Regular readers and some people who I follow will know that I like a good painting. So when Judith spotted that our hotel was just around the corner from the Kunsthaus and that entry was free every Wednesday, we just had to pop in for a browse around. As you can see from my not so random sample of photos below, they have a wonderful selection of paintings and exhibits on display.
With a certain festive period approaching, Jude and I took ourselves off to Zurich for a few days to find some ‘different’ presents. I’d been there before to run the marathon, but I hadn’t really had time to explore the city and I have to say that we were both very impressed with how organised and quiet it was. It was more like a large village than a big city. It was also nice to see the wooden Christmas market stalls and the streets decorated with more lights than you could ever count.
For the second week of our holiday, we’d booked a cottage near Eccleshall in Staffordshire. In between meeting up with Jude’s family, we managed to explore a few of the local places of interest and below is a selection of our photos taken during the week.
I’ve mentioned in the past (on at least these three occasions) that our good friend Arthur Manton-Lowe, is an extremely talented artist. Some time ago now he asked me to help him set up a new website to both showcase and sell his paintings. After a few false starts and a couple of tweaks here and there on the layout, I’m very pleased to announce that it’s now up and running and you can find it here. 🙂
You will find all of his paintings For Sale on the 2nd page, while on the first, Home page, he plans to post or blog his latest sketches or paintings (though I’m sure he will sell these too if requested). Please feel free to follow him, as I’m sure you will not be disappointed.
Just to give you a flavour for some of his work (as I always like to post a picture or two) here are a few of my personal favourites…
From Tideswell Colin and I followed the official route east to Eyam and then north across Eyam Moor. However, as we approached Stoke Ford we veered off east to Hathersage, instead of west to Castleton, to complete our circuit. It was possibly the shortest of the 4 days at around 11 miles or 17.5 km.
Throughout the 4 days we had been in just shorts and tee shirts all day, but the fine weather finally broke as we approached the penultimate pub. So there was only one thing to do – take shelter and wait for the shower to pass by… 😊 Cheers! 🍻
The main reason we travelled over to Spain was to see Arthur and his exhibition at his gallery along the Camino de Santiago. Arthur had walked the Camino several years ago and fell in love with what was then a dilapidated building right on the path about 130km (112 miles) from Santiago de Compostela. He decided to buy it and set about renovating it and now, 10 years on, it’s both his home and an art gallery. The garden is still work in progress but the flowers he has planted, which includes 20 to 30 lavender plants, are already attracting numerous butterflies.
Any pilgrims passing by (who will need to turn right to San Xil at the split in the route in Triacastela) are welcome to enter and marvel at the work he’s done as well as his obvious artistic talent. They may even be lucky enough to get their Camino ‘credentials’, or log book, ‘stamped’ with an Arthur Manton-Lowe original.
I guess this is a timely moment to add that I’m currently putting together a website for Arthur (using WordPress of course) to showcase his paintings, called www.artworkbyart.com. It’s also work in progress and we will be adding some more pictures soon, so please feel free to follow that site and if anyone out there is interested in purchasing or knowing anything more about the paintings that you see, please do get in touch. 🙂
Some months ago now, Judith and I were invited by our good friend, Arthur Manton-Lowe, to an art exhibition which he was holding at his gallery on the Camino de Santiago, near Triacastela. I shall post some pictures of that area tomorrow, but on the way there, we stopped off to explore some of the western coast of Spain. It’s an area that we had never been before and it was noticeable that there were very few English speaking visitors.
We stayed in an area of Poio, called O Covelo, and drove out to find some wonderful beaches near San Vicente do Grove. The following day we took a boat ride from Portonovo to the Illa de Ons, which is one of a number of National parks along that coast.
We learnt that the weather in that area had been very wet (possibly the worst since records began) but we were fortunate to have some fabulously sunny days.
Last week I did one of my regular walks from the chalet to the small village of Eison. It’s always a good route for spotting butterflies and I wasn’t disappointed, as I managed to capture (digitally of course) a ‘new’ one for me, i.e. the Clouded Apollo in Pic 13. I also noticed a chamois in the meadow above the Chapelle de la Garde (which isn’t far from the main road down to Sion), but I was a little slow with my camera and it was walking away by the time I zoomed in and pressed the button.
As you can see from the Route map at the end, it’s a circular walk of around 12k / 7.5 miles with a height gain of 600m or nearly 2,000 ft.
After the blues skies and white beach of Saleccia, the following day couldn’t have been a bigger contrast, with dark brooding clouds and an unusual, black beach.
During our tour of Cap Corse, we had driven through Nonza late at night and didn’t have the time to stop. So we decided to take a trip back there to check out this interesting village, which is perched 100 metres above the sea.
A relatively easy and shaded walk in the Porto area of around 4 miles, is to walk down the gorge between the villages of Evissa and Ota. The path drops down quite steeply initially, but then follows the line of the Spelunca river, crossing a couple of old bridges, before rising up to reach Ota. The only drawback is the route is linear, so Jude offered to drop me off and I added on a little extra by walking all the way back to Porto.