Friday, 29 March 2013


When we arrived in our suite to which we had been upgraded thanks to a bit of confusion on the internet booking, we found lots of space including a sitting area with 2 sofas and a coffee table.  On the table was a very smart pot, empty till I put into it the single rose in a vase which cluttered up our bathroom shelf.  This rose was replaced eventually with this magnificent bunch of bird of paradise flowers.  I was very excited to have more sketching opportunities and decided to draw them after dinner in the evening when Bob was a bit slow on his turn at scrabble!
Another of the hotel buildings with an interesting wooden balcony.
On our first morning as we came down to breakfast in the dining room I could hear some music playing and found that it was this charming lady playing her violin near the door to the garden so everybody eating inside and out could hear her.  She was very flamboyant with her red hair and bright clothes and scarves and played almost every day a mixture of classical and traditional tunes.  I had a joke one day with a German gentleman about  the Eine Kleine Nacht music she was playing!
The breakfast buffet was as spectacular as the dinner with all kinds of breads and pastries, meats, cheeses, cereals, eggs and other hot things and the best array of fruit I've ever seen.  Bob tried a few different combinations and discovered some delicious bread which needed 4 passses through the toaster to go brown.  I had a dinner plate full of fresh fruit and a bowl of yogurt with honey, occasionally washed down with a bucks fizz! It was strange in the morning to hear the popping of wine corks but it was the only time it was free!!  We had a charming waitress called Vera who looked after us very well, remembering our tea preferences and our wine in the evening.  She spoke perfect English and we had lots of interesting conversations.  When we left we exchanged teabags, I gave her some Lady Grey and she gave me some Peruvian 'Menta con Muna,' a delicious mint tea.

Thursday, 28 March 2013


Bob tells me this is a banana plant and hidden behind the leaves is a flower which resembles the bird of paradise flower but with white petals and about twice the size.
Every afternoon the clouds gathered over the mountains behind the resort and it was quite a challenge to try and capture the mistiness as they passed over the peaks with bits peeping out over the top.
One evening during our after dinner stroll in the garden I picked this twig from one of the shrubs and smuggled it up to our room to draw the next day.  It lasted a few days in fact and I added to the sketch as the bud grew and opened.  Since posting this drawing on I have discovered it's a Bauhinia and I have my worldwide sketching friends to thank for that info!
Another evening of hotel entertainment brought us these flamenco dancers and what an exciting spectacle with their castanets clacking and their heels drumming to traditional Spanish music.  I tried to take some photos but the light just wasn't good enough so I had to make do with a blurry picture and my memory!
Another view towards the mountains I decided to leave uncoloured for a change.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


The gardens of the hotel contained an amazing selection of different palm trees, this is a selection planted around the swimming pool.
On a holiday like this it's hard to escape from other people and how sad that it's usually the English who show themselves up.  One afternoon we had sat near a family and couldn't avoid hearing everything the bossy wife told her poor downtrodden husband to do, even his parents who were on holiday with them were dumbstruck!
Every evening after dinner there was live entertainment in the hotel bar. A variety of groups appeared varying from Abba, 2 different Beatles, the Eagles and the 3 tenors tribute bands.  By far the best was the Elvis, My way, group who had us in stitches for an hour!
Another of our hotel buildings with it's shady balconies, very welcome I expect in summer when it gets really hot.
We saw the weather forecasts for home and England on our kindles every day and were really pleased to be there in the sun when the snow fell heavily on Northern Europe.

Monday, 25 March 2013


Behind the coastal strip of hotels, apartments, shops and restaurants loomed the foothills of Mount Tiede, the volcano from which the island of Tenerife was formed.  You can see the snowy top of it showing just below the clouds.
The second half of the first picture of this double spread. I drew this from our usual morning spot in the gardens just before going for my aquagym session, Bob made the excuse to Liann that he had to stay and watch the paint dry!
This colourful bougainvilla grows everywhere, tumbling over walls and in the gardens in all shades of red and bright pink.
Another corner of the garden with an arch set amongst the palms for a bit of shade and interest.
A view along the coast drawn during one of our morning strolls. We never went as far as Playa las Americas, it was too annoying to have to keep avoiding the ticket touts and time share salespeople!

Friday, 22 March 2013


Every day we sat in a different place in the garden so I always had a different view to draw and even though these are the same buildings as the last one I posted yesterday I never got bored.
At 1225 every day the young Dutch animator Liann passed through the gardens calling out for volunteers to take part in the aquagym.  At first we didn't know what it was all about but having seen the ladies in the pool exercising one day I decided to have a go. I really enjoyed myself having never done anything like it before. I had always wondered what purpose those foam sausages served! Bob came along to take some photos and soon got teased for not joining in. 'Manyana' he said, until finally he gave in and had a whale of a time messing about with his noodle and pretending to be Spanish, German and Russian when Liann asked where people came from so she could instruct us in the correct languages.
The architecture was certainly a challenge to draw as I was usually looking up at it and seeing the undersides of the roof lines. That gazebo on top of the clock tower gave me a lot of trouble!
Our evening meals were served in a large restaurant and consisted of an amazing buffet which changed daily and featured different countries' foods, such as sushi, chinese, scandinavian, and Spanish of course.  Our favourite was the fresh fish cooked by a charming chef called Omar.  He soon got to know that Bob really loved his fish and cooked special pieces for us.  He teased Bob about having to sleep on the balcony after having some of his garlic sauce when I complained of his breath one morning!
This is one of my favourites of the hotel buildings, the only white one between the cream and pink ones.  It has lovely plants cascading down from the balconies and I can imagine the luxurious rooms behind those big windows.

Thursday, 21 March 2013


Looking out of our balcony towards the sea we had a wonderful view of the island of Gomera in the distance past these amazingly tall trees.
Just outside the gate at the end of our hotel grounds and across the road was this citadel on a volcanic outcrop, surrounded with exotic gardens but inaccessible to the public except by a path around the outside on the rock itself.
Our room was in the 6th building from the sea on the 4th floor so we could see all around from the sea to the mountains. It was very comfortable with a huge bathroom with a jacuzzi bath which we used every evening.
I was never short of subjects to draw although Bob moved his chair as soon as I started to draw so the perspective here is a bit odd!
This is the first building of the Bahia del Duque hotel with it's assorted roof tops.  I had decided after the first sketch on the Monday to try and restrict my 'colouring in' to the sky and the trees as otherwise it all becomes too busy.  I quite like the effect of leaving the buildings plain although in reality they are all shades of ochre and warm terracotta with red roofs.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


We had arrived at the hotel late in the evening too tired to do anything except eat our meal, beautifully served in the room, and go to bed.  So we had a lovely surprise in the morning when we opened the curtains to see our fabulous view from the balcony.
Our hotel faced another fabulous 5 star hotel across the valley.  The hotel Bahia del Duque looked like a village built on a hillside with a variety of different buildings in a typical Canarian style, surrounded by a tropical garden.  After looking on google I discovered that it was the first hotel on this part of the coast and set the standard for further development. As Monday turned out to be too cool in the afternoon for sunbathing I decided to try and draw the view and had to continue on Tuesday as it was very challenging to try and get everything in proportion.
Our hotel had a gate at the end of the grounds leading out to the beach.  It was painted black, probably to reflect the colour of the volcanic soil everywhere.  Even the beach had black sand!
On Tuesday we finally got to put on our cossies and lay in the sun which was warm but surprisingly strong and burning if you forgot the sun lotion!
Wednesday dawned with perfect weather for a whole day of lazing about! I set myself the challenge of drawing all the buildings of our hotel and the one opposite.  This is the first one nearest to the sea. Bob certainly got a morning of peace to read his book while I was sketching.

Monday, 18 March 2013


We've just returned from a wonderful fortnight in Tenerife where we stayed on the Costa Adeje. 
 I took with me one of my home made journals filled with Canson Mi-tientes pastel paper in very soft colours, a couple of Faber Castell Pitt pens, a selection of Inktense pencils, watercolours and 2 waterbrushes.
The resort is a few kilometres north of Playa las Americas which we had visited 22 years ago.  This newer holiday centre is a bit more up market than the old resort with no time-share touts and no all day English breakfasts!
The seaside promenade stretches all along the coast through all the resorts so one can walk from end to end with enough energy.  We managed to go to the northern end of our section before running out of steam and needing a cold beer!
There are palm trees everywhere of all shapes and sizes.
I risked pricking my fingertips picking this sprig from a plant growing in a dried up river bed we passed along the way. I'm not really sure of the correct name so if anyone knows please let me know.


Friday, 1 March 2013

Last part of the journey

Our stay in Sweden finally came to an end and we crossed the bridge back into Denmark to catch our ferry home.  These are a few flowers I picked during a walk at Ishoj where we stayed for a couple of nights.
We stopped for a look around Riba on the west of Denmark before catching the ferry at Esbjerg.  We had been told it had the oldest, most beautiful cathedral in Denmark but at that time it was covered in scaffolding and surrounded by roadworks so we had a stroll along the river, some lunch and headed to the port.
The next day after landing at Harwich we headed to the New Forest for a few days of rest. Ivor and Janet were staying on a campsite nearby so we spent some time together, walking their dogs and having nice pub meals.  These flowers came from a walk from Beaulieu to Bucklers hard.
Ponies and cattle graze freely all over the Forest so we had to drive carefully as they could step into the road at any time.
A pretty feather Janet found on the path one day.
The weather deteriorated so that soon we were surrounded by water on our pitch and we spent the whole day in the camper car but we were pleased it had stayed goood for the main part of the holiday. We had only 7 days of rain in 7 weeks and now it was time to catch the ferry to France and home.