Holidays in Finland Part II

Here we go now with the second part of our holidays in Finland. Today the blog post will be a bit different, similar to the article Nathan’s World from 2014. We had a great time at  grandparents cottage for the first 1 1/2 weeks but it was time to leave and travel to Helsinki for another four days before returning back home.The trip started too early for me, my mom woke me up so early that it was still dark outside! I can’t remember really what all happened but suddenly granny kissed me and said goodbye. Before I could do anything I was in grandpa’s car and we were driving somewhere. As always I fell asleep in the car and woke up in some weird town where we took a bus. Dad mentioned something about “This is so cheap, cheaper for all of us than a single train ticket!”. I don’t know how cheap that is but I was certainly not comfy in that bus. It was soo full of tall people and the bus driver was making weird Finnish jokes over the microphone all the time. At least I was able to sleep a bit more and when I woke up, guess what, yeah another city again. What a strange thing, seems like each time I sleep these days I wake up somewhere else. My parents talked about this strange place called Helsinki, can’t remember that I was ever here before though.

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There are really many people in this Helsinki

From this strange Helsinki place we went by bus to another strange Espoo place. There some Chinese man waited for us at the bus station and helped my parents to carry some stuff. We all went to an apartment and it was full of people and even a little princess! All the people were talking non-stop so I went to play a bit hide and seek with the little princess, what fun that was. It got even better when daddy finally had the airbed ready for some non-stop jumping action with the princes. This “bum bum 跳跳 (Tiao Tiao)” is soo much fun, can’t understand why my parents looked so annoyed. Anyways at some point I was forced to go to sleep again but at least when I woke up I was still at that great place with the airbed.

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Me and the princess

After getting some breakfast from Chinese crazy granny we took once agin a bus back to this Helsinki place. My parents surely surprised me when we went to this wonderful theme park called Linnanmäki. Wow it was so much fun there and it seemed my parents didn’t even use any of this strange money thing. Still don’t understand this money, they need it for everything but always complain that they don’t have enough. Crazy Chinese granny was doing stupid stuff again and I nearly had to throw up after being in a ride with her as she was spinning this wheel all the time. Mommy was kind of angry with granny later but it seems that granny didn’t do anything wrong and that it was actually mommy’s fault, I don’t really understand granny sometimes. The food at the theme park was wonderful, so many french fries and ketchup! We should eat there more often. Later daddy went away to meet with uncle Tatu and some other friends and he only returned shortly before I was going to sleep, they must have a lot to talk about.

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Crazy granny is scary

Next day I woke still up at this place, are we staying here forever? We all went again to strange Helsinki and went to a place full of Moomin stuff! Wow, so many Moomins everywhere but suddenly we left and I didn’t get anything, bad people. A bit later we were at some place eating Chinese food, it just tasted like China, we should come back here more often.  Afer this we were in some kind of park and there were so many children. Even the police was there and I think my parents tried to get my arrested as they always wanted to put me on some police motorcycle, good that I fought against it, I am too young for the prison. Daddy called this Lasten Festarit at Töölönlahti, no idea what that is but it was fun. Mommy showed me some kids who were doing kicks and said that I would do this Tae Kwon Do as well soon, looks certainly interesting I just hope they have french fries as well there. There was so much to do together with the little princess, jumping, running, singing, eating lollipops but somehow the old people looked so tired, what a lazy bunch. We left the park and crazy granny pointed out some sea gulls but daddy said that it was actually a swam, don’t know what is true.

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The sea gull/ swan

We left those nice people and went together with mommy, daddy and crazy granny to some restaurant were other people were waiting for us. Guess what there were two other little princesses and we had so much fun running around, unplugging some lights and having crazy granny running after us all the time. I don’t know when we got back to the airbed place but I woke there up again later. Something was wrong as it was too early again and we took a big car called taxi where we put all our stuff and drove to Helsinki again. There we took this great train and shortly after that we were again at the airport where I had been few times before. Crazy granny was doing crazy things at the security control again, she is just so funny but the security staff didn’t seem to like her funny stuff. Anyways it seemed that the great fun in Finland was over because later we arrived in Hamburg again and took once again a bus, I am getting sick of these buses…

How do you like bus trips?

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Holidays in Finland Part I

First of all I am sorry for not posting any articles for the past three weeks but there were many things happening. During my “absence” we were two weeks in Finland and then the past week we were just too busy with work. At first I wanted to have only one blog post about our holidays in Finland but I quickly realized that I took first of all too many pictures and second that there is just such a clean-cut between our time at the cottage and those days spent in Helsinki. This first blog post about the holidays in Finland will be all about the days spent together with my parents at the cottage and next week will be about the four-day stay in Helsinki.

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View on the lake

We had planned our holidays in Finland for some time as we wanted to meet up with some friends and because I also had to help with some things at the cottage. It was no trouble at all to find some good plane tickets but we somehow missed to check at first what time those flights would be. So we ended up arriving in Finland on a nice monday evening at 10pm! Sure it doesn’t sound that bad but the thing is that we had to get still to my parents cottage roughly 4 hours away by car. My dad picked us up with enough coffee in the thermos to keep me awake for the journey to the cottage. It wasn’t the most pleasant car ride I had as by the end of July the days were getting shorter again which meant it was nearly pitch black around midnight, half the trip we had heavy fog hindering us and worst of all we had to check non-stop for moose crossing the road. Yes moose as they are very common in Finland and they do love to come out of the forest at night to pester the roads leading to many dangerous situations which even end up deadly few times a year for both the animal and the person behind the steering wheel. Luckily we did not see any moose this time on the road but it still took a lot of energy to look around the whole car ride.

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#Nathancuty making sure that his little cousin is not breaking the poor dolphin

Nathancuty, mother-in-law and my wife fell asleep pretty much as soon as we left the airport and only my dad stayed awake to keep me company while driving. The amazing thing is that as soon as we arrived at the cottage around 2:30 am Nathan decided to wake up and check out the whole place. It took over one hour to catch him running around and he was rather upset that we took him upstairs to sleep as he wanted to still spend time with his Mummo and Opa (Mummo is Finnish for grandmother and Opa is German for Grandfather). The following days meant work for me, a lot of work as I helped out with mowing the lawn, chopping wood, trying to get the outboard motor working again (I failed), cutting away reed in the lake with a scythe and last but not least making myself extra work by starting to build up a wall made out of large rocks. This might give you an idea that the days at the cottage was less holiday for me and more like a working camp. Besides all the work I also joined my father on the early morning bicycle rides around the lake, yes I had a full-time job there!

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Wonderful nature everywhere

MIL, Nathancuty and my wife had a bit less to do. In fact they had a lot of free time there when they did not have to watch out for Nathan. That little fellow was rather keen in running around the cottage all the time, especially to the lake. Not that we don’ trust this big boy with his judgement when it comes to his non-existent swimming skills but it is better to make sure that he is fine. In their free time MIL, my wife and my dad went over to the neighbour’s property to harvest the area for raspberries. I believe they collected around 10 litres within a few days and my mother was fairly busy in making every day several jars of raspberry jam. We might be probably soon sick of raspberry jam as my parents come back to Germany next month with their car loaded with the sweet death in jars…

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Are you talking to me?

One of the exciting days was when my cousin came over with her three children. You might remember her little daughter from this post when Nathan was fairly jealous of all her hairs. Let’s just say he is probably even more jealous now as she is sporting a lot of hairs while as Nathan might be better off with a monk hairstyle. During all the time at the cottage my dear Chinese mother-in-law had also some stuff to discover. For one thing that ducks actually survive out there in the nature without her feeding them, that seagulls are not ducks and that a rabbit is not a deer. Yes you read it right, she actually thought one evening that she saw a deer on our property and even described it “It was this big (waving her arms in huge motions) and it had very very long legs”. The thing is that there are not deers in that part of Finland but she was very sure that it was no rabbit because “I know how rabbits look like, especially because you have those two bunnies!”.  When we all went to investigate and she pointed to the place where she saw the deer a small rabbit came running out of the bushes and she was all like “Look there is the deer”.  Got to love her own believe sometimes.

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#Nathancuty driving a small tractor

During one of the last days we were invited for lunch by our cottage neighbours who own a farm about 30 driving minutes away. The farm is just huge and they had on a wall a document stating that the farm has been in their family since the 1670s! That is certainly a long line of farming business there but sadly it might soon end as it is just not profitable anymore these days. After a delicious lunch we went for a little walk around and also stoped by their Galloway cattle herd. Last time we had visited them back in 2014 when Nathan had is first encounter with them. The whole area was just breathtaking (not because of the smell from the farm!) and I do hope we can go there next year again. All in all I can say that it was something special for me to visit Finland again and spend time at the cottage. The house at the lake has been now in my family for 24 years and I spent every summer there in my youth so for me it is like a little safe haven, a place I will never forget.

Where have you been this summer?

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

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The Wonderful City Called Dresden

Last weekend we visited Dresden the capital city of the Free State of Saxony. It was the first time for Nathan, my wife and of course MIL to visit that part of Germany. I on the other hand had been there multiple times however I never really did see the city. The thing is I lived in East Germany, okay to be more precise in Karl-Marx-Stadt Chemnitz, for a couple of years as I went there to the Sports High School. During those years I visited a lot of cities but only for competitions and thus I usually never saw more than the swimming pool and the next McDonalds. So Dresden it was and I was really excited as I could visit an old friend from high school again.

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View on Dresden Cathedral

Our journey started on an early Friday morning in my great home town. Before Dresden we decided to have a short stop in Chemnitz to grab some food and look at the Sportforum, the place where I lived, studied and trained for two years.  In Chemnitz we had our belated lunch as we arrived after roughly 6 hours  car driving fun at around 3pm there. We only stayed shortly as we wanted to arrive at the hotel in Dresden as soon as possible and to have some daylight left to see few things around the area we stayed. From Chemnitz we had another enjoyable car ride to Dresden which lasted roughly one hour. Let’s just say that such long car rides are no fun at all. While driving through the city I was already amazed how differently it looked compared to all other cities I have visited thus far in Germany. Our hotel was located in the city district Neustadt and it was the perfect location for our needs!

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Part of the Procession of Princes which is made of Porcelain

For one my friend’s apartment was just 15 min away by walk. Then the city center itself with all the great sights was just 10 min away by tram and last but not least the district Neustadt was just amazing. To be precise Neustadt is divided into Inner Neustadt and Outer Neustadt but let’s not focus on such details. What we noticed first there was the huge amount of historical buildings just everywhere and then the huge amount of young people all around. Apparently Neustadt is known for its many students and it is a thriving hip district full of restaurants, bars, clubs and a lot of “alternative” shops. We just loved it there as it was so lively putting Helsinki and its hip district of Kallio to shame. During our first evening there we went to a nice Vietnamese restaurant and had some great dinner.

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What a wonderful city

On the second day we went after breakfast to the historical city center and tried to see as many sights as possible. MIL was in awe as she had never seen anything like that before (actually I haven’t either!). It was just too bad that during our time there the famous Frauenkirche was closed. This Frauenkirche is a church which has been destroyed as so many other buildings there during WWII and reconstruction was only finished in 2005. Most interesting about the city center is that every buildings looks old there but in fact nearly all of the living houses are modern buildings with a classical facade because there was not so much left after the war so they reconstructed only the most famous sights and settled for modern buildings for the rest. They did a real good job in getting the old feeling back with these buildings as such is missing in nearly all German cities which suffered so high damage (Dresden was to 60% destroyed during the war and approx. 250.000 to 500.000 inhabitants and refugees died during the terrible bombings). Afer a small lunch with my friends we went to the Bastei. It is a rock formation just about 45 min away by car from Dresden Neustadt.  The rock formation is pretty famous here but also gained some world-wide attention as it was one of the desktop screens for Windows 7. Nathan loved the bridges spanning around the rock formation so much that he didn’t even want to leave anymore! Let’s just say he was rather upset when we “forced” him to come with us to the car…

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At the Bastei

Later that day we went to my friends and had some lovely BBQ in their backyard/ inner yard. As both are vegetarian we had only a small amount of meat and the rest was all about grilled vegetables and cheese. Myself I am perfectly fine to have these days a meat free BBQ but they bought for us some meat so we couldn’t say no.  When it was getting darker we walked from their home towards a bridge spanning the river Elbe to have a great view towards the historical city center. I had all my equipment ready for some great pictures but next to the bridge was some kind of music festival which resulted in annoying light and smoke disturbing the pictures.

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Failed attempt at taking a nigh shot

In the end I can say it was a wonderful trip and I recommend for everyone visiting Germany to have at least one or two days in Dresden. It is a wonderful city with a lot of history and I think it is really a must see destination.  Both MIL and my wife enjoyed the time there a lot however they were not too fond of the six-hour car ride. They were especially bored on the way back when I took over music control and listened the entire way to an audiobook as I just could not face any more K-Pop.

Have you ever visited Dresden or heard about this city?

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

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

 

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…

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