Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Our Roman Holiday

We’re in the midst of ‘making the most of it’ mode, so headed to Rome for the weekend – we arrived at about 8:30 on Friday night, and left at lunchtime on Sunday.

We made the most of it in our style – focussing on the delicious food we could eat, and seeing what sights we could (even though a good amount were shut on the Saturday due to the Treaty of Rome 60th anniversary celebrations).

The food market at Termini – which is otherwise an unpleasant place to stay for long – was amazing.  There are heaps of stalls, and you can order from different stalls, grab a seat and settle in.  People will come by with drinks carts and it’s very easy to build up a small pile of used glasses and plates.  The cacio e pepe pasta was the highlight, but the salmon tartare was a pretty close second.

Another delicious meal was some foccacia stuffed with mozzarella and zucchini flowers, followed by gelati of course!  

We went to the Vatican, but didn’t join the 3 hour (minimum) queues to get in, saw the Trevi (ugly surrounds, but lovely fountain itself), and went into the Pantheon – squeezing in all the sights we could and covering a good amount of ground.

We enjoyed some really delicious wine and cheese that night, before some pizza, and falling into bed. 

Sunday morning we were up bright and early and queuing at the Colosseum before the railings were even up for the day, and as we’d pre-booked our tickets we were inside, on our own, as the hordes waited to buy their tickets. 

We spent some time wandering on the Palatino (which we could see from our lovely hotel), and through the Forum, before buying some lunch in the Jewish quarter, grabbing our bags and heading back to the airport.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Edinburgh Yarn Festival recap

I’m probably last to the party, but here, finally, is my recap of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF)!

Geoff and I finished our Scottish tour in Edinburgh – perfectly timed for me to attend EYF naturally.  I had booked classes on both afternoons, and wanted to spend some serious time in market place, so left Geoff to explore some of the aspects of Edinburgh that I had already visited.

EYF was absolutely manic – the first hour of shopping on the Friday was pleasant (though there was a decently long queue to get in), but as soon as the main doors opened the building was flooded with excited knitters.  As the temperature in the building rose (literally) people soldiered on, wearing beautiful shawls and garments knitted especially for the festival. 

I did most of my shopping in the first hour – my planned purchases included mohair from Woollenflower, a sock blank from The Wool Kitchen, some lambswool from Di Gilpin and a skein of the brightest pink yarn you have ever seen from EasyKnits

Later on, there were some impulsive purchases – some SkeinQueen, and skeins from each of John Arbon, The Knitting Goddess and JC Rennie for a 3 colour shawl project I have in mind (Nordic Arrows, from the 1st issue of Laine Magazine).

I picked up some trinkets – a tape measure, some needles, a tote bag – to round things out.

I really enjoyed opportunities to sit and knit with people – including in the podcast lounge, chat to people about what they were wearing, and definitely enjoyed shopping with so many like minded knitters!

Geoff and I rounded out the trip with a delicious seafood dinner, at Fishers in Leith, which was a lovely way to end our trip (yet again, with more good food).

Were I to go to EYF again, or if you are thnking of attending, I would sign up for a morning class, do some shopping in the 9-10am window that’s limited to just class attendees, and potentially a bit more after class as well.  I did find it pretty overwhelming once the main doors opened, and would have liked to come and go, but as the venue is a good way from the centre of the old town there wasn’t much point to coming and going (except to get lunch across the street).