15 July 2009

Hello Everyone!

Well that was a little bit of a longer break from blog land than I had planned! So much to catch up on...

I am not sure what I have done with the layout of this post....so be patient there seems to be lots of big gaps which I have tried but failed to get rid of!

We have been on our summer holiday, spending one week in North Devon camping and a week on a cruise of the Norwegian Fjords. We did have a week at home in-between, not a good week, but it does not matter now....let's just say all is OK. Thank God,

So here she is, Nigella the sassy van. Our first evening in base camp.
The camp site was North Morte Farm in North Devon, a wonderful, clean, quiet site with everything that we needed and in a super location very close to the beach.

In the camper, my bed and time to show you the pretty heart that Lesley made and I won in her give-away. It looks perfect with the mix of brightly coloured materials I have used in the camper interior. Thank you Lesley, I love it!

We loved this site as it was very quiet and so well looked after.

The walk from the camp to the beach is lovely. I needed a good walk, I think I used muscles that have not been used in a while, which is a bonus and makes me feel a little less guilty about all the camp food that we were tucking away!
A wonderful rugged coastline.
The weather was ok, although on the day we arrived we did drive through flooded lanes but were licky enough to have a small window of sunshine so the tent was put up Very quickly! The sea was quite rough for this time of year.

But then we had a couple of gorgeous sunny days. Just look at this beach, what more could you ask for.

There were little coves where you take shelter from the wind.... yes this beach is for surfers! not me though, although I must admit I did look at the belly boards or whatever they are called and thought I would like to have a go, maybe next time!

This beach is just a short walk from the camp site and is called Rockham Beach.

Woolacoombe. A surfers paradise.

Lee Bay near Ilfracombe where I have spent so many wonderful summer with my parents. The little white cottage built into the rocks, has thick walls protect it form the sea which lashes against it during high and spring tides and has actually worn the stone away. Many years ago cream teas were served here. Now it is a holiday rental cottage. Mill Cottage.
Cut into the rock are paths and steps which take you to Sandy Cove. These steps were cut out by smugglers.... so I was told!

Following this path, you are taken to a cove which has a few caves to explore. I found most of my beautiful Sea Glass around these coves.

With high tide you are cut off from the main bay, wooden steps have been erected as a means of escape.

Looking back at this cove as we start to make our way towards the wooden steps which take you up onto the cliff and the path which brings you back to Lee Bay.

As we climbed the steps I snapped the wonderful view of the cove.

And at the top, over the style and we are almost back to the road.

I love this place.

So that was a very little snippet of our camping week.

So now a little of Norway.........


This is Us! a photo of our reflection in one of the ships windows and the name of the ship carved onto a wooden bench. The Oceana.

The scenery is simply stunning, it was so quiet, so still, everywhere!

Our ship slowly and so very quietly, sailed through the amazing Fjords.

We woke early every morning and pulled back the curtains to the most amazing sight. We lay in our bed with a nice hot cup of tea and toast,delivered by our canin boy! saying nothing, we just lay and looked at the breath taking views from our warm and cosy cabin.

Almost every day we went to a different part of Norway. Two days were spent at sea, which is a good time to just relax, read a little, take a swim, see a film, eat....so much eating with 24 hour service you have to be very constrained!

After breakfast in the resaurant, usually just a bacon sandwich, we would disembark and set off to explore either a small town or the stunning countryside. We did do two organised excursions on of which was a trip to one of Norway's biggest Glaciers which was very interesting but a little scary. We were in a little rubber boat at the bottom of the Birkstall Glacier listening to the guide and all the while we could hear little cracks in the ice forming and ice falling, which happens and has always happened since time began. The glacier grows and shrinks continuously. I was afraid of an avalanche! The glacier was the brightest ice blue ever.

On oujr way back from the glacier we stopped at this very pretty little church, which was re-built as the fist one blew away!

The Promenarde Deck. The Oceana is a nice size ship, very traditional in decor. We liked this ship very much.

I know Norway is the land of the midnight sun, but I had not expected to see it! all I go on about going to see the Northern Lights in Norway some time!
On our first night we came out of the night club, the first night is always a bit of a special celebration with a sail sway party on deck and an invitaion to the Captains reception party, lots of free champange! anyway we left the club...and decided to go out onto the Promenarde Deck for some fresh air, we was so surprised to see quite a few other passengers outside too, just looking at the sun as it very slowly sank below the sea.

The picture below was taken at 2am.
Bergan was an impressive City. The people so friendly. We were so lucky, Norway was having a bit of a heat wave while we were there!

You would love all the shops!

And the wooden buildings!

All Aboard!

Returning to the ship we would sail away with music, dancing and ships horns blowing onto the next port of call. The picture above shows just how close to the land we sail.
The Vikings would plant grass and wild flowers on the roofs of their cottages to keep the heat in. They were very Eco friendly back then!!!

Well I could go on and on. I took lots of photos but I must not keep you much longer. So I will say goodbye and leave you with a Norwegian Troll! Don't you just love them!



Pondside said...

Welcome back, Carol. You sure know how to pack a lot into a holiday! Norway is a place I'd love to visit, but the photos of the shore near your campsite really tug at me. I can just imagine the pirates of long ago.
You've done a lovely job on the interior of your camper - what a cosy den!

LiLi M. said...

Hi there! You made your absence quite well with this post! I love seeing all the sights you have been. As well in the UK as in Norway. What a cute van, btw, and even cuter interior. I guess Nigella refers to the lovely dishes you have been cooking in the van. lol.
Have a nice day!

Brigitta said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful photo's with us! I absolutely love the Devon ones, I went to Devon years ago and seeing these makes me want to go back ;-) I've never been much of a Scandinavia girl, but I can surely appreciate these photo's of Norway, the scenery is very stunning and that midnightsun must have been very special.
Thanks for sharing!
Kind Regards,,

Pipany said...

Wow, such a lovely catch upo Carol. Loved the camping pics and we also have tramways cut into the rock by smugglers here, so those steps probably were smuggling steps.
Norway looked wonderful. the Oceana often comes into the docks here at Falmouth for a re-fit. x

LoloDesigns said...

Well it's good to have you back! My you have been a busy bee. Love those wooden buildings in Norway. Devon is a lovely place, recognise some of those beaches from childhood ;o) Although I was never overly keen on the steps down to some of them, bit of wimp with heights, haha. Lovely post to read. xx

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh my goodness what lovely photos! I'm so glad you have been off having a fab time, but glad you are back!
I would love to go to Norway one day, it just looks so beautiful.
Thanks for sharing all your pretty photos.

MelMel said...


Love the camper, love the pictures!
What great fun you have had!

Lovely to read an update, been wondering how you are!xxx

Sal said...

I was wondering where you had gone..now I know.
Great pics...love the camper van
xx ;-)

LissyLou said...

Your van must have been the prettiest there!!

periwinkle said...

Love the new banner and all the pics - wow. I never imagined Norway to be so pretty ..it's lovely to have you back all fit and well :-) .. I missed you .
Lisa x

Floss said...

How lovely to see and read all your holiday news! You have some wonderful photos here - it makes me very nostalgic for North Devon, and I was already hankering after a trip to Norway after I read an article in one of my French magazines...

Welcome home!

Alexandra said...

Looks like you had 2 wonderful holidays! Norway is on my list of places to visit....it looks so much like Scotland!

Vanessa said...

Hi Carol,

We have just come back from Ilfracombe, it sounds like we were there round about the same time as the weather was not all that brilliant other than a couple of days!

We spent the day at Woolacombe, and yes it was definately a surfers paradise! My nephews got in on the act, but after an hour came out the water freezng.

The Fjords look great too, I am sure my Dad would really love a trip down them.

Vanessa x

Rubyred said...

Hi Carol so much to love, the van, especially the inside, the scenery on both holidys!Guy looks so cute too!I've never been on a cruise but it looks wonderful, now where's that holiday brochure..
Rachel x

Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

aaahhh that explains where you disappeared to! goodness you have been a busy lady having alovely lovely time by the sounds of things with some fab pictures to show us thank you!
glad the heart found a happy home - what could be better than to reside in Nigella!
Lesley x

MelMel said...

Hello Carol....thank you for taking the time to pop by....I'm still having more sad days than ok ones, some tears today.....but actually blogging helps a bit, keeps me busy....


Pomona said...

Love the camper van! I have just discovered your blog and thought I'd say hello - they are lovely pictures.

Pomona x

Simone said...

Fantastic post Carol! I especially like the photo of Guy on the stile and the troll at the end!

cathleen said...

Beautiful photos, Carol. Thank you so much for sharing them...I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful scenery.

this is my patch said...

We love North Devon, infact the whole of the South West! I've really enjoyed looking through your photos. I hope you managed a cream tea? The photo of Guy crossing the style is a classic! I hope he made it over?

I shall return for news on Norway. x

OhSoVintage said...

Glad to see you are back, I was beginning to get worried! Some stunning photos here and all so interesting to read about such differing holidays. They both look wonderful.
Ruth x

Regina said...

Hi Carol
Welcome back!!!
The photos are so wonderful.
I like all the nature-pics!!
Have a nice week!

my day said...

Hello Carol,
welcome home,I just love all the photo's,I can see you have had a great holiday.Love the troll too.
Hugs, Ingrid.

lucey said...

thanks for sharinf cornwall with us,we camped there a couple of summers ago and loved it.your camper van would be a pleasure to sleep in surrounded by all those lovely fabrics!!!!!xx

Felicity said...

it looks like you had a lovely time, i love the fabrics in the camper van! felicity xx

Karens Hopes said...

Your holidays snaps are lovely, I think I would love to go to Norway.
I am new to blogging pop on over and say hello. I also have a big gap in my posts so if you find out how to remedy it let me know.

Sandi McBride said...

So glad that you posted these wonderful holiday pics...Guy is beautiful he is! These pics could be paintings, you did well! Hugs to the pups and you as well!

Cowboys and Custard said...

So much beauty here Carol..
Your photos of Norway have really done justice to the way you described it to me.. stunning!

Sorry my friend that I have not been in touch for a while.. been a bit difficult here.. but thinking of you too..

Much love
Michele xx

Country Cottage Chic said...

Both of your holidays look fab, but the cruise would be the one for me!
We are cruising the Med again this summer but I was thinking about the Baltics, Norway etc for next year & your trip looks fantastic so it's a must!

Thanks for dropping by my blog - it's nice to see a message from you again.


PS: Guy is looking adorable!

Mary Poppins said...

Welcome home Carol :)

What beautiful photographs of your travels, I would so love to go to Norway one day. I have been to Ilfracombe and had a lovey holiday there many years ago. The photograph of your doggie at the top of the styal is enchanting :~)

Hugs from me to you


Sea Angels said...

Goodness Carol you know how to holiday, wow!!!! Norway looks just fabulous, and I love the grass on the roofs, in fact I love it all....Devon as well. You bring it all to life with your lovely pictures.
Hugs Lynn xxx

melontha said...

Fabulous pictures of a beautiful area. So beautiful secluded beaches and natural landscapes. You've certainly had a great holiday.

Cordial greetings Melontha