Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Cycle Trip Up The River To Steyning

Heading up the River Adur to Steyning

On Saturday morning we decided to get out and about on our bikes and head up the river to the the old Sussex town of Steyning, a town steeped in history - much of which is still evident today in many of its old buildings.  Steyning remains unspoilt because there's a bypass which diverts any potential through traffic and heavy vehicles.  Another lovely aspect of the town is that it is almost "chain store free" as most of the shops are local businesses and it was good to see them being well-supported by the locals.

We came across Cobblestone Walk which, from the outside, looked like an old shop but when you enter the front door, you are at the start of a little shopping arcade which was so quaint and old-fashioned with low ceilings, it felt a bit like entering fairy land!

We couldn't resist calling into the Cobblestone Tea House for a sit down and some refreshments.  Well, you have to, don't you?

Feeling refreshed, we then took a further wander around the town and admired the old buildings.

Finally, opposite the old church, we came across the Steyning Museum which, although only quite small, was impressively curated and was packed with plenty of local and social history. We were given a warm welcome and were impressed that admission was free and the museum was run by volunteers.

As the sky was starting to darken we thought it best to get back on our bikes and head home, before the rain came.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Back From Italy

Sheep Sculpture, Arezzo

We got back from our honeymoon in Tuscany and Rome a couple of weeks ago but things have been a little busy to say the least since we got back, but I'm slowly managing to sort through our many photos so I'll share more thoughts and pictures in my next post.

One of the things we were told about Italy (and received examples of on a regular basis!) was not to worry if things didn't go as planned, but just to go with the flow, as is the Italian way, and just accept things as they came along.

We stayed in the town of  Arezzo for 4 nights and this was our base as we visited different places each day. It wasn't until the last day here that we had a chance to explore Arezzo itself.

The Tuscan landscape, from Arezzo

Approaching the Piazza and restaurants, Arezzo

It was hot and sunny all morning but just as we finished lunch, at an outside cafe, two things happened.  Firstly, the weather changed and it was obvious the clouds were gathering for some rainfall.  Secondly, a group of people set up a table with "refreshments" at one side of the main square and a "checkpoint" at the other.  Some photographers also started to appear.  We knew something was about to happen but there was no indication of what - perhaps there was a marathon event?  Then the heavens opened for about 10 minutes with some very heavy rain, and just as it started to ease off, we heard a sound which at first we thought was thunder, but then decided it was a vehicle, and around the corner came a charming and very old bright red car

The first car arrives in the pouring rain

It appeared that we were about to experience the Gran Premio Nuvolari - an annual event of classic cars.  Seeing the cars enter the town, drive around the old piazza and then leave again kept us entertained for the best part of the afternoon.

heading back out of town

not much cover from the rain, but wearing a helmet helps

coming up the hill into town

past the cathedral and into town

up another hill and out of town

after the rain

out of town