Saturday, 23 November 2013

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Luxembourg cycling - SES Uplink Station Betzdorf

November has been rainy. Only occasionally the weather has been good enough for a bicycle ride. Last Sunday the rain stopped for few hours, and I could go to see something that I have been planning for long time. It was this:
SES Uplink Station!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

National Taiwan Museum

National Taiwan Museum is the oldest museum in Taiwan. In 1909 the Japanese rulers wanted to celebrate opening of the North-South railway line by opening a museum. In 1915 The main building of the museum was completed in area that is now called "228 Peace Park". It still is an outstanding building. Japanese architect Ichiro Nomura designed the building in classical Greek style. The front entrance looks like a Greek temple with typical steps, pillars and flower and leaf patterns.
National Taiwan Museum

Friday, 1 November 2013

Cycling trip Vianden - Hosingen - River Our

Early in the morning, I put my bicycle in the car and drove to Vianden, to Niklosbierg or Mont Saint-Nicolas. It is 497 meters high hill above the old Vianden. The day was misty until noon. Like this:

Friday, 27 September 2013

Harvest time!

This time of the year there is an abundance of vegetables and fruit. Quality is top and prices low. The best thing though is to gather wild, 100 % organic harvest. That is what I did today. I concentrate on two things: walnuts and apples. On my way to work there are couple of walnut trees. One of them is growing close to the river and it gives big and exceptionally tasty nuts. Many other people know about it. I went to see it and was surprised, that I was the first one to come and found many.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Mam Vëlo vu Miersch an d’Stad / From Mersch to Luxembourg City by Bicycle

European Mobility Week 2013 is on now! Every year, third week of September cities all over Europe organize activities trying to promote sustainable mobility. That is: cycling, walking, roller skating and other environmental friendly and healthy ways to move from one place to another. 

This photo is not from the Mobility Week, but from Maastricht two weeks ago. It's  only purpose is to make you see the rest of the photos in this article.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Around the Island - 環島 (huán dǎo) - Part 6

In the East Rift valley we mostly rode on small quiet roads. This is on the way to 5th night stop that we spent in a spa hotel equipped with natural hot sources.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Around the Island - 環島 (huán dǎo) - Part 5

Food in Taiwan is wonderful, tasty and healthy. There is only one thing I complain: hotel buffet breakfast. Seemingly there are many things to eat, but when I look closer, I hardly find anything I want to eat. There is no bread, different kinds of bread, no cereals, no cheese, not familiar meat products, no porridge. They have this:


Friday, 9 August 2013

Around the Island - 環島 (huán dǎo) - Part 4

This is the day many of us have been waiting with fear. How are we able to pedal over the mountains to the Pacific Ocean? The aborigine statues do not give much comfort.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Vintage radios, all kinds of radios

I promised to write about radio hobby. Here we go. Yesterday I took photos of my collection, except those radios that are not available in my current residence.
This beauty I found in the rubbish collection few years ago. After cleaning it became one of my favourite radios. It does not work, but serve as a pretty piece of furniture. It is Philips Aachen Super D63. It was built by Philips Deutschland in 1939 or 1940. It weights 19,5 kg. The original price in 1939 was 394 Reichs Mark. It has 8 valve tubes. The technique is superheterodyne developed in the 1930's. It also has 7 tuned AM circuits, which means that you can quickly tune into your favourite station by pushing a button. There are buttons for Deutschland Sender, Luxemburg, Hilversum, Wien, Breslau, Stuttgart, Munchen and Köln. Very modern indeed.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Empty heart vegetable, Ipomoea aquatica, 空心菜,

I sowed three different Taiwanese vegetables in my garden. One had big seeds. It started to grow, but died soon. I wondered why, since other two seemed to grow reasonably, although slowly, since the month of May was very cold in Central Europe (Finland was basking in hot weather all the time). When I learned more about this plant, I understood why it died. Second sowing gave better results since the weather has been hot and sunny.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Taiwan Sword Leaf Lettuce, "A" vegetable, A菜, "A" tsai

This is the beginning of my series on Taiwanese vegetables.
One of the most common green leafy vegetables in Taiwan is so called A菜, "A" tsai or "A" vegetable. Other name is Taiwan Sword Leaf Lettuce. It is unknown in Europe, but it will grow also in Europe, I tried.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

“ALLES OP DE VËLO” Bicycle ride from Mersch to Mamer and beyond - UPDATED!

This morning was wonderful. It is a sign that the day will be hot.
That is exactly what happened. Luxembourg is basking in heat wave. The thermometer show 31,5 in the shade this afternoon. Mac computer started to slow down. Ice bricks under it help a lot.

Symposium Sculpture Lorentzweiler UPDATE

I updated the article about Sculpture Symposium Lorentzweiler with two photos of the sculpture made by Mr. Jean Bichel. Link to the article is here.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Graffiti Jam Bofferdange

Ooh, it is hot today, over 30 C. Ideal for Graffiti jam. I don't bother to go to Blues'n Jazz Rallye.

Graffiti (italian, singular: graffito) is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place (Oxford dictionary definition). Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, like Ancient Rome.


Summer in the City 2013

Summer in the City concert, one of many, at Place d'Armes, Luxembourg.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Around the Island - 環島 (huán dǎo) - Part 3

In spring time, when the sun start to shine more, european young ladies run to the sunlight and compete who will get tanned more quickly. That is not the case in Taiwan. Ladies protect themselves against sunlight as much as they can. Sometimes the results is interesting like this. Still to this day I don't know what this person look like even though I was riding bicycle with her for one week. This photo is so cool.


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Symposium Sculpture Lorentzweiler 2013

The town of Lorentzweiler organize each year the so called "Symposium de Sculpture". I am ignorant of art and therefore had to ask my buddy Don Esaias what does "Symposium" mean. He explained that in ancient Greece, the symposium (Greek συμπόσιον symposion) was a drinking party. It was an important social institution where men of good family debate, plot, boast or simply revel with others. But in this context it just means a gathering of artist to work together, and in the end, to present their work publicly. A synonym for symposium could be workshop.


That is what happened in Lorenzweiler. Four artists, three of which came from abroad, worked one week together carving huge blocks of oak tree prepared for them in advance. In order to participate in the symposium, the artists had to present a plan. This year there were dozens of applications and the jury chose four. Among them, a Finnish artist blacksmith Risto Immonen from Lapland. You may appreciate his work at

Here are the three foreign invited artist: Kerstin Vicent, Risto Immonen and Georgi Minchev.


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Citta di Amelia flag band

Citta di Amelia, Town of Amelia (Italy) sent a flag band to Luxembourg to celebrate our National Day.

This is a video from the eve of the festivities, 23. June 2013 at the Place Guillaume II

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Monday, 24 June 2013

Around the Island - 環島 (huán dǎo) - Part 2

The around the island ride continues southwards from the Tropic of Cancer. I understand that some people would criticize the trip organizer of bringing us to ride on the national highway number 1. It is a busy road and goes through cities and industrial areas that are not the best places for cyclists in Taiwan. It can be dangerous, too. But if we want to ride around the island in 9 days only, that is the only viable option. I know Taiwan has many more beautiful places, but these busy roads, big cities and industry is also part of Taiwan, that I am happy to see. One day I hope to do some more sophisticated bike rides. Maybe in the near future.

I am not falmiliar with all the culinary specialities, but I know this. This field, sort of, or pond, is the place for growing Water Caltrops or Chinese water chestnuts, Latin: Trapa Bicornis, Chinese: 菱角 ling jiao).The fruit looks like a head of a bull with two hors. Inside the hard cover there is a starchy seed, a bit like chestnut. Not very tasty. During the stone age a similar plant called vesipähkinä or Trapa Natans (latin) was used as food also in Finland. It was much warmer then. More info and photos of Trapa bicornis.


Urban knitting in Lorentzweiler

Urban knitting is a new thing for me, but nice one! It is also called "yarn bombing" or "guerilla knitting". It is a form of street art or graffiti that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn rather than paint. 
Here is some exemples of urban knitting in Lorentzweiler and Blaschette, Luxembourg.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Luxembourg Belair Church

This extraordinary Church was built in the 1950's It carries the name of Pope Pius X, who was the head of the Roman Catholic Church just before the first world war, The Great War. He was traditional in views and criticized relativism. He was canonized probably because of the miracles connected to him

"On one occasion, during a papal audience, Pius X was holding a paralyzed child who wriggled free from his arms and then ran around the room. On another occasion, a couple (who had made confession to him while he was bishop of Mantua) with a two-year-old child with meningitis wrote to the Pope and the Pope then wrote back to them to hope and pray. Two days later, the child was cured."


The sharp Church tower is visible over the whole Luxembourg City. Thät makes it an easy to find meeting point.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Skoda Tour de Luxembourg 2013

Tour de Luxembourg is a professional road bicycle race held yearly in Luxembourg. It is highly ranked race that many riders us as a preparation for the Tour de France. Todays race was the stage 2 out of 4. It started from Schifflange and arrived in Walferdange, 173 km. Winner was Giacomo Nizzolo who rode for the Radioshack-Leopard team. I don't know exactly what that means, I took it from the race website.

This cyclist was my favourite. It appeared in the Walferdange round about just recently.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Around the Island - 環島 (huán dǎo) - Part 1

Some time ago I had the pleasure of participating in the "huan dao", around the island bicycle ride ion Taiwan. The idea was to ride around the island of Taiwan in nine days, that is almost 1000 kilometers! Unfortunately my flight back to Europe was scheduled too soon and I could do only 6 days, or 640 km, or roughly 3/4 of the around the island trip, counter clock wise.

The organizer of the trip was The Bike Family. With experience they led a group of cyclists from Taipei down to the south following the west coast national highway number one, then across the mountains to the Pacific Ocean side of the island and again up to the north through breathtaking scenery. I quit the group in Rui Shuei, just south of Hualien, and took train back to Taipei and to the airport.

The Bike Family provided almost everything, including good Merida bicycle, Garmin GPS, meals, hotels, snacks, instructions and even a torch for tunnels and vaselin, which is essential stuff for riding comfort. The only thing I needed to bring was clothes and helmet, and lots of motivation. Daily rides were looong, between 60 and 123 km. Break every two hours with salty and sweet snacks kept the blood sugar and minerals in the right level for extended effort.

The best thing was the team. Lovely people from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China (PRC), Singapore and some other places was a thrilling experience. Some knowledge of Chinese is a big asset for the participants, but not absolutely necessary.

Start is in the down town Taipei.

The team from Da Lu, mainland China, is packed with enthusiasm. Little did they know how tired they would be...

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Rejoice! Taiwanfinn is now in Facebook!
Middle Age Festival at Useldange, Luxembourg

Uselding am Mëttelalter is organized yearly in and around the castle of Useldange, Luxembourg. This year for seventh time. It gathers Middle Age hobbyists and anybody interested in romantic Middle Age from Luxembourg and from the neighboring countries. I spotted lots of Germans. The costumes and the market is very sophisticated and interesting.




On the 5th day of 5th month in Chinese lunar calendar or the Double Fifth there is special celebration called Dragon Boat Festival. This year it falls on 12th June according to our calendar. It is celebrated in Taiwan and in all Chinese speaking world. It is celebrated in the memory of a poet and statesman Qu Yuan () who lived in the third century before Christ during the Zhou dynasty. Qu Yuan was an adviser to the king and very popular among the people, but he also had lots of jealous enemies, who managed to convince that Qu Yuan is a traitor. He freaked out and committed suicide by jumping in Yangtze river with a stone attached on his body. His admirers came to rescue him, but it was too late. They took out dragon boats trying to find his body. Some of the people threw rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves hoping that the fish will eat the rice instead of the poets body. This is where the dragon boat festivals starts. Boat races are organized in biggest rivers in Taiwan and everybody eat rice cakes calle Zhongzhi.

Zhongzi ingredients are sticky rice, pork, shiitake mushrooms, chesnuts, spices, etc. and tast is very exotic, but pleasant.

The smell is like burned grass, you might think that the neighbor is smoking cannabis.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Games of the Small States of Europe

The Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) is held every two years. It is a sort of olympic games for small sovereign states of Europe. To be qualified to this event, the state must have less than one million inhabitants. They are 9: Andorra, Lichtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, Cyprus, Iceland, Montenegro and Luxembourg. Well, Vatican could be one of them, but for some reason has not sent athletes to compete. This year the games were held in Luxembourg. Luxembourg, Iceland and Cyprus took most of the medals, Luxembourg being the best.

Here are some photos:

Part of the games took place at  Josy Barthel stadium. Josy was a Luxembourgish runner who win 1500 m gold in Helsinki olympic games in 1952.



Sunday, 2 June 2013

Cycling trip to the North of Luxembourg

First cycling trip this summer. May was record cold, but this morning temperature was decent 6 degrees and weather forecast promised sunshine. It is closest to summer weather since anybody can remeber. I chose to take train to the wild north of Luxembourg, to Kautenbach and cycle from there to Vianden and further to Diekirch. I made a shortcut to Diekirch and didn't see Vianden at all, but no matter, views were breathtaking. Luxembourg surprises me every time more and more. What a beautiful country it is!

The trip start by taking train to the north. Trains are not frequent on Sunday, but if you know the timetable, it is not a problem. I paid only passenger fee, around 4 euros for whole day. Bicycle is free, unlike few years ago. So much easier than to load bicycles on car and drive.

Bikes on train.


Chemin de Fer de Luxembourg train.


Kautenbach station.


Thursday, 30 May 2013

See Me Here LV520-iii Portable Speaker System

Better quality video that try to demonstrate the audio quality of LV520. Remember that in real life it sounds much better. When the music goes through camera microphone the quality cannot remain the same.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

"See Me Here" (不见不散) LV520 sound stick

One year ago when in Taiwan I paid a visit to Taoyuan Weekend Flower market. "Weekend" because it is open only on Saturday. It is located between Taoyuan City and Gueishan Township, close to Nankan creek. It is a bit hidden, under a main road that cross the river, but also on a "pedestrian" bridge, that is in fact a scooter lane decorated with vegetable sales tables. The best attraction in the flower market is of course the most wonderful orchids, all colours and sizes.

 This is Nankan creek or river. The flower market is to the right from this view.

The Flower Market is located UNDER this road. On the little bridge you can see vegetable vendors, but the orchids are under the big bridge.

Don Esaias is my faithful travel buddy. One of his soft spots is the exaggerated attraction to flowers. An other one you will learn shortly when we talk about the "See Me Here portable sound system".

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Hi, my name is Taiwanfinn. I have been dragging my feet in starting this blog. I have lots of ideas, but little time. This blog is about Taiwan through the eyes of an European. I will write mainly about Taiwan, Finland, Luxembourg, cycling, hiking, nature, language and radio hobby.

My first blog entry is a very practical review of a portable sound system (in fact it is more like a stick) that I purchased in Taiwan last year, but only now really studied its charms. This first entry, that will appear shortly on this blog, combines three of my loves, Taiwan, cycling and radio hobby.

Later on I will report cycling trip in Taiwan.


This flower is Bombax ceiba (latin), or commonly known as cotton tree. More info here.
Found by Nankan river in March.