We came back yesterday from a holiday of a lifetime. It was my Father-in-law's 80th, so he took all 17 of us, his sons, their wives and their children on a Baltic cruise. It really was a holiday of a lifetime.
Despite the fact that we are essentially holiday anti-socialites, preferring out of the way gites to busy, noisy hotels, we managed. Well, what's not to manage? Being taken to some of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Spoilt thoroughly by 24 hour attentive service. Oh and did I mention the all day and evening kids clubs?
Whilst I am not a convert to this kind of holiday, I certainly made the most of it and enjoyed not having to do any domestic chores of any description for 10 days.
I'll be reporting back, over the next few weeks, on the wonderful places we visited, but since this is essentially a crafting blog, I thought that would be a good place to start.
Our first port of call was Copenhagen. I instantly fell in love with this city. Not only is it beautiful and oozes charm, but it is such a laid back city. And I loved the way the whole city travels around on bicycle. It didn't take long for us to realise that bikes, with their own space on the road, rule the road. In our naivety as we strolled down the street, it soon became clear that you don't walk down the cycle lane as it is just that. The first cross tooting made us quickly evacuate the lane and made sure we never entered one again!
The shop windows in Copenhagen were beautiful. Quite Parisian in feel, I thought. The bead shop above is one such example. I loved the mix of vintage with bright colours. I had to be dragged out of here kicking and screaming.
The knick-knack shop across the road had a real vintage feel. I am quite cross I didn't get my promised return to explore to it's full potential.
This all highlights Frustration Number 1 of cruising...being given the merest glimpse to some wonderful cities. Whilst I feel privileged to have visited some amazing places at all, there were times when less is more really did not apply. Coupled with the fact that we were a party of 17 trawling the streets, with little folk amongst us, a lot of compromising took place.
I did however make the most of the very short time we had in beautiful Tallin. This was a much more compact city, so plenty of opportunity to break off from the group and catch up a bit later. Tallin was full of linens and embroidery work. Whilst some of it wasn't to my taste, I loved the crafting vibe. And I loved even more my find of this bag of embroidery threads. All this for less than £15...definitely worth breaking away from the group for and being a little late for rendez-vous ;-)
I'll be back soon to show you some magazines I picked up on my travels. All have a Country Living/Marie Claire Idees vibe and are going to be a great source of inspiration to my work over the coming months I feel.