Sunday, August 20, 2023

Update of July and then August in Dijon

 Wait five minutes and the weather will change was what was normal when I lived in Calgary, Alberta, that perfectly describes  this July and into August in Freiburg. As so many countries have experienced severe conditions of drought, wild fires, or flooding, the conditions here are milder. The frequent rain means lush growing conditions and less fire risk. I am happy to be here right now, temps are easy to handle and if you get caught in a downpour, we don't melt eh?

What has happened in July? I've been downtown at least once a week to take in the changes in the core and some of my fav's are now gone which is sad . Both my partners and us bought unique items from Eigen Art with the lovely owner who really cared about her clientele is sadly gone. Major retailer Kaiser is also gone, they did mostly clothing I think. There are a few "new to me" stores, my favourite is a book store selling English language books.

On the home front, I hired professionals to have my floors cleaned, cut the lavender, install a new dining room light and wash the windows.The apartment will be painted in September. 

My Irish passport expires end of this year so I went to a photo studio but it took three tries to have it work on the passport website. 

My hedge is looking good due to the rain.

Incoming! Take shelter, or an umbrella.


On a different note, Bruce and I had commissioned a tile artist in Sevilla years ago to make us the following. I am ashamed to admit it has been sitting in a box in Freiburg the whole time. I unboxed it and put it together to enjoy. Will likely have it properly mounted at a later date but at least it's out of the box.

Christoph had a window between touring of almost three weeks in August so we drove to Dijon. Yes, I am staying in the same apartment for my fifth year now. The reason? People are friendly, it is relatively inexpensive and ideally located.

What is not communicated often to tourists is that French businesses of all types shut down for vacation in August. Somehow I forget about it and am rudely awakened when I get here every time.

We headed to Clos St-Louis winery, as we do, and they were shuttered for vacation, no note on the door for how long and no website so we will check back next week. This is outside their building.

There is a restaurant Christoph had read about different from the one we have been to a few times in Fixin. We went and they were totally booked so suggested their "sister" restaurant down the road in Gevrey Chambertin called Les Griottes and it was delightful for food and attentive service. The town is one of the many small ones on the Côte-d'Or wine road. This was our view at lunch.

We booked into the first restaurant for the day after, and to be frank, I didn't think the food was as good but the service was and location nestled in the acreage covered in grape fields. 

Another day we drove about an hour south to Chalon sur Saône which is a small city on the river Saône, we've been many times but again our "usual" was closed for vacation so we opted for one called Le Clown Gourmand and it was wonderful. I have never seen so many clown pictures and figurines under one roof, they had the lot!

From the bridge, view of the river. Those green dots are lily pads.

I've been to the Les Halles market a couple of times to get fresh produce, cheese and artisan bread, all of top quality and a pleasure to have.

We've had quite a bit of rain here too and cooler temperatures but next week it will get hot, well, relatively, low to mid 30's. Cloudy weather is best for driving and last week we certainly enjoyed that. I've mentioned before no air con.

All for now, we have one week left so I plan to bring my actual camera along. I am rubbish at taking pics with my cell phone.

Added note: there is never any blank paper in AirBnB places, so when I needed some I used coffee filters! When in need, get creative.


Sunday, June 18, 2023

Happy Father's Day!

I was gifted this peony by my local veg farmer, how kind!

This person "dropped" in, birds are curious, what?

Christoph and I took a day trip to Sankt Peter in the Black Forest a while back. You can really tell you are in the Black Forest due to the housing roof lines, they stretch half way down the house for easy snow removal. The drive was up a windy mountain road which lots of motorcyclists took advantage of to zoom along. Lunch was in a nice location, food was mediocre for the price we paid.

Church and former monastery.

Baroque style inside, read, very ornate.

More information about it here

Christoph told me the long history but I would not give it justice by my memory or his telling so if interested click the link. 

Lavender on both balconies, lasts blooming about a month.

Dad's, I wish you a wonderful day that includes getting pampered by friends and family!

Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Happy Mother's Day!


Neighbours surprised me with these roses one day!

I went to Zoo Burkart one day for Lexi food, no bunnies this time but these little ones.

These are the current cows in the neighbouring field, very different from the motley crew we used to have.

This is a video explaining and showing the "behind the scenes" of Semana Santa in Sevilla I learned quite a bit from.

Here is my slightly sleepy or mean looking fur baby. I know what a certain friend would say...

Cheers to Mothers! 

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Spring has sprung and Happy Easter!


Might be crabapple, pretty, whatever it is.

It always pays to look up!

Or sideways, this is a mobile quad shed parked on the road.

Along the same lines, you don't see this everyday...

Here, families hang eggs on the  trees.

Easter decor for the Freiburg apartment, kind neighbours dropped the bunny at my door. The green on the left is  bärlauch fresh garlic leaves, yummy!  

Spring in Sevilla means heavenly scented orange blossom! Photo by Pepe.

We went to lunch under the above tree, garlic butter prawns, yum!

Wishing you a wonderful Easter and Spring time!

Bev and Lexi Cat

Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 Cheers to my Pop, (Grandfather) and relatives in Ireland!

Orange blossoms are starting to come out, just starting, in a week they will be fragrant!

Ryan and I were having coffee and he mentioned there is a bridge at the end of Baños Street, not far from my apartment so I've been over it a couple of times to check it out. Here is a link but it is in the Guinness Book of Records since 2007 for being the most slender bridge in the  world.

It is under used but would make a great viewing spot for races on the Canal de Alfonso XIII, part of the Guadalquivir River.


Have a great St. Patrick's Day, and please, no green beer!

Gártha or Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat

Friday, February 24, 2023

Road Trip with Pepe to Huelva Province

 Pepe and I drove southwest going to Moguer, a town in Huelva we had visited on our road trips with Ryan and Angela before lockdown, I wanted to see more of it so we did.

On the way Pepe knew of an ancient castle at Niebla so we stopped there to take a look.

Feral cats "guarding" the outside walls.

This whole region is dedicated to growing mainly strawberries and other berries which are cultivated under long, white poly tunnels. The workers in the fields are largely from North Africa.

Here are some of the statues that had me coming back to the town.

This is Juan Ramon Jimerez, a Nobel Prize winning poet from the town

We visited the museum there in his honour which included plaques with description of daily life at the home.

That's Pepe with Juan Ramon's character Platero donkey.

Then it was lunchtime at Meson Lobito which is a huge barn of a place with a wood burning fireplace.

This restaurant is not suitable for vegetarians, the focus is their wood fired meat. I typically don't eat a lot of beef or lamb because cooking for one, well... They also have bread that is toasted (on the left), brought to the table with a couple of cloves of garlic and oil which you rub onto it which is very yummy.

After we drove through Mazagon around some old neighbourhoods where Pepe had lived while in University, along the beaches. Then to the Paradore Playa de Mazagon hotel for a coffee in the beautiful grounds by the sea. Paradores are a group of upmarket hotels, often in heritage buildings run by the country. There are similar in Portugal called Posadas. 

Those lines on the horizon are tankers waiting to get into Huelva Port

We drove through Huelva City to get back to Sevilla, passing by enormous cranes and storage facilities for petroleum products by the dozens. The city has a lot of heavy industry, much more so than Sevilla. 

We saw many stork nests with storks in them, the pine trees which are mushroom or pompom shape topped and it is quite green in the region which will not likely last into the summer.

Pepe asked me to stand next to this to compare size, he said it was perfect for me. Actually it is a wheelchair inside so I hope it isn't for a long time.

It is not often you see a flying pink pig on a carousel. 

Decorating for Carnival this weekend.

That was our very enjoyable day trip! Thank you Pepe for the tour and some of the pictures. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2023!

Window of the custom hat maker.

 I've been watching CBC News coverage especially of the West Coast and the snow storms, you who live there, have been having this week with prediction for more. I feel bad for you, as I "bask" in 20 degree weather here in Sevilla. Last week we had a a lot of torrential rain, needed, but, please, not all at once.

The Artisan Christmas market is on this year and I've been a couple of times. The vendors are friendly and products are beautiful! Even the packaging and the stall decorations are also beautiful.

The vendor made this with recycled materials and leaves, picture doesn't do it justice.

I bought this jug with it's patina from the shop, above picture, he uses electrolysis to create this effect, yes, dented, made it more appealing to me, call me crazy...

I was at El Cortes grocery store in the fancy veggie section (fancy because product is selected by a clerk and you are forbidden to touch) and I saw a flower made from an artichoke. She showed me how to make it and so I bought some and here is the result. 

My vegetable Christmas decoration.

Wishing you a safe, happy Holiday Season Friends! Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat

This year's street lighting.