyvoyagers decided to help Sara with some of her chores around the house. Usually Wednesday's for her are pretty busy, but this one was way busier than normal since they had so many public holidays in a row... first off Sara had to clean the mouse mansion - once she had it all clean and put new bedding in we decided to sit in it to relax... not really that comfy, but they make burrows in it...

...once that was all done we had to top up the food for the two other mice in separate cages... they're wild mice that Sara caught in her house... since they had been reliant on Sara's food she couldn't release them to their deaths... so Sara keeps them just like the other mice but in separate cages... here we are on top of the cages...
The mouse cage on the left is the boy mouse, who is called Mr. Jingles, the cage on the right is a female mouse (not put together for obvious reasons) called Dorothy...

Sara actually got a photo of Dorothy who came out to eat once we changed over her food and water. It was from a distance because she's scared very easily... this is what she looks like...
...very very small isn't she?...

Next on the list of chores we had to finish off the mouse cage... here we are preparing to put the mice back in their mansion...
...there's four mice in there, can you see them all? Two of them are pretty old now, the large black and white one (more brown and white now) is called Moo, the white one is Charlotte, the tan colored one is Puff (her sister died just recently - she was identical but had a tiny white spot on her back side)... and the small white one with black spots is called Choc Chip... Moo and Charlotte are around 18 months old, which is pretty good... the average life span of a domestic mouse is around 24 months...

Finally... the mouse mansion is complete... see the mice in there?

Once that was complete, we had to get the washing baskets ready, so we had a whole heap of laundry to fold... Sara hates folding laundry so she was happy to get some help...

Now that's all done, and another load of laundry is in the washing machine, time to move on... time to clean out the bird aviary... it's in the kitchen, Sara's got lots of finches but they're all very beautiful... here's me in front of the aviary...
In Bree's photo one of the birds was caught mid air... here's a close up of the zebra finch flying in her photo... we got to clean out the bird cage... we do it twice a week and the birds love when they're cage is all clean... here I am in front of all the stuff ready to go back into the cage... for the birds, some of the birds are quite unique. Zebra finches are very common everywhere in the world. But Sara has some pretty unique ones, she's got star finches (yellow and red faced), gouldian finches (which are endangered in the wild - and extremely hard to breed), spice finches, diamond doves (which is the world's smallest dove)... and society finches which are a bird that was never found in the wild - it was a domestically bred bird, so it's very handy to have in mixed aviaries especially with breeding, as if you do it right you can have the society finches take over and raise the babies that were abandoned. Here's some photos of the finches closer up... can you figure out which bird is which?...
...Sara also has some "ground dwelling" birds at the bottom... also good in aviaries, they're called button quails they're both of the silver variety...

Something exciting... is we hear some... odd sounds come out of the cage recently... Sara says two of her gouldian finches actually have had fertile eggs that have hatched. There's sadly only one baby remaining... and it's sure noisy. Sara's not sure how old it is or what it looks like since gouldian finches are extremely hard to breed since they'll easily abandon the nest. Even when Sara was taking a photo of all of us in front of the aviary one of the gouldians sent out a "warning" chirp that made all the birds freeze and Sara didn't want to bug them too much. Sara promises when the baby leaves the nest she'll get photos of the baby and us so we can see what a baby gouldian finch looks like. :-)

If you can't tell Sara is an animal lover, she also has fish, and she has a dog... since they're not cleaning the dog right now there's no photos helping with that... Sara put the dog in the kennel to get the photos since she's still a puppy and in training. So here we are with her 1 year old beagle, Anni...

Last but not least it's time to finish off the washing, so we all headed outside and "hung out"...

...after what seemed like forever, all the clothes were on the line... it got very very windy while we were outside but we were protected by one of the kid toys Sara's got outside for Andrew (her son)... here's all the clothes on the line... it's time to rest... it's been a long long day! write again soon mom! <3

Posted Apr 23, 2009, 1:22 pm
Well... we all took a road trip to Bathurst. We got a call today saying that we were going to be taking a long road trip in a few days (when we were going to go to Bathurst)... so we pushed our trip here sooner... first things first, Sara always searches for kangaroos since she knows the places that they frequent on the outskirts of the town... so... lets see if we can find any of those famous Australian animals...

Next thing you know... we were there, and there were some kangaroos... just sitting on the side of the road. Sara got us in a photo before she got some close up photos. They weren't all that close to us... here I am with the kangaroo in the distance...

...and of course Sara got some close up photos of the kangaroos... there was a large male there as well, you'll notice him out of the bunch when those photos come along...

But that wasn't the last stop in Bathurst... this town has a much more famous thing in it... something that all Australian's know about and it makes this country stop when it's on... let's move onto the next stop... write again soon! :-)

Posted Apr 23, 2009, 1:42 pm
Next stop was the very famous Australian race track... Mount Panorama... this is the race track that holds the famous Bathurst 1000 each October. For one full weekend the city is absolutely booming, people come from all over Australia to see the races... so we got to visit the track... here's us on the way to the track... if you see in the background on the side of the mountain you can see the writing? See it mom?...

I'm sure the sign was a bit hard to see, since we were still quite a distance from it... here we are at the entrance to the track...

...but before we go on the track we got to visit the new statue of Peter Brock which was introduced last year at the races. Mr Brock was famous for winning more times than anyone on the track... sadly he died in 2006, in a car crash, on a different track... very shortly after Steve Irwin died... within days. Here I am in front of his statue...

Sara decided to take us up to a higher level to see the race track from above... sort of... here I am in front of the sign you might have been able to see some of earlier... it's the very famous 'Mount Panorama' sign on the side of the mountain...

...and of course we had to check out the starting gate... we had to see where we were headed...

There aren't many race tracks open to the public. Nor are there many race tracks where you can drive on them, or have to drive on the track to get to your home... some people live on the track (on the inside ring of the track there's vineyards and quite a few little houses that people rent out during the races)... well... what are we waiting for, let's see what this race track has to offer...
Now we have been able to see the whole track as it is, you can see the view from the top of the mountain... isn't it beautiful? Well I better get home and get some rest... Sara says we'll need it for what's coming up! Write again soon!

Posted Apr 23, 2009, 1:49 pm
*yawn* It's 6am, and we are already on the road... were leaving Orange now... Sara's keeping quiet of where were going... it's a big surprise to all of us, although it's mainly just a long drive for us we might get to see some fun things... well here we are, leaving Orange just as the sun is coming up...
Lots more to see... write again soon! :-)

Posted Apr 23, 2009, 2:04 pm
We've already been on the road for 2 hours... it's a place Sara's never even been before, a small town out West of her called Parkes... it's a town with only around 11,000 inhabitants but it's the largest town we'll see for the rest of the day...

We got to see what Parkes is famous for... it's radio telescope...

Can you see it? It's pretty big at 64 meters wide... but obviously it's still a bit of a distance away, you can see it slightly over the trees... you'll see it a lot better soon...

...and finally here we are... isn't it massive?
I don't think the picture gives it the justice it deserves... it's amazing how huge it is... apparently this radio telescope actually helps with NASA, and helped with the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in 1969. The famous transmissions with the voice of Neil Armstrong came through here, before being transmitted to Houston... isn't that awesome?

Sadly we couldn't stay long, so we just got some photos around the front area of the museum... here I am on top of the world... what toyvoyager can say they've done that?

...and here I am on a sun dial... I'm not quite sure how it works but it is cool to look at isn't it?...

Well we quickly had to get back to the car and get on our way... we had another 2 hours to our first destination... I'm thinking this is going to be a long day... but a good start! I can't wait to see what else I'll get to see! Write again soon! :-)

Posted Apr 23, 2009, 2:13 pm
Next stop was a small town called Condobolin... this town has around 3,500 people in it, but honestly it looked a lot smaller than that... we struggled in this town, we couldn't find a place that sold the fuel we need for the car. So we had a bit of a panic attack before finding someone that sold it... thankfully... here we are on the outskirts of Condobolin...

Throughout this tiny town there was a lot of huge trees, it was actually quite pretty... very dry and warm but it was very pretty... here are a few pictures from around the town...

...and this is us when were filling up the tank... we were so happy to find fuel, we would have been lost in the middle of nowhere and that would have been even worse... and you'll see why soon...'s time to get back on the road... so much more to see, and the most interesting of it is coming up! I promise you'll enjoy this next bit... I know I did! :-) Write again soon!

Posted Apr 23, 2009, 2:53 pm
Now we were on a long stretch. Sara said this would last a while so we all got pretty comfortable and laid back... it was a nice smooth road, this was going to be nice...

Just as we got confident about the ride... the road went from this wonderfully paved road... this... for 100 kilometers (62.5 miles)... it was a very bumpy ride...

So throughout the ride we decided to just watch out for wildlife... see if we could see anything... sadly we didn't see anything... and then... what did we see in the trees...
We saw an emu! A wild emu... how cool is that? Sara had the car turned around so we could get a few photos. Sadly he was at such a distance that we couldn't really get any photos "with" him...

Moving on we just watched the landscapes, if we're lucky we can see something more... I'm surprised I got to see an emu as it is... how amazing, Sara's never seen an emu in the wild before... here's the landscapes that we were driving by for the 2.5 hour drive up this road to our next destination...

...and then all of a sudden... we saw more emu's... wow this is getting crazy... this guy was on the side of the road...
...he was really really scared of the car so he stayed back and tried to get on the other side of the fence, we had to over take him in hopes he didn't hurt himself trying to get past the fence... he was fine thankfully...

...then almost just as we passed that one we saw another group of emu's... this time there was 10 of them all together...
...they all got startled quite easily and took off running farther into the paddock so Sara got some photos of that...

Sara got to see two other groups of emu's with at least 10 birds in each group... Sara even got a video of the emu's if you'd like to see it check it out here it's only 15 seconds long... they're very curious birds aren't they? I think I'm starting to enjoy seeing them... they get more and more interesting as time goes on... :-)

Finally we were at the end of the 2 hours on that dirt track, no more emu's... although we came into something very common in the "outback"... farmers letting their cattle out of the paddock to graze on the side of the road... we had to be very careful...

Just after that we were finally coming into the next town... write again soon! That was such an interesting ride through the "outback"... we even passed by the center mark in New South Wales... it means we got exactly to the center of the state... how crazy is that?

Posted Apr 23, 2009, 3:11 pm
Next stop was a town called Nyngan it's a town with only around 2,000 people but looked surprisingly bigger than the last town we were in that had another 1,500 people in it... go figure...

It was only a short trip through the city so here are a few photos on the way through...

Well, we're moving onto the next small town... thankfully we're almost done, we've been on the road now for 8 hours! Crazy stuff! Write again soon!

Posted May 1, 2009, 7:09 am
Next stop was Narromine a small town outside of Dubbo (around 45 minutes drive from Dubbo)... sadly we didn't have much time to spend there so we got some photos on the road... it was already a long way home and we've already been driving for so many hours today!
Next stop is the last stop before going back home to Orange! Yay!

Posted May 1, 2009, 7:15 am
Finally! At our last stop before heading back home... we've ended up in a tiny tiny town called PeakHill... it has a population of only around 800 people... so a very one road town... not much to see as were driving through...'s finally time to head back home... we have to go through Parkes, so if you look at my map you realize we just went in a really big square type shape... amazing isn't it? Especially done in one day, we're as tired as it seems! Write again soon!

Posted May 1, 2009, 7:22 am
We're finally back home... I think it took just this long to recover from 11 hours of being on the road... it's been a crazy last week but has been relaxing for us toyvoyagers. Sara says to quickly pack our bags because we are back on the road again today... we get another visitor this time as well... Rob Dyrduck has come and visited us just in time! Write again soon!

Posted May 1, 2009, 7:40 am
We took a trip today to Wellington, which is on the Orange-side of Dubbo... around 45 minutes outside of Dubbo. Thankfully we weren't going that far... it was only 1pm and it had already been a long day... but we packed ourselves into the car and took off towards Wellington. Sadly the job in Wellington took a bit longer than expected so we didn't get any photos whilst in Wellington... fortunately there's not much to see in Wellington...

So Sara decided to take us to one of the lakes in this area... there aren't many natural lakes... this is the first one she's ever been to... it's called Lake Burrendong... sadly because it was getting so late we couldn't go down to the lake... it would have cost us $8.00 to get down there. Which normally isn't a lot, but when all you're doing is taking photos... it's quite a bit of money. So in the mean time we got a photo of us next to the lake...

Hopefully we'll get to stop there again sometime when the sun isn't setting behind us! Write again soon! :-)

Posted May 11, 2009, 6:08 am
Well, today was my last day in Australia... time for me to head to the other side of the world... at least I have a friend with me! I think this trip will go by much faster with a friend than if I was alone... well off I go! Write again when I'm in Germany mom! Miss you!

Posted May 22, 2009, 3:09 pm
Dear Mum,

i just want to let you know, that I arrived in Germany at Rike’s place.

Here is a photo of me in the garden in a beautiful bush.

Here you see the other TVs, saying hello to me and Bree. It was a warm Welcome, and the right time to arrive. Three of the TVs will travel to their next destinations this week-end. So Rike planned a nice party with many games. Now, that I arrived – it is a Farewell and a Welcome-Party. Great !

For the Party we had two teams. I am in the team for the small TVs.

First we played billiard. That is not easy….so we moved the billiard cue together.

The next game was darts. Rike told us, that it is not the goal to be photographed on the darts, but we loved to sit there. We all tried to have a 180, but that is not possible for a little ToyVoyager.

After these sportive games, we played a game, named Ligretto. It is a very fast game and we had so much fun !

Our referee was a very funny Toy – it is called long hippo. He counted all the points from the different games and believe it or not, we are all winners.  What a wonderful evening.

On Saturday Super Grover, Murph and Cassandra will leave us, but I am sure, that I will have a nice time with Lupus-Tigger, Kunigunde and Bree.


Posted Jun 7, 2009, 7:41 pm
Hi Mum,
my first day on the ship – it is amazing.

I enjoyed the sun,

and loved to see the sea from high above !

I am sure, that I will love this kind of traveling.

Posted Jun 8, 2009, 6:10 pm
A great day – we start our journey – a cruise around Great Britain.

Posted Jun 8, 2009, 6:58 pm
Good morning from Ireland,

Today the ship stopped in Cobh. When the ship started his way to the next port, we all were out. First we saw another Cruise Ship, then we had a nice view over Cobh. After it we saw the pool of the ship and played a round of Shuffleboard.

We had much fun together !

Posted Jun 9, 2009, 11:53 am
A day in sunny Liverpool,

Today we are in the beautiful town of Liverpool. I didn’t know, that there are so many beautiful buildings ! Great !!! First you see some of them.

Then we made a trip with this funny vehicle – it can drive on the streets and swim in the water. A lot of fun, although the people speak a strange English….

Now some more views from Liverpool.

This is our little travelgroup on the ship in the port of Liverpool.

Posted Jun 9, 2009, 3:27 pm
Today we were in Belfast – we made a nice trip with a bus – and saw a lot of this interesting city. This is the Parliament – some miles away from the town center.

Now there are photos of the town and inside a market hall.

After that we went into the botanical garden. Many people enjoyed the sun – but only I was able to enjoy it in this beautiful flower !

When we were back on board, we played on the ‘ships’ in the bathroom.

Posted Jun 9, 2009, 7:18 pm
I went outside to have a nice view of Oban.

In the evening we had a nice sunset.

Posted Jun 10, 2009, 2:52 pm
A nice day on the Hebrides
Today we rent a car and drove over the Isle of Lewis. We saw these wonderful black houses, and visited one. From the village we had this nice view.

Later we drove to the standing Stones. They were wonderful – and really huge.

Posted Jun 13, 2009, 2:40 pm
Now I want to show you the ship.

This is one of the lounges – called the Captain’s Club, but we didn’t see the Captain.

Here we are at the moment – somewhere around Great Britain.

That is the way we had to run, when there would be an alarm – and the last photo shows the way to our cabin.

In the evening we went outside and took these wonderful photos !


Posted Jun 13, 2009, 4:27 pm
Hi Mum,

Today is our last day on board. We had a tournament of fencing. The winner will get a cake and some sweets. It was a hard fight.

Kunigunde and I were in the final…

…but then we all decided, that it is much nicer to have the cake and the sweets together.

After eating all these things, we went out for a last walk, because our cruise will end tomorrow. We saw a wonderful sunset – and then a beautiful sky.

I really loved this cruise – when can I do my next, Mum?

yours Penny

Posted Jun 14, 2009, 12:53 pm
Hi Mum,

Today is the last day for 3 of us in Sülfeld, so we watched our travel logs together. We had so much fun to see, what we have done!

Then we all decided to talk all the day and the night, before some of us leave to their new hosts. So here we are sitting in front of long hippo and talked about our adventures. From the left to the right you see us all together. We are dicker Kumpel, Kunigunde, ThomasHH, Slummy, me, Bree and Lupus-Tigger.

Tomorrow we will go to Hamburg - a big and beautiful city.  :D

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 12:38 pm
Hello Mum,
Today we will drive to Hamburg – Germany’s second largest city. The weather wasn’t that good, but there was no rain. So, we are ready to go !

You can see me in front of the town hall – a beautiful building. Next to it, there are swans – nice birds, but VERY big. Then there is just another view of the town hall.

This it the Alster – a nice lake in the centre of Hamburg. There is a nice fountain on it – and small boats make trips over the lake.

When we went into one shop, we saw this funny family. We were told, that they are film stars – and many people know them.

It was a nice day.


Posted Jun 17, 2009, 11:11 am
Hi Mum,

because I will leave tomorrow, we had a nice party. So we ate a lot of cakes and muffins –
it was wonderful.

I am a little sad to leave RikeH, we spent such a nice time together – and I loved the cruise. But it is time to go to my next host – Anja, I am coming !!!


Posted Jun 19, 2009, 8:16 pm
Hi Mommy,

I have arrived well at Anja's house, and I am so tired that I'm going straight to bed!

I will tell you more very soon, I promise.


Posted Jun 21, 2009, 11:40 pm
Meeting my new friends

Hi Mommy,

when I arrived at Anja's house, I was met by Terry the Tiger, Wieka the bat and Harold Giraffe:

They all enjoyed the lovely picture postcard I brought with me

and they told me all kinds of stories about the exciting places they have visited with Anja. I can't wait to see it all!  :D


Posted Jun 23, 2009, 11:09 pm
Glauburg - City of the Celts

Hi Mommy,

today, Anja took me on my first trip to see all the historical stuff she likes so much.

About an hour's drive from Frankfurt, there is the historical town of Glauburg, where people settled and lived already 8000 years ago.

On the Glauberg mountain you walk in the footsteps of our ancestors from the Neolithic period to the High Middle Ages.

The Glauberg mountain rises circa 500 feet above the surrounding meadowlands of the Wetterau region. There is a small pond on the almost flat plateau.

For several thousand years this mountain with the excellent view was an ideal, secure site for settlements.

You find the remains of settlements, ramparts and fortifications from 6000 B.C.E up to the 13th century.

In the years around 1990 there was the most spectacular find: The graves of Celtic princes at the foot of the mountain.

In the graves jewellery was discovered, household articles and - the almost completely preserved life-sized sandstone statue of a Celtic prince. Around the head the statue wears a wreath of - presumably - mistletoe leaves.

Archaeologists interprete the ditches and ramparts around the grave mound as the central holy district of Early Celtic tribes.

Since his discovery, the 2500 year old Celtic prince has been travelling. Up to April 2003 you could see him in the extensive archaeological exhibition in the Walter-Gropius Building in Berlin, in May he followed the exhibition to Bonn. Here you could meet him until August 24th, 2003.

At the Glauberg mountain you can see a copy of the statue and photographs of the Celtic princes: The museum in the Glauburg village shows finds from the history of the settlement and a photo documentation on the excavation of the Celtic princes' graves from 1994 to 1997.

Plan for at least half a day for your tour following the trail and reading the information panels describing the cultural history of the settlement.

For visitor groups, the museum in Glauburg offers guided tours in the museum and on the mountain.


Glauburg is a nice old town with many nice old timber houses

The big museum mentioned in the article above is closed for renovation, but inside the town there is a small museum that is housed in an old school house (earliest picture of the building as a school house dating form 1908)

Inside the museum, there is a statue of the Celtic Prince that was excavated near Glauburg

and of many Celtic items that were found during the excavations, starting from 1933 (the excavations, not the items  ;) )

These rocks were used to grind grain into flour

This is what a Celtic city wall looked like

and there were many tools and other i household tems that were found near Glauburg

Some things did not last that long all in one piece, so models of them were reconstructed from the remnants found.

and there were also some other nice old items in the museum

Wow! We certainly felt very, very young when we considered that this place has a history of 8000 years!  :D


Posted Jun 24, 2009, 12:20 am
A beautiful big farm near Glauburg - and a Linden Tree

Hi Mommy,

when we drove home from Glauburg, we saw the most beautiful farm building!  :D Anja just had to stop her car and have a look around - and of course, we got to see it, too.  :D

No, this is not a castle. This is really a farm!

Near the main building, there were two lovely old Linden trees, as big as a house

Linden trees blossom in early June, and the smell of the blossoms is unbelievably sweet and lovely  :D

To German people, a Linden tree is the most romantic thing in the world, and this tree also plays a large role in German / Germanic folk lore.

In mythology, the linden tree is a symbol of peace, truth and justice. This connection is from Germanic mythology where the linden tree is associated with Freyja, the motherly goddess of truth and love.

According to German folklore, it was not possible to lie while standing under a linden tree. Consequently, Germans often met under linden trees not only to dance and celebrate, but also to hold their judicial proceedings. Christianity later replaced Freyja with the Madonna and rededicated the trees to Mary, the mother of God.


The Linden tree also plays an important role as a symbol for love and peace during the romantic period in German literature and music in the 1800s, and through the ages - up to the time of Anja's grandmother - young people would meet under the big Linden tree in a village / town square to celebrate and dance - and to fall in love  :D

Here is a song about a Linden tree, composed by Franz Schubert in 1827:

Am Brunnen vor dem Tore - song you can listen to

Ooooh, this place was so romantic! If you listen to the old song and look again at the pictures, then you can catch the mood of the place.  :D

Romantic regards

Posted Jun 26, 2009, 9:34 pm
Bree arrives

Hi Mommy,

today, Bree arrived.

Of course we were all curious what Bree would look like, so we all  crowded around the envelope: Terry the Tiger,Harold Giraffe, myself and Wieka

And here is Bree:

We all enjoyed the nice picture postcard of the island of Sylt that she brought with her

Another giraffe! Harold was so happy!
They hit it off immediately  :D

and they shared a gummi bear giraffe that Anja had brought home

We immediately told Bree that for the very next day we and Anja plan a trip to the Hessenpark, an open air musum with old farm houses from all over the state of Hessen.

I'm so excited!


Posted Jun 28, 2009, 1:34 pm
Pottery Market in the Hessenpark

- and a genuine Hessian "Bembel"

Hi Mommy,

today, Anja took us to the Hessenpark.


Hessenpark – founded in 1974 as the central Hessian Open-Air Museum.

The Open-Air Museum Hessenpark is a reflection of rural Hesse's of the past.

Over 100 buildings – a complete range of farmsteads to day laborer houses – have been reconstructed on 160 acres. As you walk through the Open-Air Museum you are guided through 400 years of Hessian history.

The Museum is organized into five groups of buildings, representing the regions they have been relocated from. These groups of buildings are named after the rivers, characterizing that particular landscape.


There was a pottery market in the Hessenpark today, showing and selling all kind of pottery items: traditional items for the kitchen and household and also more modern items for decoration.

This is what an old pottery workplace looks like

and this is still the way pottery is made today

The first stall sold traditional pottery, which is still used in the home by people who like traditional things

These items are.

top: a milk jug

left: a platter

right: a butter dish

and in the middle:

a genuine item that you will find only in the state of Hessen: a "Bembel"

A Bembel is a jug that is used for serving the traditional Hessian drink of apple wine. A Bembel is always grey with blue markings. As the Bembel is made of pottery, the apple wine will stay cool inside it. (And no, you never ever drop ice cubes into apple wine!  :mad:)

Traditionally - before the day of refrigerators - apple wine was kept in the cellar, to keep it cool. If you wanted to drink it, you would go to the cellar and fill a Bembel with the apple wine. The drink would then stay cool in the pottery Bembel for quite some time.

Well, if you have some thirsty Hessian people sitting around the table, a small Bemble full of apple wine won't last long, anyway.  ;) That's why Bembels come in different sizes. The very big Bembels served in pubs for large tables full of thirsty people are put into a metal contraption that allows you to tilt the big, heavy Bembel without having to lift it  :D

You see, Hessian people can be quite ingenious when it comes to enjoying their favorite drink  ;)

This stall sold many nice traditional things

and the sweet old lady in the stall told us that her father, her husband, her son and even her grandson were all potters.

She showed us some lovely pictures of them at work, making this lovely traditional pottery

Then we went on to look at the other stalls

Look at these kitten faces! You can hang them on the wall and put things into them, like flowers or pencils

I  thought they were so cute!

There were all kinds of nice decorative things

and - of course  ;) - Anja's favorites again: dragons!

These dragons you can fill with lamp oil, and then they will have flames coming out of their noses

We saw so many cute things!

And then we saw a stall where we had such fun!!!!

.. to be continued....




Posted Jun 28, 2009, 1:39 pm
Hessenpark Pottery Market - Big Fun with Pottery  :D

Hi Mommy,

as I said, this pottery market had all kinds of items - traditional household items, decorations and all kinds of nice things.

But there was one stall where we had the biggest fun! And the two people working at the stall enjoyed it, too, and they came up with the nicest things for us to do!  :D

They sold some really funny figurines that produce fragrant smoke when you put something fragrant inside.

We had a ball there! :D

Wheeee!!!  :D

After all that fun, we needed a rest, so we joined this lovely lady on the lawn

By the way, Anja had a ball at the pottery market, too, playing "shop till you drop"  ;)

These are all the nice things she bought (some for herself, some as gifts)

By the way, this little guy sitting on the toilet and holding his nose can be used to put fragrance in the bathroom. Put some cotton in the pot behind him (where Penny kitten is sitting), then put a few drops of fragrant oil in it, and then he makes your bathroom smell nice  ;)

Oooh, what a lovely day!

Later, I will tell you about the Hessenpark itself and all the lovely timber houses and the nice things from German history that we saw.

But today, I am too tired...



Posted Jun 29, 2009, 8:22 pm
The Hessenpark in Neu-Anspach, close to Frankfurt am Main
- 400 years of German history (no, this is not boring!  ;) )

Hi Mommy,

like I said, on Saturday Anja took us to the Hessenpark, an open air museum with original buildings from all over the state of Hessen, showing 400 years of German history, as it was lived in the state of Hessen.

No, this was not, repeat not, boring!  ;)

On the contrary, as they say on the homepage of the Hessenpark:

Enjoy your trip: You will find yourself in the midst of daily life as it was experienced by our ancestors. You can compare their working methods and lifestyles with our way of life in the 21st Century.


When you get to the Hessenpark, which is located in the lovely wooded area "Taunus", about 10 miles from Frankfurt, there is a large area where you can enjoy things, shop, eat and drink without having to pay the entrance fee.

You start out with a soap shop and soap museum housed in - what else?  ;) - a timber house

They sell homemade soaps and sachets, without any chemical additives.
Ooooh, you wouldn't believe the wonderful smell of that place!!!  :D

Anja bought a sachet that smells like roses

and this is a really old advertisement for the detergent "Persil". The detergent still exists today

The next shop sold brushes - the good old fashioned brushes made of wood and pork bristles, not this new fangled plastic stuff  ;)

They even had some old fashioned feather dusters, like you see in really old movies

When you walk on and follow the sign

you get to the "market place"

a pharmacy

a churchbell

a building dated back to 1589, with its gate showing the date of construction

A very interesting building was the "Kolonialwarenladen" (general store). Like the general stores in the American West, these stores sold everything: from sewing needles to sausage, and from ladies' corsets to men's shoes  ;)

Advertising signs for Maggi soups. Maggi soups are still sold and eaten today. They are quite tasty, Anja said

We walked on towards the actual entrance of the park

All these things you can see without having to pay entrance fee. You can shop, look at the old buildings, eat and drink. And you have not even entered the actual Hessenpark!

By the way:

These buildings are not replicas.
Instead, they were purchased all over Hessen (many of them in ruins), dismantled, transported to the Hessenpark, and there they were rebuilt from the original parts and restored to look the way they used to look. Using the same materials and techniques that were used in the old days.

Here is a building that is not quite finished, so you can see how it is made: of a wooden frame that is filled with clay mixed with straw

As soon as we got inside the actual park, we needed a rest in another market square

Anja bought some apple wine (yes, the stuff that is traditionally served in a Bembel  ;) )

and we all enjoyed a nice, cool drink

While we were resting, a waggon drawn by real work horses came by

... now, I will rest for a little while, too, before continuing my story...


Posted Jun 29, 2009, 9:16 pm
Hessenpark - there is more to see!

Hi Mommy,

after resting and drinking the apple wine, we continued our walk inside the Hessenpark.

There were such lovely old buildings, the whole park looked like an old village

We particularly liked this old farm building from 1691  that had belonged to a wealthy farmer. The farm consisted of four buildings forming a square:a wall,  the barn, the stable, and the house for the family

We also entered the house

- no, not this little house, tee hee  ;) -

This is the kitchen

and the upper story of the house has an exhibition on making fabrics in old times

flax and hemp

and wool

This is an explanation of how to spin wool

(Sleeping Beauty stung her finger with such a hand spindle and fell into a sleep that lasted 100 years...  :D)

The people in the villages worked all day long - even in their "free" time they would sit and spin wool.

This is a "spinning room" of old times

The text says that there in such spinning rooms, there was conversation, music and fun. But all while doing work - even in the evenings, when the "day's work" was done.

Spinning wool at all times - along of all the other work - was so prevalent that this painting shows even Mother Mary spinning wool while Joseph and Jesus are doing carpentry work

The finished flax or wool threads were then woven into fabrik at these looms


Farm women worked all day long. For enjoyment and pleasure, they turned to embroidery.

Here are some traditional costumes with lovely embroidery

and more pictures of what the farmers used to look like

and some nice embroidery

Then we went on to the barn

where we saw pictures of people mowing corn

and threshing it

Wow! What a lot of work there is on a farm!!!  :o

This house had a lovely herb garden - herbs were used for medicine before the days of chemistry

And there was also a display of making pottery in the old days

Wow! We had seen so much history that our little feet were tired, and we were hungry and thirsty!

So we all went to a nice country inn to enjoy apple wine and a German specialty: Schnitzel

This is a breaded Schnitzel with pepper sauce and Rösti (potato patties) and a salad. And let me tell you, Mommy, we sure ate it all!  :D

Ooooh, that was so good!

I hope you enjoyed my little trip into German history as much as I did!


Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:02 pm
Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum

Lich, Hessen, Germany

4 and 5 July 09

Day 1 - Saturday, 4 July 2009


If you are into Techno or Hip Hop, please do not read this.

If you are into Medieval Markets, you are going to love this

Hi Mommy,

today, Anja and two of her friends dressed up in their medieval clothes and took us to the medieval market in Lich.

First, we got something to drink, because it was a hot and sunny summer day - and we spent the "Taler" coins they had given us as change at the entrance on LICHer beer and Radler (a mixture of beer and Sprite, very tasty!)

With a Radler and a pretzel in our hands, we walked onto the festival grounds

where we found - what else? - dragons

Look! Medieval jewellery!!!

made by this lovely maiden

We did not have much time to look around the festival grounds,

because now the reeve ("Vogt" = kind of lord of the realm) was to give his speech and open the festival for the people of the realm.

He was accompanied by musicians and soldiers

who carried him in a sedan chair

to the other side of the festival grounds

where a stage had been erected for the entertainment of the people

and the merchants who sold their wares at this festival were introduced

Soon, a band began to play

and Anja and her friends visited the stalls of the brewer

the baker, and the butcher

which made them very happy

although you can sure meet some weird people at such a fair, such as this beggar

... I will now take a little rest to enjoy my beer and my food...



Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:03 pm
Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum

Lich, Hessen, Germany

4 and 5 July 09

Day 1 - Saturday, 4 July 2009

Part 2

Hi Mommy,

after we enjoyed our lunch, we went to look at the many kinds of entertainment offered. They sure gave the people "bread and circuses" - oh, sorry, that were the Romans  ;) , but it was also true for this festival.

First, there were some jugglers and jesters

and then, there was jousting among the noble knights who had come from far away to impress the people

Oooh, look at this nasty and dangerous knight!!!  :o

But he sure got his butt kicked  :D

Wow! Now we learned what they meant by "fire and sword"!  :o


Now we wanted to be knights, too.

And Anja was glad to oblige

After all this excitement, we needed a little rest, so we wandered around the festival ground looking at all the beautiful wares that the merchants offered.

honey and mead


(remember the spindles from the Hessenpark? Here they were, not only on pictures!)

little baby shoes

and all kinds of nice things to eat and drink, to dress up in, to defend yourself, and to make your home look nice

They even had some real  animals - look at the horns on these sheep!

Now, Anja laid down her cloak on the meadow, and we all took a little rest  - before it was time to PARTY!!!!  :D




Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:06 pm
Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum

Lich, Hessen, Germany

4 and 5 July 09

Day 1 - Saturday, 4 July 2009

Part 3

Time to party!!!

Hi Mommy,

now, after a long and exciting day, the sun was setting in the sky, dusk was breaking, and we.......

Went home and to bed???? Are you crazy??????  :o

No way! Now, it was time to party!!!!  :p

Anja's friends took out a Shisha (water pipe) and filled it with fruit flavored tobacco and some coals. We got ourselves a beer and a small bottle of strawberry liqueur.

By the way, such a bottle is called a "Flachmann" (= "flat man" ) in German, and it fits into jacket and coat pockets, if you are so inclined...  ;)

time to fire up the shisha

aaaah, watermelon flavor!!!

(this stuff is more fruit flavoring than actual tobacco)

Good stuff!  :D

It was a warm evening, so our beer evaporated quite quickly  :D

So we went and got some bottles of mead.

The light mead is flavored with Linden blossom honey (remember the Linden tree on the farm? The bees make the most delicious honey from its blossoms!)

and the dark mead is flavored with cherry and elderberry juice

Soon, it got dark, and all the people gathered around the campfires.

Some on their cloaks, some on blankets and some sitting on bales of straw - and all listening to the beautiful music of the medieval bands playing and looking dreamily into the fires

which slowly burned down

while we all were sitting in the dark, warm eveing, talking softly

and listening to the music

Try listening to the music, Mommy, and looking into the fire. Then you will feel  the mood of this beautiful evening.

When the fires had burned down, we all went home and slept like babies.




This band was not playing there, but this was the kind of music they played at the festival.


Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:07 pm
Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum

Lich, Hessen, Germany

4 and 5 July 09

Day 2 - Sunday, 5 July 2009

Hi Mommy,

we slept in a small hotel in Lich and had a big breakfast on Sunday morning. Then we returned to the festival.

First, we walked by the tents of those who had spent the night in the festival. And they were so kind to allow us to take pictures.

Anja would always ask nicely. "Noble lord and lady" she would say, "would you permit us to make a painting of your beautiful home, for a dear friend across the big water?" - and permission was gladly granted  :D

We met some musicians

and even little red riding hood!

and then we browsed the merchant's stalls again to admire their wares

There was also fun and games

and hitting Thor's hammer

and again, so much to see

Uhm, did I tell you that Anja likes dragons?  ;)

While we were wandering around, we met some noble lords and ladies and good citizens in wonderful dress. And they all smiled and gave us permission to make a painting.

Now I need a little rest, Mommy, before another exciting fight!



Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:07 pm
Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum

Lich, Hessen, Germany

4 and 5 July 09

Day 2 - Sunday, 5 July 2009

Part 2

Hi Mommy,

now, it was time for another fight.

Yesterday we had seen the knights jousting. Today, there was a joust by the knaves (who served the knights).

The game was announced by the lord of the realm

assisted by the monk Brother Rictus

Look, the two even posed, just for us!!!  :D

The game is played as follows:

In the middle of the playing field, there is a leather ball that weighs 120 kg (approx 240 pounds), just like a knight in full armor who has fallen off his horse.

There are two teams of knaves. Each team tries to drag the ball past their own goal line, while the other team tries to prevent them from doing so. At the same time, mind you  :D

After this game, it was time for a little snack again

(yes, there be dragons  ;) )

The things that look like meatballs are Falafel, oriental vegetable balls. Very tasty! And we had had more than enough meat the day before...

Then we had some mocha from an oriental booth

and just took it easy today, after all the walking around and partying yesterday  ;)

All the adult were lazy, while the children were playing in the straw.

We did take a leasurely walk, however, lazily looking at the stalls and making a purchase here and there.

Look at those gargoyles!  :o

They are sure to scare off evil spirits!

At this booth, Anja "fell in love" - but you'll see  ;)

And in case you are wondering, Mommy:

Yes, the people who attend the festival purchase these lovely things - to complete their costume, to use them or to decorate their homes.

Finally, we got tired, and we rode home on a horse

When we got home, Anja unpacked all the lovely things she had bought

remember the dragon with the helmet from yesterday morning?

Well, it has found a new home!

And, like I said, Anja fell in love at the festival - with the most beautiful jewellery you can imagine!

Oh wow, I wish I were a lady, so I could wear this!  :D

Dear Mommy, I hope you enjoyed my tale as much as I enjoyed this wonderful weekend!  :D




Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:09 pm
Wieka leaves

Hi Mommy,

today, Wieka left.

She is going to Missouri, to visit Steph.

We all waved goodbye to Wieka, who is all excited about her new adventures.




Posted Jul 17, 2009, 7:27 pm
I am leaving to my next host!

Hi Mommy,

today, I left for my next host.

I stamped my little feet, because Anja has not even done the update for the medieval market in Büdingen on the last weekend yet, but she said that she has been extremely busy, and she will do this in about a week.

I'm so excited, I am going to Finland!  :D


Posted Jul 21, 2009, 5:45 pm
Yippee! I arrived in Finland! I met Gary Boldie and Leonard - plus Banyo who had arrived yesterday. They all seemed very nice, I'm sure I'll like it here  :D

Posted Jul 25, 2009, 5:35 pm
Meow! This is me by the Baltic Sea! Somewhere nearby is the small island where Tove Jansson, the creator of Moomin spent her summers. The weather was nice and people were heading for boatrides. I climbed on a birch ( a very common tree here) to get a better view. I also tried the lifebelt but it was abit too big for me.

Nice start for my visit!

Posted Jul 25, 2009, 5:42 pm
The local volunteer fire-brigade turns 111 years! The had a parade and we went to see it. I was with Leonard and Banyo - and I was so eager to see the brigade that I accidentally stepped on their faces... I did apologize like a good kitty.

There were a marching band and the people from the volunteer fire-brigade - even kids! After them came the fire engines, both new and very old old.

It was very fascinating!

Posted Jul 26, 2009, 4:24 pm
Miau! That's how the Finnish cats say  ;)

Today we went to a place where we saw all the fire trucks from yesterday's parade. It's a dance pavilion really, but today there was an event for kids (and toyvoyagers). First we saw Djungeltrumman & Arne Alligator perform in both Swedish and Finnish.

We also went to looka the views, which were quite nice. After that we went to look at the fire-engines close by. I even got to climb on them!

Posted Aug 2, 2009, 3:50 pm
My host finally got to take me to the old town of Porvoo. Here I am by the river. The red shorehouses are the most wellknown sight of the city. This is what the tourism page says about them: The shore houses are now red, but they got their colour only in the late 18th century. Red ochre paint was used to paint the shore houses in honour of King Gustav III's arrival from Sweden. All of the houses along his route were painted, in order to make them more beautiful. The red ochre also helped protect the logs from wind and sun damage. Exotic fruits, wines and spices were brought to Porvoo, and the shore houses also served as intermediate storehouses for coffee an tobacco. Today the shore houses are used as private living quarters and storage space.

Then we had to run for some errands but my host promised we'd get a better look later.

Posted Aug 2, 2009, 3:53 pm
...but guess what happened when we were running the errands? It started raining! A lot! Here I am in the very center of the city looking around. In the last photo is my host's favorite shop (crafts and thimbles) - they had kitties in the window!

Too bad the weather turned like this. Now I have to wait for my tour...

Posted Aug 2, 2009, 6:34 pm

I got to go to a theme park! It's called Puuhamaa and located in Tervakoski, quite near Hämeenlinna. The place was full of cars when we arrived but it wasn't crowded inside the area. There was lots to do: climbing, jumping, sliding, running, driving... etc. All with one entrance fee. I even attended a bootcamp, now I'm a tough kitty!  ;) I met the mascot called Puuhanalle (the teddy in the green hat and shirt). And I "drove" a "helicopter" and got a nice overall view. There was also a small village with a post office, but the office was empty  :(

The weather was on our side most of the time. When we had luch it started raining. First it was a mild summer rain but it got heavier and heavier...  :o I'm a cat, I don't usually like to get wet but I had been to the bootcamp (most of the climbing and tightropes and so on) so I acted like I didn't mind (but guys, it's so wet!).

At the end of the day we went to the water park side of the area. More water... I'm glad my host kept me safe and dry while the others had a splash in the pool.

The view to the lake was nice too  B)

Posted Aug 5, 2009, 2:32 pm
The weather finally cleared up enough for us  to go sightseeing! Our first stop was the Porvoo Cathedral. It's dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and it gained its present form at the end of the 15th century. It accomodates 800 people at a time.  It's also the third most popular church in Finland as measured in number of visitors!

29 th May 2006 the cathedral was set on fire, arson. The fire did not cause much damage to the interior of the church because the ceiling did not collapse. However, the church was damaged by smoke and water. Some windows were broken and chandeliers fell down. They have now finally finished repairing and the cathedral is again open to public and ceremonies. We had a look inside and it looked quite nice.

The red building next to the cathedral is the Small Church. It was dedicated in 1740. The Church accomodates 170 people at a time.

Posted Aug 5, 2009, 2:44 pm
These photos are taken around the cathedral, in the Old Town. The houses are mainly wooden and used as living quarters and stores and museums etc. Look at that car! I'd make one cute ornament  B)

The painted boxes are electricity boxes. They were painted by kids in  the local art school. All the electricity boxes in the Old Town are painted to look nicer. It says "oy sekatavarakauppa ab" which means "general store ltd"  :D

Posted Aug 5, 2009, 2:49 pm
Now I'm on Castle Hill! On this hill used to be a castle/fortress hundreds of years ago. It must've been wooden and burnt down as there not even the slightest clue of it. There's not even an old drawing of it. The flora is special, many of the flowers are rare and endangered.

This is a good place to play Robin Hood says my host  ;)

Posted Aug 5, 2009, 2:54 pm
After the Castle Hill we walked down by the river, still in the Old Town. This is what they write in the city website of the history: Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland. The current wave of settlement began in the 13th-14th centuries. Porvoo was grated city status in the mid-14th century. Porvoo has fought for its very existence on serveral occasions over the centuries. At the beginning of the 16th century, Danes arrived by sea to destroy the city. The Russians burned Porvoo twice. In 1760, a Porvoo housewife made fish soup, and the fire it caused destroyed the majority of the buildings in the city. At the beginning of the 19th century, Finland was annexed to Russia as an autonomous grand duchy. Tsar Alexander I convened the first diet in Porvoo in March 1809. In Porvoo Cathedral, he gave a sovereign pledge in which he ratified the country's religion, its constitutional laws and the rights of the estates. 

The cannon is from the II World War, not in use anymore, naturally. The photos after that are taken on  another hill, to get a good over all view.

Posted Aug 5, 2009, 3:07 pm
Today's sightseeing tour ended here, at the sightseeing tower. You can see the cathedral roof on the left and the city center on the right. So, it's not all lovely wooden buildings only  ;)

The story tells that the sightseeing tower was made by a giant: he heard that they were building a church in Porvoo and got angry (apparently giants don't like churches) and threw a stone all the way from Sipoo (where he lived, a place not too far from Porvoo). He didn't either aim it too well or his arm wasn't in good enough condition as he missed the church.

The stone has been a place to gather for festives a hundred years ago. Kids were told that babies were picked up from under the stone. Around 1880 they made the stairs and it became a sightseeing tower. Nowadays kids are told that a stork brings the babies - which is weird because you very rarely see storks in Finland...

Posted Aug 8, 2009, 5:48 pm
It's very very hot in here today. I wanted to sleep in the shadow but my host and the other tv's had a "great" idea - they wanted to go swimming!  :thinking: Apparently they have forgotten the very nature of cats; we don't like to get wet. I was a sport anyway and followed them to the beach. I explored the dry side of the beach while the others splashed around.

Posted Aug 9, 2009, 6:20 pm
My host wanted to show me the riverbank of River Porvoo. It's a popular place on a hot & sunny day like this. People walk along the shore and have drinks/ice cream in the cafés. The bridge I first saw and which we walked over is the newest. It took them 30 years of debate and arguing to finally get it done  :rolleyes: My host doesn't understand why it was so negative to many people, now that it finally is there the traffic is smoother and it doesn't look bad either.

Posted Aug 9, 2009, 6:34 pm
On the riverbank was several fire-fighting vehicles today! They (the more and less local volunteer fire-brigades) had an event, so there wasn't any crisis going on. But they did honk their horns and put the sirens on! That was one big cacophony!  :o There were both old and new fire engines - and even a small ATV (aka quadbike, buggy, all-terrain vehicle)!  A marching band played music - although they sitting in the shadow  ;)

On our way back to the car we saw a wedding ceremony! It was held on M/aux Marita, a galley built in 1947. The boat docking behind her is M/S J.L. Runeberg.


Posted Aug 19, 2009, 4:30 pm
It's been raining again. Sometimes the sun shines. But then it rains again.  :thinking:

We've decided to stay indoors untill it is more predictable. Although my host isn't sure if that's such a good idea, she says we might never get out...

Anyway, we've spent our time by playing games. Here's our favorite: Moomin memory! As you can see I won! Ok, Mumble won too, we sghared 1st place. But I won anyway. I could smell the pairs  ;)

On the way to victory I learnt the names of the characters in Finnish:

Little My - Pikku Myy
Moomin(troll) - Muumi(peikko)
Moominpappa - Muumipappa
Moominmamma - Muumimamma
Snufkin - Nuuskamuikkunen (boy, that's one long name in Finnish!)
Snif - Nipsu
Hemulen - Hemuli
Snorkmaiden - Niiskuneiti
Snork - Niisku
Stinky - Haisuli
Mrs Fillyjonk - Rouva Vilijonkka
The Hattenfatteners - Hattivatit 

Posted Aug 24, 2009, 8:38 am
Moeww! I'm in Tampre! A city about 2h drive from Porvoo. Tampere is the third largest city in Finland and the largest inland centre in the Nordic countries. Currently there are over 200,000 inhabitants in Tampere, and almost 300,000 inhabitants in Tampere Sub-Region, which comprises Tampere and its neighbouring municipalities. Tampere’s population density is 390 per square kilometre. Tampere is one of the three most rapidly developing regions in Finland. Tampere’s city centre is surrounded by lake and ridge scenery, sited on an isthmus between lakes Pyhäjärvi and Näsijärvi. The Tammerkoski rapids run through the city.

In 2004, the City of Tampere came first in an image survey comparing the largest cities in Finland. It was also the most attractive city among Finns who plan on moving.

In the photos you can see me looking at the Railway Station, the Cathedral, walking down the main street thru the city center, having a look at the Moomin museum, checking out the Alexander's Church...

Posted Aug 24, 2009, 8:48 am
We continued our walk towards a sightseeing tower. Pyynikki, which was formed by the action of ice and sea more than 10,000 years ago, is the world’s highest gravel ridge. At its highest it rises 80 metres above Lake Pyhäjärvi and 160 metres above sea level.  24 per cent of Tampere’s surface area is water and 76 per cent land. 18.5 per cent of the land has a town plan. There are 200 lakes and ponds in Tampere, and a total of 450 in the entire region.

All that I could see from up the tower - the views were quite marvellous! Afterwards my host signed the guestbook on our behalf too. Then we got to taste the famous donuts  :p It was yummy!

Then it was time to walk back to the center. Naturally we walked a different path to see new views  :D

Posted Aug 24, 2009, 8:56 am
Early Sunday morning we started to drive towards Sastamala a small town west from Tampere. Sastamla town was formerly known as Vammala. The municipality has 24 600 inhabitants in 1388 squarekilometers. It consists of 7 formerly independent municipalities.

As you can see, the views on the way were mostly forest and field.

Posted Aug 24, 2009, 9:05 am
Finally we arrived at Tyrvää Church. We were there for the confirmation of my host's goddaughter. The church was build 150 years ago on a market ground "between two waters". It looks nice and suprisingly new.

Posted Aug 24, 2009, 2:08 pm
I just got back to Porvoo and right away I'm scheduled to leave  :o Thank you Delenna and friends, I had a great time! I wish I could've stayed for a while longer, but Germany is calling me  :cyclops:


Posted Sep 12, 2009, 1:04 pm
Hello :)!

I arrived right in time for a nice day in the zoo.

Tomorrow we will drive to the Netherlands for visiting a zoo. I am so excited :)!


Posted Sep 12, 2009, 1:09 pm
Hello :)!

Here I am again. Today we are in the zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands. It is called Burgers Zoo. We are joining a postcrossing meeting here :)! Really cool.
Can you see the elephants in the background? I really like them :)!
And a hippo :)!

We went into a big aquarium! It looks so cool inside there.

Outside again I found a waterfall.
Looks nice, or?
I saw meerkats :)!
and there are tigers *hurray*! But they are so small in the background that I don't want them to count for my life mission.
They were writing postcards in the restaurant. It was a nice day.

I hope we can visit another zoo again :)!


Posted Oct 7, 2009, 11:25 am
Hello :)!

Today we are on the way to a meeting with another Host from ToyVoyagers and we want to visit a concert.
We will meet in Wuppertal but we have to come there first. So we went to the train station Essen-Steele, where a train to Wuppertal goes.

When we walked to the train station we walked right next to the rails. Just a high fence was between us and the trains.
Here I am sitting on the fence.

And then we arrived at the train station.

Where our train to Wuppertal has a stop.

Goodbye Essen, today we will be in Wuppertal :)!

Posted Oct 7, 2009, 11:52 am
Wow...we arrived in Wuppertal and met another Host of ToyVoyagers - Olgamaus.
Here you can see a view over a part of Wuppertal. The trees are high so you can't see as much as you could have seen in winter.
That is the famous Schwebebahn. (look at for some infos)

The Wuppertal Schwebebahn is a suspended monorail in Wuppertal, Germany. It was built in 1900, opened in 1901 and is still in use today as a local transport system in the city. It is the oldest monorail system in the world.

The suspension railway travels along a route 13.3 kilometres long. At one point the railway crosses the A46 motorway. The entire trip takes about 30 minutes. The Schwebebahn has 25 million passenger annually.

After we saw the Schwebebahn we went into a shopping centre.
There we made a group picture with all of us at a nice fountain.

When we were there, there was a exhibition of exotic animals in the shopping centre. We looked at some of them.
That is a sand rat. It is so cute, don't you think? I love it.

There were other animals like snakes, spiders and reptiles. But we didn't make photos with them.

Then we went out again and enjoyed the sunshine.
We saw a fountain. It is called jubilee fountain and it was built in 1901 as a copy of the Neptunfountain of Trient.

On the place right next to the fountain, which is called Neumarkt, was a farmer's market. We went above it and I met some new friends.
So big mice...scary, or? But they were really nice.
That is one of the streets that are there. Old houses right next to new ones. It looks really nice. You can see that they want to keep as much old houses as they can.
That was at a street lamp. A man sitting there.
That is a statue called "A new day at work".
I like these houses. They look so old but so charming.

We went on and saw the Schwebebahn again. It is above the river Wupper.
That is the Wupper.
That is one of the stations of the Schwebebahn. It is a modern one. The Schwebebahn has even old ones, but we didn't see one.

They have really funny advertisings for the Schwebebahn:
Another group picture while waiting for the Schwebebahn. We drove with it to Wuppertal Vohwinkel and from there we took the bus to the concert area.

Posted Oct 7, 2009, 4:13 pm
Today we went to a postcrossing meeting in Cologne.
Together we all went into the Cathedral in Cologne.

The construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete – a period of over 600 years. Really

It is 144.5 metres long, 86.5 m wide and its two towers are 157 m tall.

Sounds so big.

The cathedral is one of the world's largest churches and the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. The cathedral is a World Heritage Site, one of the best-known architectural monuments in Germany, and Cologne's most famous landmark, described by UNESCO as an "exceptional work of human creative genius".

After visiting the Cathedral we went to Subway, ate something and then we wrote postcards.

It was nice with the other postcrossers :)! Hopefully we will meet one day again =)!


Posted Oct 7, 2009, 4:32 pm
After we saw the postcrossers we went to the graveyard Melaten. It is a really old graveyard in Cologne.

I will just post some photos here, without telling a lot, as we didn't find good informations online. Maybe we will find some later and add them then!
That is the gate of the graveyard.

That was a nice walk. What a cool day.

Posted Oct 7, 2009, 4:40 pm
Today we went around in Essen a little bit. First we saw a nice church in Kupferdreh (a part of Essen).

And then we went on a hill where we could see the Baldeneysee from above. What a wonderful view.

wow...after that we were tired and went to bed.

Posted Oct 7, 2009, 4:46 pm
Today we drove to Blankenstein, a little village near BlackCats hometown. We drove there for seeing the castle they have there.

But first we took a walk in the small village.
That is the catholic church of Blankenstein.
An old street sign :).
Another church in Blankenstein.
The mailbox of the castle :)!
The castle from another street in the village.
Wow, we are getting closer.
There we are.
The view from the castle wall.
There you can see a part of Blankenstein. Really nice village, or?

My next update will be from our holiday destination where we will fly on Thursday :)! I am so excited about it. I hope we can show you some nice photos.

Posted Oct 10, 2009, 6:01 am
Hello :)!

What a surprise...since today I know where we will fly. First we will fly to Dubai and make a break there and then we will fly to Shanghai in China :)! Oh my god. I am so excited.
Here we are still at the airport of Düsseldorf. Other airplanes are getting ready for take off.

Then we went into our airplane. We had a desktop in front of us where we could see where we are and such things.
And we watched a movie called Ratatouille. That was so funny.

That was so funny :)! And then we landed in Dubai. Really cool thing :)!


Posted Oct 11, 2009, 12:46 am
Hello :)!

Wow, I arrived in Dubai now :)! We have 5 hours at the airport here, so we explored it a bit.

They have nature inside the airport here (but I guess it is plastic).

And a nice fountain is here as well.
There you can give some money for a foundation. We didn't put money in, as we had none.
That is the small car that the police is using at the airport. It is really fast and cute.
Just a view so that you can see how it looks.

We even found a German friend:
Cool, or?
Some autumn decoration :)!

They even sold toys there:
And of course: Postcards! Really cheap ones (BlackCat bought 30 postcards for 3 Euros).

Then we were hungry and tried the food of Burger King at the airport.
Do you see the fries on Karis hat? :) BlackCats brother was making that Joke.

So, and then we had to go into the next airplane to our final destination!


Posted Oct 11, 2009, 12:57 am
Hello :)!

Here is my story from our flight to Shanghai.
As you can see it was light when we started at the Dubai airport to our last flight for that day to China.

We were all so excited. BlackCat was watching the map thing again on her board computer.
Not even in China...
Getting closer...
Finally above China.

When we looked out of the window we saw this wonderful sunset.

It was a really nice flight. We had a lot of fun :)!


Posted Oct 11, 2009, 1:12 am
Hello from Shanghai,

we always say Ni hao here :)!

We walked around the town today, just for some fun. It was really cool to see some difference to Germany.
There is a church between some skyscrapers. Looks really funny, doesn't it?
Just some skyscrapers :)!
Here we went into a park and made photos with the skyscrapers in the background and nature in front of us. Looks really cool, I think.
A sign in the park.
That is Lotus :)!

Then we went to a Japanese restaurant (and that in China xD) but we weren't allowed to make photos there (the table was soooo full). After the long day we felt into bed like stones.


Posted Oct 11, 2009, 11:04 pm

today was a long and very nice day. We went out really early in the morning and decided to go to a temple. First we went to Yu Garden where you can see a lot nice small shops before you come to the temple (which entrance price is way too high, so we didn't went in).
But I have a lot photos for you of the area around the temple itself:
A lion is watching the temple
A turtle dragon :)!
Can you see? in the background there is one of the is so unreal to be in such an old place and see all the skyskrapers around you!
That is the oldest tea house in Shanghai. It looks really nice, or?
Do you know why this bridge is not straight? The Chinese believe that bad ghosts can't walk around corners, so they try to make it as difficult for them as possible.

When we were ready at Yu Garden we went around for shopping a bit. BlackCat bought so much stuff and I was just watching her. She didn't made photos inside the shops, as she wanted to look herself.

But then we went to Jing'an temple. There the entrance price was really cheap, so we went inside the temple area.
In the middle the little tower is a place where you throw money at. You try to hit one of the windows in the tower. If you hit it, the money will fall down in the middle again and you will have luck. If you don't hit it (like BlackCat did xD) it does mean you just don't have more luck then now. On the right side of it, you can see a place where the Chinese people put incense sticks to pray to their god that everything will be alright and that the death people feel well. It is like the candle in a German church, I guess (not sure).
There you can see where the money gets out when you throw it at the tower :)!
Making a break :)!
That is inside the temple.
Look at the decoration of the doors...wonderful, or?
The temple with a skyscraper behind it :)!
BlackCats brother likes us :)!
In the evening (it was just 7p.m. when we made this pic) we went to the river and made some photos of the skyline :)! This is my pic with the skyline =)! Nice, or?

What a long day again. Tomorrow we will fly to Beijing for 4 days. We are not sure if we have internet there. But we will update as soon as possible.

Posted Nov 3, 2009, 6:19 am
Hey :)!

Today we arrived in our hotel in Peking. It is in an old chinese style and we were really surprised how beautiful it is.
I have some photos for you from it.
That's us on BlackCats bed. Wow, or?
Our view :)!
The bed of BlackCats brother.
That was a fountain in our garden. It looks really nice, or?

I love the new hotel. So now we are in Beijing for 4 days and then we will go back to Shanghai. But you will see that :)!


Posted Nov 3, 2009, 6:36 am
Wow...after an one hour drive we arrived somewhere, where a lot people were. We asked us, what is happening here and BlackCat said, that there is the Great Wall. Why should we look at a Great Wall? BlackCat said it is a real sight and everybody would like to see it. She said it is one of the new seven world wonders and an UNESCO world heritage site. So I decided to take a look at it.

BlackCat told us, that the normal Great Wall is 8,851.8 km long. But not so much kilometres are still good for visiting. 513 km are still in a good condition.

BlackCat told us, that there is a chinese quote which says: A human is only a human when he climbed the Great Wall. So congratulation, BlackCats family are humans now :)!

After that we went back to the bus and drove back to Beijing again, for another sight visit.

Posted Nov 3, 2009, 6:54 am
We drove for a long time again and arrived at Summer Palace!

The Summer Palace or Yihe yuan is a palace in Beijing, China. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill (60 meters high) and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water. The central Kunming Lake covering 2.2 square kilometers was entirely man made and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill. In the Summer Palace, one finds a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures.

In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value." It is a popular tourist destination but also serves as a recreational park.

What a nice day.

Posted Nov 3, 2009, 7:02 am
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five centuries, it served as the home of the Emperor and his household, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.

Today we went to the Forbidden City.

Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 m². The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

A card of the Forbidden city

I really loved the time at the Forbidden City.

Posted Nov 3, 2009, 7:13 am
Back in Shanghai we looked at the Oriental Pearl Tower.

It is a really nice Tower, or?

Posted Nov 3, 2009, 7:20 am
Today is our last day in Shanghai. Tomorrow we will finally fly back to Germany.
So today BlackCat went into a park with us. It was not a long walk, as she has a cold, but it was nice.

Parks are normal in China. The chinese People use it for relax, play, sleep and such stuff. Really funny thing.

Posted Nov 3, 2009, 7:39 am
First we are sorry for having no new Update earlier. The problem is, that BlackCat has some stress with her mum and now she doesn't have so much time for us. But she promised to do some things with us in the next days.

Today we went to Venlo in the Netherlands for shopping. Halloween is nothing really special here in Germany, so BlackCat decided not to celebrate it and just enjoy a nice Saturday.
Can you see us? That is art...I don't know why a big ear is art, but okay.

We went on a small place where this nice fountain was:

Then we saw a shop which was decorated for Halloween.
It was making noises when you walked there.

And we found two small statues of guys which we looked at.

It was a nice day in Venlo :)! Soon we will update from Essen again, I hope :)!

Posted Dec 1, 2009, 6:25 am
Hey mum,

I am on my way to USA now. I hope the travel will be fast and I will arrive soon.
Will let you know then.


Posted Dec 18, 2009, 1:38 am
Dear Mommy,
I have excellent timing! I arrived just in time to go to a small Christmas Festival here on a military base in Okinawa. It was small, but lots of fun for children and toyvoyagers.  Here's the view where we arrived. They had many booths for food and games.
First we sat and watched some carolers.
Then we took the kids over to the kiddie land. They had an area for rides and for bounce houses.
Then we went to look at the hmmwv they had out. They also had a larger truck and police car, but there were too many people there to take a photo.
We wanted to see Santa, but it was far too busy so we couldn't this time :( Maybe another time. But we had lots of fun and I'm sure we'll do more soon!

Posted Dec 18, 2009, 2:01 am
Dear Mommy,
We had lots of work to do today. We made cookies and put them along with buckeyes in these little bags. The bags are for the Marines to take home with them along with other stocking stuffers from the Christmas party. You see, there are many single men out here who are very far from home and so Jayme's job is to try to help them (and the other families) to feel a little less lonely, especially during the holidays. So we cooked and cooked cookies!
Then we bagged them up.
Look at all these bags! 100 of them here, another woman was doing another 100. That's a lot of cookies!
Finally we also made a couple of Christmas tree cakes for the party itself. Doesn't it look yummy?
And then we were off to the party! It was at the bowling alley. They were supposed to have things outside as well, but it was raining :( This isn't a very good picture, but it was quite crowded and we didn't get to bowl at all! But here is the party itself.
But most importantly...someone very important came to the party. After he was done greeting all the children Jayme was able to ask him to take a photo with us as well. Did you know that Jayme knows Santa?! I'm very impressed. Here are all of us visiting right now with Santa!
Whew. Very tiring! I wonder what else we'll do for Christmas?

Posted Dec 26, 2009, 9:42 pm
Dear Mommy,
I have lots of fun Christmas stories to tell you, but first I wanted to show you the decorations here at Jayme's house. She actually has two nativity sets. You see, she bought one the first year, but then realized her kids always wanted to touch it so she found one online that's a childrens nativity set that they can play with. Unfortunately she says this means there's almost always a piece missing, but at least now they don't try to get her set anymore. And it is pretty cute.
Here's the adult nativity set. Its still pretty kid proof, but looks a bit nicer.
Then there were the Christmas cards Jayme received! A few from toyvoyagers, a few from postcard friends, and a few from family. Not too many cards, but she put them out anyway.
Finally there was of course the tree! I won't put up a big picture of the tree yet, you can see that on Christmas Day :) But I will show you some of the small ornaments on it. Jayme and her family each get one ornament every year for a Christmas present. It may be something from a movie or cartoon they like or something on a trip. Like the Minnie ornament Jayme got at Tokyo Disney. Or it may be something that reminded Jayme of her kids. Like the panda ornament because her oldest son used to carry a panda around non-stop as a lovey for awhile. And then of course, there's a few small ones the children made as well. Here are some pictures of them.
I hope you liked the pictures! I'll be sure to write all about Christmas very soon so you can see what fun we had!

Posted Dec 31, 2009, 11:49 am
Dear Mommy,
I'm sorry I didn't get my update up sooner to tell you about Christmas! But here it is now.
On Christmas Eve our first priority was of course making Christmas cookies! The kids had lots of fun making them. We toys mostly stayed out of the way since we didn't want to get all floury or coated in icing.
Here are the ones we left out for Santa.
After getting every ready for Santa we went on out to the Christmas Eve light show! We got there quite early before nightfall. Here we are waiting and watching some shows near the stage. You can't really see the shows from here, but they just had people coming up doing short acts juggling or what not.
They also had a small festival area for the kids with games and rides, so we took the kids over to do some rides while we waited.
The best part of all for the kids though was that we got to see some real snow! Even though it was very warm that night (Jayme was in a tshirt!) they had a snow maker they kept running to build up snowmen, and igloos and other things. It was very, very packed in the snow area. Lots of children checking it out! Many of them will live on Okinawa all of their lives and not really have a chance to play in the snow. Here I am in a brief picture I managed to squeeze in while we were trying to carefully keep an eye on Jayme's children.
Finally the lights came on! Aren't they pretty? They have a few very elaborate light set ups.
Whew! After that we went home and put the children to bed and helped Jayme do some last minute wrapping.
Finally we all got to bed and when we woke in the morning Santa had visited and brought more presents! Here we all are under the tree with the gifts.
We spent Christmas Day at Jayme's house playing with the boys and their new toys. Maybe I can take some pictures of them later. For now, Merry Christmas Mommy! Hope you had a wonderful one!

Posted Jan 11, 2010, 1:30 am
Dear Mommy,
Its been quite rainy here recently, but we've been trying to get out whenever the sun is out. The children are quite restless from staying indoors and they need to get some energy out! So we headed to one of the giant slide parks on Okinawa. Jayme's children really love this slide. Here it is from the bottom, you have to walk up quite a few stairs
And here's the view from the top looking down. Its a rollerslide so there are many rollers you slide down. The Japanese children go down standing up, but Jayme's children are a bit young for that so they go down sitting on a piece of cardboard.
They also had a small beach nearby so the children tried to build a sand castle.
More soon,

Posted Jan 11, 2010, 3:27 am
Dear Mommy,
Like I said in the last update, its been very rainy! And Jayme's children are even driving us toys a bit up the wall with too much energy, so we also headed to an indoor playground. Its a place called Mona Kids. Here is the entrance, isn't it cute?
We had a snack inside
And here's the play area for the children. There's lots of tubes and ball pits for them to play in.
While the children were playing Jayme got to sit and rest and read a bit. I read some Lord of the Rings with her.
More soon,

Posted Jan 13, 2010, 12:46 am
Dear Mommy,
I was quite excited when I woke up and it was actually sunny! Jayme said we were going to go out, but first we would make some lunches to take to eat in the car since it was going to be a bit of a drive. She said we were going to use these things called egg molds. First you boil and peel the eggs, then you put them in molds like this.
Here we are with all the egg molds.
Then you put them in the fridge until the cool, and when you take them out they've been molded and will hold their new shape. Neat huh?
We packed them along with other snacks into a bento box, which is a boxed lunch. Bentos are very popular in Japan. Jayme says she makes "American" bentos because her family doesn't like eating rice when it gets cold, which is a traditional bento food, so instead she makes her own type of boxed lunch. But it does look yummy... you can see the eggs are wrapped in saran wrap and placed in with the other food.
Then we headed off. It was a long carride up the coast until we arrived. Finally we arrived at the Busena resort! If you can see that pier far out in the distance, that's where we're headed.
We took a nice walk along the way, I thought this anchor was kind of neat.
And finally we made it to the pier.
We walked to the end and they had what's called an Underwater Observatory. You go down 2M under the water and you can look out the portholes! The area is really rather small, with only about 25 portholes, but its very neat. We stayed there for a long time watching the fish go by.
Finally it was time to head home, but we did stop at the playground on the way to let the children run a bit more. Can you tell Jayme spends a lot of time at playgrounds? Here's a view of the playground from one of the many things to climb on.
We toys took a rest on the rock wall.
Whew! I'm glad we finally got to go out and have some fun, hopefully I'll have another neat update soon,

Posted Feb 2, 2010, 12:15 am
Dear mommy,
Sorry for the late update! We've visited a few places I'll tell you about, but Jayme hasn't had time to sit down it seems lately. First we celebrate Jayme's son Jacob's birthday! He's five years old.
For his birthday he wanted to go visit the aquarium so off we went! Here I am outside the building.
When you walk down to the entrance this is the view of the water there.
We got to see many fish. The Churaumi aquarium has the largest salt water natural light coral tank.
They also have the largest view screen to see whale sharks. Do you see him behind him? He's huge!
We made a new friend at the aquarium. He said he wants to be a toyvoyager too! He still has to pick a name for himself though.
Finally when we got home we decided to have some fun with the legos got for Christmas an his birthday. It took forever to put them all together!
More soon,

Posted Feb 2, 2010, 12:25 am
Dear Mommy,
We also got to visit a ferris wheel! Here I am outside the ferris wheel.
And here are all us toys who are visiting on the ferris wheel.
Here's the view out the window. The water there is sunset beach.
More soon,

Posted Feb 2, 2010, 12:33 am
Dear Mommy,
We also got to visit the grounds of Shuri-jo castle here in Okinawa. Shuri is the most famous castle on island. It was the main castle for the Ryukyan kings. It has been destroyed 5 times, most recently during WWII and they continue to rebuild it. Now you can visit and even pay a fee and enter the reconstructed castle. We only visited the outside today, but I thought you would like to see these photos of the outside of the castle and grounds.
More soon,

Posted Feb 6, 2010, 7:36 am
Dear Mommy,
Jayme told me we were off to do something very special today. We got in the car for a long car ride and finally got out at a castle to quite a surprise. Us toys hadn't realized it was cherry blossom season here in Okinawa! You see, in mainland it comes much later but since Okinawa is warm year round the cherry blossoms tree bloom very early. They're also a much brighter pink than most in the mainland because they're a slightly different variety of tree. One of the most popular spots to visit is here at Nago Castle. You walk up the stairs and just look at the cherry blossoms along the way. Here is our view as we were walking.
On the way home we stopped by a spot called Manzamo Point to stretch, isn't it pretty?
Hope we get to have another adventure soon!

Posted Mar 6, 2010, 11:46 pm
Dear Mommy,
Today Haggis arrived! We were very excited to meet him.
We also stopped by quickly at the store today and got some cherry blossoms for Jayme's table. She was surprised to see them in the store, and we couldn't resist bringing them home. Aren't they pretty?
Jayme says we'll be very, very busy in the upcoming weeks and she has many updates to write!

Posted Mar 7, 2010, 12:00 am
Dear Mommy,
Jayme says her parents are coming for a visit! Since they're going to be keeping everyone quite busy she thoguht it was only right for us to go take the kids out for some fun before they arrived. We went to two different playgrounds. The first was an outdoor playground, here you can see the playground behind me.
And then we bought tickets for something called a Super Slide.
Wow its big! Do you see the slide behind me? The children ride down it on sleds.
After that the kids still weren't tired enough so we headed to an indoor playground. Here is a picture from inside.
Whew! I hope we don't have too much else to do before her parents arrived or I may be exhausted for the trip...

Posted Mar 7, 2010, 12:13 am
Dear Mommy,
Today we went back to the egg farm. I tried to get pictures with some different animals this time, since I knew we visited before. I hope I got some new ones at least!
And I remembered to take a picture inside the store this time! Here is what it looks like. There are many pastries for sale along with eggs.
More soon,

Posted Mar 10, 2010, 6:08 am
Dear Mommy,
I know you've seen the Peace Memorial Park, but I thought you may like to see it again since it was so very pretty. Here's another view of the cliffs.
And here's a closer view of the memorial walls listing the names of all those killed than I had before.
And here again is the museum, unfortunately we couldn't take pictures inside.

Posted Mar 10, 2010, 6:18 am
Dear Mommy,
For the second day of Jayme's parents visit we went to a place called Okinawa World. Here I am where you buy your tickets.
At Okinawa World we got to go down through this neat cave and see all the neat rock formations inside. It was pretty hard to take pictures, but I hope you like them!.
More soon,

Posted Mar 10, 2010, 6:31 am
Dear Mommy,
Today we went to a placed call the Pineapple Park. While there we got to rid around in a cart to see all the various plants like palm trees, pineapples, and flowers. Here are some pcitures of our ride.
We also got to stop by the seashell museum there.
I'm sorry for any bluriness, I couldn't use the flash, but I know some came out blurry.

Posted Mar 10, 2010, 6:38 am
We also took Jayme's parents on a nature walk. There wasn't too much to see on the walk, but here's a view.
And the beach at the end was beautiful!
More soon,

Posted Mar 10, 2010, 6:44 am
We also went down to Kokusai Street, which is the shopping street here on Japan. Many of the little shops here looked like this.
Lots of them sold these shisas, which are the guardians of Okinawa and found in many homes.
We went down one of the side streets that happened to be covered, here's what it looked like.
More soon,

Posted Mar 10, 2010, 6:54 am
We also got to visit the Chinese Gardens. It was such a quiet calm place. I won't talk too much about it, just let you see the beautiful photos. It was a wonderful place to visit!
More soon,

Posted Mar 10, 2010, 6:59 am
We also went to this lighthouse, its at a place called Camp Zanpa.
Isn't it a beautiful view down the coastline?
More soon,

Posted Mar 10, 2010, 7:05 am
The final morning that Jayme's parents were here she took her mom to go get a pedicure. Toys can't get pedicures of course, but we did get to lounge in the chairs, and it is so comfy in there!
We tried to take a picture out the window, but it didn't come out. So we had to walk outside and take a picture for you, this is the view from the pedicure place. Isn't it nice?
I hope you liked the updates from their visit! I think we all need a real vacation now...

Posted Mar 29, 2010, 11:20 pm
We also go to go spend a few hours relaxing at the beach one day when it was nice out!
All of us toys relaxed on the beach towel for awhile.
More soon,

Posted Mar 29, 2010, 11:29 pm
Did you see the news stories about the huge dust storm in Beijing? We didn't have nearly so bad a problem, but we did get some left over dust from the storms. Here's the view from Jayme's apartment. Do you see the fog? That's all dust. Yuck! When you go outside you can taste it a bit. Jayme said the news sources say the dust is safe, but we didn't want to risk it, so we stayed inside unless we had to go out.
We did look up the dust storms in China though. We're very glad it wasn't that bad here!
After we looked up the dust storm I decided I'd been in Okinawa long enough ;) So I packed up and headed out to my next host. I hope I have lots of new updates for you soon!

Posted Jun 11, 2010, 6:11 pm
You might think that I was lost. I thought the same starving in that envelope!
I could not understand what was happenning, because all noises I heard was Russian and I don`t speak Russian. When I jumped out of my envelope I began to growl and was going to scratch anyone who will approach me, but I saw TVs who was glad to see me. Only Ragamuffin was scared :)
I understood that I`m at my host`s home. Finally!
Luckily a cat lives here so I could told her everything at the language which nobody knows - cat one  B)

Unfortunately I have no time for having rest, because today we all are going to Kiev for the whole week-end! Guys promised to tell me in the train where is it and why we should go there.

Bye for now.

Posted Jun 17, 2010, 12:52 pm
Hello dear mummy!
I had not time to see something in Russia yet, but already visited another country - Ukraine (to be correct - its capital Kiev).
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press.

Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions and world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro. Kiev was classified as a Beta world city- as of 2004.

We took the train and in 13 hours were in Kiev.
We saw some interesting places and made photos. For example I made a photo near Ukraine goverment! I enjoyed the hot weather (+35) and had fun!
I`ll come back to you soon ;)


Posted Jun 23, 2010, 8:30 pm
here I am in the train on my way to Moscow back.

Posted Jun 23, 2010, 8:52 pm
Hello mummy!
I was invited to visit Maria`s house in the country side!
It was sunny day and I liked to walk in the green grass...but suddenly I saw the iron rooster! I jumped on it and wanted to ride! But the I saw the second iron rooster and ran away and hidden in bushes.
In the evening we had grilled fish - special order for myself  B)

Posted Jul 1, 2010, 4:43 am
Hello mummy!
Maria is working hard all days long and I`m with her at her job. It is not very interesting, but she promised me that on week-end we`ll have fun ;)

Posted Jul 10, 2010, 9:18 am
Hello mummy!
Today I was in the heart of Moscow and Russia - Red Square!

Red Square is a city square in Moscow. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. As major streets of Moscow radiate from here in all directions, being promoted to major highways outside the city, Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow and all of Russia.

I saw GUM department store, Kremnlin Towers and St. Basil`s Cathedral, which I liked the most!!!

Posted Jul 19, 2010, 9:00 pm
Hello mummy!
Today I was at the exhibition. The place is named "Garage" - The Center for Contemporary Culture Moscow. It was a real garage:
Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage was a public bus garage in Moscow, designed in 1926 by Konstantin Melnikov (floorplan concept and architectural design) and Vladimir Shukhov (structural engineering). The building, completed in 1927, was an example of applying avant-garde architectural methods to an industrial facility. Neglected for decades and nearly condemned to demolition, it was restored in 2007–2008 and reopened in September 2008 as a gallery of modern art.

We hadn`t known, but it was forbidden to make photos inside the building, so I have photos only with big mushrooms which were funny, and I didn`t like the rest of the exhibition, so I`m not upset of the photos.

And at the way back home I made a picture in Moscow underground. I liked it more than exhibition, so may be I`ll try to make more photos next time.

Posted Jul 25, 2010, 8:27 pm
Hello dear mummy!
I visited Yaroslavl`!

Yaroslavl (Russian: Яросла́вль;) is a city in Russia, the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, located 250 kilometers (155 mi) north-east of Moscow. The historical part of the city, a World Heritage Site, is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers.

The city has many Russian Orthodox churches, one Russian Old Believers church, one Baptist church, one Lutheran church, one mosque and one synagogue.

We traveled there by car and it took 4 hours.
And it was the first time I was inside the gun!
Maria promised me and my friends that soon we`ll visit the special place with many guns!  B)

Posted Jul 27, 2010, 5:40 pm
Hello dear mummy!
Maria is working in the center of Moscow, so I could make some interesting pictures. First is the building of bank where Maria spends her days instead of having fun with us. And the second - very nice and narrow street. There are many such streets in the center.

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 7:41 pm
Hello mummy!
This time I`ll upload only one photo which I took walking along Taganskaya street.

Posted Aug 2, 2010, 8:11 pm
Hello mummy!
Suddenly I noticed that after all my travelings I look very durty and even licking myself can`t help me!
Fortunately maria has special cat`s bathroom! I took my chance and cleaned myself with soap!
Now you can see me - clean and smell like wild rose relaxing at the sofa ;)

Posted Aug 9, 2010, 8:07 pm
Hello mummy!
On Sunday we were at All-Russia Exhibition Centre.

It occupies 2,375,000 square metres of which 266,000 square metres are used for indoor exhibits. The territory of VVC is greater than that of the Principality of Monaco and has approximately 400 buildings.

Currently, the larger international exhibitions are mostly held at the new facilities of Moscow Expo Center.

You can see people swimming in the fountain with golden statues. Police doesn`t forbid this, because it is really hot like in Hell and nobody can stop people.

Posted Oct 4, 2010, 3:47 am
Hi Mum,

I have arrived in Canada :D. I had to wait a few days at the post office as smaug was out of town, but today I felt someone picking up my parcel and a bit later a lot of excitement around it :stare:.

As I came out I found two TVs ready to welcome me :): Dean is from the US like me, while sammino is a stay-at-home TV. They both appreciated a lot the card and chocolate that I brought with me from Russia ;).

I wanted to tell them all about my trips and hear about their own but I was really tired after the long trip so tales will have to wait until tomorrow.

Posted Oct 12, 2010, 2:22 am
Hi Mum,

Today was Dean’s birthday, so this morning we all sang happy birthday for him :D.

Later sammino wanted to get him a typical horse meal, but being short of fresh hay in the house he settled for some delicious chocolate biscuits :).

Later we spent the afternoon chatting and checking TV updates....with the occasional bite at those biscuits ;).

Posted Oct 12, 2010, 2:56 am
Hi Mum,

Today it was nice and warm so we went for a nice hike on the mountains :). We spent a couple of hours between the trees but at one point we could see this little peak and thought that it might have been our destination, but smaug said that it was just about halfway to where we wanted to go :stare:.

A bit higher up the view became quite nice :).

Some sections were a bit steep :o.

Eventually we had a glimpse of our destination in the distance and, guess what, there was snow at the top :rolleyes:.

Once we reached the top we found a survey point...

...but we forgot quickly about it and looked at the landscape.

We could see the ridge that we walked up from and far down the valley where we left the car.

Back in the distance we saw the Bow Valley...

....and Kananaskis Valley on the opposite side of the mountain.

What a nice day :D!

Posted Oct 15, 2010, 5:13 am
Hi Mum,

Today was warm again :), although not exactly sunny :rolleyes:, and smaug said that we had to make the most of this nice weather before it starts snowing around here :stare:, so he took us again up the mountains. The first challenge of the day was fording the Elbow river which is fairly wide but at this location flows mostly underground (at least at this time of the year), so I got my paws only a bit wet ;).

Later we headed into the trees and didn’t see much for a while. But we occasionally had views of the valley from where we started.

A  bit further on we saw where we were going.

Once we reached the top the view was nice as always :).

We could see the Elbow Valley both west...

...and east.

Someone built this massive cairn right at the top of the trail. It seemed about to collapse any time soon, but probably it was faring much better than we did in the wind :rolleyes:.

Eventually smaug pointed out that those clouds looked like trouble so we hastily made our way downhill.

Posted Oct 31, 2010, 6:39 pm
Hi Mum,

Today it was a nice sunny day, so we went for short walk along the river :). No mountains this week: I think that, with winter approaching, smaug’s getting a bit lazy and, just like bears, he’d be ready for spending a few months sleeping :rolleyes:.

At one point, getting very close to the shore we could almost see downtown.

By crossing the river (luckily we didn’t need to wade through it ;)) we gained a better viewpoint, before going back home to warm up a bit.

Posted Nov 15, 2010, 3:53 am
Hi Mum,

Over the whole month we have been several times in Vancouver with smaug for short working trip and he never took a single picture of us :stare:, so this week we made it clear that, no matter how busy he was, we wanted the camera to be used ;).

Well, I can’t say that we have been very successful: we just got a few out of focus shots tonight at Vancouver Airport :rolleyes:. In the international departures hall...

...and later waiting to board the plane.

Still it was kind of an improvement ;)

Posted Nov 15, 2010, 4:06 am
Hi Mum,

We have seen very little of smaug over the last couple of weeks as he was always busy at work. But it doesn’t mean I have been idle: in his absence the task of keeping the house habitable fell on us TVs :o and the responsibility for all the chores were on our shoulders. We had to take care of sweeping the dust...


...and doing the washing up.

We even had to cook our own meals...but, considering the type of supplies available, that wasn’t a very challenging task :rolleyes:.

Posted Nov 22, 2010, 4:56 am
Hi Mum,

Look what came to Calgary this week!

Can’t see anything, can you ;)? Well, that was a window covered with ice! Let’s try with this one. It’s snow :D! It’s been snowing all week and temperatures have been consistently deep in the minus teens or even twenties since Tuesday :stare:.

sammino told us that he had been waiting for this kind of weather eagerly :o as he wanted us to experience some proper Canadian winter, so I put on my most enthusiastic face and prayed that it didn’t betray the fact that I didn’t really share the same eagerness on the matter :rolleyes:. Anyway, today we went out for a walk to enjoy this true Canadian experience. Unsurprisingly (I dare say) there was hardly anyone on this footpath.

As you can see the river here wasn’t frozen yet. Apparently it hasn’t been cold long enough yet :rolleyes:, so here there was just a sludgy mix of water and ice.

While here the current is much slower, so there was already plenty of ice around.

Luckily this exploration tour didn’t last long enough to turn my paws into ice blocks themselves and, even better, once home we got a nice hot chocolate to warm us up :D.

Posted Nov 29, 2010, 5:21 am
Hi Mum,

Today I said goodbye to my friends here in Calgary and jumped in the mail :). I was a bit sad to leave them :(, but it’s been freaking cold here recently and I’m neither a sturdy horse like Dean nor a native eagle like sammino, so I think that Brazilian summer will be a much more appropriate climate for a gentle kitten  like me ;).

sammino gave me a big hug before I jumped in my travelling quarters and wished me a safe trip :D.

Brazil here I come B).

Posted Feb 22, 2011, 12:21 am
Hello Mummy!!! I'm so sorry I haven't written, i tried to get my host to sit down and write, but she was sooo busy and only now we found time!!! But I do have some great pictures for you!!!

At the end of january my host MorgenSter graduated from International Relations at UNESP, a public University here in the state of São Paulo. The land of the Uni is amazing, a lot of green and beautifull places.

There you can see the library at the back, far away.

The house we were staying

Its front

Can you find me???

Me with Wieka

Soon more to come

Posted Apr 6, 2011, 12:20 am
Hey !!! Some night and food pictures of me in Santos!!!

The independence square

Eating cone pizza

We went along to have the family car washed

Her cats!!!I met real kittens! Mia is still a baby , 6 months old... but I found her very very big already

Feijoada! The local cuisine! DELICIOUS!

Soon more of a recent trip we made ;)

Posted Apr 28, 2011, 5:34 pm
So... we went with our host to a Baby Shower!!! Everything was so neetly planned, carefully decorated that we took sooo many pictures!!!

The baby girl will be named Mariana. The girl was born on april 19th (the photos were taken before, but we waited until she had come to upload everything)

Us with the prgnant lady Bia, MorgenSter´s cousin


Posted Jun 8, 2011, 8:29 pm
Hello!!! Here I am again with new pictures!!!
We will start with a walk we took to the beach. We got to dive, tan and eat corn with MorgenSter \s boyfriend, Felipe.

Me, Wieka , Fed and Drilo with the house cats

So far, that's it!!! But soon we will go out again and more pictures for everyone's delight!!!!