The heavy rain from the night before had left drops all over the petals.
Bonjour and welcome to this French edition of Sunday Sevens. We have been enjoying a week in the south of France, beginning in Toulouse…
I’m really impressed with Toulouse, it’s a beautiful city which is full of fantastic architecture, the public transport is clean, reliable and just great. Even the bridges are beautiful and floral in Toulouse… have you ever seen anything as lovely as this?? This was one of the bridges which link several parks together. What a great idea.
Don’t look down…
I’m not a fan of heights (staying in a holiday apartment on the 17th floor of a tower block meant issues for me) but I overcame my fears and went for a ride with the whole Postcard family on this lovely Ferris wheel. Situated on the bank of the River Garonne, it was a perfect vantage point to watch the sunset over Toulouse on Monday evening.
On Tuesday we took a trip out to the Cité de l’Espace, a museum for the European Space Programme on the outskirts of Toulouse. There was a fascinating IMAX film about the international space station and another about the Aurora Borealis. We even got to see Venus through a huge telescope in the observatory. The highlight for the Little Postcards was most probably finding out about how astronauts go to the loo…
Planes, planes, planes…
On Wednesday we paid a visit to the Airbus factory in Toulouse. They do guided tours and take you inside to see where the giant, double decker A380 planes are assembled. We have a huge transport fan in the factory, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get up close to these amazing planes.
For security and to prevent their trade secrets being leaked you aren’t allowed to take any photos on the tour. It was really interesting (even for someone like me who doesn’t really even like flying ). The photo here is of an A350 just after take off on a test flight.
Straight after our Airbus tour, we set off for Carcassonne, the highlight of the whole trip for me. After reading the Kate Mosse book, Labyrinth a few years ago, I have wanted to visit this medieval city which is one of the main venues in the story. It was a beautiful as I imagined.
We loved it so much that we changed our plans and decided to stay for 4 nights. That way we had the chance to really explore properly.
A riverside walk
The Cité of Carcassonne sits on a hill beside the River Aude. We took a lovely wander down by the river and sat on the bank watching the ducks and a little terrier diving in to retrieve his ball! It is such a lovely spot.
Window shopping in Carcassonne
Away from the medieval Cité, Carcassone has a lot to offer. We stayed on the same side of the River Aude as the Cité but across the river is a bustling modern city. Some of the shops were amazing. I love window shopping when I’m abroad, you see so many interesting things. This cheese shop really caught my eye, you’ve got to love a heart-shaped cheese!
Thanks for joining me again this week. I’m linking with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins who first created the Sunday Sevens weekly blog series.
I am almost at the end of this year’s summer craft challenge and I can’t believe how quickly it has flown by. We have been so lucky to be able to travel so much and visit such beautiful places this year. Among our destinations have been English & Welsh countryside, the sunny Algarve, Rome, and southern France.
Last year, in order to save my sanity during the long 8 week school holidays I set myself a craft challenge to do something crafty (even just for 5 minutes). I had such fun doing it and recording it last year that I’ve done it again this year. Here’s this summer’s latest installment:
Day 50 : Saturday 19th August
Day 51 : Sunday 20th August
Exactly one week on from posting an almost identical photograph taken in the shade under some trees in a park in Rome, I was doing the same thing in one of Toulouse’s beautiful parks. My word, the French authorities know how to maintain a public park – they are so beautiful.
Day 52 : Monday 21st August
Europa had a trip on a Toulouse tram today to the Airbus museum Aeroscopia. It was loads of fun, we got to go on Concorde and a Super Guppy! (For the uninitiated, Super Guppies were used to transport parts of Airbus airplanes to the assembly point in Toulouse).
Day 53 : Tuesday 22nd August
“Oh dear, Mummy’s got her Unicorn out again!” was the cry that went up at the Cité de L’Espace on Tuesday. Not only has Europa been on several flights this summer, she has now also been on a MIR space station. Not many unicorns can say that can they?
We enjoyed a leisurely evening on the bank of the Garonne on the Toulouse Plage (Toulouse beach). It’s a wonderful area with games, yoga, dancing, Paddle tennis, table tennis and all sorts going on. They also serve rather nice beer in plastic cups, which goes excellently with crochet as the water skiers and kayakers go past!
Day 54 : Wednesday 23rd August
Wednesday was a washout as far as craftiness is concerned – a morning tour around the Airbus factory to see where the giant A380 double decker planes are made (for the benefit of a Little Postcard with a fascination for all things transport) and then the highlight of my trip, a drive to the medieval Cité of Carcassonne.
Day 55 : Thursday 24th August
Oh and I found time today for a bit of this…
Day 56 : Friday 25th August
Time for a spot of crochet in our holiday home before heading off up to the Cité of Carcassonne for our guided tour.
And a quick row under the gargoyles outside the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire within the city walls. The building in the background is the 5 star Hotel de la Cité, former guests have included the Queen Mother, Michael Jackson and Johnny Depp. We have been so lucky to be able to spend a few days in this very beautiful part of the world.
This is probably going to be my most cosmopolitan Sunday Sevens ever… featuring photos taken in Italy, Spain, Gibraltar and France! Are you ready to join me for a Sunday Sevens European tour?
Last Sunday, after two days of tours around some of the amazing sights of Rome, we had a quiet day to potter about the city. There were a few more places we really wanted to visit before leaving and the Pantheon was top of the list.
It is such a beautiful building, and just mind blowing to think that the ceiling, the largest unsupported dome in the world, was made using cement by the Ancient Romans!! It’s now used as a church, so we waited until noon before being allowed in so that Sunday morning Mass could be celebrated before the crowds of tourists invaded.
Monday meant waving goodbye to Rome and catching a flight back to Malaga, then driving home to Gibraltar. It was so warm and sunny as we left Italy, but Gibraltar had Levante winds and the heavy cloud that brings.
You may be fooled for thinking it was cool when we got home but it wasn’t- it was sweltering and incredibly humid.
Another common weather phenomenon at this time of the year is sea mist. We had a couple of days this week when we could hear the boats in the Bay singing to each other with their fog horns.
A walk into town and through the lovely Commonwealth Park took me by surprise when I spied leaves on the ground. It is one of the few places in Gibraltar with trees which actually lose their leaves. It looked like autumn is on it’s way even if the weather didn’t feel like it!!
I am slightly ashamed to admit that we managed to get to mid August without a proper trip to the beach in Gibraltar this year. We have had walks along the sand but this was our first trip with deck chairs, buckets and spades and swims in the sea. Sandy Bay is such a lovely beach to spend time with children, calm and not too deep, and of course it’s great for sandcastles.
We only stayed a couple of hours though as I needed to head home to pack…. again!
We have been so lucky this summer to be able to do a lot of traveling, normally we have a couple of weeks in England visiting family, but this year we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a mini European tour (while we are still allowed in before Brexit). Yesterday we headed back to Malaga airport and caught a flight up north to southern France.
Toulouse is such a beautiful city and our first visit to this part of France. We had a walk around some of the city centre and the architecture is so beautiful. I can’t wait to go back out again later on today with my camera to get snapping! This shot is the view from where we are staying. Isn’t it amazing?!
In the meantime, here’s a quick picture of a pretty fountain close to where we ate last night. It is dedicated to the victims of a flood many years ago.
Thanks so much for joining me this week for Sunday Sevens! I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins who created the Sunday Sevens series of blog posts.
Throughout this summer I have set myself a craft challenge to help keep myself sane during the long school summer holidays we have in Gibraltar. Normally we have a couple of weeks visiting family in England and the rest of the 8-week-long vacation is spent trying to get myself and the 3 Little Postcards through to September alive and fairly well entertained. In previous years my sanity has been in tatters once the schools went back.
This year though, we have been incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to travel a fair bit, to England, Wales, Spain, Portugal and, most recently Italy. Here’s what I got up to this week…
Day 43 : Saturday 12th August
So this crafty week began for us in Rome. Saturday saw us take a wonderful guided tour of the Colliseum and Pallatine Hill – what an amazing place… Europa came along for the ride too.
Back at our holiday apartment, things were moving very slowly. My tired brain couldn’t cope too well with this relatively simple pattern after a day absorbing fascinating facts about Ancient Rome. By the way, please don’t expect me to be able to remember all these facts at a later date – these days information seems to go in and get lost!!
Day 44 : Sunday 13th August
I took a different approach today – I brought my hook, yarn and pattern out with me. As we were having a less busy day just wandering around seeing sights we wanted to visit, we had a bit more flexibility to sit down and enjoy the lovely surroundings a bit more.
After breakfast and a trip up the Spanish Steps, we visited the beautiful Villa Borghese park. Wide avenues of shade giving trees were just the place to sit and enjoy some cooler conditions and get to grips with this pattern once and for all.
I was finally bitten by this pattern and eager to carry on once we were back at our holiday apartment. A bit of time for an aperitif (beer) and crochet meant progress was finally made!
Day 45 : Monday 14th August
Back home before sunset and my shawl is finally growing thanks to a couple of hours last night and a few a more rows on the flight back to Malaga.
Day 46 : Tuesday 15th August
Returning home meant being reunited with this beauty! I did miss working on my Jenny’s Mandala by Little Box of Crochet while I was away. I have to admit that this row was the first I struggled with – turned out I’d misread the pattern and I was doing double trebles instead of triple trebles. So glad I got to the bottom of it before I gave up in despair!
Day 47 : Wednesday 16th August
It’s taking a bit of brain power to do this mandala (i.e. I need to concentrate!!) but it is still so addictive!
Day 48 : Thursday 17th August
Please excuse the lighting on this photo, I didn’t get the chance to crochet in daylight. I did eventually get the chance to add a couple of rows to this lovey mandala though – so it was worth the wait!
Day 49 : Friday 18th August
We spent a few hours at the beach today and I took this almost completed project (started in England) with me.
I have had enquiries as to the whereabouts of Europa the Unicorn, who hasn’t been seen on Instagram since Rome. She did indeed make the trip back to the Rock and didn’t elope in Rome. She even had a trip to the beach today…
This week’s challenge is ‘thrift’ and I have to admit finding it difficult to capture it in a photo. I could argue I’m thrifty hanging onto old clothes and bits and bobs which might come in useful for future craft projects – others (i.e. Mr Postcard and my parents) would argue that it’s because I’m a hoarder…
So here’s a photo of one of Gibraltar’s charity or ‘thrift’ shops, that way I don’t need to shame myself with my crafty stash of ‘junk’.