Friday, April 23, 2010


Today I want to tell you about another nice trip we did while Oma & Opa where here. Btw, don't we look cute in this picture?

Suzhou is just one hour away from Shanghai so we took a ride with our driver Mr. Guo and went there for the weekend. I was really looking forward to going there because the pictures of the city in the travel guide looked really amazing ! (pity I can't read yet :-)

With a population of more than 6 million people you would expect it to be a BIG industrial or modern city but all of us were surprised by how beautiful was the city center. The city has two big highlights: the traditional Chinese gardens and silk (mom was pretty excited about that one though I have to say that we didn't really give her a chance to buy much).

Right next to the hotel we had the Pan Men Gardens. As we went for a visit very early in the morning (my fault) we had a chance to enjoy first hand all the traditional activities: groups of people singing, dancing, doing tai chi... I have to say that Chinese people are very active in the mornings, even more than I am !

Suzhou gardens are really something amazing and each one of them has something special (and there are more than 20!). All of them have nice traditional houses, bridges and ponds with orange fishes, but... what I like the most about Chinese gardens are the names: Lingering Garden, Couples Retreat Garden, The retreat & reflection Garden... they all sound so delicate and peaceful...

That reminds me that I really have to start getting up to speed choosing a Chinese name ! mmm, that can be fun :-)

And,... don't you think that there were many foreigners running around ! most of the times we were surrounded by Chinese tourists who where really amused by us but.... this time.... who do you think was the star of the film? DADDYYYYYY !!!

Yes, several girls came by and asked if they could take a picture with us and... there I was all ready to pose when I realized that they were only interested in dad !

German as he is I though he wouldn't be very amused with the idea but, surprise, surprise... here you can see him with a million dollar smile :-) must be mom's influence !

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Three Gorges Dam... and much more !

One of the things I like most about living in China is everyone is curious and wants to talk to me ! That's one of the advantages of looking "different".

The only ones who think about it twice are other small kids. No hard feelings,... they probably think I look very funny with my blue eyes and light hair :-) But as soon as I say "Ni Hao" and throw them one of my big smiles... nobody can resist! specially the girls :-)
On the second day of the Yangtze cruise we made a great excursion to the Shibao pagoda. A 12 floor pagoda built leaning on the rock. Such a cool thing... well, at least it was cool till we had to climb all the stairs till the top of the pagoda !

The funniest thing is that the pagoda was constructed without using a single nail.

Can you imagine? was a good thing that the tourist guide told us once we were already at the top. I am no sissy but, otherwise....

And on the third day, we arrived to the Three Gorges Dam. Did you know that it is the biggest dam in the world and it covers today more than 10% of China's power needs? (between you and I, Chinese people seem to have something about beating world records :-)

The construction began in 1994 and it was completed in 2006. That's a long time, but it is not because the guys were lazy... at the boat the told us that during the project they had to relocate 1.3 million people because the level of the water would be more than 100 meters higher due to the dam!

That means that along the river there are many villages that have been fully covered by the water. Mmmm, tough to imagine my room looking like a swimming pool... I am sure many local people thought that the dam was actually a damn bad idea!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yangtze adventure

Last weeks have been just GREAT. I have had a loft of fun with oma and opa and... we have done so many things that I haven't even had time to blog about it. But don't worry, in the coming days I am planning to make up for it and will tell you everything!

One of the nicest things we have done lately has been the cruise down the Yangtze River ().

Our trip started in Chonqing, and... guess what? is the biggest city in the world with 33 million people ! wow, that is indeed a lot of people :-) and, after spending the afternoon in the city (pizza included) we boarded on our wonderful ship: the Victoria Empress. My first cruise had just started !

The ship was not very big because we were going down the river but, still, there were 168 people onboard an I had a lot of fun getting to know many of them. I actually made many friends !

Look at me here with Rebecca & Funny. I just loved spending time with them... and not just because they let me borrow the calculator and literally let me play around with all the necklaces of the shop! they were very sweet and just loved hugging and kissing me. Not that I suffered much :-)

During the 3 days of the cruise we just went down the Yangtze river from Chonqing to Yichang and all the way through we just saw the most amazing landscape: the Three Gorges. With very high cliffs, huge rocks an emerald waters, this is one of the most famous spots here in China. Actually, you can see a picture of one of the gorges in the back of the paper 10 yuan note.

On the second day we took a very small local boat and went through the lesser gorges. I am really not sure why the call them "lesser" because, between you and I, they are even nicer than the big ones ! During the excursion they told us many great stories about the local people who used to live in the area. They had to hike for days just to get some food ! we are so lucky now...

Every day we got up very early, had a niceeeeeeee breakfast and then joined a couple of short excursions. We would always be back at the boat before dinner time and by 8pm I was ready to grab my bottle and go to bed to load my energies for the next day.

Mom & dad took shifts with oma & opa to stay with me because every night there was a small show on the boat. For example, here you can see a picture of the night were the crew showcased the most amazing traditional dresses I have ever seen. They belong to minorities from China (I think there are 53 of them in the whole country!). I would have loved to see the baby version for each one of them :-)