Category Archives: Travels

Experiencing China

It has been now over six months since our last holiday in China. It was a great trip and we are already planning for next years holiday session in the Middle Empire. I have mentioned it countless of times that for so many years we never really managed it to go anywhere besides Xi’an. This year was different as we had that wonderful week in Japan (Tokyo, Thomas Land and Osaka) and we are kind of planning on having next year a week-long trip in Thailand. This is not set in stone especially when taking into consideration that we should have been already to Korea, Taiwan, Bali, the Maldives and so forth. Main problem was always that my wife turns into a complete couch potato once we arrive at her home in China.

Some temple somwhere in Sichuan

Anyhow even in case we won’t manage it to Thailand I am still looking forward to visiting China again. For one it is of course the food and I think I don’t need to touch that subject again as writing about it and sharing pictures makes too many people hungry. It is for me more like the whole experience in China. Even though I have seen so little so far it has been always such an interesting experience especially as each region or even parts of the city are so different. I have been mostly only to Xi’an but already there each section of the city has its own vibe. It goes as far as each “block” can be so different compared to the next one. For example the area where my in-laws are living looks to many people (like my parents) like a city shortly after an air raid while as the next block is a complete different matter as everything is relative clean and nice looking. However between those blocks the feeling is already different as in the older parts everywhere you have those wonderful street kitchens which are more rare or even non-existent in richer areas.

Music in the streets

It feels sometimes to surreal to drive on some roads passing by mountains which look like just from paintings. To have old temples and other historical buildings right next to some huge shopping centres. Just going a bit outside the cities you even encounter traditional clay brick buildings and even cave houses. Of course there are always downsides to the whole experience especially due to pollution or overcrowded tourist spots but it does not really bother me that much. For me each holiday in China is unique as even in Xi’an I find new interesting thing which each visit. For next year we have another novelty as we kind of have to decide where we want to stay: Either in MIL’s new apartment in the middle of nowhere or in the old one where FIL is staying right in the city center with all the best food around. Guess this decision is a no-brainer.

Do you have already plans for holidays in 2019?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

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The Family at Legoland Billund

Last week we visited Legoland in Billund, Denmark. The whole trip to Legoland was rather spontaneous as we had no intention at all to go there this year but my wife found suddenly an offer (nearly 50% off)  we just could not resist. Our little Nathan who is a giant Lego fan had no idea at all about visiting Legoland and we kept it a secret till the end. Lego is the most valuable toy brand in the world for the past four years or so when it surpassed Mattel. The brand has its roots in Billund, Denmark,  where it still has its headquarters.

I’d say this is old Hans Christian Andersen

I had tons of Lego in my youth and so did my dear brother (who is 20 years older than me…) so Nathan got already a lot of Lego from my old sets and will receive more in the next years  (old Pirate ships and of course lots of trains). I can’t really say why but I have always loved these toys and still love to “play” with it. For me it is just so fascinating what can be all achieved with these simple plastic bricks. Nathan quickly got a bit bored of Lego Duplo (which is for smaller children) and changed to real Lego when he was 2-3 years old. By now he has built on his own some sets for 8 + years old kids and together with me for 16+ years. The instructions are usually no problem at all for him but few smaller technic bricks can bring some difficulties.

Adventure Land!

Back to our trip to Legoland. As I said before we didn’t tell Nathan at all about this journey to Legoland, he only knew that we would visit some nice place far away. The theme park is roughly 2h away from our hometown by car so it was no problem at all for the kids. Even though we tried our best to keep it a secret from Nathan he eventually found out about it. We managed it really close to the theme park but just 5min away he spotted a road sign with “Legoland” written on it. Though our big surprise was gone it was still lovely to see how happy he was so we went to the check-in at our motel at the Legoland Holiday Village. Needless to say everything is Lego inspired there and our rooms had one of the old Pirate Themes (from the 1990s).

Scary boatride

We had the bad luck that on both days it was raining. Thanks to the rain Nathan got his only souvenir, a Lego rain poncho. Even though it was raining on both days we had fun and even got in between some sunshine to warm up a bit. Each time the rain got too big we went into one of the inside locations such as the Atlantis by Sea Life Aquarium, some cafe or the 4D Cinema. Somehow we managed not to get soaking wet and let the kids have fun. As our visit to Legoland was so close to Halloween they had started to decorate the park a bit. This was not entirely to Nathan’s liking as he got scared a bit by a few things such as some witches or a Mummy sitting on a bench.

Mighty Nathancuty not scared at all

The park is very well maintained and clean. Nothing appeared to be worn out or dirty even though we were there during the off-season, on a Monday and it was raining. So the staff is doing a great job no matter the weather and time of the year. We had such a good time there with the kids that we definitely want to revisit the park again. Not that we go next year or so already but when Nathalie is also old (and tall) enough for some of the rollercoasters. This time she always had to stay behind with one of us and watch Nathan having the time of his life. Thankfully the kids were not too demanding and we were spared the fate of spending money on overpriced Lego in Denmark (+30-40% more compared to Germany!).

Lego Diver

In case you are interested in visiting Legoland in Billund I recommend to stay at least for one night there to visit the park on two days. There is really much to do there, especially with kids so one day won’t be enough. Besides that I suggest also to eat in one of the restaurants in Billund as the ones in the theme park are a bit on the expensive side and really full the entire time.

Have you visited a Legoland 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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

 

Helsinki, Moominworld and Brahehus

Now to the second installment of our holidays in Finland. I can’t say really why but even though Helsinki plays such big part of this trip I only have one single pictures from it! It might be because I lived there way too long or took last time enough pictures? No idea. So after one week at my parents cottage we drove to Helsinki to meet up with a lot of friends. With a lot of friends I mean really a lot to visit in just two days. Especially on our second day we had a tough schedule in which we met up with someone every hour from 10am till 6pm.

Only picture from Helsinki at Linnanmäki

But now to the beginning of the Helsinki trip. We were already late as we run into tons of traffic jams on the way which meant that we arrived 2 hours late to Linnanmäki the theme park in Helsinki to meet up with several Chinese friends. With Chinese friends I mean exactly the ones I wrote about meeting in Xi’an so you might guess what all went wrong in just two days. We had in Helsinki a lovely place to stay just 10min by car from the city center. However this meant that we were nearly one hour away from any other place we had to visit, talk about excellent planning again by my wife (just as in Xi’an!).

Edward the Booble at the Bath house

The second day we were supposed to meet with our Chinese friends at Ikea at 10am and then eat there later lunch. Yes, it did not work out that way. When we left at 9am and were half way to Ikea we got a call that they were just preparing once again beef noodles for breakfast. Yep, we had to reschedule everything, meet with other friends first and then went to Ikea to eat lunch on our own. Much later our friends arrived so we had coffee and cake with them. The rest of our Helsinki time was spent on meeting with other friends, checking on our old apartment and rushing on the third day to get early enough to our next location.

Nathan is not too sure what to think about this

The third day which was day number 10 in Finland we drove to Moominworld. From Helsinki it is a bit less than a three-hour drive as you will get stuck behind slow cars all the time. What to say about Moominworld? It is just a wonderful place for little children and also for adults. The amount of Japanese tourists was rather interesting but then again Moomins are still a big thing in Japan and they just opened/ are about to open a Moomin Theme Park over there. We had perfect (too hot) weather and explored the whole theme park for several hours. Everywhere you can find buildings from the different inhabitants of the Moomin Valley and character are walking around and interact with the visitors. We really enjoyed our time there even though Nathan was not too fond of meeting some of the character, especially Stinky and The Groke.

Brahehus

After Moominworld we drove to Turku Harbour to take our ferry back to Sweden. Well the drive through Sweden was nothing special once again but we had a longer stop at the Brahehus at Lake Vättern. Brahehus is an old ruin of a castle which sits about 270m above sea level. From there you have a stunning view over the countryside and especially over the Lake Vättern. The lake itself is so big that you can’t even see the other side. The entire length around the shore of that lake is around 300km, so it is a pretty big lake. At the castle we enjoyed the view and Nathan tried his best in boulder climbing but his mom and grandma were not so fond of it as it was rather high up there. After that trip we drove once again to my Uncle for a night and then left early morning to the second long drive through Danmark and back to Germany. With this our Finland holidays ended and normal working life got back immediately as we started work the same evening we arrived home.

Have you heard about Moomins 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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.