Over the last months, I have spent quite some time on the peaceful island which is the garden of my South London home, trying to squeeze yet another PhD chapter out of my confused and tired brain. Writing was [and is] particularly difficult this time, which I guess has to do with the fact that the project is slowly coming to an end, and I will have to think about how to wrap up things shortly, which has always been a difficult and challenging task for me.

Thankfully, this summer we have been blessed with a lot of sunshine and warm weather which allowed for nice and relaxing weekend outings to distract me from worrying to much. I still enjoy exploring the city immensely (and regret that I do not document my adventures here as regularly as I want to).

However, since I am a country girl at heart and need my regular dose of mountains, two weeks ago, [c] and I set out for a short break at my mum’s in the Tyrolean Alps. Despite a lot of rain, we managed to do some hiking without getting soaked, and we even got rewarded with some particularly nice and dramatic valley views.

And of course we also managed to dwell within the odd old wall, and to stick our noses into a monastery or castle or two.

After such a wonderful break it does not feel too bad to be back in London, and to pick up writing once again. And knitting, for that matter. But before I share my current explorations on that front with you, here’s a project I already finished back in March, but never got around to posting it here:

Pattern: Geometry | Hypotenuse by Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Yarn: Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash [colour: Versuchskaninchen]
Needles: 4.5mm
[More project details on Ravelry]

Happy knitting, writing […insert activity you are currently engaged in…] everyone!

Once again, it’s the time of year around here where you begin to wonder: Where did the summer go? Well, I don’t have an answer to that question, but what I can give you is a slightly delayed account of where we went in summer…

[m] about to enter the crypt at Köngsfelden Abbey

First we went to Switzerland to look at some art, especially the stunning 14th century stained glass windows in Königsfelden Abbey. We also took the opportunity to meet a Swiss friend who not only provided us with her good company and a bed to sleep in but also with some delicious local food such as fried sausages and Geschnetzteltes with Rösti

Adoration of the Magi, mid-14th century, Königsfelden Abbey

From Switzerland we drove across the mountains – or more precisely: over the Flüela Pass and the Fuorn Pass – into South Tyrol, or more precisely, to the small valley at the back of beyond which [m] calls home:

There we revelled in the opportunity to do some proper hiking in the mountains and enjoy get loads of fresh air and glorious views.

We stayed in the valley for a week and only left it for one day to go to the (relatively) nearby town of Brixen/Bressanone where we had ice cream and coffee with a dear friend of ours – and, of course, took a good look at the amazing 15th century wall-paintings they have there:

Brixen/Bressanone, Cathedral Cloister (and, by pure coincidence, it’s yet another depiction of the Adoration of the Magi)

After that short return to civilization, it was once again back to the valley and up some more mountains:

Now, how does one follow up spending so much time in the mountains? By taking a trip to the seaside, of course…

So when we finally left South Tyrol, rather than heading straight back to Vienna, we steered further south into Italy proper, our first stop being the small town of Pordenone. There, we went to see some medieval works of art (can you see a pattern emerging here?)…

One of the many old ‘palazzi’ on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Pordenone

… and then we drove on to Trieste to do the same…

Trieste, Cathedral

But Trieste has a lot more to offer than just art and churches, e.g. ice cream, pizza and moonlit walks along the waterfront by the sea…

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stay in Trieste for more than one night, but it’s definitely on our list of ‘places to return to’. Maybe next summer… We’ll keep you posted!