Sunday, October 30, 2011

A day out in autumnal sunshine.

This weekend is the start of my Dad's birthday celebrations.
A mature young age of 60! 

And so with the family all together, we set off for another exploration, and this time the direction took us further into the north.

With the car full of picnic food, coats and wellies, we set off!
We arrived in a village called Razen. We felt like we had arrived in the Swiss Alps. Brilliant sunshine, crisp air, autumn leaves, bare mountains and fresh air! 

After a beautiful walk, we settled down to our picnic and let the children run wild around the fields. 
By the end of the afternoon, with rosy cheeks and cold noses, we settled into the local alpine lodge for warmth and hot chocolate.

A day to remember...

The Drive up.

Beautiful colours of autumn


Walking through the countryside

The duffel coat duo!

What a posers!

The anthropologist!

Mummy and baby!

Picnic on the lawn.

The journey home...

Now we're home, sitting in front of the fire with a bottle of wine and perhaps some telly. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Wonders of the Imagination

So here I am back in Albania.

Jamie's back from the UK and full into the swing of anthropology research and I'm back into a rountine of market trips, cycling and exploring the city. There is still so much for me to visit.

Last weekend, we went to a lake on the roads to Koman. We hunted for dinosaurs and gruffalos, whilst collecting driftwood for mum to decorate the house with.

Down by the lake side.

Gruffalo hunt/ Driftwood hunt

At the mountain lake.

Also this week, a dream was made reality for Oliver. He and Jemimah headed up to Shkoder castle and played 'Princesses, Dragons and Rescuing' (A game that is normally restricted to the bedroom!)
Lots of fighting, tumbles, air kicking and running.
It was so much fun to watch.

By the end of the day, dragons were slain, and Jemimah was rescued from many gruelling ordeals...

Rozafa Castle, Shkoder


Dragon slaying


Sunday, October 23, 2011

A fresh view of Greece

Having lived in Greece now for the last 13 years, I have become used to life and all that I see - my day to day patterns.
I guess it's like living next to a beautiful view and slowly you forget to see it and all its worth. 

Since starting this blog I have found it difficult to write things about my time in Greece, but much easier to write about Albania, as it is a whole new experience for me and everything is new to my eye.

Well, a couple of days ago that changed. I 'saw' Greece. It was a wonderful experience for me. I fell in love with Greece again and its beauty!

Ironically, this happened in a moment of crisis. As protests, strikes and anger flared in the cities, our refuge came in a town called Kastoria.
Having arrived at the Greek/Albanian border to find it closed, we decided to spend a day and night in Kastoria.

Autumnal colours!

Beautiful Venetian homes

Oliver bouncing on the bed in our hotel.

View from our hotel

Still enjoying the view from our hotel room

Kastoria Lake

Greece truly is a beautful place...

Monday, October 10, 2011

What Rachel did next...

Greece in the autumn is so lovely. It doesn't compare with the distinct colour changes of English countryside, but its has its own beauty.
The beaches are bare, and the sun is bright. The sea changes colour as its churns from storms, the sky feels so wide and blue. 

Its now cool enough to enough the sunshine and still have the energy to explore.
And thats what we did!
So with picnic in tow, Oliver and myself met up with my sister, her family and friends for a trip to the beach.

Beach combing

Stone throwing

making tracks


happy baby

Group hug!


The day was followed by hot chocolate and X-factor highlights.
What a wonderful day it was...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunny England!

Having just gotten over a rotton cold, I thought it was about time I caught up with the blogging world.

I had a wonderful few weeks with family and friends.
Wonderful English country walks, good Indian take outs, chin wags with fab friends and Brigthon.

Here are a few highlights...

With the beautiful Davages.
Hanging out Talitha

Jemima and Johnny.

Fish and Chips on Brighton sea front

Taking over the childrens playground with my lovely friend Jo.

The cutest... Megan.

Beautiful Sasha, Julia, Ruby and Beatrice.

Obviously you'll notice there were no boys there, but I failed to take photos during those points. But we did have a wonderful time with James, Jaydon and Will!

It was such a wonderful and rich time catching up with friends and family all over the country. We are truely blessed by such a fab bunch.

Jamie is still in the UK and gets back at the end of the week, then we're back up to Albania for a while. I'm really looking forward to getting up there and seeing whats in store for us in this next chapter of our lives.