Saturday, 20 June 2015

Summer in Madrid

My friend has a mission to go abroad every month this year and so I've been helping her along the way. For June we decided upon Madrid and were joined by another friend of ours.
I'm on the right taking the selfie:)

Not having a small crafty project to take I thought I'd have a weekend off from crafting - but it didn't last. My friend said it wasn't the same without me crocheting and so when we stumbled across a little yarn shop I had to delve in. The shop was called Lanas Sixto and was on Calle de Atocha.

I grabbed a 100g ball of Antonio Del Rio Sanz - Acrime, which is 100% acrylic crochet yarn 2/10 and 4mm hook and off I went - using the All at Sea Shawl pattern.

I absolutely loved Madrid - we stayed at the Hotel Victoria 4 in the Sol district which was a really good choice, great value and very pleasant.

We walked to the Palace but couldn't get in as the King was entertaining - we later saw the King and a fly past of Spanish red arrows. However we did get into the Palace on the Sunday and it was worth the trip just for the ceilings.

Meanwhile we popped into the cathedral next door to the palace.

We also visited the Prado art gallery which was huge and very impressive - especially the Bosch.

However the best activity we did was going to the Villa Rosa for an authentic Spanish Flamenco - it was so intense and powerful you really got lost in it and the camaraderie between the performers was wonderful.

We ended with a trip to the sprawling El Rastro Sunday market for a fabulous Spanish market vibe and it was lovely, but we did find it difficult to find a place to sit and have a drink and watch the world go by. So we headed back to the Plaza Mayor for lunch.

If you haven't been to Madrid - put this on your list - it's wonderful:)

Oh - and here is my finished shawl..........

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Crochet Notes - Seaside

Another project from Issue 22 of Simply Crochet, in addition to my Issue 22 Granny Bag.

The pattern All at Sea called for lace yarn but I used a 4ply from I Knit and Dye called  This is the Sea, so there is a massive sea theme here, hence my project name of Seaside!

The only adaptation I made was to do 4 more rows in pattern and then on the last row I did a DC into each Treble doing a 3 chain picot on the middle Treble each time.

You can see the amount of yarn left over in this photo.

Here you can see the bead trim that I added.

I think this would make a great present and it was very quick to make but I'm keeping this one.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Out and About - Vidin, Bulgaria

When I became a teacher I didn't think it would be a job involving travel, but it seems to have worked out that way. Apart from a variety of places in the UK, I have also been to France, Belgium, Germany, Philippines, Poland and now Bulgaria.

My colleague's husband was working in Vidin and from that connection we have made a link with a school there. This half-term we took 16 students to visit the school and the surrounding area and I was blown away by how stunning the geology was. Take a look at this........................

The River Danube running between Bulgaria and Romania at this point - you can see a bridge on the left linking the two.

Here we are going across the bridge to Romania for dinner one evening - lovely view of the Danube here.

Next is a little tour round Vidin.

17th Century Church

Synagogue - now in ruins.

Stunning building

Finally - the most amazing views of the Belogradchik Rocks and Fortress - I'm still amazed that this is in Europe and I never knew.

Oh - and let's not forget the beautiful Magura Caves - these were out of this world - but my camera doesn't do them justice.

I feel very privileged to have had the chance to visit this corner of Europe and we only saw a small fraction.