Easter in England

Last Thursday we packed up the car and headed off bright and early to Malaga airport to catch a flight to the UK. This time we were heading for new territory, the Jurassic Coast on the South West Coast of England.

We were staying in a lovely house in Sidmouth in Devon.

We even had a ford in front of our front door…

How English is that??

Sidmouth was decked out and ready for Easter…

The shop windows in the town were lovely.

On a walk down to the seafront, the coastal erosion was very apparent.

Just 12 hours before our arrival, there was a major rockfall. Just check out this garden shed on the brink…

On our first full day we took a trip to Lyme Regis on the hunt for fossils…

It’s a rather pretty seaside town…

A place where even the street lights feature fossils!

The inclement weather wasn’t exactly suited to foraging for fossils on the beach, so we made do with a wander around the town. We could appreciate the beauty of the place in spite of the poor weather…

… that coastline must look stunning on a clear day!

The shops in Lyme Regis are dominated by the area’s rich prehistoric history. Fossils are all over, none made me smile though like these ‘ammoknits’! How cool are they?

We left Lyme Regis and headed next to Seaton, and Seaton Jurassic in particular. It’s an interactive museum perfect for children and even features a time machine…

We travelled back in time millions of years and learned lots of interesting facts about dinosaurs to earn this treasure…

We may not have made any major fossil finds, but it was a special day for Littlest Postcard who saw real snow for the first time on our drive home.

Exeter

Saturday saw us heading into Exeter to meet up with some old friends from University. We hadn’t seen them for a few years so it was wonderful to be able to catch up with them again.

Gotta love a good gargoyle…

Exeter is a very pretty city. I would’ve liked a look around inside the Cathedral, but unfortunately time didn’t allow on this occasion, perhaps next time…

I spent a good bit of time wandering around looking up at the old buildings with their wonky windows and charm.

Our friend who lives locally took us on a mini Harry Potter tour. Apparently JK Rowling studied at Exeter and while she was there found inspiration for her books. This road, Gandy Street, was the inspiration for…

…Diagon Alley.

And this pub entrance…

… Gringott’s Bank.

There was even a Cauldron Inn…

Or at least there was a sign for one above a doorway.

How about this for an Easter chick?

On Easter Sunday we went to Greendale Farm Shop outside Exeter. I’m not sure that this counts as breakfast, but it was Easter Day…

The Little Postcards loved the farm animals…

… I did too 😉

Then back to Sidmouth for a stroll along the prom and a visit to the town’s independent lifeboat.

The Methodist Church had a beautiful display for Easter Sunday.

In spite of the weather, I was rather enamoured by Sidmouth.

The rather circumspect weather meant that we opted for a trip to the cinema to dodge the rain.

The independent Radway Cinema is really lovely. It was spotlessly clean, the staff were great and it was so reminiscent of our local cinema when I was growing up. We enjoyed Peter Rabbit very much!

However you spent your Easter weekend, I hope it was a good one for you.

A day trip to Ronda, Andalusia 

Ronda is a small city in the mountains just an hour or so inland from the Costa del Sol. On our trip along the coast last week, we decided to take a drive inland and up the steep winding mountain roads to explore this fascinating place. I have visited several times before but it was a first experience for the rest of the Postcard family. We were blessed with clear blue skies and warm sun, and the old town centre was looking it’s best for us.

As you can see, the town centre sits astride a deep river gorge which drops 100 metres below (not a great place for vertigo sufferers) and is dominated by the rather misleadingly named Puente Nuevo (or new  bridge) which was completed in the 1790s.

On each side of the bridge, the buildings line the gorge, holding tightly to the edge. Imagine washing the windows of those! Not for me thank you!

  
Aside from the beautiful old New Bridge, the main tourist attraction, as in many Spanish towns is the bullring. This one is thought to be one of the oldest in Spain and holds a museum dedicated to the ‘sport’ and its history as well as to the Matadors as well.

Not being fans of bull-fighting we chose to sidestep what was on offer here and walked past it onto the gardens beyond and the most impressive view.

A hop, skip and a jump through the small gardens and you open out onto a viewing platform and balcony which isn’t for the faint hearted. But my, the views are stunning.

The buildings down below looked so far way!

It’s only when we were a short distance away and looked back to see where we’d been standing that we realised what we were standing on…. very little! Holy moly I wouldn’t have been so keen to lean on those railings and poke my camera lens through had I seen this first – probably for the best!

Then we headed across the bridge…

… which was thronged with tourists (apparently Easter is a very popular time to visit Ronda)…

…and pootled along the road taking in the beautiful architecture.


I hope I’m not boring you here, but those who are familiar with my blog will know I’m rather partial to old buildings!

Just get a load of these gorgeous old windows and doors with their wonky shapes and well worn appearance. Check out this pair of door knockers!

We ended up in a beautiful square with more than its fair share of churches. It so happened that we arrived dead on midday and all the bells in the various steeples started chiming. Each one was louder than the next as they fought to out do one another! It sent the roosting swifts flying out of the eaves of the old church roofs in panic. It was quite a thing to experience.

  
 

It was so pretty – and noisy!

  
  

Our return to the bridge and our carpark in the more modern part of Ronda took us up some lovely alleyways. Presuming they were too narrow for traffic, imagine our surprise as we were forced to jump out of the way for a horse and carriage which was coming towards us carrying tourists! I didn’t catch that moment on camera as I was too busy grabbing children and hauling them out of the way!

  

This building caught my eye, it’s a hotel – isn’t it beautiful?

  
I had been really looking forward to visiting Ronda again, and it didn’t disappoint. We spent a few hours there wandering about and getting a bite to eat. Ideally it would be a perfect grown-ups only weekend away destination as not only are there many interesting museums to explore, the countless shops we walked past on our way from and back to the car park looked really worth investigating. Little legs were feeling the strain though, so we though it best to make a move back to our home for the Easter holidays before the complaints got out of hand. Perhaps one day…

  

I would highly recommend a visit – there’s so much to see. My only advice if you aren’t a fan of heights – don’t look down!

  

 

Sunday Sevens #25 3.4.16

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. It features seven photos from the past seven days, if you fancy joining in pop over to her blog to find out more.

The joys of a kids club 

And relaxxxxx! This week, we took advantage of the school holidays and drove along the Costa del Sol to just beyond Marbella for a fantastic week. We stayed close to the resort for most of our stay as it had many of the things we needed, a park, an indoor family pool, peace & quiet, easy access to the beach for walks – and best of all, a kids club. 

Most days, one or two of the little postcards decided to partake in the entertainment it had to offer for an hour or so, and twice, yes, twice all three spent an hour there AT THE SAME TIME! That mean time off for Mum & Dad – hurrah for holiday!
 

Nocturnal chess 

Also on the resort is this giant chess set, it really captured the imagination of our youngest and we had regular chess matches under the tutelage of our eldest (I haven’t got much of a clue about chess I’m afraid). The nocturnal one we played on our second evening was the most exciting for the littlest grand master.

Beach walk

 

We were blessed with beautiful weather – what better thing to do than have a leisurely stroll along the beach. It was so nice. Only one child fell into the sea (fully clothed) so I see that as a victory.

Dragon blossoms

 
Very close to where we were staying there was a beautiful tree covered in a blossom which looked like little dragons. I have never seen anything like it before – it was just beautiful and against the deep blue of the March sky, it was stunning.

A trip into the mountains   
We didn’t stay put completely at our holiday base for the whole duration of our stay. We ventured out to the shops at Marbella and on Wednesday took a drive up into the mountains to visit the beautiful town of Ronda (more on that coming soon).  It was so nice to escape to a place so totally different to what we’re used to. Long winding roads climbing up through forested areas and past rock falls, the valleys stretching out below us and huge birds of prey circling in the skies above. It reminded me a lot of holidays to the Highlands of Scotland (apart from the weather – sorry Scotland).

Crochet on the beach 

  

Ooh get me with my holiday nail polish! Well, as you can see, so far this week I have filled my cosy stripe blanket sized hole with two new projects. A rainbow coloured scarf and a magenta amigurumi dinosaur. The latter began life on the beach this week after the happy news that a friend of mine delivered her healthy baby girl this week. Will I get it done in time to give to the new arrival before she takes her driving test? Watch this space!! 🙂

Sunset on our last night…  

 
We are safely back home in Gibraltar now after our lovely Easter break away from home. We didn’t really stray that far, you can actually see Gibraltar in the picture above (which was taken from our resort). If you follow the horizon from the left of the shot, the first ‘lump’ (apologies Gibraltar) is the Rock and our home. We did give her a wave regularly to remind her we would be returning soon. And here we are, another week done, another family holiday to look back on and it’s back to school tomorrow. 

It’s a milestone for me, because our littlest postcard begins 5 days of full-time school tomorrow. So for the first time in almost 12 years, I will have five full days per week, child-free. Imagine that? I guess I’ll have to do a bit more crafting then… Until next week, have a great one!