Amazing lights, beautiful city

Edinburgh was so beautiful, as expected. We have both been before, but to be there at Christmas was just magical. We stayed in a very central location, just near the castle so it was within walking distance of everything. The apartment was beautiful, here it is on Air bnb , if you are ever interested in visiting Edinburgh. Last two pictures are from the listing.

We spent most of the first day we were there just wandering around admiring the buildings and looking in some nice shops.

We were stunned by the amount of beautiful Christmas lights on all the shops and hotels. There were some absolutely gorgeous displays, including some very innovative light displays on the buildings.

We had tickets for the Botanical Gardens light event on Boxing Day which was also wonderful, a trail through with all different lights shows and music, the photos so not do it justice really as most of the light installations changed colour as well.

One of the best things was the number of gorgeous places to eat, so many stunning architectural gems as well as the food and drink being great. We had delicious gluten free pancakes in the old Assembly Rooms, a company called Stack and Sill, and Bailey’s hot chocolate in a lovely café called Tiles which was the previously the reception area for the Prudential insurance company.

We also visited the gorgeous Café Adaluz for a tapas lunch and had an evening meal in a restaurant, Angel’s Share, that I did chose for its amazing tin tile ceiling and chandeliers. Luckily the food and cocktails were nice as well!

We had a ride on the big wheel and a lovely couple of tours on the big red tour bus which is always a great way to get around a city and find out lots about it.

Another highlight was a visit to a cat café, Maison de Moggy. We had been planning to visit one of these in Japan, so spent a lovely hour having some very delicious Turkish Delight hot chocolate and cake. The visit was a chance to pet the ten cats they have there, including a beautiful Maine Coon, Pauline, that had the most amazing lion like face. This photo at the bottom of her is from the web site as I couldn’t get a good picture while we were there.

I am enjoying my time at my sister’s, I have bought a new sewing machine, with 99 stitches so am looking forward to using that and am knitting my first Little Cotton Rabbits fox.

I am enjoying cuddling up with her lovely cat as well, Scully, she is my sofa companion when I do my studying for my writing courses.

Jacky and I have also been to the gym a few times and I have done my first aquarobics session which was fun. We are having a quiet weekend at home as the weather is a bit rough. My sister is a primary school teacher and has had a busy first week back at work so it is nice to have some quiet time.

I hope that you have all had a nice week, and have a good week ahead. I will be back with the first of my museum series of posts, as I have lots to share with you from all the lovely costume and textiles things I have seen since August. Until then have fun, take care, stay safe, and thanks for visiting.

Bright lights, big city!

Happy New Year to you all, let’s hope 2022 is a year when we can do the simple things like meeting up with family and friends more often without worrying, and plan things without the risk of them being cancelled.

I have been lucky enough to meet up with lots of people over Christmas, seeing all of my ex work colleagues and friends in Marsden before a lovely time in Edinburgh over Christmas with Ellen. I am now staying with my sister in Worcester for a few months and start driving lessons again in a couple of days so wish me luck!

I will post later about Edinburgh but wanted to show you the lovely things in Manchester first. This was a last minute decision as I was going to stay with my brother, but due to the fact that he had to isolate when coming back from Spain decided to go there for a little tour of some of the places I had never visited.

I stayed at the Salford Quays development in a very cute little room in an Ibis Budget hotel. This was only a short tram ride from central Manchester and I got to admire all of the amazing tower blocks on the way in to the city.

The area was created out of the old dockland area from the era when ships used to sail as far as America via the Manchester Shipping Canal, as Manchester is a long way from the sea. It was one of the first urban regenerations in the early 1980s.

Within the modern shopping malls there were some lovely photos of the old docks and the workers are commemorated along the walkways with art and poetry. I spent a lovely couple of hours wandering around the new areas admiring the Christmas lights and the sheer scale of the buildings there.

My first visit was to the Manchester Art Gallery. Their fashion collection is still being developed but they had some beautiful art depicting costume, which I always love looking at.

There were also some very interesting other exhibitions looking at the role of ‘unskilled workers’, particularly during the pandemic.

That afternoon was a visit to the Manchester Jewish Museum, which is housed in the old Spanish/Portuguese Synagogue which was so beautiful. I have never visited a synagogue before so it was very interesting and very well interpreted with oral history recordings from the people that used to worship there.

There was also a separate museum with the history of the many people who had come to Manchester to settle, which was again full of the personal stories and belongings. I love museums like this that tell the history of ordinary people, it is so important that their stories are not lost.

I was also lucky enough to come across The Portico Library, a beautiful little subscription library that was founded in 1806 and had a quick look around. They had a lovely exhibition on ‘polite literature’ and they also have some resources on fiction writing that I am going to follow up on You Tube.

The final visit was to The People’s History Museum, which is a museum about the history of democracy and has many really interesting sections on the struggle for votes and worker’s rights. Some of these I remember well as they happened during my teens and early twenties. They also had a really interesting collection of banners, from the simple home-made ones of the 1970s and 80s to the very elaborate ones of the Victorian and Arts and craft era.

It was a lovely couple of days and it was nice to visit some of the smaller, less well-known museums in the city. After a busy few weeks I am looking forward to a nice quiet time here. I have bought a new sewing machine with lots of decorative stitches and am looking forward to trying that out this coming week so you never know there may be more evidence of crafting on the blog very soon!

I hope that you all have a nice week ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Caceres, the cathedral and church

Unusually for us on a trip to any European city we only visited one church and the cathedral. There were so many other things to see in our three days there so I can share only a little bit of Catholic bling and goldwork with you 😉

The cathedral was in the main square where the market was and was beautiful inside, the light on the stonework was amazing. In contrast to most Spanish churches the main altarpiece was not gold, but a stunning wooden one with a painted ceiling above it.

There was a side chapel with a gold altar and some gorgeous icons, including one with lights which is something I have not seen before.

The museum had some excellent examples of gold work on the priests’ robes and icons. There were also some unusual painted robes, which were done on white satin, and the under robes had beautiful lace edging.

We climbed up a very narrow, twisting route to the bell tower where there were great views over the city. We did happen to be up there as the bells struck, but luckily it was only 1pm, it was very noisy but I love seeing bells in towers like this.

The other church we visited had an extensive collection of belen, nativities, from around the world and was in the process of building their belen, in the middle of the church. Although this was just a small church there were again some beautiful examples of lace and painted ceilings.

I will post about the museums and all the fabulous costume at a later date. I am going to be doing some volunteering this coming week at the food bank with Ellen and then hopefully on Thursday going to visit various friends in Yorkshire. It will be lovely to be travelling again, I have had a whole week in the house as I have been isolating until my Covid test result came through, which is very unusual for me nowadays. I am really looking forward to getting out and about again, though I have enjoyed doing lots of cross stitch for my ornaments this year.

I hope that you have all had a good week, and are looking forward to the festive season if you are celebrating. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Caceres – a step back in time

I organised the trip to Caceres myself, rather than it being a coach trip, which meant a journey across Spain via Madrid on two of their marvellous and very comfortable trains. I love Spanish trains as they look often like birds which I think is deliberate given the name of the train company.

I found our apartment on Booking.com and it is called Apartmentos Turisticos Caceres if you ever fancy a visit there yourselves.

I have visited many old cities but none with the very unique character that Caceres has. As it was built as a walled city it has not been altered within the walls and so you get a very unique sense of what life would have been like. The centre of the city is crammed with churches, palaces and other historic buildings. There are 98 listed on the tourist map, though not all of them are open to visit, some being used as offices for the city. There are 1300 pieces of heraldry on these buildings, like the one below, which is partly why it is a World Heritage site.

We were staying inside this walled city so every step outside our apartment was like being back in the 1500s when the city was being built. The apartment was not decorated in a medieval style, which I would have loved, but was very impressive anyway, with huge thick walls and views across the city. These photos show the view from the apartment and the narrow streets that surround it.

It is also the perfect setting for a medieval market and I will post some pictures of that next time. We love these markets, and have been to many in Spain and this one was huge with lots of stalls and entertainment.

As well as wandering the streets, just soaking in the atmosphere, we also visited some of the palaces which have been turned into museums. I have some gorgeous textiles to show you as well in a later post, from the cathedral and the city museum which had a brilliant section devoted to traditional dress.

One of the palaces had a beautiful garden to visit, with this amazing old tree. I think it might be a fig tree.

We also spent time in the main city square, the Plaza Mayor, which is just outside the walled city. You go through an archway from the walled city and down the steps, past one of the many defensive towers which you can visit to walk round part of the walls.

As with many Spanish cities, the plaza was so lively with bars and restaurants, as well as entertainers who were with the market. We found a lovely tapas bar just off the square, which we visited twice to sample everything on their menu as it was so good.

It was all so beautiful and more than lived up to my expectations for the trip. You know how much I love medieval art and architecture. Although much of the ironwork was quite utilitarian, being defensive, I did find this beautiful door at the first tapas place we ate at, in the palace round the corner from our apartment.

I am now back in the UK, slightly earlier than expected due to a change in travel regulations, so am making the most of my time here at Ellen’s stitching the last of my Christmas ornaments and having a quiet week. Fingers crossed, (if the Day 2 PCR test comes back negative!), I will be off back to Huddersfield at the end of next week for a catch up with friends.

Meanwhile I will be making the most of time here, Ellen is going to try and teach me to crochet a snowflake, which is something I have wanted to do for ages, so watch this space! I will also be back with more of wonderful Caceres soon.

I hope that you all have a good week and weekend ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Adventures on Welsh Railways – Part 2

We had an amazing time at Caceres, it exceeded all expectations and I have a couple of hundred pictures to sort through but for today I am going to finish my UK tour posts, otherwise I will get very confused! My final stop on the tour was the lovely campsite Ynys Faig which I chose both for its location and the fact that it is right next to the railway station.

The journey there was beautiful, as I mentioned in my last post, and although the forecast for the afternoon was bad, the gods of camping were with me and I managed to pitch just before it started raining. I was really lucky with all my camping trips, I managed to pitch and strike in good weather and only got rained on a few times. This five days in Wales was the wettest part of the tour but that is only to be expected. There is a reason it is so lovely and green!

Fairbourne is at the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, with fantastic views behind into the mountains and across to the Llyn Penisula. It is a little village with a couple of shops, including a village store that sells absolutely everything, and great transport links, being on the mainline between North Wales and Birmingham. I also chose the site as the village has a miniature railway, which was used originally for mining in the area but which is now a tourist attraction.

I was in train heaven on the trip as not only was there the Cambrian Coast Railway and the miniature train, which I already knew about, but I also spotted another heritage railway on my way there, at the nearby town of Tywyn. The Talylynn Railway is the world’s first preserved historic railway and was developed for the slate industry. It is a gorgeous trip on the narrow gauge track up into Snowdonia and there is plenty of opportunity to get off and walk to various viewpoints and waterfalls. It was such a fun day out, needless to say I loved it and the whole area.

I also went on the Cambrian Coast Railway to Porthmadog, I have many happy holidays there so didn’t spend much time in the town but just went for the amazing train ride, especially the part where it crosses the bridge over the Barmouth Estuary. The moody weather just added to the dramatic scenery.

Barmouth itself was another day out and I combined this with the miniature Fairbourne railway and a trip across the estuary on the outward journey on a little ferry. On the way back I had a quick boat tour of the estuary and that was lovely, especially seeing the bridge from the boat. This was the wettest day so after a good soaking in Barmouth I was very happy to find a lovely cafe with delicious soup and gluten free cake to dry off in.

My final day was a long walk around the estuary, following a little part of the Cambrian Way along the estuary. Again it was a fantastic walk and I would love to go back and do more of the walk the other way into Snowdon one day.

This is an area that Jacky and I would like to go back to so we have added it to our list. I would definitely go back to Ynys Faig campsite again as it was a lovely friendly little site and the best bit was that I was able to hire a firepit! Due to the rain I only used it for 2 nights but it was brilliant to sit and read while watching the flames.

I have preliminary plans for next year’s tour, I will hopefully return to Wales and am also thinking about more of the South West and North Yorkshire. We have lots of lovely events and festivals already planned so fingers crossed they will all go ahead and I can fit my tour stages in between them. We are also working on our travel plans for Spain for when I return, we have just booked a trip to Galicia in May with a coach tour and are working on a trip to Granada as a postponed 80th birthday trip for Mum.

I really am living the dream here, still can’t believe this is my life. I am sitting here looking out of the window at the most glorious sunshine and am off on a bike ride later this afternoon.

This time last year I had just finished my 9th Saturday of term 1 teaching and would have probably been sitting freezing given the horrible storms they have been having. My heart goes out to all of the people who have had damage, especially my lovely friends who were due to trade at the Ludlow Medieval Market which got cancelled due to storm damage on Friday.

I hope that you are all ok and have had a good week. I have an exciting week ahead, our sewing group has been holding a two day workshop to make an etui, (needlework box), which has been great fun so far. This is a rather messy work in progress shot, the process involves a lot of gluing fabric to card to make the box.

I am going to finish that this coming Weds, and then I am off to see the Christmas lights in Alicante next weekend. I am putting my tiny tree up this week, I did manage to bring a few ornaments over from the UK so am looking forward to having those up for a couple of weeks.

I will be back later in the week with some of the Caceres pictures, until the enjoy your week ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Adventures on Welsh railways – part 1!

When I was planning my UK tour I spent so many hours trying to work out the best route to take. I wanted to also include some heritage railways as well as some of the scenic routes that I have watched on TV. I love trains and so was very excited to be able to go on some amazing journeys on this trip.

Part of the reason why I chose to visit Tenby is that the trainline goes all the way along the coast. I did not have time to visit all of the places on the route, but did have a trip to Pembroke Castle, the place where Henry Tudor was born. I have visited many castles but few in South Wales and this was a wonderful one, it is so magnificent and really dominates the small town.

The interpretation in the castle was very good, and covered the history of the town as well as the Tudor connections. It has been restored to some extent, and there was a beautiful little herb garden that had been created to show what the original would have been like.

One of the very interesting exhibits was a piece of crewel work telling the story of one of the most famous of medieval knights, William Marshal, who was the first Earl of Pembroke. This was done in crewel work, in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry by Pamela Earl and six other embroiders from Sussex, and the piece took 4 years to stitch.

As well as the castle there are beautiful ponds around the side and beyond which were gorgeous so I spent some time talking to the swans and geese there before the return journey.

I left Tenby a couple of days later and took the train back to Carmarthen, passing the castle there. I then had a fabulous bus journey through the Welsh countryside to Aberystwyth. The Welsh railway network is a little limited in the west of the country but being on the bus was a great way to see some more of the countryside, and we passed through many very cute villages before going along the coast.

It was very hot in Aberystwyth, an unusual for the UK 29 degrees the first day. I had booked accommodation (with an all important laundrette!) for a couple of days, so I had a quiet first day on the beautiful beach reading a brilliant book, The Book of Lost Names. I have done so much reading since I finished work, which I love doing, and the day on the beach was a wonderful relaxing time.

The following day there was a little railway adventure on the cliff railway, which meant that I could have a walk along the Ceredigion Coastal path with stunning views over the Ceredigion Bay and over to the Llyn Peninsula, which is the part of Wales that sticks out into the sea just below Anglesey.

I then loaded up the bags again for a wonderful train ride from Aberystwyth to Fairbourne, along the Cambrian Coast Railway. The views around the Dovey Estuary were amazing and I passed another couple of castles as well on the route.

I will tell you about the last part of the tour a little later on as I had five more brilliant days at a campsite on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. I have already started planning my trip for next summer, fingers crossed I may have a camper van by then, as I am going to try and pass my driving test when I am back in the UK for 3 months from Jan. However I had so much fun with my little tent and mini camping kit this year, and it all worked so well, I will be just as happy to do another train and bus adventure. Everything I needed for 5 weeks away fitted into the two bags in the picture below, plus a small rucksack with my books, knitting and IT supplies, so it was a great test of what I could do by train.

We are off on a Spanish train adventure this week, we are going to the medieval walled town of Caceres, in Northern Spain, another trip inspired by travel vloggers, this time Spain Revealed. I am very excited to be doing this, we are going to stay in an apartment within the old part of the city so I will have a wonderful time looking at old buildings, cathedrals and museums! So many lovely things happening, and I am so lucky to be able to be doing all this, it really is a dream come true.

I have also been doing a little crafting, Ellen taught me to crochet while she was here and I have nearly finished my first project. I am also getting sorted with Christmas ornaments, not helped by the fact that I gave away all my Christmas fabric and most of the charms and beads. For some reason I didn’t think that I would be making ornaments here! I have managed to find some things here in the local shops and a very kind new friend from my sewing group took me to a craft market this week where I bought a bit of material. I will stock up on things when I am in the UK as I have the potential to get more storage here. It will never quite be the old craft room proportions but there will be room for a little more stash 😉

I hope that you are all well and happy too, and have a good week ahead. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

November sun

I am still getting used to the fact that it is so bright and sunny here, even with the clocks going back we still have daylight until about 6.30pm and the temperatures have been back in the high 20s this week. Ellen has been here and we have had a lovely week, we have been for a walk around the salt lakes to see the birds, including lots of flamingos, had a swim in the sea, been on a couple of coach trips and to the spa.

The sunshine makes me feel so good, although I don’t like it really hot as I burn easily, waking up to blue skies is wonderful. We have had a couple of very impressive thunderstorms with really good lightening, so it does rain sometimes here, but mostly at night.

It was a beautiful day for both our coach trips. We went to the medieval market in a little town in the mountains and to the old town in Altea, which is a beautiful little coastal town with a famous church. The sky was so blue all day and we had wonderful views across to the rock at Calpe.

We went to the church after a delicious tapas lunch at this restaurant in one of the old town houses. We just came across it on our walk up to the church, and it had the most beautiful decor and really delicious food, these are one of our favourite tapas dishes, croquetas.

The church is stunning, both outside and in, the tiles on the roof are very traditional on churches in this area and there were a beautiful selection of statues in the alcoves.

We loved wandering around the streets up to and beyond the church and there were some beautiful little houses . The views of the mountains and the sea were brilliant.

There are some really lovely shops with quirky displays, the umbrellas on this one are gorgeous!

As always there were some stunning doors, I think that this first picture is my all time favourite door, so far.

Ellen left today so I have been busy with some gardening, all of the cacti at the front of my house have been removed and instead I now have beautiful pots with geraniums in. I need to get on with some more decorating as I only have five weeks now before I return to the UK.

I plan to go on a longer bike ride tomorrow as it is going to be about 19 degrees so am looking forward to that. I have also almost finished putting together my latest knitted elephant. Ellen has attempted to teach me to crochet as well, while she has been here so I am going to fit in a bit of practise with that each day as well.

I hope that you have had a good week and are having a nice relaxing weekend. I will be back later in the week with some more of my UK tour pictures. Have fun whatever you are doing, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Life in rural Spain, swimming with fishes and a community pig!

On the Sunday we were with Ben and Amanda, they took us to the nearby village of Orce, about 15 minutes from Galera. They often go to the market there, as it is a source of the material for their cave house curtains and furnishings, as well as being a beautiful little place to wander round and have coffee.

On the way we stopped off at the local open-air pool, fed by the mountain springs. I was all for a little dip at some point in the future until I realised it was full of fish!

There are over a hundred bream of all sizes in the pool and you just swim amongst them. I am not a very confident swimmer, although I love it, and would not cope with having fish anywhere near me, but it is a lovely place in the summer with picnic areas and a playground.

The village of Orce has so many beautiful houses of all ages so there were lots of balconies and doors to look at, as well as the beautiful square with its ornate lamps.

There is also a large castle with seven towers, again part of the defences from when Moors controlled this part of Spain.

I really loved this window display, the profusion of pots and the beautiful flowers was stunning. I am planning to get some more plant holders for my terrace, not on the windows, but will do something similar there with pots that are all the same colour as I think that looks really good.

The church was stunning, with a lovely bell tower, with very loud bells. We were there during one of the services so just had a quick peek inside, another magnificent altar as always.

Outside the church we came across a little pig, with a ribbon and bell round its neck. It was licking the door of an old microwave that someone had left near the bins. A passing resident told us that this is the community pig, it wanders around the village and everyone leaves food out for it and they later share in the meat from the pig. It was a very cute little thing so I hope it has a happy life.

The centre of the village had a palace which is also a museum. It was closed, but we did get a peek inside and of course there were some stunning doors! The narrow streets and decoration on the houses was lovely, again so different to here where everything is so much newer.

We ended the morning with a drink in a cave house restaurant which was really lovely, and we had some excellent paella as a tapas there. That, and the very large quantities of lunch, a three course menu del dia with wine and coffee for 16 euros, meant that a little siesta was needed before joining Ben and Amanda in the village for our final evening.

A brilliant trip and I can’t wait to go back. I have had a very busy weekend, more house sorting and some entertaining, and a very good night out at a local tapas bar. My cousin arrives with her daughter for a few days this weekend so we will spend time with them and probably visit the market on Saturday.

I have joined a Spanish conversation group that meet on Fridays, so enjoyed that last week, and have found a knitting group, which I am going to go to tomorrow. It is lovely to be making new friends here and I am making the most of my 90 days before I will have to leave!

I have done a little bit of knitting, dungarees for the elephant I have been working on, but not much else. I have made some more masks, we are still wearing them here inside, and when you go into restaurant seating areas, even if they are outside, so needed a few more colours and some slightly lighter weight ones. There is no need to use them to keep your face warm as I was doing this time last year in the UK 😉

I hope that you all had a good weekend. I will be back next week with some more pictures from the UK tour, I think I just have the final part of my time in Wales, and all the museum things to show you. Until the have a good week, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

A walk around Galera

Although we were only there for two full days Ben and Amanda took us around Galera, so that we could see the views, and more of the gorgeous cave houses. It is a stunning village, and I can see why they fell in love with it. It is surrounded by hills, where the cave houses are, with some really steep roads up to them. Amanda is an excellent driver but her nervous passengers had to close their eyes at some points.

We first of all went up to the hills behind their house, they are building a mirador, or viewpoint, that will extend out from this hill so they have created a footpath to it.

Their house is in this valley so you can’t see it from here. It was amazing looking down at all of the other cave houses here, there are beautiful roofs on many of them.

The other walk was down from the hills opposite the hotel. I had been looking up at these views every morning from my hotel room and it was fascinating to go and see these houses closer up. We went up to the hermitage that you can see on top of the hill in the left of this picture.

This is the oldest part of Galera and there is a historic trail with information boards about the citadel that was here, and the history of the village during the re-conquest, when this area was taken back from the Moors.

Some of these houses in the street in the photo above are rented out so Ellen and I are hoping to go and stay in one next autumn as she would love to visit the area. I would love to see inside this one, it looks so cute!

The village is very tightly packed in the centre, which makes for an amazing view over the roofs. Like many Spanish villages there are beautiful town houses with ornate doors and balconies.

The architecture is quite different to that here in La Marina in many ways, for a start the place is much older so the roofs have a very weathered look, this area was only built about 35 years ago. Also there are very different types of trees, very few palms and a lot of cypresses and mountain ash trees which give it a very Tuscan feel.

It was also fascinating to see all of the peppers hanging from people’s balconies to dry, most of the houses have them and they look beautiful.

It is still very warm here, but has cooled down a little to the low 20s so I am enjoying riding my bike in the evenings. I am still busy sorting things at the house, a trip to the garden centre is planned for next week so that I can fill all of my beautiful pots and I am hopefully going to buy a new sewing machine as well so that will be very exciting! I can’t wait to make some more Luna rabbits.

I hope that you have a nice weekend ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Glorious goldwork of Guadix

It never ceases to amaze me what you find in the very small village and town churches in Spain, the altars, the icons and the sheer scale of things just leave me in awe, but even I was not expecting to find such exquisite and detailed goldwork in the Guadix pueblo.

The cave house area, although now a very popular tourist destination and with houses selling for well above average prices for Spain, was originally the area where the very poorest lived. Those who could not afford building material literally dug their own houses out of the hills. There is a short article here on more of the history of the area if you would like to read more, we visited Jose’s cave while we were there and it is a fascinating look at how people live. He just asks for a donation for your visit and has a very welcome fridge full of cold drinks for sale and also sells local honey.

Around the area there were various references to a priest, San Pedro Poveda, and I looked him up. He worked in the area providing education and set up teacher training to combat illiteracy in the area. His organisation was named after St Teresa of Avila, who is related to the order that I portray as a re-enactment character. Sadly he was executed for his beliefs at the start of the civil war in Spain. It is lovely to see his name and work remembered here.

We visited the church before the cave houses, I really loved the simple iron cross outside and the shadows that it made against the while walls.

Inside it was amazing, many of the icons that are used in the religious festivals were on display, and as always the costumes were stunning.

Further into the church there is a cave area and a cave house linked to that. They also had a little display of belen, nativities, from around the world. I loved their belen which is all set around cave houses.

Just around the corner from the cave house, in a little hidden room we came across the most amazing piece of goldwork that I have ever seen, even accounting for the marvellous work in Lorca.

I think what made it most amazing was its location. Not only was it so unexpected, whereas Lorca has many organisations creating the beautiful costumes for their Easter parades, but I have no idea why such a piece had been created for this small church. It looked to be very recent, and too large to be worn, though there was what looked like a priest’s cope and mantle beside it in the case.

The amount of work that has gone into this piece is amazing, many of the motifs are lilies, the symbol of the Virgin Mary, and have silverwork and shading, as well as goldwork.

I could not find any further information on its origin, only a small sign that I couldn’t translate so have no idea if it was made locally. A truly stunning piece of work and a testament to the skills of the makers.

I was sorting out my patterns yesterday and I have about 5 other goldwork pieces that I am intending make during retirement. I have only done a few, some as gifts, but one has come with me to Spain, my Tudor Rose.

This was made many years ago, in 2009 according to the blog post, and was based on one in the Elizabeth Hoare collection at Liverpool Cathedral that I blogged about here. This took me about 50 hours so I have no idea how long the goldwork in the church would have taken.

I mean to make a companion piece based on a pomegranate, which was the symbol of Catherine of Aragon, as well as being the symbol of Granada. Happy times with lots of lovely craft things planned! Today is a public holiday here so I am having a quiet day in, going to do my usual Spanish language practice, some knitting and then a bike ride later.

I hope that you are enjoying whatever you are doing this week, I will be back later on with more pictures from the Galera trip. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.