Friday, August 26, 2016

Krka National Park, Croatia!

Croatia is a country that has been through so much during my life time.

On Oct. 29, 1918, Croatia proclaimed its independence and joined in union with Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia to form the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

The name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. When Germany invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, Croatia became a Nazi puppet state.

Growing up I just remember hearing vague things about wars and rumors of wars yet I really had no idea where this area of the world was, and why all of this was going on.  It was beyond me.  I vaguely remember the following, again, placing it so far away from home:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Venice, Italy–Day 2!

If I had a month of Sundays – it wouldn’t be enough to explore all that there is to see in Venice.

Oh, sure – there is the usual “Very High End” shopping districts down quite a few of the narrow alleys in the main areas around St Mark’s square –and we would shake our heads as we walked past mostly empty store fronts with 1,500.00 euro Gucci bags in the windows…evidently the finer folks that can afford these things were not in Venice the two days that we were in port.  But the street vendor kiosks were busy!

Getting up on the top deck bright and early and watching the sun rise over sleepy Venice was a magical moment.  I love my early mornings.  And this one was glorious!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Venezia, Italia–Day One!

Venice with friends!

Oh, no – we are not having a good time at all, can’t you tell?  HA!

Venice is amazing. 

I’m still pinching myself that we were able to spend nearly 2 days in this jewel of a city with so much history and culture.  Actually, two days is NOT enough – not by a long shot.

But we crammed in as much of Venice as we could into our two days knowing that no matter what we saw, it would be wonderful.  And no matter what we saw, there would be things we wanted to see that we would have to save for another time down the line.  This was a TASTE of Venice, and there was so much more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A C&T Shout Out (And More Montenegro!)

Before I post ANYTHING, I want to let you know that I have another blog post up on the C&T Blog!

It’s a simple little post on pressing – and you might learn some things you didn’t know before.  So after you are done reading my little travelogue here, head over there for my article entitled Adventures in Chain Pressing and read up on something quilty, because there only a little sewing happening in this post!

I have snuck in small moments of hexie time here and there.  This photo was taken at the END of our Montenegro day, before we left port.  I was sitting on the balcony of our cabin just watching boats go by.

I’ve got quilter’s cabins on either side of mine, and it is fun to catch just a bit of conversation as they are out on their balconies enjoying the day also.

**Side Note** And to those who exclaim "Don't you EVER just relax??"  This IS the ultimate in relaxation for me.  I do what I want to do when I want to do it.  It doesn't get better than this! :)

While we were in Kotor, Mary Ellen and I visited another couple of ancient churches, the Church of St Mary Collegiata, and the Cathedral of St Trphyon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

To Montenegro by Sea!

Montenegro is a country I didn’t know ANYTHING about.

And when I say nothing….I really mean NOTHING.

It was never on my bucket list.  I never gave this area of the world a second thought.

And when it showed up on our ports of call list for this Mediterranean cruise, part of me just wanted to skip it, and Croatia, and get straight to Venice and Rome where all of the “Good stuff” is. 

I was wrong.  I was oh so wrong!  Kotor Montenegro is a beautiful place centered around a quaint medieval village with a rich heritage and the history loving person within me sang out as soon as we passed this little onion-domed church sitting alone on its little islet as we made our way in to the bay.

This is a magical place!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Little Bit of Spanish Rose!

Our cruisers were busy stitching away on Spanish Rose yesterday!

They all brought battery powered lights because the light is different depending on where you are sitting, and we all know we NEED to be able to see!

Jan in the center has control of everything with her head light!

In fact there are several in class, and these are really good for doing handwork where good lighting is not always available.

These ladies are troopers!  Those who have done applique before and love it are having a ball.  We have several who are accomplished Baltimore Album finishers, and they have been really helpful to others while I make my way around the room.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hexie Day at Sea!


What a fabulous way to sail!

49 quilters including a hubby and wife team that are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with us!

Yesterday was our A Little Bit Hexie workshop and everyone did SO well.  What a fun group we have – for 12 days at sea!  You can really get to know a group when you have this much time to spend together and this is absolutely the best ---Hexie Sewing at Sea!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Cathedral of Barcelona

Before we left for the pier yesterday morning we had a chance to do some exploring INSIDE the Cathedral of Barcelona, more officially known as Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia in Spanish.  But since many in Spain speak Catalan, you may hear it referred to as Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia.

Whatever you call it, you will find the Cathedral full of religious art and amazing architecture.  These are the things I love to explore in Europe. There is so much to discover!
The cathedral was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries, with the principal work done in the 14th century.
The cloister, which encloses the Well of the Geese (Font de les Oques) was completed in 1448.  

In the late 19th century, the neo-Gothic façade was constructed over the nondescript exterior that was common to Catalan churches. 

The roof is notable for its gargoyles, featuring a wide range of animals, both domestic and mythical. [source]

When we had wanted to enter the church the previous afternoon, we found that it cost 7 euros a piece during the afternoon hours.  But the next morning you could come after mass, and there was no charge.  Perfect for an after-breakfast wander before our bus picked us up to deliver us to the pier at 11am.

In we went!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hola, Barcelona!

What a whirlwind trip this has already been!

Overnight flights are NEVER a joy – sleeping on planes just never happens for me, and for some reason, definitely not on this one….but when we landed, I was SO excited!

There were a few of us from our group on my flight, but the bulk of everyone else came via JFK to Madrid to Barcelona, so we had an hour to wait for them in the baggage claim area.

Happy reunions with some of the folks I’ve traveled with before, and resounding hellos and nice to meet yous from those who are with me for the first time! 

Oh, what a great group this is! 

We gathered our luggage and headed out to the bus for a panoramic city tour of Barcelona with some fascinating stops along the way!