Birmingham Peace Garden – UK – Photos

Birmingham Peace Garden

Birmingham Peace Garden

I’ve seen the Birmingham Peace Garden from the bus on my way into town many times.  Last week I finally stopped off to have a look around it – and I’m so pleased that I did.  I had a wonderful feeling of peace as I walked around, even though I was so close to the city centre.

St Thomas church

St Thomas church

History of the Peace Garden

St Thomas’s Church was originally built in 1818 as a Waterloo Church – something that I had never heard of before.  Apparently these churches were built to celebrate peace after the Battle of Waterloo.  In this Wikipedia article you can see the original church.  It was bombed during the war and only some parts of it remain.




The garden was created on the site of the church to celebrate the Queen’s coronation, but it didn’t become a Peace Garden until 1995, fifty years after the end of the war.

Peace garden entrance

Peace garden entrance

The gardens now

The garden as it stands now is a wonderful tribute to those killed during the bombing of Birmingham.  The fence around the garden has many images of doves flying in the metalwork.  These gates lie at the entrance to the garden.

Trees planted in 1998

Trees planted in 1998

In 1998 the G8 summit was held in Birmingham and each national leader planted a tree chosen to be relevant to that country.  These are now mature trees and they contribute to the overall feeling of peace within the garden.

School field across the road

School field across the road

There’s a school playing field across the road and this contributes to the feeling of space – well it does when there are no children playing on it anyway!

May peace prevail

May peace prevail

The wording at the centre of this mosaic reads May Peace Prevail on Earth.  I think that’s a sentiment that we would all echo.

I’m so glad that I have finally stopped off at the Peace Garden and found out so much about it.

Bradford City – UK – Photos

Bradford by night

Bradford by night

Bradford City was once considered to be the wool capital of the world.  It still has a very strong textile presence and I go there regularly to buy fabric from Fabric Freedom.  Usually I arrive in Bradford, spend a very happy hour in a warehouse filled from floor to ceiling with fabric, and then head for home.

Last week, however, I decided to stop overnight and have a look around the city.  What a lovely surprise this was.  The centre of Bradford is lovely.  There are loads of listed buildings and it’s a real pleasure to wander amongst them.




Bradford City Hall

Bradford City Hall

The Victorian town hall, shown above at night time, is just as impressive by daylight.  I have since found out that the building is open for tours at certain times – I’ll certainly try and do that next time I’m in Bradford. In one window I saw a large sign saying Police Museum and at first I thought that this meant the entire building, which would have been a very impressive museum!

Bradford Statues

Provident statues

Provident statues

This whole area is for pedestrians only which means you can take your time and meander all over the place.  When I came across these delightfully unusual  statues I thought that they must be very old.  In fact they were completed in 1986.  They represent the Provident Insurance company and customer.  They stand outside the former financial headquarters of the Provident.

Chair and clock statues

Chair and clock statues

Only a few streets later I came across another quirky set of statues.  These were a chair and clock in stone.  They are on Chapel Street and I would imagine they once stood inside a chapel or church.

Alhambra Theatre

Alhambra, Bradford.jpg

While we were there we watched a show at the lovely Alhambra Theatre.  This is named for the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.  The theatre is beautiful from the outside and very rich and luxurious inside.  We had a magical evening there watching a Beatles tribute band.

Bradford City cathedral

Bradford City cathedral

Bradford Cathedral

I can’t resist cathedrals when I’m on my travels – always hoping for more floor tile designs to use in quilts!  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this one.  It’s not as imposing from the outside as some cathedrals, but it suits the city somehow.

Cathedral interior

Cathedral interior

Inside, the cathedral didn’t disappoint.  Lots of gorgeous soaring spaces and a wonderful feeling of peace.

Bradford City turned out to be an unexpected treat.  It’s in Bronte country but I didn’t make it to the Bronte museum – plenty left for my next visit there.

Prague – Czech Republic – Photos

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

When I visited Prague Patchwork, I also had several wonderful days to explore Prague itself.  This photo is actually the Basilica within the Palace complex rather than the Palace itself.  The palace complex lies on a hill dominating the Prague skyline – I was a wimp and took a bus to get there, although I did walk down the hill afterwards!  This is the largest coherent castle complex in the world.

The Basilica of St George was extraordinary on the outside and just as delightful inside.




Inside the basilica

Inside the basilica

Prague Castle complex

The Czech government is still based in in the castle and it is also the home of the Czech president.  For this reason many parts are obviously not open to the public.  However for me the basilica was the star of the show anyway.

Cottage in Golden Lane

Cottage in Golden Lane

Down the side of the basilica lies Golden Lane which has been restored to its original function of workmen’s cottages.  It’s a fascinating street and many of the cottages have been renovated to show the homes and workplaces of different trades.  Naturally I homed in on the cottage with a sewing machine kept beside the bed – although my sewing dominates the house I haven’t quite reached the stage of keeping my machine beside my bed yet.

Golden Lane was home to Franz Kafka and other writers for many years.  It also had a reputation for being the home of alchemists striving to turn metals into gold.

King Charlemagne

King Charlemagne

Wenceslas Square

As a child I can remember images of Russian tanks filling Wenceslas Square in 1968, so it was wonderful to walk down this vibrant square.  This photo was taken from half way down the square looking back up to the Art Gallery and the statue of King Wenceslas.  He is the patron saint of Bohemia and was a much loved King, not just the guy in the Christmas carols.

Straw figures in Wenceslas Square

Straw figures in Wenceslas Square

Nowadays the middle of the square is filled with street food vendors and although it was expensive it was very tasty!

These two figures were made of straw and were quite delightful.

Old Town Square Prague

Old Town Square Prague

Old Town Square Prague

This wonderful square contains the Old Town Hall with its wonderful 15th century astronomical clock.  We watched this striking the hour twice and I did take a video of it but can’t seem to find it now.  You can see more about it in the link above.  The clock is one of the major attractions in this square, but the whole square is wonderful.

St Nicholas Church

St Nicholas Church

Prague is brimming over with wonderful buildings, not just churches.  I’m sure that I missed many of them during my walks in Prague, but one that stands out is the St Nicholas Church in Old Town Square.  Wikipedia describes it as the finest baroque in Prague.

The church is lovely outside and totally stunning on the inside.

Stained glass windows

Stained glass windows

Many wonderful stained glass windows fill the church with coloured light.

Rose window

Rose window

This rose window is superb.  I could go on for ever about this beautiful church.

Unusual tomb

Unusual tomb

I enjoyed this tomb – there was something refreshing about seeing the man appearing to sit up and talk rather than the usual view of someone lying in state.

Sorry but I can’t remember whose tomb it is.

Other places I visited include the Charles Bridge over the River Vitlava.  This is the one with statues all the way across and if you rub one particular one it means that you will return to Prague.  I didn’t take any photos here because the whole bridge was so crowded.

John Lennon wall

John Lennon wall

Just the other side of the bridge, tucked away around a corner, we happened upon the John Lennon Wall.  If I’m honest, this seemed to be a wall of street art featuring John among others.

Overall I found Prague enchanting.  It wasn’t just the romance and beauty of the city – it was also amazing how friendly and helpful the people of Prague.

Prague Patchwork 2019 – Photos

Prague Patchwork 2019

Prague Patchwork 2019

Prague Patchwork 2019 followed the Sitges quilt festival by just a couple of weeks.  I was delighted to be able to visit both of them – even if it was a hectic couple of weeks.  I’ve wanted to visit Prague Patchwork for many years, so it was a real thrill to make it at last.  The exhibition took place in a Sports Centre, so there were different displays in all the badminton halls, football halls and such like.

This particular quilt struck me because it has so much depth – you feel the birds might step out of the quilt at any time.

We had a minor hiccup on our way there, having not validated our train tickets properly, but a wonderful young lady who spoke perfect English came to our rescue.  She was also on her way to the exhibition so she took us under her wing and made sure that we arrived there safely.  Without her, we would probably still be wandering the streets of Prague now!

Group mystery quilt

Group mystery quilt

Group mystery quilt

This quilt was absolutely stunning not only in its own right, but also for the way that it was made.  It’s called Midnight Dance, but the quilters were not told that.  Each one of them was given the pattern for a section – and also asked what they thought the final quilt might look like.

As you can imagine, it must have been a real surprise when they saw the finished quilt.  If I had been given a section of skirt, for example, to make there’s no way in the world that I could have predicted what the subject of the quilt would be.  What a lovely idea.

Third in theme

Third in theme

Prize Winners

Near the entrance to the main hall there was a display of prize winning quilts.  This quilt was third in theme and it was quite delightful.  All the colours blended beautifully and the design was amazing.

I loved the way she had added three leaves in each corner – really striking.

Another winning quilt

Another winning quilt

This was another quilt from the prize winning section.  This one certainly took my breath away – really eyecatching.

Passacaglia quilt

Passacaglia quilt

Passacaglia quilt

Willyne Hammerstein had an exhibition of her quilts on display.  I first came across the Millefiori quilts at Nantes quilt show a few years ago and have loved them ever since.  The link takes you to a pinterest board showing lots of her quilts (I couldn’t find a website to link to).

As you can imagine, the templates for these quilts are tiny, but they do make stunning quilts.

Dresden butterfly

Dresden butterfly

Classical Challenge – Dresden Plate

I have never seen so many Dresden plates used in such creative ways.  I would never have thought of using small Dresdens to create a butterfly.

More Dresden plates

More Dresden plates

This quilt used Dresden plates to great effect.  I really must get my template out and make some Dresden quilts now that I have seen how interesting they can be.

There were many, many more of these quilts on display – a real feast for the eyes.

What depth

What depth

Three dimensional looking quilts

I think we probably all like quilts that look three dimensional.  I thought that this one was a particularly good example.  Birgit Schuller is a Handiquilt ambassador and does some extraordinary quilting.  You can see more of her work here.

See the elephant head

See the elephant head

This quilt really caught my attention because of the wonderful way India had been converted into an elephant head.  What a lovely quilt.

It had the overall look of one of those very old maps.  The Mariners Compass in the corner is also very impressive.

Sorry but I don’t seem to have noted the name of the quilter who produced this.

Landscape quilt

Landscape quilt

Wow factor quilts

Detail of the quilt

Detail of the quilt

It’s not quite a case of saving the best to last, but this part of the exhibition was amazing.  These landscape quilts could have been paintings or photos.  The detail and the choice of colours is superb.  I took this closeup so that you could see that she has pieced each individual leaf – a real work of art.

There were many equally beautiful landscape quilts.  They are all by Grycova Jaroslava, a Czech quilter.  Once again I couldn’t find a website for her, but you can see a lot more of her stunning work on this Google Images page.

My visit to Prague Patchwork 2018 was an amazing opportunity to see some extraordinary quilts and also to explore a delightful and beautiful city.  My photos of Prague itself will follow when I’ve had a chance to sort them out.

 

 

Sagrada Familia Temple – Barcelona – Photos

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

I visited the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona during my Spanish trip to visit the Sitges Quilt Show.  I’m ashamed to say that when I first saw it I thought that all the cranes and builders were doing restoration work.  In fact the building is still under construction.  Work began on it in 1882 and although the interior of the church is complete and has been consecrated, the exterior is still being built.  they are hoping to complete it by 2026 to commemorate the death of Antoni Gaudi in 1926.

Gaudi was the second architect to work on the construction and more or less devoted his life to it.  The church is beautiful on the outside, but totally, eyewateringly, exquisite on the inside.  I feel that I want to call it a cathedral, but apparently it is technically a minor basilica because it does not have a bishop.




Exterior detail

Exterior detail

Sagrada Familia exterior

The outside of the Sagrada is a mix of colours because the stone has been added over such a long period.  The design is extraordinary for its attention to detail.  There are holes in the stonework to allow the sounds of the music to reach out to the people of Barcelona. Eighteen spires will eventually reach above the church, representing Mary, the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists and of course Jesus himself.  His spire will be the tallest.

Statues everywhere

Statues everywhere

Every aspect of the building has a religious reason behind it.  There are statues and columns and readings every where you turn.  A real feast for the eyes.

Texts

Texts

This section has passages of the Bible engraved in the stone.   Some words are highlighted in white against the blue of the other words.

Light shining through the stained glass windows

Light shining through the stained glass windows

Interior of Sagrada Familia

Step inside and the light is the first thing to hit you.  The stained glass windows are enormous .  They are designed so that the light shining through them is shaded through a particular colour range.  For example the windows nearest the door produced green/blue light which faded to gold from the windows further down the side.  The effect is stunning.

Blue stained glass

Blue stained glass

Here they are coloured blue, highlighting the statue.

Everything about the interior is planned to the last detail.  They are still using the plans and drawings produced by Gaudi before he died.  The length and breadth of the church are particular multiples – the only trouble is that I can’t remember what they are multiples of.  Sorry – that’s my age catching up with me!

Columns represent trees

Columns represent trees

The columns are made in different stones partly to represent different aspects of the bible, but also so that the ones that need to bear the greatest weight can be made from a stronger stone.  They are designed to represent trees and you can see the branches of the trees at the top of the columns.  This particular photo was taken in a mirror which allows you to see more clearly into the heights of the Sagrada Familia – so the branches are actually at the bottom of the photo.

The Altar

Sagrada Familia altar

Sagrada Familia altar

With all the stunning beauty and decoration throughout the church, the altar is a lovely contrast – very simple.  You can just see the top of the altar at the bottom of the photo with Christ suspended above it in a halo of lights.

View of the inside

View of the inside

I have been lucky enough to visit many beautiful places in my travels over the last few years.  I think that this building must definitely rank amongst the most beautiful that I have seen.

This view of the overall interior gives you some idea of the size of it.  There are no little chapels or anything to distract from the overall beauty.  Gaudi had wanted to give the feel of a forest and he certainly succeeded in that.

Sitges International Patchwork Festival 2018

Sitges patchwork festival

Siges patchwork festival

The Sitges International Patchwork Festival is an annual event and I have often thought about visiting it – this year I actually made it!  Sitges is a delightful fishing town just along the coast from Barcelona in Spain.  The buildings were all white with brick edging as you can see in the photo and the mountains made a magnificent backdrop.

I stayed in Barcelona for a few days but those photos will have to wait for another day.  The quilt festival was spread across nine venues throughout Sitges, but they were all within easy reach of each other.




Ricky Tims

Ricky Tims

Ricky Tims

The first venue was an exhibition of work by Ricky Tims.  I’m familiar with his work, so it was lovely to see some of his quilts up close.

Ricky Tims (I think)

Ricky Tims (I think)

Over the course of the day I saw many, many quilts and I can’t always remember which quilt came from which part of the exhibition, so please forgive me if I get it wrong.

Kumiko Frydl


Kumiko Frydl

Kumiko Frydl and Betty Busby

The next two venues were devoted to the above two quilters.  The work of Kumiko Frydl was amazing – such clever use of white to give the impression of light radiating from the middle.  This particular quilt was named ‘Night cruise on the River Thames).

Betty Busby

Betty Busby

The work of Betty Busby was interesting.  I have to admit here that I am not sure how this one was made.  I think it was either reverse applique or Hawaiian style applique but of course no touching was allowed so I’m not sure.  It certainly made an interesting quilt.

The fourth venue was of Anne Woringer’s work, but I’m afraid that I didn’t get to that.  The venue was out on a limb and it was a really hot day.

Mini hexagons

Mini hexagons

Sitges Patchwork Festival -Vintage quilts

The fifth venue was described as vintage quilts from the British Isles.  Naturally I thought these would be from Jen Jones, but instead the quilts belonged to Christopher Wilson.  What a treat they were.  I have since found out that Christopher is a Moda designer and has a huge store in London.  I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss him all these years.

This hexagon quilt was breath taking.  I put my finger across the quilt so that you could see how small the hexagons are – unbelievable.

Tumbling blocks

Tumbling blocks

This tumbling blocks quilt had an interesting central medallion – what a lot of work must have gone into this quilt!  The colours are amazing.

The trade stalls stood in marquees along the beach.  They were absolutely heaving with shoppers and it was difficult to move so I didn’t stop long enough to see what they were selling – although it was nice to see so many names of companies that were new to me.

There was also a marquee which was open to businesses only.  I managed to blag my way in there and made some good contacts.  They all said that they would deliver to the UK, so I hope I can offer some unusual fabrics in the future.

Peter Hayward

Peter Hayward

Peter Hayward and Ximo Navarro

Somewhere along the beach there was a venue devoted to Reiko Kato and students, but I can’t seem to find any photos of their work.

My final destination was to see the work of Peter Hayward.  Believe it or not, this quilt is a flat square.  The use of colour and size of squares has made it seem to bulge out.  I assumed he was Spanish because I heard him chatting to visitors in Spanish, but now that I’ve looked him up I see that he’s from the UK and has a website The Accidental Quilter.

Peter Hayward again

Peter Hayward again

All of his work was quite stunning, showing so much movement.

The same room featured the work of Ximo Navarro and that was very different but very interesting.  Some very ornate designs in his quilts.

I had a wonderful time both in Sitges and in Barcelona.  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of the wonderful quilts that I saw.

Ximo Navarro

Ximo Navarro

 

Southwark Cathedral – London – Photos

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

I visited Southwark Cathedral when I went to meet my newest grand daughter.  I had a while to wait for my train back to Birmingham and the Cathedral is very close to one of the stations that I went through (London Bridge).  It also stands next to the bustling Borough Market.

Cathedral interior

Cathedral interior

History of Southwark Cathedral

The Domesday Book in 1085 mentions the cathedral but it is thought that there was a religious community there for several centuries before that.  The official name of Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie is quite a mouthful, but it reflects the long history of the building.  First dedicated to St Mary it became known as St Mary Overie where Overie stands for ‘over the river’.   King Henry VIII took control of it and renamed St Saviours.  Now its name includes both of these saints.




Map of Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe

The interior

I first visited the cathedral many years ago to listen to a concert given by the choir of my old school in Zimbabwe.  I thought that this quilt showing a map of Zimbabwe was there just for that concert.  However I was thrilled to see it still on the wall.

Lent Art installation

Lent Art installation

The waterfall of fabric hanging from the top of the cathedral to the altar floor puzzled me at first.  It is the Lent Art Installation, called Footfall.  Their website describes its meaning:

The artist Alison Clark has made prints from footfall in the Cathedral by capturing the worn surfaces of monumental stones in the Retrochoir. These prints are an echo of pilgrims who have come to worship over the centuries.

Fascinating.

Tomb of John Gower

Tomb of John Gower

People involved with the cathedral

The tomb of John Gower is very impressive.  He was a Poet Laureate to both King Richard II and King Henry IV and died in 1408.  I didn’t realise that the post of poet laureate went back such a long way.

The church (as it was then) is mentioned by Samuel Pepys.  Shakespeare lived in the parish of the church.  His brother is buried there and one of the stained glass windows celebrates Shakespeare himself.

John Harvard, as in Harvard University, came from the area and was christened in this cathedral in 1607.  He is celebrated through the Harvard Chapel.  This is designated as a place for quiet and reflection so I didn’t take any photos in there.

Floor tile design

Floor tile design

Quilt inspiration

All of Southwark Cathedral is filled with inspiration, but this particular floor tile design struck me as a great idea for a simple quilt.  You could make a scrappy quilt of very small squares from stash and then surround it with a bright and cheerful border.

London Bridge

London Bridge

Outside the cathedral

The area around the cathedral resounds with history.  A short walk to the River Thames brings you to London Bridge on the left.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast

To the right lies Tower Bridge.  Between the two bridges lies HMS Belfast.  A wonderful museum that unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit:

Explore all nine decks of HMS Belfast to discover what life was like on board for the crew at war and at sea. The most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship.

All in all, both Southward Cathedral and the surrounding area make a delightful place to visit.  I hope to go back there one day when I have a lot more time.

Jewellery Quarter – Birmingham – Photos

Jewellery Quarter

Jewellery Quarter

The Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham has always fascinated me.  This sculpture outside the station shows an enlarged watch mechanism and is very appropriate.  The Jewellery Quarter has been around for a long, long time.  A survey in 1553 named  one of the first goldsmiths in the area – Roger Pemberton if you’re interested!

The whole area is a designated conservation area and English Heritage has described it as a ‘place of unique character’.




Chamberlain clock tower

Chamberlain clock tower

The Jewellery Quarter’s Chamberlain clock tower

This clock tower dominates the area.  It was installed in 1903 in honour of Joseph Chamberlain.  He was MP for the area and worked really hard for the area.  His name crops up remarkably often when I am exploring Birmingham.  There is an interesting history of the jewellery quarter on the Victoria James website.

HSBC bank

HSBC bank

I took a separate photo of the building behind it because I thought it really attractive.  What a lovely building for a bank!  In fact I found myself spoiled for choice in photos of buildings:  there are over 200 listed buildings within the area.  That gives you some idea of what a wonderful area it is to explore.

Pen museum

Pen museum

Museums of the Jewellery Quarter

I tried to visit the English Heritage silver museum, but you have to book in advance for that.  On my walk I passed the Pen Museum which looks huge.  That’s definitely one for a return visit.

Button factory

Button factory

The Button Factory, now a restaurant, gives a flavour of the history of the jewellery quarter.  I waited ages for that white van to move so that I could take this photo, but I gave up in the end.

Warstone Lane Cemetery

Warstone Lane Cemetery

Warstone Lane Cemetery

This cemetery provided an oasis of green right beside the road.  I thought that it was most unusual for it to be so open – not tucked away behind high hedges or walls.  The crocuses in the foreground gave a lovely splash of colour.

The catacombs provide a three storey section which increased the available space for burials.  They have now been bricked up.  Apparently they were originally built because there was a sand pit that needed covering up!

The Jewellery Quarter is well worth a visit and I probably only scratched the surface with the parts that I visited this time.  It certainly is a real gem in the heart of Birmingham.

Botanical Gardens – Tenerife – Photos

Botanical Gardens Tenerife

Botanical Gardens Tenerife

The Botanical Gardens in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, are stunning.  They were set up in 1788 by order of King Carlos III of Spain.  He wanted tropical plants from his overseas territories for his palace in Madrid.  These plants needed somewhere to get used to the colder climate of Spain and the Botanical Gardens were set up as a halfway point to allow them to acclimatise.  In fact, the gardens are still known as the Gardens of Acclimatisation.  The gardens are incredibly well stocked and are highly renowned – on a par with places like Kew Gardens.

These red hot pokers definitely beat any that I have ever grown!




Winter colour

Bougainvillea flowers

Bougainvillea flowers

The whole area of Puerto de la Cruz, where we were staying, is full of colour.  I’m familiar with bougainvillea from my childhood in Africa, but rather surprisingly I had never noticed the small white petals right in the middle.  I have since found out that the white forms the actual flower while the pink or purple petals surrounding it are actually leaves known as bract.

Fan shaped plants

Fan shaped plants

The variety of plants was amazing.  These fan shaped plants had similar leaves to a banana plant, but I have only ever seen bananas growing in a more tree like form.

All the plants were well labelled, which was a great help for me, but I wasn’t able to photograph asll the labels – and of course my memory isn’t up to remembering any of the names of the plants.

Muscular tree

Muscular tree

Unusual trees

Some of the trees looked completely different from the ones that I am used to.  This one had nodules along all the branches which reminded me of muscular arms – either that or balloon sculptures.

Adventitious roots

Adventitious roots

And this one was fascinating.  Those are all roots that you can see – known as adventitious roots.  they are also known as aerial prop roots and support the main structure of the tree.  It allows the tree to grow over a larger area than it would otherwise.

Feathery flowers

Feathery flowers

Glorious colour

Coming from cold and gloomy Birmingham, it was an absolute treat to see all these wonderful colours.  In this particular flower there were droplets of moisture collected between the petals – glistening like diamonds.

Calliandra

Calliandra

I’ve seen this plant as a houseplant in the UK.  It was lovely seeing it growing outdoors in great profusion.  From the labels that I did take photos of, I think that this is called Calliandra and comes originally from Bolivia.

Wallisia

Wallisia

This one was stunning – the flowers seemed almost to be a part of the leaf structure.  I’m guessing that the spikes turned purple along the whole length with time. Gorgeous.  It comes from Ecuador.

Water section

Water section

Water Plants

Behind a wall we nearly missed the steps up to this wonderful water section.  The water was very still so the reflections of the plants made a magnificent feature.

Bird of paradise

Bird of paradise

Finally my favourite flower – and I know that I always show you one of these when I head off to warmer climes.  It’s Strelizia, also known as Bird of Paradise.  They bring back wonderful childhood memories and I’m always thrilled when I find one during my holidays.

The Botanical Gardens are well worth a visit and I’m so pleased that we were able to spend a morning there.  I can quite understand why the King of Spain wanted to transfer some of these magnificent plants to his palace in Madrid back in the eighteenth century!

Puerto de la Cruz – Tenerife – Photos

Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz

Last week I visited Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife for some much needed winter sunshine.

The first thing that struck me (after the sunshine and the warmth) was the lovely colours used on the houses.  Many of them were delightful shades of ochre, with an odd blue or turquoise house amongst them.  Absolutely lovely.

I think that’s probably my abiding memory of Puerto de la Cruz (Port of the Cross) – the vibrant colours in both the flowers and the buildings.




Fisher Woman

Fisher Woman

Tenerife is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.  Puerto de la Cruz was a fishing village in the 15th century – so it’s much older than I had realised.  This lovely statue of a fisher woman stands in the harbour area, reminding us of the island’s history.

The islands are so close to Europe that they are a popular destination for those seeking sunshine at any time of the year.  Originally they were visited only by the well off or by researchers – the plant life is amazing.

Church in Puerto de la Cruz

Church in Puerto de la Cruz

Church of Our Lady of the Rock of France

This church lies peacefully in a very attractive square.  You can’t miss it if you are meandering along the coast.  The inside of the church is stunning – very beautiful.

Church interior

Church interior

I couldn’t take photos inside because it was so dark so instead I can show you some of the beauty of the church in Buenavista that we visited.

We had hopped on a bus to take us to Buenavista (meaning good view) to see just how good the view was.  If I’m honest, the view there was no better than the views of the ocean from Puerto, but the church was magnificent.

Ocean view

Ocean view

The Atlantic Ocean

Puerto is set on the ocean front and I couldn’t resist taking lots of photos of the ocean.  I have some fabric that loos very similar to this, with the sea pounding the rocks.

Puerto lighthouse

Pouerto lighthouse

Given all the rocks, it was no surprise to see that a lighthouse was in place.  What was surprising was its unusual design.

According to Wikipedia it is 89 feet high, made of steel framework enclosing the red and white panels.  The light pattern of two flashes every 7 seconds can be seen up to 16 nautical miles away.

El Teide

El Teide

El Teide

This nearby volcano, El Tiede, dominates the skyline at Puerto de la Cruz.  I’m sure it dominates the skyline all over Tenerife.  It is the tallest mountain in Spain, which surprised me.

You can just see the peak in the top right part of the photo.  It is possible to take a cable car and walk to the top, but sadly we ran out of time.  I’ll have to take another trip to Tenerife!

Carved door

Carved door

Quilt inspiration

Obviously during my trip I was on the lookout for quilt designs.  This door had some lovely designs which I’m sure could be transferred to fabric.

I also managed to find an amazing fabric shop full of a huge range of different types of fabric.  I also saw a couple of things that I intend to make up for my craft stalls.

The Atlantic

The Atlantic

We also visited the renowned Botanical Gardens but I have so many photos from there that I’ll have to get them sorted in time for next week.

Seascape

Seascape

I’ll just leave you with some more seascapes.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Rose