Category Archives: Travels

Plans for the rest of the Year

Over half of the year 2017 is over and much has already happened. Untill the birth of our daughter in May we were very busy trying to “stabilising” our little business. From January till the beginning of May we were investing so much time into our business that we had no time to do anything else. We did not travel anywhere, we didn’t visit any neighbouring towns, we did not even go shopping or eating in some nice restaurant (with the exception of birthdays and the weekend Family Gathering in March).

Basically all we did was work and spend the little free time with Nathan. Due to our work we do not even have any free weekends which can be sometimes very hard when the work seems to have no end. By the time our baby girl was born we had reduced the workload already in order for my wife to find some rest. However it was just reduced workload and thus just two days after Nathalie was born I started working again. Now two months after our family grew by one we started to wonder what we can do to enjoy life a bit more once again after those hard months.

Lübeck in 2015

No, we won’t have any big travels planned such as last year. However we have some smaller trips planned already within Germany. For one we want for Nathan to have some more fun by going to a little theme park in the next few weeks. That theme park is perfect for little kids like him as he can pretty much go into every amusement ride as there aren’t any “wild” ones and there is also a deer park! Besides the theme park we will go to a few cities this summer such as revisiting Lübeck and Flensburg for some day trips. In August we have then our “biggest” trip which will lead us to the dark East of Germany.

Lübeck will be lovely to revisit

That big trip developed only because I got an invitation for a Class reunion from my high school in Chemnitz (East Germany). As my wife had no interest in going there at all just for some reunion I had to come up with some plan. So now we will be driving first to Quedlingburg which is a very old town first mentioned in the records in 922 AD. The old town, the church and the castle are on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1994. I was there already once back in 1994 or 1995 with my parents and brother but I do not remember much of it anymore. There we will stay for one night right in the historic old town and then on the following day travel to Chemnitz. Except meeting with some friends and then having later on the reunion I have not planned anything yet. The problem for me with Chemnitz is just that I have no clue what to visit there even though I lived there for two years from 2005-2007.

My father on his way to his old home in 1991

In the late summer we will be trying to travel for a weekend to Poland to revisit my father’s birthplace Kołczewo on the Island Usedom. That trip will be especially important for my father as he had revisited that place only twice before, both between 1990 and 1991.He has not much memories from that place as he was very young when his family had to flee back in 1945 and become refugees till settling down in my hometown (they were living in camps for the first few years here). After that trip we will have only a few more day trips in mind. For us it is only important to get out of the daily routine from time to time. Next year shall be different again for us and I will write about it at some point towards the end of this year.

1990 My father carrying me in front of the old family house. The child standing there belongs to the “new” residents, let’s see if they are still there this year

What are your plans for the second half of 2017?

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Family Fishing Tour

Back in the day my family used to do a lot together such as going on holidays or simply meeting once in a while. Those days where all before I was born. Back then my brother Ulf went sometimes with his uncle and cousins for holidays abroad, went out eating and most importantly he and his cousin Frank had some little fishing tours. Both were still young in those days and as they got older they did not meet up for fishing any longer. Certainly my brother and his cousins still had contact during the past 30 years but it was not that much as before.

What a wonderful and interesting landscape

Last month we had our first Family Gathering since 2005. There my brother and cousin Frank somehow got to talk about fishing again. Thing is my brother did not fish since the old days but Frank stepped up the game and has caught pretty much every possible fish available in Northern Germany and Denmark. When he talked during the gathering about the past years and especially about fishing it sparked something in my brother again. Somehow I also got again interest in fishing (which I did sometimes in Finland with some old and cheap equipment) and shortly after the gathering we had a Fishing Family Group Chat on WhatsApp.

Walking over those rocks with all the equipment is not the easiest thing in the world

This all developed further within short time and for my birthday I got from my brother some new and very good fishing equipment. After that we all decided on a date on which we would meet up in Flensburg (where my cousin lives) and from there to Denmark for a daylong fishing tour at the Baltic Sea. This trip was going to be the first I did without my wife ever since we got together in 2010. Good thing that my brother decided that we should go a day earlier to Flensburg as we had a lot to prepare and to be able to arrive in Denmark as early as possible. Thing is we underestimated how much we had to prepare and in the end we all went sleeping around 1:30 am and had to wake up at 4:30 am! I can tell you that those few hours of sleep did not really give us enough rest for the rest of the day.

Last look at the sea before returning home

We left for Denmark shortly after 5am and drove to some “top spots” our cousin recommended as he had caught some nice fishes there over the past years. We all were so enthusiastic and excited when we arrived at the first location, not only because of the possibility of catching some fish but also because it was something we did together as a family. Quickly my brother and I got into our wetsuits and went into the sea. Let’s just say it was not the most successful fishing day for all of us as we did not catch any fish the entire day. We did not even spot any fish but at least we were not the only ones as all other fishermen we met had the same bad luck on that day.

Happy and tired

 

Even though we did not catch anything is was still an enjoyable day. First of all because we spent the day together and then also because of the wonderful nature all around us. I mean look at the great landscape in those pictures! Sure it was a bit disappointing to come back home in the evening empty-handed but nonetheless it felt great to come back home totally exhausted from fishing the entire day. Will I do such trip again? Definitely! In fact we are planning for another trip in the end of this month however it is not sure yet whether I will go as my wife and I are expecting soon our baby girl to be born.

Have you tried fishing?

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 Day to Remember

Here is another little story I wanted to share already for a long time. I really do wonder why I didn’t write about it before but well better late than never.

This whole annoyance happened back in 2015 when we were flying to China. I had everything planned out on how we get from our home to the central bus station and from there to the airport. The day started even well (except that I was pretty ill back then) and we got our taxi to the bus station without problems. The bus also arrived in time and the entire trip to the airport went without problems. But then the nightmare started and it lasted nearly the whole day.

First of all my wife had the wrong residence permit with her (The Finnish one, not the needed German) but we were able to settle that after some time. The next problem was at the customs as we had some products with us for our customers. The line there was just huge and we saw the time running away to get to the gate. After the customs we were relieved as there was still time left but oh no, more troubles were ahead. One big trouble was the security check where we found out that one of the products was a mixer and we completely had forgotten about the nice blade placed within it. The option now was 1. throw the thing away or 2. someone had to run back to the check-in to get the bag with the mixer inside as an extra luggage.

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All is still well at the bus station

Turns out I was the one to run to the check-in and the staff was so friendly to declare that suitcase as an extra luggage for Nathan and thus it was for free. What joy I felt in that moment and I really did believe now all of our troubles were over. Well while as I had this brief moment of joy my wife had other struggles at the security check as her laptop had to be checked for explosives and this whole stress made Nathan a very very upset little boy. Upset equals a lot of crying and thus making it also very hard for mommy. Even these troubles we survived and we were looking forward to just relax a bit before flying to Helsinki.

Flying to Helsinki? Not going to happen! Just as we had few minutes to calm down we heard the announcement that the flight to Helsinki was delayed by two hours. Those two hours would mean that we miss our connecting flight to Xi’an. All the stress began anew and we rushed to the gate to get more information. There we were told that all passengers with connecting flights to China got a new flight via Lufthansa going from Hamburg to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Beijing and then for us from Beijing to Xi’an. All in all over 23 hours instead of our booked flight with only 10 hours! We weren’t happy at all so we had to go back to the check-in area to the Service Center to make some complaints. Result was that we still had to catch that flight to Frankfurt and we needed to hurry as the Gate was closing in 15 minutes. Now the problem was that we still needed to get our luggage from the Baggage Claims. In all the hurry (only 5 minutes left!) we forgot one suitcase but we wouldn’t realize that until much later. As we ran with the staff to the Gate we saw our plane slowly rolling away…

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Brief moment of rest before finding out that the flight is delayed

Now we had to go back to the Service Center. There my wife was already in a terrible mood and it escalated into a shouting match between her and some of the staff. Meanwhile I was busy entertaining Nathan somehow who got also grumpier by the minute. After what felt like an eternity we got another flight and this one was leaving once again in just 30 minutes. So all the running madness began again (I think I do not need to point out that we had to do the security check each time we passed between the areas + having the same stupid explosive check with our laptop). Half way through the running we finally realized that one suitcase was missing. Down I ran with the staff to the Baggage Claim just to find out after spending 20 minutes there that our suitcase had by now taken its flight to Helsinki with the delayed machine. By now we had in fact already spent 6 hours at the airport, running here and there with our 1 1/2 year old son without resting, eating or drinking something. Of course we missed our new flight as well due to the delay at the Baggage Claim.

night2
More than two days later Nathan is exhausted in FIL’s arms

Exhausted we had to go back to the Service Center once again and the staff there was not all too happy to see my wife again in front of them. I don’t know what all happened in the following hours but it involved me going down to the Baggage Claim to the Lost & Found desk to somehow find the missing suitcase which was by now somewhere in Helsinki (indeed it was kind of lost as the tracking number was gone), my wife having an emotional breakdown and Nathan getting very exhausted and more grumpy. In the end we settled for taking the next flight to Xi’an via Helsinki two days later. We spent 11 hours at the airport, running the whole day and did not eat or drink anything during the entire time. As we got back home we were just dead tired and went to sleep after eating a bit.

This has been thus far our worst flight experience as it was a day where nothing worked out at all, everything going wrong. Two days later everything went as smooth as it could go. I must also add that the staff at the Hamburg Airport did an excellent job by helping us out and not to actually trying to kill my wife.

What was your worst experience when it comes to flying/ being stucked at the airport.

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/