I am so happy to be back in Norway for the third time. Life is good! I’m fortunate to be working my passage by teaching crafts! How good is that?
Moored off Flam on a Lazy Sunday Morning
This particular cruise is just seven days long so we have just three planned projects. In some respects it’s harder than planning a longer cruise as there isn’t a lot of time to start a bigger project. I’m not complaining however.
Then there is always the gym!! I’m on a pre surgery fitness plan so am working hard. I need a new hip and don’t want it to affect my current wonderful life style!! “Sadly” there is also the food! And don’t forget Wine! But aren’t I a lucky girl?
Sail away Party with Cocktails
By the way I am enjoying the ship Boudicca one of the wonderful Fred Olsen fleet.
I will tell you more about our crafts in a later blog so watch this space!
Where are you this fine day? I am overlooking Skiddaw in the beautiful Lake District.
The book is a highly recommended read by Gail Honeyman and most enjoyable in the Cumbrian sun shine. We are away to celebrate a Hubs BIG birthday ( but don’t tell him that I told you)
Skiddaw is a mountain in the Lake District National Park in England. Its 931-metre (3,054 ft) summit is the sixth-highest in England. It lies just north of the town of Keswick, Cumbria, and dominates the skyline in this part of the northern lakes. It is the simplest of the Lake District mountains of this height to ascend (as there is a well-trodden tourist track from a car park to the north-east of Keswick, near the summit of Latrigg) and, as such, many walking guides recommend it to the occasional walker wishing to climb a mountain. This is the first summit of the fell running challenge known as the Bob Graham Round when undertaken in a clockwise direction.
This birthday is being celebrated by just “being here” What more can you ask for? We are lucky to have amazingly good weather, nice accommodation and each other. Happy days.
Scrap booking is not a craft that I normally indulge in, but my recent Indian adventure inspired me to make a record of it. I had printed off a selection of my many photographs, bought some glue and off I went. I had purchased a beautiful note book whilst in India which is what I have used.
I collected waste silk from the dying process, ephemera from the hotels and Textile workshops and of course, photographs. All these have been added to the scrap book. I’m not quite finished because there has been much more work than I anticipated. Hubs is keen to reclaim the dining room table so complete I will. May be I could do another one on crafts??
There is a dining room table under here somewhere!
Whilst my trip to India was a wonderful adventure, I was extremely disappointed to find on arrival in Delhi that the block printing section had been removed from the itinerary ( as were most other people on the tour) The travel company “Colouriscious” had removed that leg of the holiday and no one realised until we arrived in Delhi. The remaining elements of the adventure however, were amazingly good.
We did see a small example of block printing when attending other workshops.
Used blocks covered in Indigo paint.
Cloth printed and partially embroidered. This fabric is destined to become a sari. When the embroidery is complete it will be washed in the river ( Which didn’t look too clean!) and dried in the sun. The washing removes the indigo print and leaves the white embroidery. It will become a beautiful, very white sari.
Bear with me! Only one more Textile Adventure blog to go!
Don’t you just love these Terracotta horses? We visited the Sanskrit Centre today. It is a museum and arts centre with three museums. The museums are dedicated to Terracotta (or pottery) Everyday art and Textiles. Sadly we could not take pictures of the inside and their beautiful textile display. Also they did not have post cards or photographs of the displays as it would not be in keeping with their philosophy of no commercialism.
There were artists in residence with accommodation available. We saw a potter making these clay horses and I met a photographer who was on a seven week sabbatical. A lovely place to retreat into crafts.
The exhibition of textiles was amazing and inspiring. Another Forget me not sort of a day.
This Textile Treasure Hunt here in Varanasi India just keeps on giving. Today we visited silk weaving. This is carried out in the homes of local people in rural areas. I
am in a permanent state of shock, both culturally and dietary. The people are lovely and regard us as odd because many rural communities have not seen “white”faces before, especially the children.
The silk weaving is the main occupation and carried out by the men. It is a patriarchal society.
The silk produced is beautiful, colourful and hand woven. It is mainly produced for Saris, scarves and for dressmaking.
This morning we visited a Hindu village where the looms are hand driven just as they have been for hundreds of years. During the afternoon we went to a Muslim area of Varanasi where the looms are motor driven . We had the inevitable shopping opportunity where a beautiful silk scarf found its way into my bag!
just an example of some of the intricate weaving.
No words can describe the ceremony that I was privileged to witness last night. It is a ceremony to pay respect to the holy Mother river The Ganges. There was multiple thousands of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Shiva and the river. Numbers were swelled last night as pilgrims had come from another ceremony about 100 kilometres away. Varanasi is a once in a lifetime holy place for Hindu people to visit. It felt like the whole nation came last night.
We traveled down to the river on a ramshackle cycle driven Tuc Tuc A hairy and thrilling ride through chaotic hooting traffic. I held on for my life and kept my eyes shut much of the time !We viewed the ceremony from a boat on the river along with hundreds of other boats juggling for positions
We did also witness cremation on the river banks Many Hindus come to Varanasi to die. This was a public celebration but nevertheless felt intrusive. We were very close and witnessed the whole cremation whilst on the river wrapped in clouds of smoke and Incense . This was a once in a lifetime experience for me and certainly one that will remain with me forever.
Tuc Tuc ride down to The Ganges
What an awesome,exciting, historic place! I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to visit this wonder of the World!
The cruise ship docked in Aqaba Jordan and I joined a day tour to the interesting Historic remains of Petra. The coach journey was in itself very interesting, made better by our brilliant guide. On the two hour journey we saw something of Jordan. A peaceful, hot, desert country. We drove along the main highway of Jordan which is a very busy and ancient trade route. Interestingly this original route was built with the profits from the transportation of Myrrh and Frankincense.
We saw Bedouin people living their centuries old life style in Bedouin tents and herding goats. We drove past Wadi Rum, an amazing rock formation in the desert where “Laurence of Arabia” was filmed. On the way back we saw a wonderful desert sunset.
Petra was a magic place completed around 100 BC. It is worthy of the title “seventh New wonder of the World”
The Treasury is the main archeological structure of the park and is displayed in all of its 3000 year old glory. If you look closely to either side of the facia you will see square holes carved into the stone. These holes were carved in order to support the wooden scaffolding to enable the original carving of the facia?
A great day out and a wonderful opportunity.
I haven’t yet mentioned the beautiful crafts that we worked on board the cruise ship so watch this space!