Monday 31 March 2014

My First Summer Visitor.

I had planned to go to Bempton this week for the cliff nesting birds but with the grey skies that were forecast for the week it has been called off.  Instead I decided to stay close to home and visited Cleethorpes Country Park, hoping to get shots of the water voles sitting on the water cress beds; it was not to be, however, although I did get pleasing pictures.  It was also good to have several good sightings of the kingfisher and to hear my first summer visitor, a chiffchaff.  Blackthorn was well in flower and several toads were busily mating.

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Saturday 29 March 2014

Signs of Spring at Walesby Woodlands.

Dog walking with Jet again this afternoon.  As it was such pleasant weather, we fancied going a little further from home so took our lunch and a flask and headed to Market Rasen to walk in Walesby Woodlands.  The gorse was coming into flower well now and the air was full of its heady coconut scent; wonderful!!  Bumble and honey bees were busy feeding off the rich nectar from the flowers.  Betterflies were plentiful and we spotted several brimstones, a comma and peacocks.  It was good to find coltsfoot and celandine in flower.

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Wednesday 26 March 2014

Seville, Day 7: The Bull Ring and the Museo des Belles Artes.

Again a lazy start after the late finish yesterday.  We wandered down to the bull ring for a tour with Beth.  It all looks very Spanish and I am sure a bullfight would be colourful and spectacular, but not for me I think.  In the afternoon Beth had to go to work so we made our final visit for the trip; to the Museo de Bellas Artes.  This is housed in the magnificent Convento de la Merced Calsada.  The exhibits are arranged chronologically from the medieval period to the 20th Century.  There are works by El Greco, Pacheco, Velazquez, Zurbaran and Murillo.  The building itself is magnificent and just as worth seeing as the art.  Well worth the visit though.  Our day and, sadly, our holiday, finished with a wonderful meal with Beth and Hannah - yes more tapas! - at the wonderful Chunga's (La Chunga), close to their flat.  The food was excellent, a quirky take on the usual tapas with sweets to die for.  Excellent service and value; as much as the 4 of us could eat for 40 euros.  No wonder the two of them are regulars.

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Tuesday 25 March 2014

Seville, Day 6: The Alcazar and Flamenco.

Up and away a bit earlier this morning and walked to the Alcazar expecting a queue but there wasn't one at all.  We had been looking forward to revisiting the Alcazar on two counts: one photographically as the last time I only had a very early digital camera and the images were poor and one on the weather front; on our previous visit it was pouring with rain and we didn't even get into the gardens.  It has to be said the Alcazar is fabulous with its wonderful tiles and amazing Moorish plaster/stucco work.  Courtyards and gardens are cool and restful and everywhere is the sound of running water, with the scent of orange blossom.

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For lunch we met Beth and Hannah at a well known restaurant, Coloniales, close to the cathedral for yet more tapas.  It was excellent though and I shall be a long while tiring of this delicious food.  Beth and Hannah had to go off to work so Heather and I spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun and then in the apartment until Beth was home from work.  She then took us back to the Barrio Santa Cruz to a local flamenco bar that she goes to with free entry.  This was quirky and good.  The tourist ones would perhaps be slicker and more colourful but 'for the tourists', this was authentic.