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Travelog for: Nils

Downtown Rochester, USA - 16th February 2013

By: sannah

Hi there!

Today was such a beautiful day: blue sky and sunny, but really cold. Thanks to my sweater, I can go outside without freezing too much. My host sannah took me for a walk from downtown Rochester back to their apartment.

Rochester is also known as Med City. About one third of the people living in Rochester works at the Mayo Clinic and nearly all buildings, especially the tall ones, downtown belong to them (or are hotels). Therefore there is not much going on there on the weekend, because all employees are at home. Let me show you some of the buildings!




sannah likes the last building the most. It is called Plummer Building, was completed in 1928 and has been the tallest building of the city for a long time. This is one stone of it, showing Dr. Plummer himself:


We then walked along 2nd street. I do absolutely love this picture, it combines old and new.


Beside some churches (which are not that pretty like those I have seen in Europe), there also is a Jewish community in town.


Dan Abraham has not only sponsored this house, but also the Mayo Fitness Center, sannah told me. She exercises there at least twice a week. Have you known where all his money came from? No? - I did neither, but was told that he invented SlimFast. It is expensive powder that can be turned into a drink and makes people thin or so. I don't need it, that is for sure!

On our way home, we also passed two other different building that are somehow connected to medical treatments.



I hope to never have to stay in the second one, it is the St. Mary's hospital!

Finally, we arrived back home. I live in one of those apartments now!


Though it is not that far away from downtown, there is a small lake just around the corner!


sannah-man said that when he left early this morning for work, there were some people sitting on the lake in little sheds. They were ice fishing! Maybe I am lucky to see them in person one day.

Okay Mom, now you know where I live! Though sannah said that there still is a lot to discover.

Love, Nils

* Posted Feb 17, 2013, 12:13 am Last edited Feb 17, 2013, 12:23 am by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Zumbrota, MN, USA - 2nd March 2013

By: sannah

Hi there!

Long time not seen, but sannah has had a cold during the week and started tutoring, too.

Today we made a short trip to Zumbrota, Minnesota. Doesn't that sound funny? Say it twice or three times in a row! *giggel*  :D It is a very small town about half an hour northwest of Rochester.

Therefore, there wasn't that much to see, except for the reason we came: A covered bridge, the only one left in the state. Here it is:


Can you read the sign above it? It says: "$10 fine for driving faster than a walk across this bridge." But since there are posts installed in front of the bridge, no usual vehicle would be able to pass anyway.

Next to the bridge some information were given which I studied carefully.


Then we entered the bridge and it turned out to be really huge!


Through the windows, we had a look on the Zumbro River and the amounts of snow that are still left in my area.


Inside the covered bridge, it was pretty cool because the warming sun was missing. But outside, I was larking and made snow angels!


The snow cooled me down. Luckily, my hosts decided to have a cup of coffee before we left because they were freezing a little after having a walk in the Covered Bridge Park. So we went to a small café nearby.


Everywhere along the Main Street, lampposts were decorated with those flags. Zumbrota obviously is very proud of that bridge!


All the coffee (I even got a refill) made me hop around sannahs car on our way back. At first I tried to enjoy the still snowy landscape ...


... but then I got bored and wanted to drive myself ...


... and played with Emil the Elk who lives in sannahs car. He protected me from falling here.


It was only a small trip, but we had lots of fun. And the fresh air made me tired in the long run. Good night!

* Posted Mar 3, 2013, 12:53 am Last edited Mar 3, 2013, 1:20 am by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mason City, IA, USA - 24th March 2013

By: sannah

Hi there!

I was a little lazy with traveling in the past weeks because I had to. First, there is still a lot of snow outside making it not really easy to drive or walk around. And second, sannah twisted her ankle and had to recover first.

We both were glad to leave home for Mason City, Iowa! The town itself is not really a must-see, but we went there for a concert of the Slovenian A Cappella choir Perpetuum Jazzile. It was great - but taking photos was not allowed during the show.

It was snowing (again ...) this morning, so we took only a short walk through downtown. A typical small town in the Midwest I'd say and sannah agreed.

This is a memorial for all soldiers who died in war:


This building once for sure has been beautiful:


Look, I found us an all American car!  :D


This is the post office and courthouse. All official buildings are easily to recognize: the national flag in front of them!


For US standards, this church really looks like one:


And I guess this is art. There were more statues downtown, but this one appeared to be most inviting to climb on.


As I said, not much going on in Mason City - that's it so far!

Best wishes,

* Posted Mar 24, 2013, 9:06 pm Last edited Mar 24, 2013, 9:08 pm by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Clear Lake, IA, USA - 24th March 2013

By: sannah

It's me again!

I forgot that we did not only visit Mason City, but also stopped in Clear Lake, about ten miles west. We wanted to have a look at the Clear Lake, but there clearly wasn't a lake. Well, somehow it was still covered under snow and ice. But have a look yourself:


Maybe we'll come back in summer, it most be great to live there then! Now I really wasn't in the mood for sunbathing.

So far: Good night now!

* Posted Mar 25, 2013, 4:39 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mall of America, USA - 2nd April 2013

By: sannah


OH MY GOD - I am still so overwhelmed! Yesterday sannah went to the Mall of America with friends (and sannah-man) for the first time. And huge does not describe its size. It is the largest mall (shopping center) in the U.S. and the 11th largest in the world. I have never felt so tiny before!

The mall is three to four stories high.

And in the middle of the mall is an amusement park - the hallways with the stores and restaurants circle around it. If you don't count the amusement park, the mall would only be the second largest in the United States.


sannah rode of of the rollercoasters with her friends' daughter. I wasn't allowed in because I am too short.  :(

One of the most fascinating things was the LEGO store - for everyone who is familiar with those brick toys invented in Denmark. They even designed the whole surrounding with those tiny bricks - have a look!

Those world explorers (I am one, too! :D) are huge and completely made of bricks!

Are you as impressed as I am?


* Posted Apr 4, 2013, 1:13 am Last edited Apr 4, 2013, 1:14 am by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Rochester, MN, USA - 25th April 2013

By: sannah

Hi there!

Spring has finally come! Well, it still is a little cold outside, but the sun was shining brightly today. Maybe the wisest thing to do to fight her little cold was to go outside, sannah thought - and therefore she took Kwaadapp and me to the local Museum and Historical Society of Olmsted County. Here we are!


Since I have already seen this building in real life, I rushed to this Lego brick model of the Plummer Building, located in downtown Rochester. We could climb this model easily, but would not stand a chance to the same with the original building!


There were also some models of other historic buildings in town, but they were made of cardboard.


Since Rochester is also called "Med City", they had some really fancy instruments from doctors in old times.


Kwaadapp really sometimes is a little Mr. Scaredy-Pants, but I dared to have a closer look at the bone saw! I guess the text next to me does not require further comments?!  :rolleyes:


The museum also showed two scenes, one of them features the story of five year old Lucy Gray. About one hundred years ago, before modern medicine was invented, she would have died of appendicitis, but her father dared to travel with her by train to what now is St. Marys where she had surgery. She was a brave girl, supposedly never cried and went home safely.


I don't want to leave you scared. See, I found me a desk with a computer!


Well, not the most modern thing compared to what sannah works with ... Therefore it is in a museum: IBM also has a facility here in Rochester and I think they donated the stuff.


Okay, that was our trip today!

Love, Nils

* Posted Apr 25, 2013, 11:51 pm Last edited Apr 25, 2013, 11:53 pm by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Rochester, MN, USA - 2nd May 2013

By: sannah

Hi Mom,

no, those pictures are not a few months old and I forgot to post. They were taken in May! More than 30cm of snowfall were measured yesterday morning - the highest amount in the past twelve months.

Nature had difficulties to adjust, this poor little tree on sannahs balcony really bend over - and not because I was sitting in it!

I really disappear in all the white ...

It took a while for the snow plows to arrive. Therefore sannah-man had to go to work by shuttle - sannah refused to drive him. And walking wasn't an option, either ...

sannah said that in a few das only the snow will be forgotten and everything should be back to normal ... Let's hope so - we are ready for some trips!

Love, Nils

* Posted May 4, 2013, 2:02 am Last edited May 4, 2013, 2:03 am by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Around Rochester, MN, USA - 8th May 2013

By: sannah

Hi Mom!

I was a little sad because Kwaadapp left yesterday for his big adventure - now I am all alone with Fifi.

But sannah took my for a bike ride with her. As this is "Med City", lots of opportunities are offered for exercising, including dozens of miles of paved bike paths along rivers or around lakes.

And that is what sannah did: She followed the Cascade Creek to Zumbro River and Silver Lake.

Here the small creek enters the Zumbro River. As you can see, the snow from last week has gone completely and the trees are in blossom or about to start blossoming every minute.

I have already completed that life mission, but have a look: I meet another goose! These are Canadian geese, some live here at Silver Lake, others will maybe travel further north. And they are communicating really loud!

And this view of downtown Rochester has been taken south of Silver Lake (which actually is just a bottled-up part of the Zumbro River). Can you locate the Plummer Building on the picture? It is kind of characteristic for the town's skyline ...

sannah has also promised me an extraordinary road trip at the end of the month. I am so excited!

Love, Nils

* Posted May 9, 2013, 1:07 am Last edited May 9, 2013, 1:10 am by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cascade Lake Park, RST, MN, USA - 23rd May 2013

By: sannah

Hi there,

sannah really is in a hurry for our big trip the upcoming weekend, but she promised me to type what I dictate her.  :)

Let's start with a game. Where am I?


It is very hard to believe that, only three weeks ago, the whole beauty of nature was hidden under a foot of snow!

Not far away from where sannah lives, there is a bike trail through Cascade Lake Park - last time we turned right to get to the city center, today we turned left and enjoyed the nature. The bike path is paved, easily to drive and meanders between Cascade Creek and some artificial lakes (caused by a quarry).


In the background, you can see Assisi Heights. It is a convent of the Sisters of St. Francis and overlooks the city of Rochester.


I enjoyed the blossoming nature and the surrounding water.


But you better watch out for people jogging, skating or speed-cycling along the trail. They are as dangerous as fishermen walking which their fishing poles over their shoulder not caring for everybody else on the trail ...  :mad:

But we are back home safe. Now excuse us, we have to take care of our travel nerves!

All the best,

* Posted May 24, 2013, 1:42 am Last edited Jun 23, 2013, 7:12 pm by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mount Rushmore, USA - 25th May 2013

By: sannah

Hi Mom,

last weekend was a long weekend here in the US - Monday was Memorial Day, a national holiday. sannah and friends decided to spend part of the weekend on the road in order to see the very very amazing nature of the Black Hills in South Dakota.

But to be honest, most visitors of the region don't only come for the nature, but mostly for the manmade additions to the landscape.


The most famous one are four heads of former presidents: from left to right (me  ;)) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Their upper bodies should also have been engraved in the stone, but before this could have happened, the architect died. This is his statue:


And along the President's Trail with a lot of stairs, you could also learn a lot about the four presidents that had been chosen to be part of Mount Rushmore.


And here others are quoted who helped establish Mount Rushmore as a National Monument, nowadays attracting hundreds of thousands of international tourists like Tommi and me.


But that was only the first part of our adventure as our travel continued!


* Posted May 28, 2013, 10:42 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Crazy Horse Memorial, USA - 25th May 2013

By: sannah

Hi Mom,

right after leaving Mount Rushmore, we went to another monument carved in stone: the nearby Crazy Horse Memorial. He was an Indian warchief of the Lakota people and if you thought Mount Rushmore was huge, this monument is even huger!

It's so huge that it wasn't possible for sannah to take a photo of me and the original - here it is as in May 2013.

But there were many models of how the memorial should look like when it's finally completed and I was able to pose with one of it.

You can see how much work there still is to do - and there have been working on it for decades. The guy how started working on it died in 1982, but the face was completed and inaugurated not earlier than 1998! His family continues the work as his heritage and since there is no government funding, progress is only made by donations and the admission fees to the area.

They even have a small museum of Native American Art and Culture. May I introduce you to my buddy "Mad Bear"?

And this decent piece of art is the gate to the property. Nice, isn't it?
Korczak is the first name of the sculptor (the one who died in 1982), his name is kind of a brand for the place.

And our travel continued to other nice places around the Black Hills.


* Posted May 29, 2013, 7:09 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Devils Tower, WY, USA - 26th May 2013

By: sannah

Hi Mom!

Today we left South Dakota and went even further west, into Northeast Wyoming. You can’t imagine how beautiful the landscape was, but maybe you can catch a glimpse with this view over Salt Creek somewhere in Wyoming.


But our final destination was another National Park: Devils Tower was the first declared United States National Monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. But among the local Native American tribes, the tower is called Bear's Lodge – here is the explanation for the two names:


The name Bear’s Lodge is connected to a story that is different in details, but quite similar in general among all tribes: A group of kids was chased by a bear and prayed for help. And help came when the rock they were standing on rose up to the sky. This saved the children – and it explains the structure of the tower still visible nowadays since the bear tried to climb the mountain and therefore carved it with his claws. You can see this story in the painting:


Science would say Devils Tower was caused by eruption of a volcanic hotspot. Basically, it is a rock pimple. :) And a very outstanding one: rising dramatically 386 m above the surrounding terrain and, in general, the summit is more than 1500 m above sea level. But it is not really one solid mountain, but made up of single columns.


If you have never been to Wyoming, but cannot suppress the feeling Devils Tower looks familiar to you, chances are that you are very interested in movies: In Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) aliens land here. But not when we visited. :)

Love, Nils

* Posted May 30, 2013, 3:39 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Badlands National Park, USA - 27th May 2013

By: sannah

Hi Mom,

this is the last part of our trip. We packed our things in the car and started driving down very curvy roads in very foggy weather, but as soon as we had passed Rapid City, the sky cleared and sun was shining brightly.

But sannah and sannah-man did not want to drive home straight, but decided to take the scenic loop through Badlands National Park.

It is a national park in southwestern South Dakota protecting about 100 ha of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie. The scenery reminds me of pictures I have seen from the moon or planet Mars.

But let pictures speak!



The area looks really bizarre. I have never seen anything similar in my entire life! One can hardly believe that millions of years ago in earth history this has once been a shallow ocean. But you can find many fossils there telling of those times!


Though it was not really that hot, it felt like being in a desert. The creek in the background will most likely stay dry forever.



The loop luckily led us out of the park again. I suddenly felt so thirsty!


That was our long weekend in South Dakota. Unfortunately, we have not been able to see some buffalos.

But sannah promised it won't take long until our next trip! Yeah! I hope the weather will be as good as it has been the past weekend!


* Posted May 31, 2013, 9:53 pm Last edited May 31, 2013, 9:54 pm by sannah [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Silver Bay, MN, USA - 15th June 2013

By: sannah

Hi Mom!

sannah has taken me on another trip for the weekend: We went further north and stayed in Silver Bay, a tiny town on the north shore, the shore of Lake Superior. Actually, this lake looks much more like an ocean to me ...

On a hill over the mountain, you can overlook the scenery. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't that good on Saturday ...


The town is a very young one and was established for housing the workers (and their families) of the iron mining company in town about 60 years ago. This site is shown on the picture.

But in order to satisfy the needs of the tourists entering the north shore (very often bringing a boat), Silver Bay also has a little marina.

Of course, this was only the first part of our trip!

All the best,

* Posted Jun 19, 2013, 3:01 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Tettegouche State Park, USA - 15th June 2013

By: sannah

Hi there!

As I promised, our trip has just started in Silver Bay. We later on went to Palisade Head, a large cliff rising about 40-50 meters high above Lake Superior. But luckily, we didn’t have to climb – there is a single lane road winding to a small parking lot on top of it.

The access is free of charge and the view – well, have a look yourself!


sannah has been told that the hike to the edge of Shovel Point is a nice one. Not too difficult, but not too easy, either! But we had to buy an entrance ticket to the Tettegouche State Park in order to walk there – and so we did. And again, the view was awesome, but the weather could have been nicer. A blue sky makes nicer pictures! ;)

I don't know how many stairs we walked up and down from the beach to the top, at some point we just stopped counting!


On some photos, you could see Palisade Head in the background - it's the cliff with the antenna.
At the pike of Shovel Point we noticed that there are caves in the cliffs!


A little more from the north shore is about to follow!

All the best, Nils

* Posted Jun 20, 2013, 1:16 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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