Magical mystery tour – Europe 2016
As I type this I’m looking out over the English countryside and a historic village dating back to 1176. To some people that may not sound like much, but as a Melbourne girl I can’t believe I’m sitting here with this view in front of me. It is simply magical.
For at least a decade we have been promising to take our children to Europe. With Beth finishing high school and taking a 6 month gap, Stephen with holidays to burn (ho ho – get the firefighter joke?) and myself with long service leave, the time was ripe and we booked our tickets for an 8 week adventure. Hitting the “buy” button on those discount flights just before Christmas was a terrifying, and also thrilling, moment. It was finally happening. When we managed to wangle a two week holiday for our son to join us in Britain and Belgium as well, we felt we had really hit the jackpot.
Why a “magical” mystery tour? Well that idea came from our daughter Beth, a lifetime fan of fairy tales, rainbows and all things magical and unicorn-like. You can see her inspiration through her artwork, especially this absolutely amazing paper sculpture she made of Red Riding Hood for Year 12 Studio Art (and yes, she did very well, says an extremely proud mother :)).
Beth took on the job of combing the internet for ideas about really special places to visit – castles, fairy tale villages, walled towns, Roman ruins etc. We added in a few “must do’s” to round off her travelling education – I mean she couldn’t possibly miss Paris, Florence or Venice could she?
For someone born in Australia, any place with castles, turrets, swords and shining armour, Tudor houses, canals and gondolas sounds pretty magical.
I figured that a magical mystery tour was a great theme for a travel sketchbook too. It’s an excuse to use gold paint, twirly patterns and inspiration from illuminated manuscripts. And surely it means I’ll just HAVE to get a dip pen in Florence …
So here we go … wish us luck!
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