A weekend in Toulouse and Albi

Back in October my boyfriend and I spent the weekend in France. I only took the Friday off work but it felt like a really good break. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb in Toulouse – with a comically low bathroom ceiling (especially as we’re both quite tall) but a wonderfully comfy bed.

It was a weekend that centred around our stomachs and we ate our way through the city over the next couple of days. This included visits to the markets full of all kinds of delights – and a few horrors!

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We also took the train to Albi for a day which was a stunning town, another market to explore, a delicious lunch including snails and a trip to the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec. We were much luckier with the weather in Albi so there were many more photo opportunities!

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My highlight of the weekend had to be seeing a starling murmuration over the river in Toulouse. I’ve always wanted to see this natural spectacle but had no expectations that Toulouse would be where I see it!

We’re off to Portugal next so look out for some more photos soon.

 

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Scotland – day 5

After a wonderful breakfast in our castle (that will never get old), we headed to the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban. I had hoped to see some otters and seals in the wild, but a trip to the Sea Life Sanctuary guaranteed that we would see some and it was also interesting to learn about the amazing work they do. It also meant that we saw some adorable cubs in the seal hospital, and I’ve just seen on Twitter that one of those cubs has now been released back into the wild.

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For our final night we would be back in Fort William, so we decided to drive back the scenic route taking in Kilchurn Castle, which took some finding! It was built in the mid-1400s but was abandoned in the 1700s.

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The next part of our scenic tour back to Fort William took in the stunning Glen Coe, which I have to admit did overwhelm me in its beauty and scale.

 

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Felt like we’d just been sent up someone’s drive…

 

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Glen Coe in the distance

 

 

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Glen Coe certainly felt like the climax of our trip, and it felt quite humbling standing in the middle and taking it all in.

For our last evening, we had a lovely meal in the Garrison West, a friendly pub where the bar staff talked us through some whiskeys! It was a gorgeous sunset for our last night, but unfortunately, I had left my camera at the hotel so I took these on my phone.

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A beautiful end to our last night on this trip.

 

Scotland – day 3 (part 2)

After exploring Fort George, we headed to the Cairngorms, a stunning part of the country and one of my favourite walks of the holiday. We were aiming for a walking spot near Braemar, but as with all our travels so far, the car journey was just as spectacular as the destination.

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We parked in the Linn of Dee carpark and set off for a walk through the woods running alongside stunning waterfalls. This area was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite parts of Scotland, and as a bit of a fan of this wonderful monarch, I was excited to explore. In fact, the gothic bridge which you cross to reach the carpark was officially opened by the Queen in 1857!

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It’s times like this I wish my camera had a better zoom!

 

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Not bad for a photo snapped out of a car window!

 

On day 4 we left Inverness and headed to Glen Nevis and Oban – look out for the next post, coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Springtime at Fulham Palace

To burn off some of the Easter eggs I’ve consumed in the last 24 hours, I went for a stroll and ended up in the gorgeous gardens of Fulham Palace. I love taking photographs of flowers, and although there wasn’t a great deal to see in the gardens yet there was some beautiful blossom and the wisteria was stunning. I’ll be popping back in the summer when there should be lots more to see – that’s if the pesky squirrels don’t dig up all the seedlings first as I witnessed them doing this morning!

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Snowdrops – winter beauties

It’s been a while since my last post, my excuse is a combination of starting a new job in December and the usual winter bugs so I haven’t been out and about with my camera as much.

A few weeks back I went to the Chelsea Physic Garden Snowdrop Days, it was my first time going back to the Garden as a visitor rather than as an employee as I had been up until recently. I took the opportunity to take some photographs of the beautiful snowdrops on display, one of my favourite plants at this time of year. Although the daffodils are starting to pop up on my balcony so look out for some shots of them soon!

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One of the few plants that I can always remember the botanical name for – Galanthus elwesii ‘Grumpy’

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I used the magnetic lasso tool to select the snowdrop and then inverse this selection so that I could make the background black and white – I really like the effect this has achieved!

As usual comments and tips are welcome, and I promise to not leave it so long next time!

First frost of the winter!

This morning Londoners woke up to the first frost of the winter and a very chilly morning. I took advantage of the frost and sunshine to capture this leaf lying in a sunny spot on the ground before the ice melted. I really love the way the ice crystals decorate the leaf, so hopefully I’ve done them justice with these photos (I hope so as I had very chilly knees getting the shots!)

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