A Travellerspoint blog

Spain, Andalusia - Granada

the Alhambra

sunny 30 °C

Our main reason for choosing Granada was a visit to the Alhambra which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of Europe's most visited attractions.

Its history is linked with its geographic location - on a hill which was difficult to access and protected by the mountains. Originally designed as a military area, the Alhambra became the residence of royalty and of the court of Granada in the middle of the thirteenth century, after the establishment of the Nasrid kingdom.

Commenced in 1248 it was built by the Nasrid rulers and used as a residence for the sultans, military commanders, civil servants and the royal court. The beautiful intricate craftsmanship, and the use of space, light, decoration and water is spectacular. Apparently Arabic artisans, supervised by poets, were employed to engrave poems and various writings and quotations from the Koran onto the walls, arches and pillars in calligraphic decoration and arabic script.

The Charles V Palace (which was built after the city was taken by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492) is also here. There is also an independent palace opposite the Alhambra where the Granadine kings relaxed called the Generalife which is surrounded by orchards and gardens.

The complex is massive consisting of three palaces, the Alcazaba or fortress, the Medina (town area) and the Generalife. It is magnificent.

I think I will just let the pictures speak for themselves, though it is difficult to convey its splendour. Here are several to whet your interest. There are many others in my public gallery.

Example of the beautiful ceramic tiling

Example of the beautiful ceramic tiling


The Arrayanes Courtyard

The Arrayanes Courtyard


Roof of the Abencerrajes Hall

Roof of the Abencerrajes Hall


Detail of the roof of the Abencerrajes Hall.   How awesome is that!!

Detail of the roof of the Abencerrajes Hall. How awesome is that!!


Intricate carvings

Intricate carvings


Detail of calligraphic detail and arabic script on walls

Detail of calligraphic detail and arabic script on walls


Beautiful design

Beautiful design

The Palace of Charles V is also a magnificent building, interesting in that it is built in an external square block, but with an circular internal courtyard. Chas and I visited the Museum of Fine Arts and learned that Granada has a long history of artistic excellence with many artists who have lived and worked here. The museum displayed fine examples of paintings and sculptures portraying the evolution of their art from the Christian times of 15thC to the modern day. Excellent.

Courtyard Carlos V Palace

Courtyard Carlos V Palace


View of Alhambra palaces (left), and Carlos V palace (right) from the Alcazaba

View of Alhambra palaces (left), and Carlos V palace (right) from the Alcazaba

Unfortunately we were unable to see one of the main attractions which is currently being restored. This is The Lions Fountain, a magnificent alabaster basin supported by the figures of twelve lions in white marble which sits in the centre of the courtyard in The Lion's Palace. This alone would be worth another visit!! I do have a postcard if anyone would like to see it.

This is an amazing complex with so much to see. I think several visits would be needed to enjoy it fully. As a result we did not have time to explore the villa of the Generalife, but we did take time to wander through the magnificent gardens before heading home. A wonderful day!! I wonder if I will ever return .... I hope so.

Gardens at Generalife

Gardens at Generalife

Posted by patsaunder 23:38 Archived in Spain Tagged me art buildings family_travel Comments (0)

Spain, Andalusia - Granada

exciting detours along the way ..

sunny 30 °C

While very much excited to be heading for Granada, we took time to check out a couple of interesting sites along the way, which also gave us the opportunity to travel through some lovely 'out of the way' areas.

Our first stop only 12 km from Ronda was Ronda la Vieja. This is the modern name for the Roman city of Acinipo which was an important town in 1st C AD. While only a little of the site has been excavated, the remains of the the lower seating levels of the ampitheatre are clearly visible. It makes one wonder "What amazing events happened here?", and reflect on the evolution of our world since that time. The views out to the mountains also made the detour well worth the trip .

Ronda la Vieja theatre

Ronda la Vieja theatre


Ronda la Vieja, magnificent ampitheatre

Ronda la Vieja, magnificent ampitheatre

View from Ronda la Vieja

View from Ronda la Vieja

.

Our next stop, took us through what is termed Malaga's "Lake District", three artificial lakes created by a dam built across the dramatic 200m. high Guadalhorce river gorge, known as the Garganta del Chorro. Very impressive. As you can see there is a small bridge across the middle of the gorge which was built during the construction of the reservoir. It is called El Camino del Rey (The King's Path), as apparently King Alfonso XIII walked along it when the dam was opened in 1921. The walk is closed to the public at the moment but if you really, really, really want to see what it is like (and do not suffer from vertigo as I do) have a look at the video on this web link. Not for the faint hearted!!! http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/chorro/home.htm

Malaga's 'Lake District'

Malaga's 'Lake District'

Garganta del Chorro

Garganta del Chorro


Garganta del Chorro

Garganta del Chorro

Notice the structure to the right of this pic. This is part of a rail network build in the second half of the 19thC with tunnels which cut through the hard limestone. These are still in use today. The skill of engineers constantly amazes me.

To top it off we were able to have a fantastic lunch at the little restaurant right there beside the road, and .... with a delightful English lady to serve us. I was therefore able to ask for, and receive, a lovely vegan lunch. Just goes to show .... We had a very relaxed and lovely time.
Lunch at El Chorro

Lunch at El Chorro

The opportunity to see one of the most exquisite birds in the world took us next to an amazing expanse of wetlands called Laguna de la Fuente de Piedra. One of the largest natural lagoons in Spain, measuring more than 6km long and nearly 3kms wide, the lagoon provides an ideal breeding spot for an amazing array of birds, including the pink flamingo. Since conservation and anti-hunting laws have been introduced, and the area declared a sanctury, numbers are increasing. It was very hot - in the 30'sC - when we arrived. Unfortunately the visitor centre was closed for siesta. Access is very restricted so as not to disturb the birds but it was awesome to see thousands of these beautiful birds.

Magnificent pink flamingos at Laguna de la Fuente de Piedra

Magnificent pink flamingos at Laguna de la Fuente de Piedra

Note also in this pic the number of wind farms in the distance. We saw several wind farms and quite large solar panel farms as we travelled through Andalusia. Hopefully this is an indication that renewable energy initiatives are being encouraged in Spain.

Pink flamingos - Laguna de la Fuente de Piedra

Pink flamingos - Laguna de la Fuente de Piedra

Finally arriving in Granada we were thrilled with our accommodation, Hotel Cerro del Sol. Well situated, with everything we needed and more, a little outisde the city, but with a magnificent view of the Sierra de Nevada. Wow!

View from our room to the Sierra de Nevada

View from our room to the Sierra de Nevada


Hotel Cerro del Sol

Hotel Cerro del Sol

Once settled, we headed out to find a nice restaurant for dinner. Not that easy at 7pm as the locals eat their meal later in the evening. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm. However we did find Restaurante Los Faroles and I had a lovely meal - fresh salad with a side of butter beans (very delicious), after an entrée of sliced fried eggplant coated with honey batter. Yum. Note Chas's meal, mussels with mussels!!!

Our first dinner in Granada

Our first dinner in Granada

Now, off to see the sights of Granada - El Alhambra here we come!

Posted by patsaunder 09:45 Archived in Spain Tagged landscapes mountains lakes bridges art buildings people birds family_travel Comments (0)

Spain, Andalusia - Ronda

'the soul of Andalucia'

sunny 30 °C

We commenced our 10-day sojourn to Spain by flying into Faro, Portugal at 11.30pm. As we had to return to the airport the following morning to collect our car, we organised accommodation as close to the airport as we could. Aaron approached the first driver in the taxi queue, showed him the address and asked if it was possible for us to walk. With gestures and body language he indicated that we should get into the cab (obviously it was too far to walk with our luggage). To our astonishment he then proceeded to take us to our hotel driving extremely fast, erratically and dangerously, annoyed at having obtained only a short fare after his wait in the queue. He practically threw us out of the taxi, took his money and drove away. Welcome to Portugal!!!!!

Not deterred we collected our car the next morning and began our Spanish adventure. When researching our trip we had decided to choose a few locations and take time to explore them well, rather than jump from one place to another and see not much of anything. We decided on the Andalucian area in the south choosing to visit Ronda, Granada and Seville.

Spain is the second largest country in the European Union after France, and Andalusia is one of the largest regions in Spain. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea it is a land of contrasting landscapes. Endless olive groves reaching into the hillside as far as it is possible to harvest, wetlands which provide refuge and support to the second largest flock of breeding flamencos in Europe, majestic snow-capped rugged mountains, amazing natural parks, and of course the beautiful tourist resorts along the Mediterranean coastline.

Our first destination was Ronda, a beautiful town high in the hills famous for its dramatic escarpments and views. Because of its impregnable position it was one of the last Moorish areas to fall to the Christians (1485). Much of the promotional material describes Ronda in romantic terms, e.g. ‘Ronda is the soul of Andalucía’. It certainly has a romantic energy to it – its Moorish history, the mystical character of the old town as one walks through the cobbled streets, historic buildings in dazzling whitewash, the awesome beauty of the mountains, the size of the Tajo gorge which divides the town with the rio Guadalevin flowing below. On my God, it’s contagious ... see what it has done to me!!!

Back to our story. We settled into our accommodation (Hotel San Francisco) and went for a walk into the town (only 2 blocks away) and found ourselves in the middle of a fantastic parade for the Ferie de Pedro Romero. This was an unexpected surprise. We did not know when we planned our holiday that this festival is held in Ronda in the 1st two weeks of September. It celebrates the founder of modern bullfighting, Pedro Romero. The local community was buzzing as this is a major event for them - people in national dress, confetti everywhere, streamers, music, dancing. There were also visitors from other countries for the International Folklore Music and Dancing Festival who also participated in the parade in national costumes, so we were privileged to see different cultural performances. Splendid. What a start to our stay in Ronda.

Ferie de Pedro Romero 5

Ferie de Pedro Romero 5


Ferie de Pedro Romero 2

Ferie de Pedro Romero 2


Ferie de Pedro Romero 7

Ferie de Pedro Romero 7

The main focal point of the town is the 18th century Puente Nuevo 'new' bridge, which straddles the 100m chasm below, providing magnificent views over the Serranía de Ronda mountains. It is considered the ‘new’ bridge as a previous attempt in 1735 failed killing many people. This bridge (which took more than 40 years to build - finished in 1793) has a height of 98 metres, built with stone masonry taken from the Tajo gorge below, thus linking the modern and the old sections of Ronda.

Puente Nuevo

Puente Nuevo


View of mountains on east

View of mountains on east

It was a treat to wander through the old town and experience the many historic sites and beauty. Examples of the Moorish influence is everywhere , the beautiful balcony grills, the exquisite ceramic tiling and ornate plasterwork. Some of the homes are magnificent, especially with the backdrop of the surrounding mountains.

Cobbled street and beautiful homes

Cobbled street and beautiful homes

Situated literally on the edge of the gorge is the house of St John Bosco, a canonized Italian saint, built at the beginning of the 20C . (though one article I read said he never actually came to Ronda). Its beautiful courtyard is decorated with excellent examples of the arab style ceramics and a beautiful garden where we sat to rest and enjoy the view of the Serrania. Inside the tapestries and walnut furniture were also exceptional.

House of Saint John Bosco

House of Saint John Bosco


Interior of house of St John Bosco

Interior of house of St John Bosco

Many remnants of the arab time remain. These historical sites were extremely interesting such as the old fortress providing magnificent views to the east, the Gate of Felip V and the arab baths built between the 13th & 14th C. The baths are the best conserved in the Iberian Peninsula. Unfortunately they were closed when we visited so we could only peek through the fence!!

Looking east from fortress

Looking east from fortress

Gate of Philip V

Gate of Philip V


Arab baths

Arab baths

Many of the hilltop towns and villages have retained the Moorish tradition of using whitewash to coat their homes. They call them the Peublos Blancos. Ronda is one of them.

View from the fortress with Pueblos Blancos of Ronda in background

View from the fortress with Pueblos Blancos of Ronda in background

Another we visited was Setenil (its full name is Setenil de las Bodegas which means Setenil of the Wine Cellars). It is an unusual town as they use the natural formation of caves in the rock as their homes. We had coffee and ice-cream at the little hotel (with umbrellas) in this pic. Aaron skilfully navigated the extremely narrow streets which led us through a lovely tour of the village. While the towns are now a major tourist attraction, the people who live there still make their livlihood through working the land (olives, sunflowers).

Setenil

Setenil

Religion plays a very big part in the lives of the people with the Virgin Mary holding a special place in their hearts. There are at least 10 churches in this small area. Many of the annual festivals have a religious focus.

I chose not to visit Ronda’s bullfighting ring (Plaza de Toros) because of my opposition to bullfighting even though it is considered the spiritual home of bullfighting in Spain.

Unfortunately, Spain is not a place for vegans. It was very difficult for me to choose meals, and even when requesting a variation to the menu, this was not very successful. The menus were very heavy with meats, cured ham (for which they are famous), and fish, and the restaurants we visited seemed to serve the same dishes (even Aaron, Rikke and Chas commented on this) – and everything came with chips!!

The weather was magnificent (in the 30’s). Walking through the quiet peaceful streets of the old town at night was lovely, the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the awesome Tajo gorge, and the mix of Moorish and Christian influences. Olives and sunflowers are the main crops of this area, however many of the fields were bare as the sunflowers had recently been harvested. I imagine it would be a different world if we had visited in Spring/Summer when they were flowering - acres and acres of sunflowers would be a magnificent sight. Take a look in my public gallery for more pics (don't forget to read the capitons). Ronda was an absolute treat.

Now to Granada.

Posted by patsaunder 09:44 Archived in Spain Tagged me landscapes mountains churches art buildings people family_travel Comments (0)

Copenhagen

Copenhagen rocks ... I love it.

sunny

On Monday 23 August we caught the train for a 4 hour trip from Århus on Jutland, crossing the island of Funen to Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital on the island of Zealand. Copenhagen is a wonderful place to visit – vibrant, welcoming, very easy to find your way (can walk to most of the central attractions), full of history, architectural splendour and beautiful sculptures. Copenhagen rocks ... I love it.

We were lucky to obtain cheap accommodation through Rikke’s brother-in-law’s brother!! The complex in which he lives has an apartment which residents can offer to family/friends when visiting the city. However, I stress the ‘cheap’ - A$20/night. We could not refuse such an offer, could we? It was very easy to find, just a 15minute walk from central rail station and situated in the middle of what used to be the red light district of the city (with some ladies still remaining). Hmm! We had a 24hr massage parlour across the road, and many sex shops displaying their wares along the street to town. The accommodation had everything we needed (eg beds, lounge, kitchen, toilet) however I found it a little disconcerting to have to go outside the building to two doors along the street to use a communal shower. (This has a funny story which I will share if you remind me when I return). Apparently this is not uncommon as it is a high density city with accommodation sometimes difficult to acquire. While basic, we did appreciate having accommodation in central Copenhagen as that fantastic price.

Copenhagen has a very European feel - vibrant, stylish, cosmopolitan. And the place to go to be part of this is the Stroget, the pedestrian street, called the ‘spine of the city’, which consists of five streets which wind their way through the inner city. This is the shopping area where you will find famous brands like Cartier, Tiffany, YSL, the traditional Danish icons like Georg Jensen and Royal Copenhagen, as well as many restaurants, souvenir shops, street buskers and stalls. On arrival we stored our luggage at the station, and headed there to just feel the energy, people watch and check out the shops. One can stroll aimlessly through the little alleyways and side streets and have a wonderful adventure just looking. For example, in one of the squares we came across a fantastic exhibition of large photographs (2mx1m) depicting children's initiation rites of various cultures around the world. Fantastic.

Stroget Copenhagen

Stroget Copenhagen

Chas and I visited many of Copenhagen’s main attractions on our last visit – for example The Round Tower, Nyhavn Canal, and Amalienborg (the Royal Palace), as well as the iconic symbol of Copenhagen, The Little Mermaid. I thought it interesting that if you visit Copenhagen this year from May to end of October you would not be able to see The Little Mermaid,. This beautiful statue depicting Hans Christian Andersen’s famous children’s story which has sat for the last 96 years on her stone at the harbour has left home for the first time to be part of the Danish pavilion at World Expo in China. However, the Tivoli Gardens amusement park in the city has a copy of the original which you can see (at an entry cost). I think they should have left the original (which is free to visit) and taken the copy to China!!

The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

However, as we only had a few days we decided to visit selected sites, some with a more cultural focus. Our first was Rosenborg Slot, a small but beautiful royal palace built 1606-34 by Christian IV as his summer residence. It remained the residence of kings for the next three generations until Frederik IV decided he wanted a bigger palace (Frederiksberg Castle built in 1710). Rosenborg then became a storehouse for royal heirlooms, regalia, thrones etc. The Royal Danish Collections of objects relating to the Danish monarchs over the last 400 years are stored here, however, it is unique in that the royal collections have been open for display to the public since 1838. As expected, the decoration, furnishings, and objects-de-art are lavish, with magnificent craftsmanship and beauty.

The castle is also home to the Treasury and well-guarded Crown Jewels and Crown Regalia which is still used by Queen Margrethe II at state functions. It is awesome to see. While the Crown Jewels and Crowns are magnificent, there are also other items such as the royal baptismal font and basin and a water pitcher and two candlesticks – of pure gold. I was also impressed at the superb embroidery and detail on the 'blanket' for the horse which Christian IV rode for his coronation. It was beautiful and must have taken many hours to complete. The castle is also surrounded by beautiful gardens and more magnificent statues.

Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen

Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen


Coronation Chair, Rosenborg Castle

Coronation Chair, Rosenborg Castle


Sculpture

Sculpture

Our next stop was the Statens Museum for Kunst, National Gallery of Denmark. The museum building is magnificent, but its beauty was hidden when we visited as the front entrance was draped with massive banners advertising their current exhibition by Bjørn Nørgaard. Definitely not appealing. Chas was interested in seeing a photographic exhibition which was also on display. Unfortunately we found it very disappointing also.

The museum is very large and houses a significant collection of European art. While we wandered through the galleries enjoying the many beautiful art works it actually became somewhat overwhelming (as you can see). However, I was especially impressed with a preparatory sketch by Reubens for an alterpiece titled Ascent to Calvary . There was so much to see but unfortunately I felt our visit on this occasion was disappointing. I will have to visit the museum another time so I can revise my opinion.

DSC00143

DSC00143

(ps re Bjørn Nørgaard .. considered one of Denmark’s most notable artists, reflected by his commission by Queen Margrethe in 1990 to create a series of 13 tapestries depicting the history of Denmark to present day. We actually saw these on our last visit. They are stunning. However, I haven’t yet got over also seeing his piece titled The Horse Sacrifice (1970) where they slaughtered a horse, carved it up and preserved pieces in 199 jars. I found it quite confronting and not my idea of art!! Though (in his defence) I have read that this piece was intended as a protest to what he saw as the Danish population’s uncaring attitude at the time to the horrors of the Vietnam War. Needless to say, he can be somewhat controversial.)

The next day we planned to spend the afternoon and evening with Rikke’s aunt and uncle (Aase and John), so we only had a few hours in the morning to explore. Chas chose to visit Our Saviour’s Church (Vor Frelsers Kirke), unique in that it has a spiral staircase of 400 steps which runs around the exterior of the spire. While it was no contest for me (if climbing 400 steps (up and down) wasn’t sufficient detriment, my vertigo would have been), Chas couldn’t resist the challenge. It was quite a windy day. When he finally returned to earth, Chas said that going ‘up’ was fine as you had the support of the rail. However, going ‘down’ was scary as it appeared that you were being pushed into nothingness when the wind was behind and pushing you forward. He was thrilled that he was able to reach up and touch the bottom of the globe on top of the spire. It is Copenhagen’s 2nd highest panoramic viewpoint from 90m high. The church itself was also worth the visit with many beautiful pieces. Built in 1696 the altar is magnificent, as is the 3-storey organ (dating from 1698) which has over 4000 pipes and is supported by two giant elephants. A very enjoyable morning.

Vor Frelsers Kirke, Copenhagen

Vor Frelsers Kirke, Copenhagen


Vor Freslers Kirke Organ

Vor Freslers Kirke Organ

After afternoon tea with Aase and John, and catching up on news since our last visit, we headed out for a walk through Copenhagen. Firstly to the ‘free state of Christiania’ which has been in existence since 1971 when a group of squatters took over some deserted military barracks and established a commune. The local authorities initially tried to force them to leave, but as the community’s numbers grew, the government decided to treat Christiania as a ‘social experiment’. Today it has over 900 residents, with its own schools, infrastructure and system of government which are financed in part by proceeds from its cafes, restaurants, and the sale of locally made handicrafts. Christiania was initially linked with the hippy drug culture (they even have a street called Pusher Street), but the sale of cannabis was outlawed in 2004, and other hard drugs are not tolerated. It is one of Copenhagen’s biggest tourist attractions and contributes economically to the state. It is also amusing to see the sign as you leave Christiania which says “You are now entering the EU”.

Christiania Copenhagen

Christiania Copenhagen

All this walking is hard work, so Aase and John took us to a new cafe which they have found just off the Stroget for a beer and sit down. It is called Cafe-retro. It is a non-profit organisation, staffed by volunteers and targeting Copenhagen’s student community. With 20% student discount on beer, tea and French coffee, free wireless internet, live music, art exhibitions, and more, I will be very surprised if this cafe is not a goer. Not to mention it is very groovy. Reminded me a little of The Three Monkeys in West End which some of you may know - dimly lit, little nooks and crannies where people can sit in privacy and lots of atmosphere. And ... all proceeds go to support selected small projects in Africa. And very friendly staff. We sat at an upstairs table and when John and Chas went for refills, Aase and I were surprised to see both of them behind the bar helping the staff to open a keg!! Very cosy.

And there’s more ... we then walked to Denmark’s biggest tourist attraction and most famous and favourite destination, the Tivoli Gardens. I have visited the Tivoli on each of our trips and I never get enough of it. Opened in 1843 it is the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world and 3rd most popular in Europe. With rides, entertainment, concert hall, pantomimes, a magnificent lake and gardens, fantastic food and restaurants and wonderful atmosphere. Unfortunately I haven't got a good-enough pic which shows the magic of Tivoli as we always visit in the evening. If interested in seeing more log on to http://www.tivoli.dk/composite-3351.htm. After dinner we watched the laser show across the lake, had after-dinner drinks at Rosie Macgees before heading home to bed. A wonderful night, great fun and fantastic hospitality from Aase and John, as always.

With Aase and John after a wonderful evening

With Aase and John after a wonderful evening

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (a collection of sculpture) founded by the Danish brewing magnate, Carl Jacobsen was our destination the next morning. I had passed this magnificent building many times but had not taken much notice of it. The museum has over 10,000 pieces with its main emphasis on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world, as well as Danish and French art from 19th and 20th centuries. Very impressive. For example, it has 35 works by Rodin which is the largest collection of his works outside of France. I was interested in the Edgar Degas exhibition, Studies in Bronze (the museum’s own complete collection of his sculptures), Carl Jacobsen’s sculpture collection which he donated, and the French Impressionists art.

The Degas exhibition was interesting mainly reflecting his focus on ballet dancers and horses. The Glypotetek sculpture collection is spectacular. It was a pleasure to just wander through and enjoy their beauty. And the impressionist collection impressive. It was wonderful to see works by Cezanne, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picassso, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Rodin, many of which I had learned about in my very brief foray into art at school (way back when!!) .... though I only saw one Renoir, my favourite artist. I also loved Degas’s sculpture Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer where he actually used real tuille for her dress and attached a silk ribbon around her hair. Beautiful.

However, the building itself is impressive. It consists of two main buildings, completed and opened in 1906, which are linked by the Winter Garden which has sub-tropical palms and plants under a glass dome. A third building was added in 1996 to house the growing collection. Walking into the Winter Garden is magic. It is a lovely area - beautiful, peaceful, and, for me, totally unexpected (I even saw maidenhair fern growing in the garden). And the beauty continued throughout the museum. It wasn’t only that we were surrounded by most beautiful art works, but the building itself was beautiful (in structure, design and the materials used), and also the way the art was presented. It was also peaceful. I have just read on the net a little of the history of the museum which quotes Carl Jacobsen himself saying of his museum “With a beauty all its own”. I think that is exactly what it does. It was a pleasure just to be there. For me this visit was one of the highlights of our trip.

This magnicifent sculpture, which is the feature in the centre of the garden, reflects the beauty and splendour of the museum.

NY Carlsberg Glypotek

NY Carlsberg Glypotek

Copehnhagen has so much to offer. We could not see everything we want to see on this short trip, so have left many more places of interest for our next visit.

Our next adventure, Spain. Stayed tuned and check out more pics in the photo gallery.

Posted by patsaunder 13:05 Archived in Denmark Tagged me churches art buildings people family_travel Comments (0)

England - family and friends

sunny 20 °C

After our many adventures climbing up hill and down dale chasing the circles, it was now time to say 'hi' to our English family and friends in various locations across the country.

Our first port of call was Sally and Brian at Kerne Bridge, a little village in south Herefordshire about 6 km from Ross-on-Wye. (my daughter-in-law's (Katherine) mum and stepdad). Sally and Brian live in a beautiful home which was previously the Kerne Bridge railway station. The house is beside the River Wye which has a beautiful stone bridge. The old Priory and Goodrich Castle ruins can be seen sitting majestically on the hill across the river. Beautiful countryside.
Sally, Brian, Chas and Pat

Sally, Brian, Chas and Pat

On Monday morning Sally and Brian took us of a tour of the lovely Wye valley, following the river and pointing out the many interesting landmarks, such as the Sculpture Trail, a walk of 4 miles through the Forest of Dean with various woodland sculptures along the way. We finally arrived at our destination, Tintern Abbey, which is on the Welsh bank of the River Wye (my first visit to Wales). Tintern was founded by the Cistercian Order in 1128, but the present-day remains of the abbey are a mixture of building works covering a 400-year period between 1136 and 1536. The ruins are still impressive. It was a thrill to visit, and wonderful to have such a lovely day with Sally and Brain.

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

At Tintern Abbey

At Tintern Abbey

Then to visit Chas's friend from high school and his family, Keith, Janet and Mark
Chas, Pat, Janet, Keith and Mark

Chas, Pat, Janet, Keith and Mark

before travelling north to the Lake District to spend 2 nights with Chas's sister and brother-in-law, Jan and Roger, at Hawkshead. My first visit to the Lake District was in 2007 but I didn't feel I had a sense of the beauty of the area. So Jan and Roger very kindly took us on a lovely tour of the lakes. We visited Coniston Water, Thirlmere, Grasmere, Bassenthwaite Lake, and Derwent Water. It is a beautiful area with the majestic peaks and deep valleys, peaceful lakes, picturesque slate houses and lovely stone walls . We had a wonderful time.

Chas, Jan and Roger

Chas, Jan and Roger

We also visited Chas's friend, Trev, from primary school (yes... I did say primary school. They still keep in touch). Also Dave and Chris in Codnor and Roger in St Albans from his days at York Uni (many years ago).

Chas and Dave

Chas and Dave

It was great to catch up again with everyone, and we are looking forward to Janet and Keith visiting us in Auz sometime soon.

Posted by patsaunder 04:46 Archived in England Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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