A few blog posts ago I alluded to what I’ve been up to these past couple of months but if you want all the juicy details, keep reading. Well, I say “juicy”… Maybe it’s really just the pulp with some pretty pictures.
We stayed in the outskirts of Paris for about three weeks at the end of summer/beginning of autumn. This was our first time in Paris with our bikes and I reckon zipping along the bustling Parisian streets on cute vintage bikes was the highlight of our time there for me. Although, the tiramisu we had at this cafe whilst watching hot young Parisians trying to look nonchalant, was a close second…
Then there was this cheese platter…
And seeing Sainte-Chapelle bathed in sunlight — just as spectacular as I remembered it from my first trip here as an itty bitty 21 year old…
We had a very silly and lovely time navigating the Louvre with an out of date Rick Steves’ audio tour (they’ve moved everything, Rick!). This little guy was my favourite. I reckon he’d look right at home on Etsy (astonishing how much primitive art looks like modern art, or vice versa).
We cycled along the Seine, which was surprisingly chaotic as bike paths don’t seem to be a thing in this city…
We ducked down further south into the countryside to meet up with a lovely American couple who’ve been following our travel blog for a while. They took us out on their little boat along the canals on Mike’s birthday. Such a serene and beautiful way to travel.
This is when all hell broke loose. As we were making plans to meet up with our new friends again a bit further south, we were told by Danish immigration that we had to register in person for our visas. We’d checked several times with various people to make sure that we could do the entire process via the post!
Six days and 1500 kilometres later and we were in Copenhagen! I think about 50% of the places we’ve been during our vagabonding adventures we’ve arrived at buffeted by the winds of fate. Luckily, there’s only really been one place where we’ve struggled to turn this into a positive.
It turns out that Copenhagen is a very pleasant city and Denmark a very interesting country. Despite the tragedy of missing autumn in France, I’m really glad we were introduced to this culture and its people. Although I think it was the market with stalls selling cupcakes, fudge, and really good coffee that clinched it for me.
Also, there’s an old-fashioned theme park!
Our original plan was to register in Denmark then immediately return to France in the hopes of catching autumn. Our plans were foiled, as they so often are, by me finding another lump in my boob (the first was last year in Cornwall). My body also decided that now would be a good time to get a horribly painful infected tooth!
In a funny way, this was all excellently timed as everyone in Denmark speaks English and we were allocated a public health system doctor when we registered! Doctors and dentists appointments scheduled for a few weeks hence, we decided to leave Copenhagen and hunker down in the Danish countryside in the meantime. Happily, we did manage to catch some autumn colours whilst there.
Minus one very bad tooth and with a confident diagnosis of astronomically-unlikely-to-be-cancer, we headed back to France. We entertained ideas of going via Berlin but after our long sojourn in Paris and our marathon drive to Copenhagen, we just didn’t have it in us. We decided that the south of France is to be our winter destination and made a bee-line there via some very pretty French villages.
And that my friends, is why I’ve hardly painted in the last month or so! These last few weeks I’ve had a lot of thinking time. I spent hours trundling across Europe dreaming of the Etsy shop I’m going to open next year, the children’s book I want to create, and the type of art I want to make. My involuntary lull in productivity has left me feeling rejuvenated and extra motivated to get back to creating lovely arty things!
We’ve settled in a corner of Provence for winter and I’ve gotten stuck back into things in Studio Nettle. We won’t be moving for a few months (tempting fate much?), so I’m really pumped to get an obscene amount of “work” done.