Poppy, Bruchsal, Germany


Posted Oct 18, 2011, 10:15 pm
Well today I was informed of my families big plans for me. Mom and Gibson said that I was going to travel all over the world seeing new sites, trying new things, and making new friends! I am so excited! I don't know where my adventure will start but I'm sure it will be fun!

Here is a picture of me with Drew one of the cats I live with. She is so beautiful!

And one of me and Mom's favorite coffee cup. She is having a bit of coffee while she helps me with my update.

Posted Oct 20, 2011, 7:30 pm
I'm going to be going to Poland to visit ai! I am so excited! Mom said she is going to mail me early next week.

Today we went to visit some friends at a homeschool co-op. The kids (and moms) get together twice a month to play games, have lunch, and chat.

First we had show and tell. One girl brought a scary creature!!

Thank goodness there were friendlier toys too!

Next we made some paper airplanes. It wouldn't fly with me riding.

We also played a game called Blockus

It was a really fun time!

Posted Oct 21, 2011, 10:02 pm
Today was cold and windy so we went to the library.
Here I am in a beautiful tree...the colors are so nice.


Here is the outside of the library.


It is very nice inside! So many books to choose from. Here I am reading a story.


After choosing our books we noticed this nice mural of a girl and dogs, I just had to take my picture with it!


We did a few other things today but I will update that tonight!

Posted Oct 22, 2011, 3:41 am
Today was going to be a quiet day at home but boy we ended up busy! First we went to the library as you saw earlier but that wasn't all!
Mom didn't remember to pack any lunches so we had to make an emergency stop at McDonald's


I had a taste of Gibson's burger and a sip or two of coke! I can't believe Mom shared with me....coke is her favorite :)

After we had our lunch we went downtown to pick up some tickets Mom had won. They were to a Western Michigan University Volleyball game. She thought they were for that night but turned out the were for Saturday so we won't be able to go. Found someone who could. The city is called Kalamazoo and the slogan is "Yes there really is a Kalamazoo" Here I am with some things the Discover Kalamazoo office had for sale.


This is me by a fancy hotel called The Radisson.


Since we were downtown we decided to visit the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.


I tried the sun dial they had outside but since it was cloudy it didn't work so well.


An old museum sign, WMU jersey, and the top of a Gibson guitar that was once made in Kalamazoo.


Help a tornado is coming!


Gibson and I both thought the electricity was really neat.


Wild water.


Checker cabs used to be made right in Kalamazoo!


Gibson thought these people were creepy...Mom thought they were good for a photo opp.


Gibson beat Mom at checkers (I gave him hints:)


It was too dark in with the mummy for good pictures so we had to take this one outside. This is Gibson's favorite exhibit here.


An interesting art display.


That was a lot for a little dog like me in one day! I'm off to bed!

Posted Oct 22, 2011, 5:47 pm
Today we said goodbye to Mr. Roboto I am sad and a bit jealous too! Mom says she will send me out on Thursday but I am ready to visit ai in Poland now!! I gave Mr. Robot a hug before he got sealed up in his envelope.


Here he is all sealed up!


I sure hope I'm not that smushed! I decided to walk him out to the mailbox and help him prepare for his adventure, http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6173/6269670416_83bdfcbc03.jpg

Don't worry Mr. Roboto I'm sure you will have a great time with Kuschi Have a safe trip!


Posted Oct 22, 2011, 10:00 pm
Yawn! Today is kind of a lazy day here at home. Gibson went to play with a friend so I decided to keep a couple of his toys company. The big frog is Flippy and the little one is Flipito.


They told me lots of stories about the trips they have been on. Flippy has been to Mount Rushmore and both coasts of the USA! Lucky frog!

I tried to snuggle with Drew a bit but she wanted to be left alone to nap.


I wandered over to see what Mom was doing. She was reading a book so I read a bit myself.


I didn't enjoy it much and neither is Mom but she had started it and it is an easy read so she will finish it up. She uses her favorite Moomin postcard as a bookmark!


I hope if I go to Finland I will be able to have my picture taken with Moomin characters to show Mom!

Posted Oct 25, 2011, 10:39 pm
Today Mom was going to mail me off to Poland but then she found out that the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile was going to be in town so she took me to see that first....tomorrow she says that really she will send me :)

I am excited to start my travels but had a fun time seeing this American icon!

Since Halloween is coming up they had it dressed up as a pirate! It says here Halloweenie :) Haha!

Mom didn't think to hold me off to the side so we could see the license plate and what it said under the skull.

Check out the eye patch!!

This is the sticker I was given,

And here I am trying Gibson's glow in the dark Wienie whistle. They said this is a very special one because they will only be giving them out this week for Halloween.

Posted Oct 26, 2011, 11:40 pm
Poor Gibson, the boy I am home with is feeling quite sick today. We did lots of snuggling, napping, and tv watching today.

I cuddled with him and his bear Smooky on the couch. Smooky is Gibson's special friend and they have been together for 6 years! You can tell by looking at him that he is very loved.

I helped my get around all the things Gibson might need to help him feel better. I liked the cherry cough drops a lot...they taste almost like candy!

I helped pick what to watch. We were lucky that Nightmare before Christmas was on! Don't worry it is a fun movie not a scary one!

Then I got all snuggled in this cozy blanket and took a nap!

I keep being told I'm going to travel! I think just maybe it might be tomorrow :)

Posted Oct 29, 2011, 4:48 am
Can you believe it? I am finally on my way to visit ai in Poland!!!! I wonder what it will be like. Mom has been meaning to send me for ages then her and Gibson got sick! She still isn't feeling very good but got me sent out regardless!

I helped get a couple gifts along to pass on to my host! I hope she likes them!


I'm squished!!! Not very much room in here...I sure hope it is a quick trip!


Headed in to the Post Office. We tried for a better picture but it was starting to rain!


Bye Mom and Gibson!!! See you soon ai!!

Posted Nov 3, 2011, 2:33 pm
Hi mommy, hi Gibson!
Look where I am!
After long and lonely few days, I'm here, in Poland!
I have been warmly welcomed and made new friends.
The first one is beagle Nora. She couldn't stop licking me and wigging her tail.
We look the same!
The second one is black cat Kitty. First I thought it's halloween toy, but then she opened her eyes and started to purr.
I'm so happy to be here. Now you don't have to afraid of me, I'm all safe :)
I miss you both!
your Poppy

Posted Nov 4, 2011, 6:53 pm
Hello mommy, hello Gibson!
Today I went to school with my hostis. We got up early, cause we didn't want to be late.
After we prepared ourselves, we went to school. The way was so long... we went on feet 40 mins and it was so cold, 2 or 3 deegres.
But at least we came to the destination place  :D
There weren't too many people in the class. Only 13 from 26. We didn't had too many lessons - only 4.
The first was business lesson. I helped my hostis to fill in papers.
Meanwhile I made new friend with the giraffe that belongs to my hostis' classmate.
Then were two lessons of Polish. I learnt a little about the interwar period in Poland. They were talking about art and poetry.
My hostis brought Dali's artbook as exaple for surrealist art.
After talking, we took notes. I learn some Polish writing!
The last lesson was about landscape design. My hostis goes to Technical School of Landscape Design, so after this trip I will be able to give you some advices about suiting the garden :D.
After school we went to second hand, but there weren't any clotes that would fit on me :(. Later this day we were at the post office to take Happy Dog home.
We also went to my hostis grandmother :)
where we released my new friend.
Oh, and we booked tickets on bus to Cracow today. Yay! I'm ready to visit all wonderful places!
Lots of love,
your Poppy.

Posted Nov 6, 2011, 4:20 pm
Hi Gibson, hi mommy!
Today ai has to learn a little so we haven't been anywhere. Me and Happy Dog have met ai's doll Pneumonia. She's 26cm tall and has her own clothes. I tried to try on some of them, but they didn't fit on me again (like yesterday in second hand shop :D). Ai decided to take some photos of me with Pneumonia and Happy Dog. Here they are:
She made lots of photos, but most of them came out blurry :(.
After that we were reading a book - 'The Master and Margarita' by Mikhail Bulgakov. I liked it a lot; it's so funny and includes devil's black magic!
We also bought muffins from Dr.Oetker.
We'll bake them on Friday, in Cracow, cause we're going there on 3rd anniversary ai and her boyfreind's relationship :D so it will be sweet suprise :) (very sweet cause it'll be chocolate muffins filled with cherry jam :3)
In the end we disturbed cat a little :D She was sleeping again!
Okay, I've got to go for now, cause tomorrow we're getting up at 5.30am! (the school starts at 7.10 :().
I miss you all!
Your Poppy.

Posted Nov 10, 2011, 8:32 pm
Hello mommy, hello Gibson!
Today we get to Cracow. Me and Happy Dog helped ai to bake cookies :) She did few photos and promissed to upload them tomorrow. Now we're going to sleep, cause we get so tired getting here.
See you tomorrow.
Your Poppy.

Posted Nov 12, 2011, 6:53 pm
Hi Gibson! Hi mommy!
After little problems with computer & internet I'm finally here to tell you where I've been during last few days.
When we arrived, we've been so tired, but ai wanted to cook muffins anyway. So me and Happy dog became cooks :)
The muffins came out so delicious! I regret, that I wasn't able to send you few :(
Anyway, today we get to the centre of town, to visit some old buildings and churches.
When we got there we've seen an interesting exhibition about old postcards from Cracow.
When we were going to the Main Market Square, we saw beautiful building of Juliusz Słowacki Theatre.
On the Main Market Square we saw St. Mary's Basilica and the Cloth Hall. So here we are next to St. Mary's Basilica:
Me and Happy dog on the roof of miniature of the Cloth Hall:
On the Main Market Square there's also monument of Adam Mickiewicz - one of the Polish most important poet.
And we got pic by the miniature of Town Hall:
Last thing we saw was the Saints Peter and Paul Church, the most beautiful baroque church in Cracow.
Ai's boyfriend studies history of art in there, so when we were visiting he were telling us interesting information.
I've spent wonderful days in Cracow! I'm so sad, that you couldn't be with me :( but I think of you all the time!
Lots of kisses!
Your Poppy.

Posted Nov 29, 2011, 3:09 pm
Hello mom, hi Gibson!
After a bunch of boring days I had spent on learning with Ai to her exams and after that at home (cause she couldn't take me with her) I am finnaly coming back with hearing from Poland!
We did a little of sightseeing today in Ai's hometown - Tarnobrzeg. There's not too many attractions but it's still a something ;)
So here we are, me and Happy dog next to Bartosz Głowacki's monument. He was a Polish peasant and the most famous member of the kosynierzy (peasant volunteer infantry) during the Kościuszko Uprising in 1794. Bartosz Głowacki became one of the most famous Polish soldiers of the uprising, and joined the ranks of the Polish national heroes.
Also we had seen Monastery of Dominicans in Tarnobrzeg. It's pretty old, cause it was founded in 1677.
We were walking on Tarnobrzeg's Main Square too.
Ai promised to show me Dzików Castle and some more before I will go to Germany.
We finished reading 'Master and Margarita' and started all the prose written by Ai's favourite writter - Charles Baudelaire. It's quite extensive - about 600 pages!
(me, Happy Dog, Charles Baudelaire and the great mess :D)

I miss you all!
Your Poppy :)

Posted Dec 18, 2011, 5:06 pm
I finally arrived at my new host's home for celebrating Christmas. I'm curious to meet all the other toyvoyagers here. I will keep you posted.

Bye, Poppy

Posted Dec 19, 2011, 7:55 pm
Today we helped Petra to bake two large apple cakes, because tomorrow is the last day of her son's alternative service.
We prepared the dough and cut apples into pieces, added cinnamon, raisins and sliced almonds to the apples and cooked them. Then we made a part of the dough in the plate and filled it with the warm apples and covered it with dough again. I would so love to make this internet able to give you a hint of the smell in the kitchen, yummy.

While we all worked really hard, one of us sat around and only listened to music of the cd-played. Of course one whose name is Priscilla can only listen to music of Elvis, especially when it is Christmas time and it is a Christmas album.



The first of us, who discovered the new cd was Henry the Adventure Hound.




We needed a lot of flour for the cake.












Posted Dec 19, 2011, 8:15 pm
This weekend there is a special event in Bruchsal. There is a second Christmas market for three days around the palace. The weather wasn't that great - no snow:(, but it was cold enough and the place was full of people.

At first we listend to the trombone choir playing Christmas songs. We also took a look into all the tents, but it was too crowded to take photos there.



We left the Christmas market and took a photo of the front of the palace by night before we drove home again.


Posted Dec 20, 2011, 3:40 pm
While our host was teaching at school, it started to snow. We asked her to go out with us, but she said, that the snow is rather wet and that it isn't nice outside. Nevertheless she took some photos with me to show the roofs covered with some snow.


Here you see the two towers of the church St. Peter.


Posted Dec 28, 2011, 9:08 pm
Petra has time to do some more baking. At first we all sat down at our place, where Petra wanted us to sit.


We took the book and searched for some nice recipes. You can see, which recipes we picked out for baking today.





We also baked some other sorts of cookies.




Posted Dec 28, 2011, 9:39 pm
Today is a very special day. We all were allowed to help packing the presents for Christmas.


Later we helped to cook chicken fricassee in the clay pot and some corn salad and of course we helped to eat everything:)


Later we ate some of our selfmade cookies.






Posted Dec 29, 2011, 8:20 am
Merry Christmas to you!


In the morning we watched a movie, which Petra got as present yesterday evening: Elvis: That's the way it is.
I must say, that he was a really cute guy and I also like some of his songs.


Our sheep waited in the stable with the sheep.


Then we all went to the crib with the newborn Jesus.



Posted Dec 29, 2011, 1:50 pm
Today we helped to cook again. We had lamb, dumplings, vegetables (carrots, onions, oranges and dates) with red pepper pearls. It tasted very very fine, although it was a diet recipe - without the dumplings.


Then everyone went away and we were alone at home. We prepared everything for dinner: raclette. Look at this amount of black olives.


Posted Dec 31, 2011, 3:00 pm
Today we went to Petra's parents in law to celebrate Christmas with them and her husbands' sisters families. We saw some nice angels and another beautiful Christmas tree.



Posted Dec 31, 2011, 4:05 pm
The weather was a bit better, so we decided to go on a short walk over the graveyard, which is close to where I live right now. There is a beautiful baroque church next to the graveyard. It's called St. Peter.


We also visited to Jewish graveyard.


Next to Sancta Maria we had another good view over the city. I hope, that I will come closer to those towers to see exactly, what these buildings look like. Petra told me, that from left to right you can see the tower of the city church Our holy lady, church St. Damian and Hugo, which belongs to the palace and the old tower of the ancient castle.


Here is the front of Sancta Maria. It is a school for soon to be kindergardeners and also home for some Franciscan nuns.


Posted Jan 2, 2012, 3:18 pm
It's the last day of 2011 and we start to bake a new year pretzel. At first we had to take flour, some warm milk and fresh barm. We prepared a yeast sponge. Later we added honey and melted butter and salt.







Posted Jan 2, 2012, 8:38 pm
Mandy Sheep read a lot about Baden-Württemberg, because she joins in the Big German Round Robin. After hours of searching for information about the state we're living with our host right now, she got bored of reading so much, so she decided to listen to a nice song on youtube. Maybe you will watch it to. It is "Crawfish" from Elvis Presley's movie "King Creole".



She called us to join her.







Posted Jan 27, 2012, 7:02 pm
The weather isn't the best one, but today we've seen some blue sky:)
I decided to join my host and her daughter, when her daughter delivered a journal of the catholic church to some people.
On our way we saw some nice old houses.



Posted Jan 27, 2012, 9:14 pm
In the evening we went to take the stars from a storeroom of the church, where our hosts belong to. Petra takes care for the stars, which will be carried around by the starsingers on 6th January. Some of the stars are old, some don't look nice anymore, so Petra creates new covers and we decided to help her today.
Here you see a star, that still looks nice. Nevertheless it isn't, if you take a closer look. Last year it rained a lot and the star got wet. Now you can see white glue running down, where it should be only clear yellow. Some said, that it doesn't matter, but our host didn't like it and she asked us to cut out new yellow transparent paper and a new black star silhouette.


We didn't like the yellow side of this star, so we decided to spray it bronze and cut out a new yellow transparent paper and black star silhouette too.


We had to work really hard.



We also didn't like these two stars and we had to throw one into the bin, because it was broken on the back totally.


Then we had to outline the first star on the transparent paper.






Priscilla helped to cut it out.



But it was rather difficult for her, so Lintilla offered to help her.



While we worked, we found some marzipan potatoes.


We tried to speak really low, because Mi-Go had been fallen asleep in our back and you know, that he always runs to get it, if he sees something to eat.


But we should have knows it better. Of course he also feels, if something to eat is around. He jumped up and caught the marzipan potatoes in the same second. Only Lintilla seemed to take no notice of it.



Proud Mi-Go! We tried to keep calm and go on with our work. We had to outline the black star now.



Mi-Go was anything else, but no help for us.


But to our surprise, he was the one, who asked us, if he could be the one, who was allowed to cut out the black star silhouette.


That looks really difficult, but it seems, that he's the one, who knows, how to do it.


And yeah, it just looks great. Now you can be really proud, Mi-Go.



But, oh dear, we had done a mistake, when we outlined the yellow star. It was the wrong side of the paper and so the star didn't fit perfectly to the wooden star. We were very disappointed.


We had to cut out another yellow star and black star silhouette, which fit perfectly then.


Then we had a break and read the newspapers. We read, that Wulff is the Federal President and that there are some problems, but they aren't really interesting for toyvoyagers. But it was really interesting for us, that they wrote about a storm, which should hit Germany soon - no toyvoyager weather:(


For me it was interesting to see a photo of the wife of Baden-Württembergs Minister-President Kretschmann. I read, that she doesn't want to be called a First Lady. I did want to read this whole news article, but the others didn't and so we went on to the next page.


We saw a photo with a little bit of snow. Wow, there's snow somewhere in Germany.


But then we turned to read the Bruchsal news and the first thing we saw, what a nice bird singing and a pussy willow blooming. It seems like springtime here.


Did you know, that petrol in Germany is that expensive? I'm not sure, because we didn't know about this. Diesel costs between 1,37 Euro and 1,48 Euro, which means between 1,8092 US-Dollar and 1,9544 US-Dollar. It would be interesting to know, how expensive it is in other countries.


On Karlsruhe page on the right we read about a big construction area, where they build a new way for the city tram.


Here is an interesting page. It shows items, which you can buy in the newspaper shop. They sell items of Baden. Maybe we should go there and take a look, but surely they will cost some money.


And of course it was interesting to read about the weather in our region.


Although we took a closer view we only could read, that we will have storm during the night and rain and a temperature of 8°C - rather warm for winter weather.


We asked Petra to zoom it, so maybe - if you can read German - you will be able to read about the weather too.



Posted Jan 28, 2012, 10:21 am
I like this Christmas decoration on the window. It's on the same place each year. If you like it too and want the originals to cut them out for yourself, please send a note to Petra.
It's a nice place for us toyvoyagers, too. It is warm and you can see everything that's going on on the street



The first photo is without flash, just to show you, how dark it is outside although it is early midday. If Petra hasn't done a mistake, then there are 26 toyvoyagers sitting together. Some are her toyvoyagers, some her daughters and some are rescued toyvoyagers, which still are at her place and of course some are guests, who will move on again.

Posted Jan 28, 2012, 10:54 am
After the big group photo session we finished the stars.


The other toyvoyagers were really curious and came to take a look at the beautiful stars.



Later a group of starsingers visited our house, but we just had been too slow, so we aren't on this photo. Nevertheless we thougth, that it is a good idea to show you, how starsingers can look like. They don't carry one of our stars, though. They belong to the church region, were our hosts live, but our hosts go to another church, where they lived before. It's a bit complicated:)


In the afternoon we all helped our Petra to bake two cakes. She told us, that tomorrow isn't only Epiphany, but also her husbands 50th birthday and that we will go to the parish hall and carry cakes with us. At first we baked a Hermann cake. It is a cake like a round robin, that's how it seems for me. Petra told us, that she received a part of the cake a few days ago and that she had to stir it and to feed it and that now it is ready to get baken. Of course we added some more stuff like flour, sugar, almonds, cinnamon, chocolate pieces.

We read the recipe.


Then we had to get some more dishes for the "kids" of this cake.


We had been really busy.













We also added some apple pieces.



We wondered, if this dish would be big enough and decided, that it wasn't. So we took a star for the dough of Hermann.


Posted Jan 28, 2012, 1:38 pm
During the last weeks we had such a bad weather, that we didn't want to go outside.
Today Petra and her pupils went to visit the firestation of Bruchsal. It was very interesting to listen to the fireman. He talked about so many things. I had been fascinated, when I saw the big cars. We only took three photos, because Petra had to take care for her pupils in first line, of course.





Posted Jan 28, 2012, 4:11 pm
Today I went to school to help Petra, when she fixed new papers to the wall. At first we had to remove the flower paintings.


Then we fixed the selfcreated posters of the book presentations.


Posted Feb 6, 2012, 2:33 pm
Today we drove to the Michaelsberg in Untergrombach. Untergrombach is one of Bruchsal's suburbs with about 6000 inhabitants.
3500 to 2600 BC there were frist human signs on the Michaelsberg, which gave this culture the name "Michaelsberger Kulturkreis"
1502 AD Joss Fritz from Untergrombach planned the "Bundschuhaufstand" during the time of Peasant's Wars.

In the far (right side) you see some houses, which belong to Bruchsal.


Bruchsal and also Untergrombach are located at the edge to the Kraichgau. Here you see the Rhine Valley. If the weather is sunny, you can see the Palatinate Forest in the far.



The chapel is on top of the Michaelsberg.


Posted Feb 19, 2012, 11:20 am
Karlsruhe is the third largest city of Baden-Württemberg. It is the main city of the Baden part. It is located close to the German - French border, only about 25 km from Bruchsal. We arrived at Karlsruhe after a drive of about 25 minutes.

We first tried to find a parking place and then crawled out of the car. Wow, was it cold outside. We all didn't have the right clothes for a walk, so we had to hurry.

Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states. The town surrounding the Palace became the seat of two of the highest courts in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht) whose decisions have the force of a law in many cases, and the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (Bundesgerichtshof), the highest court of appeals in matters of civil law and criminal law. It therefore considers itself the home of justice in Germany, a role taken over from Leipzig after 1945.

Due to similarities to the United States capital city, it has been speculated that Karlsruhe was a model city for the cityscape of Washington, D.C.[4] Both cities have a center — in Karlsruhe the palace and in D.C. the Capitol Building — from which the streets radiate outward. L'Enfant, Washington's city planner, had been given the plans of Karlsruhe (among numerous other European cities) as an inspiration.
(you can read this and more on wikipedia)

In 1715, Charles III William, Margrave of Baden-Durlach established Karlsruhe (Charles' repose), where he built his residence.


The city was planned with the palace tower (Schloss) at the center and 32 streets radiating out from it like the spokes of a wheel, or the ribs of a folding fan, so that one nickname for Karlsruhe in German is the "fan city" (Fächerstadt). Here's a photo of the palace.


We really wanted to see more, but it was so cold, that we hurried back to our car. When we looked out of the car window, we could see the State Art Gallery.


Here am I with Aurelius on the road next to the palace. We are on the way to Durlach now.


Behind the trees is the Federal Constitutional Court. It is really close to the palace.


Posted Feb 21, 2012, 4:41 pm
We decided to drive to Durlach to climb the Turmberg. Our hosts told us, that the view from Turmberg would be just perfect. So we are really excited. You can see the top of the Turmberg just straight ahead.


Posted Feb 21, 2012, 7:11 pm
Durlach is a borough of the German city of Karlsruhe with a population of roughly 30,000.
It was chosen by the margrave Charles II in 1565 as residence of the rulers of Baden-Durlach, and retained this distinction though it was almost totally destroyed by the French in 1689.

Margrave Charles III William decided that he needed more space which led to the foundation of Karlsruhe, which in 1715 became the new capital until the state was merged into the grand-duchy of Baden.

We only drove through some narrow streets, because it wasn't far from sunset.



Posted Feb 21, 2012, 10:48 pm
The Turmberg ('tower hill') is a vineyard-covered hill of the northern most part of the Black Forest. A castle ruin with watch-tower are located on top of the Turmberg. The watch-tower in particular offers fine views of Karlsruhe towards the west and the Rhine River valley. On very clear days even farther west the Vosges in France can be seen. The Rhine River is the border between Germany and Alsace area of France. The South and East offer nice views of the Black Forest, and since the Turmberg is the northern most tip of the Black Forest you have hills more than actual mountains.









Posted Mar 18, 2012, 2:26 pm
Today we drove to Cologne. Petra's husband had to be there for a Trade Fair and Petra met olgamaus.

Here is some information about Cologne (wikipedia):

"Cologne (English pronunciation: /kəˈloʊn/, German: Köln [kœln], Kölsch: Kölle [ˈkœɫə]) is Germany's fourth-largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.

Cologne is located on both sides of the Rhine River. The city's famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne. The University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln) is one of Europe's oldest and largest universities.

Cologne is a major cultural centre of the Rhineland and has a vibrant arts scene. Cologne is home to more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries. Exhibitions range from local ancient Roman archeological sites to contemporary graphics and sculpture. The Cologne Trade Fair hosts a number of trade shows such as Art Cologne, imm Cologne, Gamescom and the Photokina."

Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom) is the city's most famous monument and the Cologne residents' most respected landmark. It is a Gothic church, started in 1248, and completed in 1880. In 1996, it was designated a World Heritage site; it houses the Shrine of the Three Kings that supposedly contains the relics of the Three Magi. Residents of Cologne sometimes refer to the cathedral as "the eternal construction site" (Dauerbaustelle).


Then we walked down to the Rhine.


We turned around and took a look back to the cathedral.


Here's the Hohenzollern Bridge.


Great St. Martin Churchis a Romanesque Catholic church. Its foundations (circa 960 AD) rest on remnants of a Roman chapel, built on what was then an island in the Rhine. The church was badly damaged in World War II, with restoration work completed in 1985.


We then walked around the Imhoff-Chocolate Museum. 



We took a look back to the Hohenzollern Bridge, cathedral and Great St. Martin.


The museum is run by the Schokoladenmuseum Köln GmbH. Since March 2006, the Swiss chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprüngli has been its partner in producing exhibits. Prior to that the partner was the Cologne chocolate producer Stollwerck, and the museum was formerly known as the Imhoff-Stollwerck-Museum.

On this photo you can see, how high the water was in 1995 and you can see, where we took the photo with the chocolate girl, where we stand for the view back to the churches and bridge. The yellow line shows the way we walked around the museum and the green line the way, where we came from.


Inside the museum we saw all the machines which are necessary to make delicious chocolate.


There is also a real chocolate fountain! We all got wafers dipped into melted chocolate. Yummy! Sadly we have no photo with me.

This equestrian statue shows Frederick William III of Prussia. You can see here, who else is on the base of the statue.


The Heumarkt is beside the Alter Markt the biggest place in Cologne historic city.


There are several small breweries in Cologne. This one is located at the Heumarkt.


It started to rain and we walked back to the cathedral. We entered it and it was so so dark inside, that we had problems to take nice photos. So please excuse the quality.


There was a nice mosaic on the floor. 


So this was the last photo of Cologne and we drove back to Bruchsal again.

Posted Apr 6, 2012, 3:08 pm
Today we were invited to celebrate our host uncle's 80th birthday. We celebrated at a Greek Restaurant close to the Rhine. In the early afternoon we went on a walk to have a view on the Rhine. Both, the Rhine and the Neckar flow through Mannheim. Mannheim is a nice city, Petra told me, but she had no time to show more than the Rhine.



Posted Apr 29, 2012, 8:47 am
Happy Easter to you!



Posted Apr 29, 2012, 5:00 pm
Finally I found time to read these two pages of two different newspapers of the week. The one is about Bruchsal asparagus. Bruchsal is famous for its asparagus fields and auctions.


The other newspaper page is about the baroque palace of Bruchsal. I think, you have a good view to many different parts of the main building with the church tower, but still many houses are missing.


Posted Apr 30, 2012, 6:33 pm
We have typical April weather in Bruchsal. There is sunshine and the next moment there is hail and thunder and rain.


Posted Jun 2, 2013, 2:36 pm
Wow! We have another sunny day! I really had no chance to see the flowers in the garden behind the house until now, because the weather was that bad. I can't remember, that we had springweather like this before. All flowers are blooming at the same time and the trees got leaves within minutes it seems.


Posted Jul 21, 2013, 9:18 pm
Today we decided to bake a rhubarb cake. Our host allowed us to do it all alone without her help. So please take a look at the recipe. We explain it step by step:

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


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


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



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


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



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



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


Melek helped


and Nathalie


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


Nathalie was still busy stiring the dough.


And the she filled it in the dish.


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



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



Little Dragon helped to skin it.




And Matcha helped to cut it in pieces.


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





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


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


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



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



Posted Feb 20, 2015, 6:57 pm
There will be a big event in this family this year: the wedding of one of the sons. Petra is happy, that she is allowed to bake the wedding cake. It will be a cake with strawberries and maybe some marzipan. She still doesn't know the other ingredients, so she has to try some cakes and find out the best version. And of course we are part of this.
Here's the first cake - I can't remember the ingredients anymore, I'm sorry.