Tag Archives: German-Chinese mixed child.

Finland Once Again

This summer we managed it again to travel to Finland. The last time was back in 2016 and before that we hadn’t been in Finland since we moved to Germany back in 2014. This trip was a bit different from all the other holidays we had thus far as we did not go by plane but by car.

Taking a walk through Bjuv in Skåneland

Our plan was to drive all the way from Germany through Danmark and then to Sweden. There we would stay for a night at my Uncle’s house and continue the next day to Stockholm to take the ferry to Turku (Finland). I must say it was not the easiest car ride in my life but we still managed rather well as little Nathalie the Thunder Goat only got grumpy on the last 1-2 hours of each day. The trip from our hometown to my Uncle in Sweden is around 500km and the trip from there to Stockholm another 550km. Besides those long car rides the trip from the harbour to my parents cottage is like nothing at just 270km. At first I was planning to drive from Germany to Stockholm all in one day but that would have been impossible with Nathalie. Of course MIL managed to sleep the entire trip and thus missing both the big bridges (Great Belt Bridge and Øresund Bridge).

On the ship to Finland

The entire trip to Finland and back again clocked at over four days so we had only ten days in Finland of our two-week (unpaid) holidays. The first week we stayed at my parents cottage at Nummijärvi where I had once again more than enough work to do from mowing the lawn over chopping firewood to trying to figure out why the boat engine isn’t really working. Besides that we also visited an old friend of my mother in Vähäkyrö and basically just enjoyed the life at the cottage. Nothing special happened there except that I crashed my drone into a tree so I had to chop that one down as well just after finishing all the firewood tasks, just basic luck for me.

The big church in Vähäkyrö

At the cottage both kids finally were able to spend their entire energy each day. Never before it took less than 30s to get Nathan to sleep. Even Nathalie was a manageable beast during that week and slept rather well. My dear Chinese mother-in-law was the basic herself and did strange things such as going out each day with a fly swatter and trying to kill mosquitos or suddenly disappearing into the forest to collect blueberries without proper shoes (there are vipers everywhere!!!). All in all I enjoyed the week at the cottage and the next blog post will be about Helsinki, Moominworld and the trip back to Germany.

What is the longest distance you travelled by car?

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Our Daughter’s Baptism

Today our little girl was baptized in the very same church as her brother back in 2014. It is also the same church were I was baptized all those year ago in 1987. As I have written in the article “Our Son’s Baptism” the church is called the Finnish Seamen’s Church and was founded 1966 in Hamburg. We decided to have Nathalie’s baptism in the same church as it just seems to be already a tradition in our family by now.

Nathalie in my arms after the ceremony

 

Unlike at our son’s baptism the church was rather empty this time as we were to only people there. The only guests besides my parents were my brother and his girlfriend. Back in 2014 another family had their child’s baptism and they were a big big family. This time it was for us much more relaxed and obviously much shorter. Only when it came to the singing part is sounded a bit weak as all of us are suffering under the common cold thanks to Nathan who brings back home all kind of craziness from kindergarten.

Nathan amazed by the church’s parrot

We expected the worst behaviour of our daughter as she just loves to complain and cry whenever she gets bored with something. However we were blessed with a little angel for this day as she smiled during the whole ceremony and was watching the reverend with big eyes when she was playing the piano and singing. Apparently our little Nathalie loves church songs as she never cared at all about my or my wife’s music! After the ceremony we had just like three years ago some bread, coffee, Karelian Pirogs and Pulla. Nothing fancy but enough for us and in Finland everything is usually pretty low-key.

Nathalie not being sceptical about her Uncle (see Nathan’s Baptism Article)

 

So what is now the complete name of our daughter? Her official name is Nathalie 逸诗 (Yishi) Amalia. The first name here again is something English and German speakers shouldn’t have any problems with, the second name is obviously her Chinese name and the third one is her Finnish name which we took from her great-grandmother from my mother’s side. In comparison our son’s full name is Nathan 逸然(Yiran) Antti. You can see they are very similar and Antti was actually the name of my mother’s Uncle.

What naming ceremonies/ traditions do you have?

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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Amazing Quedlinburg

The town Quedlinburg is something very different from the normal places we have visited thus far. You might remember how fascinated I was by the historic Old Town of Prague but Quedlinburg is on another level. Not that this city is bigger than Prague or more Grand (rather the opposite with only 24.000 inhabitants) but Quedlinburg has its own charm which makes it appear like a town from a fairytale. In 1994 the castle, church and old town were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

View from our apartment

In the beginning of the 90’s I was once in Quedlinburg with my family. I do not remember too much except that I was amazed by all the old buildings and also sad that so many were falling apart. You see after WWII Quedlinburg (nearly nothing was damaged during the war) belonged to East Germany and there were little to no efforts to restore the old buildings. There were even plans to destroy the entire old town and build there the wonderful East German apartment blocks instead. Thankfully there was not enough money so barely anything was torn down during those decades.

#Nathancuty with his new rainboots

After the Reunification the city was slowly restored and by now there are barely any buildings left in poor condition. The city has over 1300 half-timbered houses with the oldest was being built around 1300 A.D. and towering over it all is the Burgberg (Castle Mountain). On the Burgberg you can find the Abbesses’ Palace and the St. Servatius church. The construction of the church started back in 1070 and was finished in 1129. It is said that Henry the Fowler was offered the German Crown in Quedlingburg in 919 and he is also buried there. His widow Matilda founded the Quedlinburg Abbey and the city was basically ruled by women after that for 800 years till the French invasion under Napoleon who also disbanded the abbey.

Münzenberger Klause, can only recommend this restaurant

We stayed in a holiday apartment right in the Old Town. Of course that building was also one of the many historical buildings in the town. Walking around the town gives you a very strange feeling as everything around you is from another time. Wherever you look you see historical buildings and I really had to hold back with my camera there. We had bad luck on our visit as it was raining but it didn’t stop us going around the entire day to discover as much as possible. Nathan was so amazed, especially by the Burgberg as it really looks like a medieval castle. For lunch we went to the Münzenberger Klause, a wonderful traditional German restaurant which just fits perfectly the historical surroundings. Sadly we had no chance to try the famous Quedlinburger Cheesecake as we had lunch a bit too late and by the time we had some room in our stomachs all the bakeries were closed already.

More wonderful buildings

Besides the bad weather during our stay we had also the (bad) luck of having the guild festival starting on our visit. Usually I have nothing against some events like that but too many places were just covered by music stages and food stalls. Interesting is that there are barely any tourists from outside Europe. Somehow Quedlinburg is still something like a hidden gem and despite the guild fest it was nowhere crowded unlike Prague. I must say that we planned way too less time in Quedlinburg by staying there only one night and leaving early morning to our next destination. At least two or three nights are really needed to see as much as possible in the city and of course in the surroundings. Perhaps next year we might go there again as two dear friends are getting married next summer in Weimar which is not “that far” from Quedlinburg and more or less even on the way.

Do you know some “hidden gems” when it comes to places to visit?

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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https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily