Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I just spent a week in Barcelona and Tarragona with my cousin and her son from the Uk. I loved Barcelona. The week zoomed by and now I wish I could have had another week. I followed the tourist trail and mainly visited Gaudi buildings such as the Sagrada Familia, Batllo house, & Palau Guell . By going late in the day I didn't have to book in advance except for the Sagrada Familia.

I look forward to seeing it completed one day if I live long enough, there is still an enormous steeple which isn't even started.

CASA Battlo by Gaudi ( aka house of bones)
Arches inside Batllo house
Doorway inside Casa Battlo

ceiling in Palau Guell. The Guells were patrons of Gaudi. They spent mega bucks on the house but didn't live there long as Mrs Guell didn't like it. I can understand why, it's very dark compared with other places Gaudi designed. It was the start of his career and its full of wrought iron and dark wood.

We also went to the musical theatre , Palau de la Musica catalana, which was designed by a architect Lluis Domenech I Montaner. I found it incredibly busy. I prefer the simplicity of Casa  Battlo.
The skylight over the auditorium
Mosaic pillars on the balcony.

I found Barcelona exciting, easy to get around and it was great fun. I found the queues for the major attractions and having to book in advance annoying. I would definitely not try to do anything big at a weekend.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


I fond Mostar fascinating and although there were lots of tourists, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as Dubrovnik. You could actually move through the streets and the tourist shops seemed much more interesting. The story of the fighting in Mostar is very sad and very complicated, there are damaged and abandoned houses everywhere. They have rebuilt the beautiful old bridge which is the star of the town.
Embroideries and woven rugs in the Turkish house in Mostar.
Walls pock marked with bullet holes 
The beautiful bridge in Mostar.
Souvenir 'Turkish ' patterned purses and pens made from old shell cases.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I have just spent the last 4 days in Dubrovnik. I love the old roofs, the stone walls and the marble paved roads but the crowds of visitors make it difficult to get around. I know that I'm a tourist too, and I'm part of the problem , but I don't know how the locals stand it. 

You can tell the tourists because they are dressed in shorts and singlet tops, they take photos inside the churches, they take photos of people's washing hanging up in the streets and pictures of vegetables. They put their bus ticket in the slot the wrong way round which annoys the driver. They must buy the horrible tourist 'tat' otherwise the shops wouldn't sell it, would they?
Dolls in National costumes
Candles and fridge magnets

The monastery, a tranquil courtyard away from the hordes.
Stair rail in the Rector's Palace
Washing hanging in Trogir
Fruit stall in Zagreb

Sunday, October 4, 2015


For the last week I have been travelling in Croatia. We started in Zagreb then travelled to Split and Trogir, and we are now in Dubrovnik.
I haven't found many textiles of interest but the history of Croatia is fascinating. Split is a town built on and around a Roman palace, I found that incredible.

The retirement palace of the Emperor Dioclesian was huge and the town was built inside its walls. It would be impossible for archeologists to excavate the town because so much of it is still lived in.

There is even an intact Temple of Jupiter with an actual roof! I have only ever seen ruins and floor mosaics before.