Secrets

So, we wanted to share some of our favourite secret things we have learn on our travels.  In no particular order:

 

Amsterdam – Vondel Park

If you want something low key and easy on the wallet whilst you are in Amsterdam, we thoroughly recommend a Picnic in Vondel park.  Lots of the supermarkets sell little BBQs that are disposable, grab one and join the locals.  Really is wonderful.

 

Porto – BBs Bar 

For the best view and money saving beer.  Head under the bridge on the Porto side of the river and grab a cheep beer from BBs, then grab a bit of wall.  Perfect.  Simple as that.

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Ouse Valley Viaduct

A short train trip from London and a walk will bring you to this wonderful location.  This Viaduct was built in 1841 and it something to behold.

 

Esposende (Northern Portugal) – De Lili & Ca

For the best pastry you can imagine…only you can’t imagine a pastry with pumpkin that would taste like this.  Really Pasteis de Lili are something else!  Covered in icing sugar and crisp pastry, perfect with coffee.

 

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Made by Elves

Less of an adventure more of a challenge.  I’ve undertaken an upcycle/refurb/artistic re-do project on a traveling trunk.

I found this trunk online and have be reading lots of blogs (thank you guys!) and this is my first try.

First I washed the trunk down and made sure it was clean.  There was a little rust on the lid, so I sanded it back a bit.

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Next I chose my colours and started painting.  I chose chalk paint as it sticks to all sorts of materials including metal.

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Next…I realised I had an issue…bleed through.  After more research I realised I should have used a sealant before painting…still I know.  Although I have been assured this will not have caused any damage to the trunk.

So, I sealed the trunk using a spray varnish for metal.  After applying and drying two layers I re-painted.  Having used up some of the  colours I updated the choices and applied two coats.  Once dry, I applied two further coats of varnish and this is the final result.

 

If you are interested in the trunk, it is for sale. Please do get in touch and let me know.

 

Braveheart

just for fun!

 

William Wallace: “Royal Magistrate: The prisoner wishes to say a word. William Wallace: [shouts loud and long] Freedom!”
Magistrate: The prisoner wishes to say a word.
William Wallace: [shouts loud and long] Freedom!

Trim Castle

Its raining…its been raining…but it is Ireland so we get up and head off into the countryside.  We are heading to Trim Castle via some pretty places on the way.

We stop at Bective Abbey and watch birds dip in and out of its ruins.  It’s stark beauty is strange and desolate.

When we make it to Trim, we park up head for cover in the entrance of the castle.  It is 2 euros if you just want to wander in the grounds, or 5 euros if you want a guided tour of the keep as well.  Pay the 5 euros…it is so worth it.

The rain is really coming down, so I walk the perimeter of the grounds rather swiftly even so it is clear that the castle is very big and intact.  Our guide arrives and we head into the keep.  Our guide is wonderful, she invites us to use our imaginations to see how the castle would have been in the different periods of its existence.

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We work our way up spiral staircases and visit the chapel and walk among the history of the Castle.  Eventually we make our way to the very top and look our on the misty countryside and town of Trim.  I very very much recommend this stop on your tour of Ireland.

You might recognize the Castle from Braveheart! There are lots of photos at the entrance of the transformation for the movie.

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Also another fact…this is the largest Ango-Norman Castle in Ireland.

When we are done at the Castle we head into Drogheda.  Drogheda is one of the oldest towns in Ireland.  St. Peter’s Church is one of the famous sites of Drogheda,  the church is not very ornate inside, however it does have one unusual thing…a severed head.  Yes, a severed and preserved head.  St Oliver’s head to be exact.  The shrine is quite beautiful and the hand written confirmation of the authenticity of the head is very intriguing.

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If you are hungry in Drogheda I definitely recommend The Bare Food Company.  We had scones and coffee and they were so good!

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And that is about it for the Elf in Ireland.

Come away

“The host is rushing ‘twixt day and night,
And where is there hope or deed as fair?
Caoilte tossing his burning hair,
And Niamh calling Away, come away.”

– W. B. Yeats

Dublin we’re coming

So here is a bit of James Joyce in anticipation.

 

“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today.

I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.”

 

– James Joyce

 

Autumn

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”

John Donne