Friday, 28 September 2012

Rhodes Town and the Butterfly Valley Revisited

Hello again, this is my 3rd and final post showing my photos from our recent wonderful holiday on sunny Rhodes. If you are looking for my card challenge it is at the bottom of this rather photo laden post!

We hired a car for 3 days in the middle of our holiday and drove up to Rhodes Town. This is the most amazing ancient city to visit. It is the largest inhabited medieval city in Europe and is a UNESCO World heritage site. The main shopping streets are pretty touristy but if you wander around the back streets it is like stepping back in time. We never take a map as it is pretty difficult to get lost and eventually we emerge at one of the gates to the city.

The houses have buttresses between them and like Lindos only motor bikes and feet can wander around  the side streets.

Lots of the doors had different knockers and I love this hand one..the finger even had a ring on it.

There was also welcome shade from the heat.

The quiet side streets were so different from the main thoroughfares which were bustling with tourists.

Rhodes has always been an important harbour since ancient time. The Colossus of Rhodes is thought to have stood across the entrance to it. There is no evidence of it now but we were amazed to see that the Queen Elizabeth had just docked and decided to walk down to have a peep at her.

She is absolutely gigantic and dwarfed all the other vessels moored in the harbour. Mind you we did spot some rather amazing vessels moored there.

How about this for a toy? It was under heavy security and we googled it's name, Carinthia VII. It turns out that this is the 12th largest such vessel in the world and is owned by the widow of a German entrepreneur.  It was just the height of luxury. There were also some smaller boats moored in the harbour

We also revisited our beloved Butterfly Valley at Petaloudes which again is a wonderful break from the heat. You almost forget that you are in Rhodes as there is running water and deciduous maple trees. The majority of trees found  in Rhodes are conifers.

As you wander deeper into the valley the butterflies (they are accurately a variety of the Jersey Tiger moth). They rest just everywhere. Every surface is covered with them.

Here is one in close up, there are just millions of them which come to mate in the valley between June and September every year.

One was even resting on the postcard stand at the entrance to the valley.
We walked the length of the valley up to the Monastery of Kalopetra which is another landmark to visit as again there are views of the whole valley.

It was also the perfect place to sit and drink some cool water.

It is so beautiful inside too.

So after a welcome rest it was time to head back down through the valley and then "home" to our apartment.

And that night we toasted our wonderful day with another meal under the stars watching the sun set.

I just have a feeling that we may well be heading straight back there next September ;0)

So my card challenge today is inspired by the dawn to dusk sunshine on Rhodes. I used really bright sunny colours and lots of different punches. She is for sale here in my Etsy shop

I have used a Saturated Canary stamp called "Thank You". I hand coloured her with my Promarkers and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils. The backing papers are from the Prima Jack and Jill collection. Both sentiments are from Lili of the Valley. You can see I had lots of fun with some new punches. I don't own a die's a thought I have to ask for one from Father Christmas ;0) You will see I rarely have circular images as I can't cut them. I have to buy all my die cuts on line.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
Card Crafter's Circle Vintage #42
Whimsy stamp challenge Anything Goes 2nd entry
Sassy Cheryl Photo inspiration #134
Bearly Mine add a sentiment #54
Simon Says Stamp anything goes
The Papershelter anything goes #83
The Squirrel and the Fox Celebrations #27

Another week has passed by and it seems like the torrential rain that hit the country is easing, thank goodness. We have escaped lightly here in the south east but the north has suffered severely. Many poor souls have lost their homes, the weather can be so cruel sometime. On a brighter note though the weekend ahead is looking sunny. This is great news for me as I am holding a little birthday party for my Dad who was 80 years young on Wednesday. I do love a party. I must dash then, food to sort out and time to get the house ready for the family. Enjoy your weekend too everyone and I hope you get a peep of the sun too.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Lindos Taxi

When we visit Rhodes we stay in Pefkos, a short drive from the the jewel in Rhodes' crown, Lindos. Lindos is a very ancient site which has had human settlements since the Neolithic Period (4 Millennium BC) According to Homer it even took part in the Trojan war. It was very important in the ancient world as it also had 4 natural harbours. The famous Acropolis was built by the Romans as a temple to Athena in 300 BC and it stands at the top of the town. It is quite a spectacle.

It is a steep climb to the top and this can either be achieved by foot or by taking the Lindos Taxi, aka the famous Lindos donkeys. During the day they can be seen walking in pairs up to the summit. We have done the trip by donkey and on foot, both are very spectacular.
The views from the top are really worth the trek.

 The donkeys can be seen clip clopping through the cobbled streets of Lindos during the day.
Lindos is a great town to wander around, the buildings are so close together that there is some welcome shade created. The are so many bars, shops and tiny hotels all set within the narrow streets. Only motor bikes fit through these streets so it is a haven away from cars.

There are also beautiful hanging flowers everywhere which cascade downwards. It really is such a pretty town. We sometimes just drove into Lindos for a late afternoon coffee. We know of a bar with upstairs roof seating to watch the world go by.

As the afternoon drew to a close we would often follow the donkeys making their way "home" to their enclosure where they had fresh hay and shelter.

Here is one pair going home with their owner, they always seems to know the way without any real guidance. Those of my regular bloggers will know that I try to find a charm to add to my holiday charm bracelet which I made some years back. I thought of trying to find a lizard as we saw plenty of these whilst we were away but one evening it dawned on me......a donkey! I managed to find one in a Jewellers in Lindos and here he is ready to be added to my ever increasing number of holiday charms.

Cute isn't he.

Now this post also inspired me for my card challenge as all I kept humming as I wrote it was the Carol I used to sing at Primary School....Little Donkey...I don't know if any of you remember it but it was all about the donkey carrying Mary. It also reminds me of the donkey in the stable from childhood Christmas Nativity plays (mine and my now grown up children) and my little crib I display at home every year. So of course that turned my mind straight to Christmas and I decided to make a Christmas card featuring the nearest stamp to a Nativity scene that I own. No, I don't have a donkey stamp but I do own this gorgeous Lili of the Valley Christmas stamp called "Angels with crib".

I coloured the stamp using my Promarkers and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils. I added Dimensional Magic to the wings to make them stand out.
I added lots of "bling" to this card, die cuts, punched snowflakes, gold ribbon and gems. The round sentiment is LOTV, the little rectangular one is by Whimsy stamps.
I used lovely matt gold backing card and some sweet Papermania paper from last year.
I want to mention that The Ribbon Girl blog is giving away some gorgeous ribbons inspired by a wedding cake maker.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
Sparkles Christmas Challenge Sparkle and Bling #20
Penny Black & More Early Christmas makes
Penny Black Allsorts Inspired by a song and of course if your read this post it was inspired by the carol "Little Donkey" and yes I know there are no donkeys in it but that is just the way my mind works ;0)
2 Sisters things with wings #110
Winter Wonderland To the One I Love
Totally Papercrafts For a child #135
Charizma Cards Things with wings #37
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #91 Nativity
The Squirrel and the Fox Celebrate the Occasion #27
Joanna Sheen So sweet

I have one more holiday post from Rhodes to come next week with the last of my holiday photos. Do stop by and have a peep. Yesterday was the most glorious sunny day and I spent the day sorting out the garden. Of course I had a helper who was so delighted to be back in his garden ;0)

My darling Billy.

It has started to rain here now and it looks like we have some wet weather ahead of us for the next few days so it's a day indoors today. I must admit my garden actually needs a good water as I put some bulbs in yesterday.

Have a creative week everyone and as always thank you for stopping by and for leaving your kind comments, I love reading every single one of them.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A room with a view

Hello everyone, I am back from my sun filled holiday to Rhodes. Seven glorious days on our favourite Greek Island. This was our 4th visit in 5 years and we were delighted to find that we had our room upgraded to the front block, which has an unobstructed view of the beautiful blue Aegean Sea. When we arrived we drew back the curtains, opened our patio doors and stepped outside to this...
We had such a view of the bay.

Not a bad view to have whilst eating breakfast is it?

We also witnessed  the most glorious sunsets from our balcony...

and even a wedding.....

We would always walk down to the beach everyday even if we had been out exploring the island during the day. 
The fisherman still take their boats out every morning.

It was always so relaxing to walk along the beach with the sound of the waves lapping ashore gently. There is a beach restaurant next door to where we stay so when we had come back from a day exploring we could shower and stroll around to enjoy this.....
I never get bored of taking the shot above; this is the 2012 Jane's Journal version. Even looking at it now it just makes me smile and think of sunshine and relaxation and lots of good food and laughter....
and time to watch the sunset with my dear Hb

Bliss, just bliss.

I am back to work tomorrow and today I am having the mammoth "washing and getting sorted out day" post holiday. It's also wonderful to have darling Billy home again, he has loved popping out into the garden. He is so well taken of by my parents but I am sure he misses his garden. The sun is even shining today but I must admit the temperature is decided autumnal.

People talk of having post holiday blues but honestly what I do is just close my eyes and think back to those precious days. I would say I have a post holiday glow and I just think how very very lucky I am to have those views etched in my memory. 

I do plan a couple more holiday posts over the next week or so. If you enjoyed these photos do come back to read  more about our adventures. I would also like to thank everyone for the wonderful comments you left me on my last post. I really enjoyed my first guest design card I made and I was so pleased that all seemed to like it.

 Today's challenge card just has to be beach related so I am showing the last in the trio of Mermaid cards I made in the summer featuring the sweet "Goldie" stamp by the talented Sylvia Zet.

I coloured her with my Promarkers and highlighted her with my Prismacolor pencils. The nautical backing papers are from Nitwits. I added some glossy accents to the bubbles to make them look realistic and some glitter glue to the flowers in her hair. The sentiment is from Lili of the Valley as are the 2 fun tags. One of my bag charm mermaids found it's way on here too. 

She is for sale in my Etsy shop here

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
Joanna Sheen so sweet
A and T Emerald Faeries challenge #32 use a tag
Dream Valley #41 celebrations
Forever Friends colour challenge #45
Make it Monday weekly linky party #107
Paper Crafting Journey my sentiment exactly
Whimsy Stamps Challenge blog Anything Goes #51
And a brand new Challenge Blog, Heck of a Challenge Anything Goes
Natalie and Amy, another new challenge blog Anything goes

No we didn't manage to see a real mermaid whilst we were away. Now wouldn't that make a fab blog post - I can see the title now, Swimming with the Mermaids..LOL!!

Back soon ,

Bye for now,

Jane x