Category Archives: Crazy Euopean People

The Annual Airport Festival

In the beginning of September (so half a century ago according to my blogging schedule) we went to the annual airport festival here in my hometown. Yes my little town has an airport, okay it might be more a very small airfield and not so much of an airport. Only small aircrafts can start and land there so there is no issue of noise complaints ever. I was actually checking out just now what kind of airfield it is but the Germans surely got their own laws and regulations which do not even translate into English so I won’t bother you with that! This airfield was a military airport back in WWII and after the war the airport was reduced in size to give way for a new city district which was built for the thousands of refugees arriving here such as my dad back in the day.

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Enough of the history and categorization of this so-called airport and let’s get back to the festival. Though I have lived rather long here already before moving to Finland I had never visited this festival. I do not even know for how long this festival exists already except that it must be going on now for at least 8 years. I know that because back then my parents visited the festival as they have a friend, who is flying a glider, invited them. As this festival was right between the time MIL had left us to return to China and my parents return from their 4 month-long holiday we took this opportunity for some family time.  From our home it is only 10 minutes by bicycle to the airport which made it very convenient for us to go there on both festival days. As you can imagine it was a very confusing but also exciting event for a 2 1/2-year-old boy! When he saw the first helicopter flying over our heads he went crazy, not as in crazy as everyday MIL, but happily crazy.

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One of the bit older gliders at the festival

On one side of the airfield were several food stalls and the tents of the different companies offering flights in either helicopters, gliders, gyrocopter, historical planes or different light aircrafts. You could also sign up for some parachute jumping but that is not really my thing as I might have some little fear of heights. Most surprisingly for us was that two of our friends were also at the festival and were just preparing for their parachute jump! I bet that the girl would have not jumped if she would have known back then that she was already in her first month of pregnancy. They also provided tons of entertainment for kids with several amusement rides, jumping castles and also a little track for quad driving (small quads with not so much power). In retrospect the quad driving was probably more intended to give the dads some fun while pretending to take care of their kids sitting in front of them.

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#Nathancuty loves to drive the Suzuki

The whole festival was very interesting as you could see all kind of different planes and other flying vehicles. They also had the Antonow AN-2 flying around which is the biggest operational single-engine biplane. We had plans to take a little tour with a light aircraft but the waiting list was a bit too much for us with its 2-3 hours of waiting time. So in order to let Nathan enjoy his time there we let him have some rounds in the amusement rides. We  had the before-mentioned quad ride for him but he clearly did not really care about as he kind of looked depressed in the pictures.

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The huge Antonov is arriving

For us it was a nice experience to go to this airport festival. We learned a few things about the different planes, Nathan had lots of fun, it is nearby and best of all the entrance is for free. Next year we will definitely go again and then we will sign up early enough for a flight in one of the planes!

Have you visited something like an airport festival before?

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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/