Wednesday 6th July 2016
Marc Chagall and the Supremacy of Blue
Marc Chagall was the quintessential alien in exile, saying “My homeland exists only in my exiled soul.” Sombre early Russian works gave way to heady Cubism before settling into a more narrative style. Chagall has a childlike innocence also using significant religious themes to produce powerful and joyous images. Deep blue is the colour of wisdom and dominates much of his work, both in paintings and stained glass.
Scotland, September 20th – 25th 2015.
We travelled partly by train and visited Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House in Helensburgh and Luss on Loch Lomond on our first afternoon. We then spent a full day visiting Mount Stewart House on Bute, looking spectacular in late summer sunshine. Our last full day in Glasgow began with a tour of the House for an Art Lover before the members of the group chose a particular gallery or attraction, with many visiting Kelvingrove and the Burrell, while others went to the Willow Tea rooms or cathedral.
On day 4 we began the second phase of the trip and travelled south to Dumfries House, for many the highlight of our holiday. This amazing and much loved house and its collection of Chippendale furniture was saved at the last minute from being sold by the intervention of the Prince of Wales.
We also saw Culzean Castle, another Robert Adam design, which has a remarkable cliff-top location, before arrival at our second hotel. The Cally Palace, at the Gatehouse of Fleet, was comfortable and surrounded by an extensive golf course and grounds. From it, we were able to explore Kirkcudbright, including Hornel’s home, Broughton House, and to relax in comfort.
Our final day was spent in restored gardens close to the hotel and in the Tullie House museum and gallery in Carlisle from where we travelled home.
Malta, March 14th – 18th 2016
We stayed at the excellent Excelsior Hotel in Valletta and were delighted with the weather, the programme and our guide, Amy.
We visited the old cities, key monuments and locations but the highlights for many were the two private houses – Casa Bernard and Casa Rocca Piccola. St John’s Co- Cathedral was also breathtaking. One of our three excellent journeys by water was a trip to Gozo. Many of us also went to the opera, enjoyable and interesting, despite the limitations of our last minute seats!
Devon, September 14th – 18th 2014.
We had wonderful September weather for our Devon trip. We visited Montacute House on the way and then, from our base in Exeter, we explored the town and Cathedral with excellent guides. Further afield we visited Buckland Abbey, Cotehele, and Coleton Fishacre. From Dartmouth we had an excellent cruise to Agatha Christie’s Greenway before enjoying a private tour of the Royal Naval College. Our final visit, on the way home, was to the SS Great Britain at Avonmouth.
Andalucia, April 2015
We visited Granada, and the Alhambra Palace and were especially impressed by our time in Cordoba. The beauty of the Mezquita surpassed our expectations. Our second base was in Seville and we explored the cathedral, Alcazar and much more. We stopped in Ronda on our last day, seeing the town and amazing gorge which cuts through it. This was a very busy holiday and somewhat tiring, with early start and late finish, but certainly value for money and memorable, in perfect Spanish sunshine.
Bath, September 25th – 27th 2016
17 members enjoyed a busy city break stopping on route to the Royal Bath Hotel to visit the American Museum. A most interesting peek into the period rooms showing lifestyles from early settlers through the war of independence, slave trade, the Amish and much more. We finished the first day at Evensong in Bath Abbey.
Our Blue Guides brought the Roman Baths to life.
In the city centre, we were able to walk to the assembly rooms and the fashion museum with our guide sharing historical anecdotes about people and places along our route.
Prior Park, Sally Lunns and the Holburne Museum were also visited in a most enjoyable short Autumn break.