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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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#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.

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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?

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Three Months Survived

Somehow we managed it yet again, MIL is back in China and thus the three months of terror are over. Over the past years I had a couple of these posts regarding her leaving again and what we/ she learned. This will be pretty much such a blog post again as I am just lazy right now and don’t want to think too much.

Indeed she is leaving but the question is now, has she learned or improved since last year? No, not at all. She is still the same chaotic, messy and crazy person as all the years before. Sure she does promise to change this and that each time but that will never happen. Remember when I wrote all those years back that she was shocked how well people treated their dogs by taking several walks each day with them etc.? Back then she said already “I will do this with my dogs as well!”, as you might guess they are still every single day in their cage to this day. Okay, sometimes she does take a walk with them but I believe it is more to annoy other people as those dogs just poop in front of every entrance they feel like.

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I am not a dog but feel insecure with that lady

Now to the things which actually do happen here in our home. I noticed over the years that she in fact loves to use oil when cooking. That is nothing new in Chinese kitchen but she kind of increased the dosage each year. When she was with us in 2014 for three months she needed about every 3-4 weeks a litre of oil for cooking. Last year it increased already to every 2 weeks. Back then my wife already complained that this is just too much oil but she defended herself “your useless father is using much more oil, he needs a litre every weeks when cooking. See I am not as bad as him!” or something along these lines. Yep this year she managed to actually use up every single week one litre of oil! As you can guess the kitchen looks accordingly. We have oil splatter even on the opposite side of the stove and on the roof! It is just insane as every few weeks I had to basically drain the kitchen hood of oil.

Okay okay she was once again a huge help with Nathan and providing us with food (abide it might not have been always eatable).  We were especially concerned that Nathancuty might have trouble readjusting to a life without his Chinese grandmother but we worried for nothing. He did not even care when she left him at the airport and did not even say “Nai nai 奶奶” at all since Wednesday. Seems like he is perfectly fine without her. Only trouble now is to get him back on earth after being spoiled non-stop for the past three months.

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Yay all packed up and ready to be shipped to China!

I left out one thing now and that is cleaning. The first weeks I really tried hard to keep the apartment and car clean but it was just so futile. It is like trying to stop and oncoming storm by blowing against it. She must have some magical dirt creation tricks as otherwise I can’t explain it. I mob the floor room by room and once I am done to get some rest I realize that the first few rooms are already full of “dark footsteps” like she would be putting ink on her feet or something. Few days before she left we went to a beach and when we went back to the new car my wife told her to carefully clean the shoes. Once we were back home and I wanted to get Nathan from his seat it looked like she had dragged half the beach with her. There was barely any black from the car carpet left, just sand, no kidding. Upon asking she told us that she tried real hard but the sand wouldn’t come off, yeah right she just had those slippers while as my profile boots did not give me any issue. Just thinking about cleaning after her could be an own blog post again so I just stop right now before I remember too much and bring nightmares to myself.

You have anyone you need to clean “after”?

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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My crazy Chinese Family I married into…