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.