Ich bin ein Hamburger

Ok, so I’m feeling a wince at the incorrect German but for comedy effect, it’s staying.  Having felt quite chuffed 10 years previously at the end of my German language G.C.S.E exam I thought a holiday would be a great way of seeing what I remembered.  After a series of awkward hand gestures and fading at the 3rd syllable of incredibly long words I quickly realised my Deustch was the wurst.  Fortunately for me, the friend I had gone to visit spoke German fluently and was able to help clear up my car crash of sounds.  Thank you kindly Amazing Miss Alice.  I had the pleasure of meeting her lovely little hamsters – Hannah and Sophie – in a previous post, you can meet them too if you follow the Amazing Miss Alice link.


If you thought my holiday in Hamburg was just a jolly, think again!  We spent lots of effort on moseying, kicking back, hanging out, mooching and swinging. And drawing.  Don’t forget the drawing.


My first picture of St. Marien Cathedral was a bit of a warm up, which is why it looks representative of the leaning tower of Pisa opposed to a cathedral…

domkirche cathedral












Hand cramp and numb fingers told me it might be a good idea to head inside.  Pew numbers and a stained glass window took my fancy –

stained glass window at st marien cathedral   biro drawing of pew numbers at saint marien cathedral











Whilst drawing the window, I was lucky enough to be treated to the organist’s practise time.  The dramatic music penetrating every bit of my head made me feel like I should have been in Mordor or something but I always manage to leave my Ring at home, dammit.  I couldn’t decide whether an elf leap or a hobbit waddle was more appropriate but I made my way to a good view of the dwarfed musician.


dwarfed organist playing at saint marien cathedral












It was truly incredible; the sound of the organ filling every corner of the cathedral, filling my head, every space as I walked to the door and into silence.


Well, the relative silence of outside.  I later drew the train station Hauptbahnhof (a few stops down from Hasslehof):

main train station in Hamburg










And the spire of St Georgs as viewed from Hauptbahnhof:

st georgs spire












Bumbling along in Olomouc

Well, after my cliffhanger, turns out that I can wing it after all.  Although that being said, the hostel I am staying at is a little bit odd, but hey, that makes the story a little more interesting and beggars can’t be choosers…

I eventually find the tourist information in Olomouc, it is a sunny day and I walk past a beautiful park thinking I will have to revisit it.  The info centre find me a room, and pack me off with directions to the local swimming pool.  I turn up at the pool, wait in a queue with others holding gym kits and goggles and feel a little out of place.  To be honest, it is  a feeling that is getting more and more prevailent…  At the desk I ask if they speak English – in Czech of course – one girl does, a little, and confirms that this is a hostel. I have a triple room all to myself, which at first was a bit lonely, it’s clinically white and smells of disinfectant.  And showering was an interesting game this morning.  The little curtain to pull across the door was about three quarters the width.  Fortunately I am not too bothered about this kind of thing but as it happens no one came in, so phew…  This is what you get for winging it but at least I am not in the train station with my sleeping bag. I head out, it is now raining and Olomouc is practically dead.  So much for student town.  Saturday night and nothing is going on.

It seems hardly anyone speaks English here, already I can tell it is going to feel weird coming back home and be understood without hand signals and pointing at my phrasebook.

So after a quiet and a little depressing start in Olomouc, I have been able to sleep well – aside from people banging the heavy bathroom door – and got free entry to the art museum and one other because it is Sunday – hooray – enter exclamation mark here, I cannot find it on the kezboard.

There is a theatre here, I am going to see a Slovak – I think – band tonight, I saw the word accordion and was sold.  I am also going to see a dance performance and more music from a polish band tomorrow.  So my evening entertainment is sorted for Olomouc, I am quite excited, especially as all the tickets were so freakin’ cheap.

So more duh moments, I was walking back to the hostel and there were a group of three scruffy rowdy men walking up a side road towards me.  As I turned down the road to pass them one said something to me.  I shrugged and said in English ‘I do not understand’.  Then the buggar knew how to ask me for money in English.  I ignored him and confidently strode down the road.  The confidence was short lived as it turned out I was walking into a cul-de-sac.  Nuts, wrong road.  The guys had carried on walking but could see one keep turning round to look at me.  So I hung back, waited for them to round the corner and carried on in the correct direction, pretending that I wasn’t so stupid…

I got chatting to a nice American couple on the train to Olomouc and I said that I felt very much like I was bumbling my way along.  They said that was what they had been doing for the last 40 odd years.  I guess bumbling can work…

Bristol Buildings in Watercolour

As you’d seen in an earlier post, I’ve been enjoying drawing buildings from around Bristol. Here are some of the sketches in watercolour fruition:

Below is Bristol Temple Meads train station; a lot nicer to look at than some of the more modern stations…

Here is Saint Mary Redcliffe church, which I’ve drawn before but had not painted until now.

I really enjoy drawing grand buildings like these, the details really pull me in and when I’m drawing them, the time just flies by without notice.