Suomi Finland 100

I am very late into the Suomi Finland 100 thing but  better later than never! This year Finland has a very big celebration as 100 years ago it became independent. To be precise the independency was declared on the 6th December 1917. Before that Finland was ruled by Sweden and Russia for hundreds of years.

Finland has gone through some hardships ever since then with big troubles happening when the Soviet Union decided it would be a great thing to invade Finland in 1939. Didn’t really work out for the Soviet Union but Finland still suffered not only due to the territory loses but also due to the many dead and injured. Afterwards Finland tried its best not to attract too much attention and has to this day not joined the NATO.

Important things to know about Finland:

The 100 year event started last year with the New Year Celebration with a huge party in Helsinki. The countdown to the new year was synced with the song Sandstorm by Darude. Let’s just say it was an epic party no matter how cold it was outside! All over the year they had events and Politicians from all over the world congratulated Finland such as former Vice President of the USA Joe Biden. In summer they had the Lippujuhla or in English Flag day of the Defence Forces which falls each year on the 4th of June, the birthday of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, Marshal of Finland. The latest celebration was now on the 6th of December, the Day of Independency itself. This is celebrated each year and the highlight for most Finnish people is to watch on TV the President shaking hands with hundreds of “important” people.

So that is my very basic and very short summary of the Suomi Finland 100 Celebration. I wish you all a Merry Christmas (here we celebrate already on the 24th!!) and next time I shall annoy you all with a blog post about our Christmas Decoration.

Have you heard about the Finland 100 Celebration?

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The Christmas Markets in Kiel

Once again we have December and with it the prime time for Christmas Markets here in Germany. Back in Finland we had also some Christmas Market in Helsinki but it was rather pathetic. However here in Germany each little town has its own market and big cities even several markets! For the past few years we only visited the market here in my hometown. That Christmas Market is also not anything special as you can only buy some overpriced food there and lots of booze. Sure there is the ice-skating ring and then one or two amusement rides for children but that’s about it.

One of the amusement rides for the kids

So this week we decided to visit the markets in Kiel which is the capital city of Schleswig-Holstein. Even though the city is not the biggest either it has several Christmas Markets and all of them are so wonderful compared to all the ones we have visited in Finland and in my hometown! All of the Christmas markets are in close proximity of each other so you can walk from one to the other in a few minutes. The markets have different sizes but even the smallest is decorated very well and does not even give you the feeling that is consisting of only few food/ drink/ decoration stalls. The biggest one even has something very special which I have never seen anywhere else. Few times a day a small wooden ship pulled by four reindeers is “flying” from one end of the market to the direction of the Town Hall up to 40m in the air. This is achieved by a steel cable and some engines within the ship. On the ship one of Santa’s Little Helpers is explaining why this year a ship is being used instead of a sleigh (Kiel is located by the Baltic sea with a rich history of ship building and trading).

Here in North Germany Santa’s reindeers a pulling a ship instead of a sleigh

Our little Nathan loved all of the markets and it was hard to drag him home later that day. His favorite was a talking and singing mechanical Moose head at a food stall. At first he was a bit scared when the moose suddenly started singing over him but then he always wanted to return to that location. Besides the moose head he loved the amusement rides and the giant Christmas Pyramid. My favorite part were the many Christmas decoration stalls with handcrafted items. Some of them were so lovely and only the incredible high price for them stopped me from buying anything at all as I had only enough money with me for some of the amusement rides.

Lovely lights in the evening hours

We hope that we will manage next week to visit another city or town for its Christmas market because one thing is certain: Any of the markets will be better than that tiny excuse in my hometown. Believe it or not the market here is so full each evening that you can barely walk there without getting stuck all the time. Needless to say that all of them are only there for the food and the drinks…

Have you already visited a Christmas Market this year?

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.

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What my father saw in China

Back in 2016 we had a holiday in China and we had invited my father to join us. What I remember most from that trip is the incredible and annoying City Tour Extreme. As there was just so much to write about I split the adventure into four parts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4. Besides that city tour we experienced the standard MIL madness/ the whole crazy family. Why am I writing about it now? Today I went through my dad’s camera and found the pictures he took last year. Okay that is until the battery was empty on Day 2 of the city tour and he had forgotten to take the proper charging cable with him.

Going to some temple in Xi’an

My father has a different viewpoint when it comes to taking pictures. First of all he is still used to the time before digital cameras swarmed the market so he barely takes more pictures than would fit on an old film (max 36 pictures depending on the film). Secondly he is not wasting as much times as me on taking pictures as he is not aiming for the perfect shot but to have just some “memory” of the trip. Besides those two points he did not take any pictures in Xi’an except from the city wall and from some temple. I think this is because he has been everywhere before back in 2011 so he did not deem those other places worthy of using any space on his SD-Card again in 2016.

The “Old Old city Wall” within/ under the “Old City Wall” in Xi’an

On our city tour extreme I am not sure who was more annoyed by all the misplanning. I mean I was really annoyed but my dad was really really annoyed, especially when our tour guide “The Howling Monkey” did not even let us sleep in the bus after waking up each morning way too early. He even took a picture of the tour guide in order to never forget that person again. He also got rather annoyed by MIL’s behaviour as it was first time he really witnessed all her crazy doings over the span of three weeks. In fact he is right now thinking how he can survive her again next year when we go to China as we will take my father with us once again!

The Howling Monkey in pink, one of my father’s Archenemies

What is really surprising me is that my father actually has still the energy to do such trips with us as he just turned 76 this year. Especially those long flights are hard on him besides trying each day new unknown food in China. Despite having sometimes really many problems in China back in 2016 he still agreed to come with us instantly after we asked him to join us. My mother on the other hand had the same reply as last time “No way I will ever go there again!”.

An ocean of flowers at the Slender West Lake in Yangzhou

Going through the pictures I wondered sometimes on how different they were compared to the ones I took. Sure I took a lot more than him but some places I did not recognize at all or had forgotten as I never captured them with my camera. At times it is really interesting to see how two people can have so very different pictures when visiting the same places. Next time I will make sure that he has his charging cable and I will try to motivate him to take more pictures.

Have you ever checked pictures of another person (friend, spouse, family member) after you went on the same trip somewhere?

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

 

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…