Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Up on Cloud Number nine!

Towards the Fort, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Last month, we had a glorious time in London. We just love that city! However wonderful big city vacation is, we still love to explore Eastern Europe as it’s not too long to travel and actually still a little wild and unexplored than most of the European destinations. This time we went to explore a beautiful city up in the mountains, the former capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, just 2 hours south of Romania. What we saw was truly awesome… A city built in/onto the side of a mountain! Ten floors down would bring you close to the beautiful, cool river bed and ten floors up as high as the birds fly… literally…!!! When we were on the highest levels of the city, we could almost take a bite of the clouds and we had to be careful not to bump into the birds flying around us!!

View from our 4 star Hotel!
We had booked the best hotel in town, a four star that looked great when you saw the pictures on their website. Nothing on the website said that the picture predated the communist time and probably had been a luxurious hotel when the cold war was a hot topic! The building sure was something!!! We got lost (thrice!!) trying to find our room and when we actually found the room , the key refused to work! Things changed a bit when we got into our room. :-)

Everything worked and the room had towels and all the usual, useful stuff. (It was a suite after all, but our expectations had been moderated along the journey from the front gate of the hotel to our room!) Opening the door and stepping out (a bit carefully though) onto the balcony, we were ambushed by a beautiful view! We were 7 floors up looking out to a gorgeous river almost like a small version of the Danube river (See picture. Yes, I do realize that the river has a lot of algae and foam but I did say our expectations had been moderated to something a bit more realistic!) Hmmm…Soaking it all in (including the various chemical fumes) we were inspired to guess why there was a statue of a huge giant pencil in front of a nearby churchlike building.

Views of the river and town of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

My DH is still leaning towards the interpretation that some famous local author was the cause for the construction of the pencil statue. And since I have just a bit of the architectural gene (mom, dad and big brother are all architects so its hard to escape…) I could hardly ignore noting that it was an obelisk! I couldn’t spoil my DH’s pride in having figured out what the symbol meant and when he started boosting about how men are more creative and how they are great at figuring stuff like this out, well… I sort of hoped that he would explain to some local who actually knew the real version of the story... That would teach him to waste breath on the whole “men are superior beings” speech! LOL
Anyways, off we went to a night viewing of the castle/ fort that used to protect the old Bulgarian capital. The fort walls were an impressive 4 square kilometers and on the top of a mountain surrounded by a moat… Impossible to conquer by foreign invaders. The sound and light show was supposed to be even a better event that night since they were performing the ballet, Bolero.

Eagerly anticipating the sound and light show at the Fort

Unfortunately, it rained a bit in the evening and on our way up towards the castle we saw more than 100 people going down the mountain, away from the performance place… Considering that these were paying visitors that was a pretty bad sight. Anyways, when we came up there we found many hundreds still waiting for the stage technicians and actors (who were trying to clean and wipe dry the open air stage!) In the end they actually did 10 minutes of 'Bolero' and the performance was stunning! I feel bad for the poor dancers who slipped a couple of times, but they caught themselves everytime…phew! At one time I was worried that the lead dancer had hurt her foot. She carried on for the ten minutes and we all really loved the performance.

At the fort- Night performance of the Ballet 'Bolero'

(Sorry about the poor photo quality, it was very dark and raining most of the time!)

After the performance we went for a lovely, romantic dinner in a restaurant on the mountain side overlooking the breathtaking castle and the river. Both me and my DH were both very inspired and refreshed for the week ahead. Anyways, we had a fabulous trip to the old Bulgarian capital and since we returned I’ve put my crafting cap on and this is the result:

This is a simple and quick card made by layering various patterened papers. I topped it off with some chipboard alphas that I sanded and painted with white acrylic. Then I painted them liberally with stickles glitter and stuck some red heart (hand cut) shapes while it was still wet. Topped off with a bow and a border of white seed beads! The sentiment inside says ‘…are Incredible !’

Made this necklace with some pearls and swarowski crystals. I liked the delicate look so much I made some matching earrings too! Hope you like it!

This LO, ‘Smile' is about Anders’ crazy obsession for a local café and the wonderful smile that lights up every time we visit Café Onda!

The poem says,"It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving. But like morning light, it scattered the night. And made the day worth living!" Personal journaling and the cafe menu is hidden behind the poem and the photo. The title, flowers, brackets, scallops are all handcut from card and felt.

I had a tough time finding appropriate papers for this LO. So, I made my own! The green one I made by stamping and dragging pearlescent green ink over white card. The blue mats were similarly made using blue staz on and white card. The background I made by cutting out different patterns/borders off PPs and sticking on black bazzill! Thanks for looking and Have a Great Week ahead!


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