Tag Archives: Christmas

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.




Our Story: “How We Met”

Most of the blog posts around this time of the year are about Christmas so I decided it would be nice to write about something else (honestly, I had a Christmas article already prepared…). This blog post is something I promised you already for almost a year but I had pushed it aside as I never felt like writing about it. So here we go now, the story of how my wife and I met and how we fell in love.


It all started in January 2009. Back then I just started my university life in Helsinki and new things could be found behind every corner. It was then near the end of January when my Finnish course started, to be precise, I believe it was the 20th of January. I had to sign up for this course as I registered at the University as a foreigner, not a Finnish citizen, though I have both nationalities and the course was compulsory for foreigners. In this language course were of course people from all kind of countries, especially China. Little did I know back then that my future wife would be sitting just in front of me.

My wife and her godfather with a Panda. This is how I remember her from back then minus the Panda


In the beginning we did not speak to each other, we noticed each other but that was pretty much it. It took even the whole next Finnish language course that we talked to each other for the very first time in May 2009. It was not even any small talk, she wanted to ask me about what places to visit in Germany as she planned a short trip there with her friends there. You see, there was zero going on between us. It was the very last day of class when she asked me about Germany and a three-month holiday was ahead of me. Before this question I already noticed her a bit more than back then in January but I just did not dare to talk to her, later I found out that she felt the same way. So during my long summer holiday I often had this Chinese girl on my mind whose real name I didn’t know then, just the  English name she gave at the class introduction. During that time I did not know whether we would meet in the next Finnish course again as she had apparently started a year before me and thus was done with the compulsory amount of language classes.

My wife and her friends with Santa

Three months later there she was again in the next language class and sitting few rows away. However again we did not talk at all during the entire time except saying “Hello” when waiting in the hallway before class started. It would not change at all until the fourth! Finnish language course in the winter of 2009 that we would slowly start to have little chats before class and she was sitting now in the same row with me. We talked for example about with whom we would do the class assignment with (we did not do the assignment together as some certain people got in our way!), and about that she wasn’t sure whether to take the final class exam or not as she had too many exams plus her job. Occasionally she also gave me some chocolate before class but as the bum I was during that time I had never anything to share with her.

At the Zoo, note my long hair during that time!


Then there it was, the last day of the language course in December of 2009. I still did not know her proper name and I was thinking of how to ask her about it when she suddenly asked me and another girl next to her about our full names for Facebook! I gladly wrote down my name and after school and sports were done on that day I was sitting in front of my laptop for hours waiting for THE friend request. The request came and from that point on we started to write to each other more and more each day on Facebook until she gave me her MSN Messenger address so we could chat better and on a whole new level.

Meanwhile I was in Germany for my Christmas holiday but still I chatted with her on a daily basis for over 12 hours each. It was somewhat like a Christmas love story but of course that is probably how many feel chatting with a person who they are interested in during Christmas time…We covered all kinds of stupid chat topics and in the end of the holidays, just before classes would start again we had decided to watch “Avatar” together in Cinema. It wasn’t really a date at all even though we both had hoped for it but we just were too shy to make any real moves. Then in the beginning of February 2010 she set me a deadline because I said for a long time that I had something important to tell her but didn’t dare to. Of course anyone without even a brain knows what it was but still we were both not ready for it. So on that deadline, February the 3rd 2010, I confessed my love to her and we started our story together.


First Christmas together

The rest of the story is full of some little drama and happy things until we reach this day: We are married and have a little son together. It all started to develop five years ago, just before Christmas, around this time of the year and this is why I chose this day to share my story of how I met my wife. As you can see, good things might take their time as it took us even nearly an entire year to talk to each other though we saw each other several times a week in the language course! So don’t always expect things to work out immediately, take your time. It is not all depending on how much you try, luck is also very important in these things.


I wish you all a merry Christmas and enjoy these days as I am definitely planning to do as well as soon as all Christmas presents are bought.

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.




Christmas and New Year celebrations

The Christmas madness is over. Just kidding, there was no madness involved for us this year. We had some peaceful days of doing barely anything besides relaxing. Only on the 24th we made some Christmas cookies again as I had finished the last batch some time earlier once again.

So did we follow-up on our Christmas celebration plan? Certainly not. We skipped the whole music part of the plan due to our laziness and I guess we cut on some edges on the other points as well…besides all of that mother nature didn’t like us and gave us only rain the entire time.

Because my wife sometimes loves to make food, we had a great Christmas dinner and afterwards exchanged our gifts (yes, I managed to buy something fairly useful for her). On the other celebration days we visited some Chinese friends, had hot pot 火锅 and they played some 6 hours of mahjong 麻将(I was pushed to the living room to watch TV as I have no idea about the game).

Now it is just trying to figure out what we will do on New Year except of watching “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. Maybe we celebrate with some friends or maybe alone, we shall see…

This was it for this year, I hope everyone had a great year or at least managed fine. I bet many of you have once again New Year’s resolutions and barely anyone will stick to it (But I will!).

I wish you all a Happy New Year and see you as lively as ever in 2014!