In total Flat Susan will visit and stay with 36 people before she returns home. Yes, thirty six! That's a lot of travelling for such a tiny person. If you are new to this blog perhaps you should scroll to the very first post so you know more about who she is and what is happening with her. You are welcome to take the button on the right to display on your own blog and we hope you will visit the blogs of the people she has been staying with and leave a kind comment after your reading.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Adventures with Jo of Jozart

Foreward:  To begin with my good friend Jo offered to take Flat Susan with her on her trip to Slovenia to meet up with Dolores, another crafting friend as a kind of "test run".  Jo thoroughly enjoyed her time with Flat Susan and there are some amusing stories below (especially the Italy trip LOL).

This was prior to Flat Susan starting off on her tour of the world via some lovely Blog Friends who have offered to host her for a short while and send her off on the next leg of her journey.  Consequently Jo's contribution is longer than most will be.  I hope you enjoy reading her journey.  Sorry the posts are a little muddled. - Neet xx

Uelzen with Flat Susan

For her last jaunt with us we took Flat Susan to Uelzen for a day trip by double decker train. We have been here before, but not for some years, so it was good to take a fresh look at the last project by one of my favourite artists, Hundertwasser from Austria. 
Whilst he painted and created textiles he had some extreme theories about the way people should live and that buildings should be ecologically sustainable and as naturalistic as possible to enhance the quality of life.
The project to revamp the station was commissioned for the Millennium but Hundertwasser died in 2000, not long before it was completed.
Trees and grass grow on the roof tops.
Here's Flat Susan admiring the multi coloured tiled pillars, everyone different.
 I think that I wore a rather appropriate dress that day!
Inside the building
One of several shops
The underground passageways between platforms showing how he contoured all the straight edges.

I quite forgot to photograph the toilets, which are amazing, and usually it is difficult to use them for the reason intended as people queue to just admire them!
From the station, we walked into the small town and were happy to discover a series of 21 painted rocks en route to the town centre.... Der Weg der Steine, which defined the route from the station to the town hall. 

They are the creations of a Swedish artist Dagmar Glemmes

Some were over 10 feet high and each one had a different subject... music, the elements, fish, aspects of love and luck, Nature etc. 
Although the town was otherwise quite uninteresting, it made our day special to find so much art around.
We shared a super huge ice cream with Flat Susan and had our last minutes together before she was popped in her suitcase and sealed into the envelope for her flight to "Schottland" (as the Germans call it!)
Bon Voyage and Farewell Flat Susan
Here's the parting of the ways, (boo hoo!) but you can see, below across the road, that it was such a lovely, big, modern, yellow post office that she was entrusted to (stifled sob) and I asked the nice man to take good care of her (sniff, sniff) as I handed her over (wiping away my tears) and paid my few euros in postage. It was still so hard to let her go all alone on her next adventure to Elizabeth but I know we'll meet again one day when she eventually comes back to England.
Here's the tag I made for her to take with her...

the front....
and the back
She arrived safely and so the saga continues now with Elizabeth so, pop over to join them in Scotland and, find out all about her latest escapades at Silverscrappers or at Hickydorums.
Thanks Flat Susan for all your company and good luck on your travels around the world. Over 30 people have offered to host her and soon she will travel to South Africa, America, Australia and Spain before she starts an extensive tour of the British Isles.

Thanks go to Neet for creating her and giving us this wonderful insight into life in so many countries.

Flat Susan's German Jaunt - 14 June 2013

We took Flat Susan out shopping to the market in the Rathaus Square.
It's Spargel season and she was fascinated to see the stall where they strip it on the machine while you wait. She said that she loves it but I didn't ask if it has the same effect on her as it does for me!! Eeeewww!
     What a thrill for her to see the tour carriage going around the town.....
         and even more excitement as they stopped to say "Hello" to her!

                            Peter and Reudi were so friendly and Flat Susan really loved them.
This special little Fraulein loved this fountain down near the river and wanted to step in with the children but I didn't scare Flat Susan by letting her too close to  even more water, after her previous experiences.         
This is the first time I've spotted "Love Locks" fastened to the railings, as has become popular in many other countries. Couples attach a padlock, engraved with their names, to symbolise their everlasting love. I was shouting after DH (there crossing the bridge in the beige jacket) "Which one's mine!?" but he just walked on without a cursory backward glance. 
The tower is part of the Bergenstraum hotel and looks like Rapunzel should be hanging her locks from the top window. It's a very romantic honeymoon suite up there and my DD stayed in it after her wedding.

We took her around to see the town. Above is one of the main streets and below is this old Apotheke (the chemist).
Some of the other old lovley buildings
This optician's windows were filled with yellow pansies.
Later we went to the kindergarten's Summer Barbeque which was held in the forest. It was at another kindergarten which teaches the children in the open air, whenever possible, all year round. 
There were peacocks roaming freely amongst us.
Quite an unusual set up in such a lovely environment and we enjoyed a very happy evening.
The campfire area
So sorry that, due to lack of internet access, I couldn't post these last days of Flat Susan's time with us whilst I was still there and before she was posted to Scotland to continue her adventure with Elizabeth. It means that her story overlaps somewhat but there was too much to miss if I didn't post them on my return.
One more post to finish this part of her saga and you can follow her travels viaNeet's blog... hickydorums!

Flat Susan Visits the Caves! 7th June 2013

Sorry I didn't manage to get in for WOYWW but it looks like a great time was had by all who managed to get to the CROP.
Having trouble getting internet connection here in Germany but at last I'm in yet another bar catching up for a wee while and having a snifter or two... well, I'm on me jollies for goodness sake!
Here's the last leg of Flat Susan's adventures in Italy and Slovenia which I had prepped before I came here.
Italy....Abana Terme Market 
We loved this old Italian sports bar and the coffee was GREAT!

Moving on from Italy to the Postojnska Caves. What an experience!
We rode into the caves for15 min on a fast, very rickety open train with strict instructions not to stand up as, at times, the cave tunnels were only a few inches away from our heads. Scary!

It was an amazing labyrinth of huge passages, and when we arrived at the heart of the caves we walked the guided route for about an hour. Water dripped on our heads here and there but it all added to the atmosphere of this fantastic experience. The stalagmites took the forms of hobbits, trees, folds of fabric, Moomins and my imagination ran riot. 
I could not cope with the vastness of time and size when it took 100 years for just 1 cm of a stalagtite  to form.  
Through all this Flat Susan was very brave and quite amazed at the whole experience... as were we!

I wasn't supposed to take pics but didn't I do well? Amazing what no flash and a bit of editing can do!
See the little bridge, middle left, I remember whizzing over there with eyes shut with Donna last year!!
I still have a few pics to share, of Flat Susan's adventures with us, taken in Germany before she winged off airmail to Elizabeth. It may take a while as I don't know when we will have access to the net.
I really do have to have a think when I wake each morning to decide what day it is and where I am. Alzheimers coming on? No just the results of a whirlwind few weeks of travel.
Watch this space but thanks for all your comments to all of you who are following me and Flat Susan!

Lueneburg Birthday 4th June 2013

My lovely DH was 70 today and we've had a superb celebration with our German branch of the family, here in Lueneburg. We started the day German style by going out for a treat from DD2... a birthday breakfast, which we both love.
In the afternoon we had a yummy strawberry birthday cake made by our SIL, and that isn't a bought sponge base... he did the lot himself. The filling under the almond sponge was marzipan beaten up with mashed strawberries, then topped with fresh strawberries and cream. Deee Lish Ous.
Need I say Flat Susan was quick to that cake, she didn't want to miss out on her first birthday party!! We only had one candle as it was hot enough in the sunny garden and we didn't want a heatwave with 70!!!
Later on we sat by the river in a really good restaurant, in the sunshine, for a special dinner.
Here's the Old Dude birthday boy sharing his brecky with Flat Susan...... easy to see there's food around as she always straight out of her suitcase when she smells something good and she was in out, in out, doing the okey kokey today for sure.
The family now are back home tucking the little fraulein up in bed so we popped out to our favourite bar/restaurant for a nightcap to finish off a lovely day. A beer for the Old Dude and an Aperol Spritzer for me. (Dolores introduced me to this in Slovenia and a love it!)
Served by Tania here below, one of the really friendly staff of Bar Central.
She quickly made good friends with... Guess Who??? Right first time... It's Flat Susan. Never mind the food, she's out of that suitcase quick as a rabbit when there's a drink going! 
She's going in her suitcase tomorrow for a long postal ride to Scotland so I hope she doesn't mind the trip as she's never been packaged up for so long before. 
I hope she behaves herself but most of all I hope she has a great time with her next hostess, Elizabeth.
Bon Voyage Flat Susan and Auf Weidersehen! 
It's been wonderful to host the first 4 countries of your world tour.
England, Slovenia, Italy, Germany

Ljubljana Lakes with Flat Susan 1st June 2013

This was a really spectacular part of Flat Susan's wonderful visit to Dolores's beautiful country. Dolores was so kind to drive us to some amazing places and this series of photos shows some of their  spectacular lakes.
  Here's the Hotel Bor in Preddvor  where we stopped for refreshments.
It was offering an amazing 3 night package, including meals, pool and spar facilities for 99 euros!! 
It's just amazing what you can find out on the back of a loo door!
The water was just like glass and not a mosquito about either!

Dolores kindly shared her coffee and cake with Flat Susan.
We didn't risk unnerving Susan on a boat trip.. maybe next time!

Dave held her a bit too close to the water so, after her traumatic puddle incident in Italy, she was so shaken that we gave her a beer. Didn't take much before she was back in her suitcase asleep!

We also visited Lake Bled with Flat Susan... not too near the edge although there were shouts of "Back a bit" when the photo was being taken!
and here's Dolores by the crystal clear Lake Bohinj
The church roof has wooden tiles.
The water is so green from the pebbles beneath ..... 
and so clear that the fish can be seen swimming about.
All this water had Flat Susan rushing to church to say a prayer or two. 

Ljubljana with Flat Susan 30th May 2013

More Adventures for Flat Susan 
Here she is on her way up the funicular to the castle in Ljubljana. I must admit we held her ever so tight, and her legs shook, as she was a wee bit scared of heights!
She was happier at the top where we sat in the sun, enjoyed cake and coffee then later an ice cream. Dolores missed the treats (just look at those cakes!) as she had to go into work that day.

Here she is on the ramparts with me and I'm wearing the lovely top Dolores bought me in Italy, for my June birthday. She kindly allowed me to wear whilst I was there. Thanks so much Dolores, I love it!!

The market was just near the bottom of the funicular and was interestingly different to ours in England.
We bought delicious dark cherries from the lovely man who'd had picked them and in the bag there were lots of "twins" like this one. 
It was amazing to see vegetables in such bright colours...look at those pink speckled beans!?

The inside market sold cheeses, meats and bread away from the outside heat.
There was also a stall selling glasses of wine and these were often in shopping centres. Never short of customers.
I love the door of this church...

This is the portal of a bank!
The fantastic doorway of the parliament building
There seems to be a tradition to throw training shoes high up in certain places onto cables. WHY?
A beautiful yet a quaint capital city with so much to see and do and a lovely atmosphere. It's so vibrant and sophisticated and it's hard to believe only 2 million people live in the whole of Slovenia!
Still to come the trips to the caves and the lakes. Flat Susan was having so much fun!

Mille Miglia Italy 27th my 2013 

On the next leg of our adventures we took Flat Susan to the Mille Miglia in Brescia, Italy. We stopped a couple of nights in Potenghe on Lake Garda. 
The Mille Miglia, or thousand miles, was an endurance race that was organized 24 times between 1927 and 1957. Participants raced with their Gran Turismo cars over the open roads of northern Italy from Brescia to Rome and back on an 8-shaped route. Due to frequent fatal crashes the race was banned in 1957, but since 1982 it was revived as a touring trip for old-timers.
Before the race starts, the ancient streets are lined with almost 400 vintage cars dating from 1921 to 1957 and for car enthusiasts, like our fellas, it was a sweetie shop. I must admit it was fascinating to Dolores and me and took me back to childhood days when Stirling Moss was racing. We even spotted a couple of cars he had raced during his career. 
Here's a selection of my favourite cars from more than 50 I managed to photograph.
Bugatti 37, 1926
FORD A Roadster Deluxe, 1931
Sales of umbrellas soared that day and Italian style went out of the window when we ended up resorting to buying silly plastic ponchos and big brollies in an effort to beat the weather.
The rest of the weather for our holiday was perfect, comfortably hot and sunny!
Alan, Dolores and Dave with a
Lagonda M 4.5 Rapide, 1934
Almost had a catastrophe after fastening Flat Susan to my camera strap whilst looking an utter drip (pun intended) in my poncho, PANIC, PANIC, how would I tell Neet that we lost her???.....
but after a search, utter relief when we found her half drowned in a puddle on a marble slab,
I'm relieved to say that she made a good recovery and we all dried out after lunch in a great little cafe nearby....
Flat Susan certainly helps to make friends as people are so fascinated by her and the story of her travels around the world. The cafe owner (below) was so friendly and asked about her smallest ever customer!
Mercedes-Benz SSK 1929
The rain poured and the wind blew turning so many brollies inside out
that every bin was stuffed full of dead umbrellas .
Lots of famous people entered the race... Sir Chris Hoy, Daniel Day Lewis, David Coulthard etc., and here's Yasmin Le Bon co-driving a
Jaguar XK120 OTS, 1950
Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Sport, 1929
Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Supercharged 1930   
Rally ABC 1929
I loved the flying Hippo on this..
Lagonda M 4.5 Rapide 1934
Lancia Lambda serie V11, 1927
All of the shop windows had themed displays and I would have loved to bring this one home for a special little boy!
There were so many photos of old racing stars in the shop windows, but I just had to snap this fabulous one of my childhood hero, Stirling Moss.
Arrivederci Brescia!

Battle of the Atlantic Commemoration 26th May 2013

Our city is decked out in patriotic bunting as Liverpool hosts the national commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic and what a superb event it is. Still time to be part of it all as  it continues all weekend and Monday too as it is Bank Holiday, so get here if you can!
even the shopping centres are in the mood and here is the top terrace of the new "Liverpool One" centre. 
We went down to the river front Pierhead where the parade of veterans was to be held.
It was so emotional to see these old seafarers marching so proudly wearing all their medals as the crowd cheered and clapped them.
There were many captains and commanders from home and abroad with the Lord Mayor

This old sea dog was so funny and had the crowd laughing with his hat saying "Knackered Seaman"!!
Here's the Mersey Ferry alongside some of the many visiting ships on parade.
The Pump House and the Albert Dock host another ship
Alongside the canal basin by the new Museum of Liverpool Life several children's bands played everything from pop to classical, jazz to music from the shows.
Street entertainers were everwhere and here, in front of the famous Liver Buildings, this super robot character interacted with the crowd to spectacular background effects.
The sea cadets scared the wits out of me with their displays on the rigging
This stilt walking tea lady was so amusing and was the star of the show and Flat Susan loved her Irish wit and charm. She had a ride on the top of the trolley....she's there on the top shelf ...
and a dance on a china cup and saucer! Luckily they were all glued together and we used Flat Susan's safety harness (an elastic band) to keep her safe!
Only managed to capture this snip of the Spitfire and Hurricane flying past. 
Another of our new waterfront buildings ... just look on the roof....
where they had the best bird's eye view of the event! The white building is the tip of the beautiful 1930's Art Deco Ventilation for the first Mersey Tunnel (we now have two tunnels)
It was such a good atmosphere and I'm so sorry that I didn't manage to take more pics of Flat Susan in all the excitement.
This is just a taster of all that's happing over the weekend and there's still time to get down to share the atmosphere and pay respects to those who served.... but do remember.... Liverpool is still worth a visit at any time of the year!
Next episode of Flat Susan's first holiday in Italy later today.

Flat Susan's 1st Adventure 24th May 2013

Flat Susan rested before the start of her first adventure with an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn..... 
before flying off from Stansted to Slovenia to join me on a visit to my special friend and blogging buddy, Dolores (aka Cardarian), in Ljubljana.
I'm honoured to be the first travel companion and you can read all about Flat Susan here on the Hickydorums blog of her creator Neet and follow her travels around the world.  
On our first day we met up with Dolores's DD, Anna, who took us to the most amazing, fascinatingly different, place in their beautiful city. 
Knowing I appreciate graffiti art we were taken to METELKOVA for an alternative view of Ljubljana.
Metelkova City (full name in SloveneAvtonomni kulturni center Metelkova mesto, 'Metelkova City Autonomous Cultural Center') is an autonomous social centre in the centre of LjubljanaSlovenia. It is located on the site of former military barracks (the Slovenian headquarters of the Yugoslav National Army) and was squatted September 1993. The site consists of seven buildings and was 12,500 m².[1] The squat is named after nearby Metelko Street (Slovene:Metelkova ulica), which is named after the 19th-century Slovenian Roman Catholic priest, philologist, and unsuccessful language reformer Fran Metelko.
Flat Susan really enjoyed the experience and if you follow the flagpole you'll see her ......
 right here
The sun was so warm reflecting off this fabulous mosaic wall 
Flat Susan enjoyed the colour and vibrance of the place and here she is in the photo below.
  Anna, Dolores and Susan with me.
Anyone can express their art in any form and there are some fabulous crazy creations....
  DH Dave and Dolores
 Most of the art uses recycled materials
Every doorway is a creation in itself.

 There are cafes, bars and hostels.
 If a tree is in the way of a building the tree  stays and the structure goes around it.
 There were musicians sitting on these structures whilst they jammed.
 Time and place to meditate
So many different styles
My favourite wall and I reckon this one would make superb scrapbook paper.
Lots more adventures to come with Dolores and Flat Susan, and next one is in Italy, so keep watching!

Greetings from Ljubljana 14th May 2013

Greetings from Slovenia! 
Just popping in to show you WOYWW... it's Dolores and me, at her work desk having fun and misbehaving and we got together all because of this weekly show and tell of crafty desks! 
As we are off to Italy today, we are sorry we won't be able to reply to any comments and visit other desks but we just wanted to say a quick "Hello".
Here's a special little lady ready to board her plane, with me, to visit Dolores... if you go over to Neet's blog you'll find out who she is and you'll soon be able to share her epic adventure.

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Thank you for reading about my adventures, hope you come back and read more. I am always on the move.