The Fairytale City Prague

Recently we decided to have a little holiday somewhere nice in Europe. Okay it is not that recent anymore as I actually wanted to write about it for three weeks but some computer troubles kept me at bay. At first we wanted to go to Ireland but due to some visa difficulties for my wife we settled for the Czech Republic, or to be more precise for Prague. From Hamburg it takes only a bit over one hour to get to Prague by plane which is rather nice compared to the 8 hour nightmares to China.

Somewhere lost in Prague

Getting from the Prague Airport to the city center is fairly simple as it takes only about 40 min, first by bus and then by metro and it is super cheap with the tickets costing only about 1 Euro something per person. Our hotel was located in the New Town, now don’t get some modern ideas about this so-called New Town as it was founded in 1348! For me as a German who is used that many cities don’t have much historical substance left the city of Prague is just amazing. Everywhere you look in the city center you see historical buildings. I thought that Dresden was already incredible but Prague is on a whole different level. We stayed for three nights in Prague, giving us enough time to discover the city on our own pace. All the locations we visited were within walking distance except the Prague Castle for which we took another 5 min metro ride. For a family such as us this is just perfect as it makes getting around so easy.

Look at that bubble!


Nathan developed right from the start his favorite spots in the city. For one there were those main locations where soap-bubble performers were active and another and most important place was Hamleys. I had no idea about this toy shop chain before as they don’t have any stores in Germany or Finland. Let’s just say the Hamleys store in Prague was a little wonder world (only 6.000 sqm…)for Nathan with a carousel in the middle of the shop, several slides (one going from the second floor down to the first!), many other different activities to offer, staff dressed up in some nice costumes and of course toys and more toys everywhere. I have no doubt Nathan could have spent the entire holiday there.  When you are in Prague and have kids you need to visit that shop (okay, even without Nathan I would go there).

The mighty Saint Vitus Cathedral

On our first day we went around the area of our hotel. I was rather happy that our hotel was just a few minutes away from the famous Wenceslas Square yet another tourist site.  Everywhere in that area are restaurants so it was no problem at all to find a new place to eat for each day. However I must say that it was a bit odd that nearly every second restaurant is either Asian or Italian, just  like Little Italy and China Town combined right there in the middle of the city. Yet I don’t want to complain as it allowed us to give in my wife’s cravings for Asian food every day and then allowing me to choose another restaurant for dinner (I never get to choose usually!). Each day we tried to visit a few main attractions in Prague so we did cover at least the Wenceslas Square, Prague Castle, the Old Town, Charles Bridge any many other place within walking distance from our hotel.

Wenceslas Square

During the entire trip we wondered how this holiday would have been with MIL. For some reason wherever we go and she is with us it is just too much stress. We came to the conclusion that it must be because we do not only have to watch our for Nathan but for her as well. My wife once told me it is like having two children to look out for, with the older being mentally behind the younger one. I know sounds mean but Nathan knows the animals already better than his crazy Chinese grandmother.

Do try some of the Trololo, I mean Trdelník which can be found all around the city

All in all I can say that Prague is a wonderful city and I can only recommend going there at least for a couple of days. The city has so much to offer from all the history, over the food and last but not least the beer. For us this was now the last trip we will take in a while due to some reasons to which I will come in some later blog post. I do hope that after 2017 we will be able to travel once again. Oh and sorry  with the following flood of pictures.

Have you been already to Prague or plan to go there at some point?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

The Arche Warder

Over the past years we have visited a few zoos in China, Finland and in Germany. We visit especially often the local zoo here in my hometown. Not that we are so fascinated by it but it is a nice little family tour and it is for free for us. Yes, for free as I receive each year from my brother a family card for the zoo so we can go whenever we want there and pay no entrance fee. Anyhow this summer we noticed that it would be nice to go to some new place and this is how I found out about the Arche Warder (Ark Warder). For one it is just 15 minutes away from us by car (I really wonder why I never heard about it before!) and it is more than just a normal zoo.

Oh no the goats are coming, run for your life!

This zoo is so different as they are specialized on old breeds of livestock which are not used anymore these days and hence are endangered. Some of the animals are even as rare as the Siberian Tiger! Sure it might not be as exciting as other zoos for some people but for us it is a great place, especially with kids. Right when you enter some goats and sheep are coming and waiting to get some attention from the humans. Have you ever patted a sheep? They are sooo fluffy! Also so many animals had still some young ones around, just imagine some piglets running crazily around and making their cute sounds. My wife and Nathan loved particularly one certain baby goat which was so tiny, they tried their best to give it some food but the evil grown ups pushed always in between. Near the entrance is also a wooden cow and you can test your skill in milking it (okay only water coming out but what you expect of a fake cow!!). Lets just say that my wife and my dear mother-in-law did not manage to get any drop out, not even after I explained how to do it properly.

The zoo has a wonderful layout with much nature around

I believe that the animals have a rather good life there. Not just because they get fed all the time what they need but because they have also huge enclosures . Arche Warder is aiming at protecting these old livestock breeds by having breeding projects and don’t just present the animals like in normal zoos. The whole atmosphere was very nice as also the staff busy with cleaning and feeding greeted each person passing by. At the pig enclosures they had a funny feature, an information board where you could press a button and they would “imitate” the sound of the certain pig breed. It is incredible how many different breeds there are and how huge some of them can become. It is in general just surprising how many old livestock breeds exists and how they changed during the decades. Also the information you get there from the staff is great, who would have thought that Pekin Ducks are excellent pets who can build up the same kind of bond with humans what usually only dogs achieve.

Oh them cute piglets

You can also support the zoo and have your name then engraved in a wooden pole in a designated area visible for any visitor going around. I would love to support them but this has to wait for some later years as we still have some plans going on at the moment. Right now I hope that we can go there this year again together with my parents. Perhaps they are better in milking the cow than MIL…

More Information about Arche Warder you can also find here on their webpage which has even a page in English

Have you visited a park/ zoo which is aiming in protecting old livestock breeds?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

A Weekend In The Middle Ages

Ever since we visited the big renaissance fair near my home town back in 2015 we wanted to get dressed up as well for these events. The very same year we got ourselves some clothes and equipment which we tested out last autumn. This year we went once again to the big medieval market near my hometown but it was such a rainy day that we did not enjoy it entirely. However we had another very very big renaissance fair in sight this year in Hamburg Öjendorf.

Did I mention it is big?

What is so special about this renaissance fair? Well it is just huge. Last year I wrote how big the market was we visited near my hometown but it is just dwarfed by this one in Hamburg. Huge is not even enough to explain it. The whole festival area was 30 hectares big, over 100 military camps with over 1500 people within them, over 200 market stalls, 5 music stages, a knight’s tournament arena with 10.000 seats and and and. For this event we got ourselves tickets not only for one day but for the whole weekend in orderto be able to see everything and with the hope to have at least one dry day. Yes, we bought the weekend ticket mainly because of the terrible weather this summer as the renaissance fair this May was kind of ruined by the rainstorms.

Don’t ask me for directions

Right from the beginning we were overwhelmed by the size of the whole area. In fact you could not never see half of the area due to the layout and the amount of people there. I think I don’t need to mention anymore how differently people are dressing up for these events as you have everything there from knights over normal peasants to even unicorns…Nathan himself went once again as a monk and gained a lot of attention. The festival area had also many little stations for children with stacked straw bales fo them to go crazy. Nathan just loved it but he was still too small to climb up, yet alone to jump down from them. Surprisingly there were each time some kids helping him up and down non-stop so he was able to enjoy it nearly as much as the bigger children.

#Nathancuty just loved the handoperated wooden ferris wheel

I must say that even though we were two days there we did not see everything. Sure we managed to cover the whole area but there were different performances all over the area at different times so we missed rather many as it was a bit hard to go around and watch Nathan all the time. The biggest performances we missed once again this year which were the Pest Procession and the fire show during the night hours. One day we will manage to see those performances as the pictures I have seen about them are just stunning. We only need to figure out how to do it as we clearly can’t go with Nathan as it is just too late when they start. I am just glad that dear mother-in-law had just left us few days before this event. You can just imagine how crazy this weekend would have been with her there! Probably she would have been banned from the festival area in no time for trespassing the military camps or throwing her trash somewhere else than the trash bins.

Anyone hungry?

As I have mention before we got ourselves the weekend ticket due to the unpredictable weather and it was a good decision as the first day we had sunshine and barely any wind with a following terrible rainstorm day. Even though the weather was so bad on the second day we still stayed for more than five hours there before starting our journey back home. Though it was a great experience I doubt we will go for another weekend like this again. It is just too exhausting in the end and my wife is not fond of doing her hairs and make-up on two days! I think it was a great end for us this season with the renaissance fairs. Next year we won’t be able to go to any but more about that at some later point this year.

Have you been “too long” at some event before?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…