Tag Archives: crazy Chinese family

Visiting Tallinn

View on Tallinn from the ship

This week we visited Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. As we are leaving Finland soon behind my wife wanted to travel together with her friends from her very early days in this country. They quickly decided on Tallinn as it just 2 1/2 hours away by ship from Helsinki and furthermore so much more interesting than any Finnish town we know.

We had visited the city before many times however for this trip we wanted a more relaxed atmosphere and decided to stay one night in a hotel. We arrived at Tallinn harbour at around 11am and went straight on towards the Old Town to check in our hotel. This hotel was something special for us as it is a historical building construced in 1437, full of small corridors, an amazing layout and you basically feel like in some old castle.

Being pushed around my tourists

The first day we just spent walking around, finding nice restaurants, a cafe to relax and most importantly for us guys, buying drinks and watching the World Cup at night. Even though I had been so often in this city I saw so many more sights I had never seen before. Sadky, due to utter laziness I forgot my camera in the hotel room and could not take any pictures of those (for me new) interesting areas of the old town.

After a not so relaxing night, full of creaking floors, stairs, music and crying babies we started our shopping tour through the new inner city. I believe that this was the best day for the women and the worst day for us guys. I do not remember how many hours we spent in the shopping malls but I do know that one can get very bored sitting in front of a shop and waiting for the better half to come out. Towards the end we still had some drama coming  up as we went (thanks to me) to the wrong ship terminal and had to run to the other one, arriving just in time before the gates were closing.

Happy people after eating Thai food

Last year we visiting Tallinn together with my in-laws during summer. Besides that they were amazed why everything was so much cheaper than in Finland they also wondered why there were so many old buildings. “In China something as old as this gets torn down and a beautiful new apartment block is constructed!” – You just go to love those apartment complexes in Chinese cities, enhancing together with the smog the overall beauty.

Here are some links for more information:


St. Olav Hotel

Tallinn Historic Centre

P.S. Old buildings are really noisy, you hear each step taken around you due to the old wooden floor, stairs are creaking non-stop, and you wont get any sleep if there is a baby crying next door however it is still worth the experience



Traveling with the family

Traveling and visiting some beautiful sights can be both stressful and relaxing. The stressful part is obviously the journey itself when travelling in an old Volkswagen Santana and the relaxing part is when arriving and finally being able to stretch out the legs.

On one of our trips to China we went with nearly the whole crazy Chinese family to the mountain range near the Qinghua Mountain 清华山just south of Xi’an. At least I think it was near that mountain, you see the trouble when traveling with my Chinese family is that they have absolutely no clue at all what places are called, so it’s mostly “We go the mountains” or “We go to the lake” or even “We go to the tall building”. You see those information are not really useful so I have to do always my own research about it.

Traveling to “the mountains”

So where did I left of? Ah right, trip with nearly the whole crazy Chinese family. This means that beside us two and the in-laws also my wife’s aunt joined with her boyfriend and her daughter (Who is similar age as my wife) and the mom in law’s two dogs. Doesn’t sound so much but if you split this now into two cars of which is one an old Volkswagen Santana 2000 it is not so nice anymore.  So I had the luck to sit in the back of that old VW Santana, with my wife and one jumpy dog. That little monster (the dog…) was so annoying that I had to hold it in something like a death grip until the animal got tired enough to fall asleep on my lap. However this wasn’t yet the stressful part of the journey.

Have you ever traveled in such an old car up a mountain? No? Don’t do it! Let’s just say the car struggled a lot and I have still video material of bicycle riders passing us by on those mountain slopes. Oh, before I forget, of course the cars AC was broken, I lost feeling in my legs because they were stuck so badly behind the front seat, there were no seatbelt, the roof of the car was so low that my head had to be tilted the whole time and there was no headrest in the backseat. Overall it was a cramped and physically very straining journey.

Nevertheless I survived that journey and we arrived “In the mountains” with a nice mountain river passing through a valley. We spent rather much time near that river and I still have a few words of advice in memory given my mom in law.

Don’t go into the river, you can drown!

Yes, the deepest point I could find the water went just a bit over my knees.

The fishes will bite you!”

All I could find were baby fishes the size of my fingernails.

Wash your hands we you come up again!

The water we washed our hands with was straight from the river and we got no soap.

Don’t go to the river after eating, it is bad for your health!

I guess she mixed up walking in a river with doing actual sports.

"The River"
“The River”

I still wonder what the other people were thinking about mom in law when she shouted her knowledge about the dangers of rivers to us.

In the end it is a nice experience to travel around with your family (even if it’s a crazy Chinese family). It was a great day except the journey there and back again due to the issues described above. The best part about traveling with Chinese is that you do not have to worry about food yourself. As Chinese love their food they also take great pains to take a lot of it to a journey and look non-stop for places to eat. This again results that an average European person such as me will never get hungry.

Remember my journey to Hua Shan and my backpack full of food? Thanks to dad in law and aunties boyfriend I only had to carry a manageable amount of food, YES!