Home again after a fabulous, fabulous holiday!!
The first two unbelievable weeks were gobsmackingly gorgeous - mostly in Norway but commencing in Copenhagen (where we waved to Princess Mary), and finishing with two days in beautiful Stockholm, Sweden (have you seen the incredible 17th century royal warship - Vasa there?). Breathtaking scenery in Norway with fascinating ‘hairy houses’, delicious seafood lunches in Bergen at the fish markets, the famous Flam railway, wolves, snow, endless fjords, majestic mountains, lakes, huge cascading waterfalls, a-m-a-z-i-n-g hair pin bends…… and the incredible Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, we loved Norway!!! It is now since our return that I read with absolute disbelief of this week’s tragedy there, as this is the most beautiful country and the people there were so welcoming, gentle and thoroughly courteous. Our hearts reach out to the families who have lost loved ones.
From Stockholm, we flew to Madrid and after taking a day trip to Toledo, we toured northwards in a clockwise direction to Burgos,Santander, Bilboa, San Sebastian, Pamploma, Zaragoza, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Costa del Sol, Seville, Cordoba and back to Madrid - all over two fascinating weeks. We also ferried over to Tangier in Morocco and a visited the British enclave of Gibraltar! Highlights include the magnificent Alhambra Palace in Granada where every square inch was covered in amazing pattern. Pictures in my books at home do not do justice to the scale and extent of pattern in this palace and the gardens!! The other highlight was the Gaudi designed Guell Park in Barcelona which was like tripping through a fairy tale - quirky, captivating and full of inspiring colour and ideas!
Next - our flight from Madrid to Heathrow in London where we spent 2 1/2 hours in a queue waiting for passport clearance!!!! It was a tiresome experience I can tell you!! Of course our check in luggage had revolved around the carousel so many times during our ‘confinement’ that they were giddy - and eventually taken off presumably by staff and dumped unceremoniously with several others, in a heap on the floor!!!! So much for the constant announcements to never leave bags unattended!!! We usually ‘go with the flow’ but this was quite staggering!
Having left this experience behind us, we hired a car and set off on a week’s journey around England and Wales visiting little towns where our forebears came from - hence the photo above. It was really wonderful to roam around places on our list and chat to the locals.
NEXT …… a visit to the American Museum in Britain at Claverton Manor, Bath - established to promote good relations between the two countries. We both enjoyed the three floors of exhibits but of course the highlight was the QUILTS! This is quite simply a must see for any of you planning a visit to the UK.
Our final three weeks took us on a tour of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland - heaps of fun and all fabulous. I even ’sniffed’ out a lovely patchwork shop in Chester by the name of Liberty Bell (they have a website). It is in the delightful Rows in this quaint little town. The yummy fruity and spicy aromas wafting out came from those heavenly drawer sachets available. I just had to have some for my case - and a couple of fat quarters too - of course!!
My stitching during the eight weeks…….? I managed to hand sew well over one hundred and thirty little one inch four-patch squares. The plan requires over 600!!!! I will see what happens…..