All set

Everything is packed. Tomorrow we set off.

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Himmelpfort

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For our first day we cycled about 65 km. Most of the paths are just for bikes with a tarmac surface, which makes for easy riding but the long straight sections through the endless forests are a bit uninteresting. Then about 3 in the afternoon we got on the phone to book a bed which was surprisingly difficult, maybe because it is Saturday. Still we got this nice room in someone’s garden for 30 Euros, which is slightly less than our fish supper with a glass of beer cost. We are in Himmelpfort, as is Father Christmas (he’s in the main street). It seems he gets a lot of letters later in the year.

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Neustrelitz

Ökohotel tonight with very healthy looking spiders on the ceiling, a good restaurant and a cinema showing a French film which didn’t deserve the outing.
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The weather was perfect again today. To cycle next to sparkling lakes we had to go up and down a few hills. This was not the “motorway” quality from the first day. Especially with heavy panniers, we had to jump off and push now and again.

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Brøndagergaard

Well that was a busy day. First we had Gerhild’s bike repaired, so that all of the gears now work. Then we took the train (€26 +€10 for the bikes) to Rostock and bought ferry tickets for 7 Euros, which includes the bike!

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It’s quite a funny, but enjoyable feeling cycling to the ferry. They let you get on first and get off first. All of the 40 ton trucks have to wait.

When we arrived it was dark. Gerhild’s light didn’t work. Then two French girls asked if they could follow us. They had no lights at all, having bought bikes in Berlin for the trip, which they intend to sell in Copenhagen. It was very dark with a large moon and millions of insects were flying about. If you opened your mouth to breathe, three insects shot in. When we got to where the B&B should be, we called our host and he helped us to find a gravel track off of the road which led to his house. Tomorrow will be a big surprise when we can actually see where we are.

€80 for B&B

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Stubbekøbing

Today we saw lots of beaches and lots of holiday homes.

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Our 400 DKK B&B (the only accommodation for miles) had this entertaining sign

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as well as a cosy garden to have breakfast..

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Stubbekøbing is a sad place which seems to be in terminal decline since the new bridge opened – which we will use to move on north.

Vordingborg

Well that was exciting. It is quite a windy day today.

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as you can see from this wind sock at the start of the loooong bridge which took us to Vordingborg.

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We didn’t get blown off, wayhay!

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Soft ice but hard chairs.

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Couldn’t resist 100 DKK for 10 socks. That’s €1.35 per sock. Mustn’t get carried away with only 4 panniers.

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The locals here are a strange looking lot, but friendly. We actually found a hotel here – €106 and very dull.

Præstø

Bit of a windy ride today but beautiful scenery.

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We are beginning to understand why almost every Danish home has a Danish flag blowing in the breeze.

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Lots of the houses have thatched roofs.

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In Præstø we found a great place to stay in the high street above a café called Sweet & Coffee less than 500 DKK for room. Had some coffee and Danish “cake” with lots of apple & crumble at the bottom.

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Room doesn’t quite express what you get. There’s a huge living room, kitchen and bath (shared). Why look for a hotel?

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Rødvig

The weather forecast today was for wind & rain.

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Don’t always believe the weather forecast. Today it was only half right.

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Picnic next to the beach.

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Sometimes the cycle lanes are better than the roads!

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A nice windy day today which helped us zoom through the sunshine to Rødvig. 400 DKK for room with harbour view and shared bath & kitchen and a walk along the clifftops. Gerhild liked the poster in the kitchen.

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Køge

Things we found next to the road today.

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As it is Saturday, by the time we got to Køge the tourist information office was closed, so we had to find somewhere to stay ourselves. We were struggling a bit until we realised that a small ceramic sign was all of the hint that you get, that there is a bed to be had.

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The second “B” doesn’t count as no breakfast is provided, just a light & airy bedroom/living room decorated with a dash of Danish design, TV, microwave, fridge, our own mini kitchen & bathroom, free WLAN, charming hosts and everything spotlessly clean (at least until we move in), all at 81 Strandvejen in Køge, where we found this B&B for 500 DKK with a supermarket just down the road to get something delicious for supper & breakfast.

Their web site

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Køge has a very nice old town centre.

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While Gerhild was admiring Danish shoe styles, I was more interested in what the well-dressed man puts on his head.

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Arken

Today we arranged to stay for a second night and jumped on the S-train to go to Ishoj and visit the Arken museum for contemporary art. Their focus was on Indian contemporary art & fashion.

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Paper cup man.

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Old bra dress.

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Inner tube frock. All of these “recycled” clothes are whetting Gerhild’s appetite for Copenhagen’s second hand shops…

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Carousel creation.

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And so on. These pictures are a bit small to get the full effect.

There is an app for the exhibition which lets you try the dresses on. Creative lot at Arken –

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Striped sensation.

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They had a Damien Hirst room too (yawn) and lots of fun things including a reading room full of seating opportunities by Doshi Levien (Indian).

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It was a good visit which we rounded off with some delicious sandwich/bagel creations in a small cafe next to the station. Did you know that bikes travel free on Copenhagen’s S-train network? Just look at the space that they provide!

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Copenhagen

Wayhay, we made it to Copenhagen and we have a place to stay. No this is not Kreuzberg, it is Istedgade 136 in the trendy part of town, 3rd floor.

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Every living room should have a fixed-wheel bike. The surf board, snow board and skate board are around the corner and screwed to the wall…

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You cannot believe how many bikes there are here.

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Interesting things to do with flea market ceramics.

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Sightseeing

Tuesday’s a sightseeing day, so we cycled to the centre & walked around a bit.

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After a biker’s breakfast.

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The old stock exchange with bizarre animals on top. Gerhild thought they must be banksters with entwined tails.

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What do you think?

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Guerilla knitting.

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Small Danes having a snack.

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Large non-Danes’ snacks. Sweet potato soup and pancakes, both with water melon & pineapple.

3 museums

Beautiful day to cycle to the Amelienborg Palace and the “little mermaid” and visit 3 museums.

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Photographic proof, that we made it to Copenhagen.

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Not good for my horse allergy.

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The interactive part of “Rokoko Mania”.

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Me with curls! Don’t fancy drying that lot after a shower.

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Ein schräger Typ.

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Don’t you just love the hat – affengeil!

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Delicious Thai lunch special.

Ørestad

You know there are even bridges over the water just for bikes too, so it was a pleasant if sometimes elusive route to cycle to Ørestad under what Gerhild called “architects’ clouds”.

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No label, so I don’t know who did this.

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Or this.

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The Bella Sky Cromwell hotel and some architects’ clouds.

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The Mountain. Round holes drilled in the metal make up the picture, covering up the carpark in the lower floors. On the “human” side it was all wood, but Gerhild’s battery died.

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I’m sure Banksy won’t mind.

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The “8 House” is quite amazing. You walk up a gentle slope going past each flat’s front garden, along a large figure of 8 until you get to the dizzy top of the building. If you are late to leave your penthouse in the morning, just jump on your skateboard and zoom down.

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On the way home we went down underground into the Cisternerne to splash around some fairly dull glass art to find these spooky old Danish figures which were much more interesting.

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Four elephants hold up this part of the Carlsberg brewery with apparent ease.

Louisiana

A nice pink bike shed on the way to the station.

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No we didn’t jump on American Airlines for a quick trip, this Louisiana is just north of Copenhagen, on the coast with a fine garden and a loop of galleries which hide in the landscape.

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Strange mushroom in the garden.

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Cheerful.

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I like this one.

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The cafe where we enjoyed a delicious buffet. If you squint, you can see Sweden on the horizon.

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Mmmmm. Some fortification for the train ride home.

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The galleries were full of interesting stuff which we didn’t snap. Lots about architecture too.

This evening will be our last in Denmark. Tomorrow we head for Berlin.

Why?

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Can you wonder that we are going away for a few days. I hear that they have a nice line of showers in Paris – not to mention perfume.

Where?

This is where we are staying. Looks very smart!


 

Thursday

Only 10 minutes late landing in CDG then 17 € for a bus to Gare de Lyon.

Bruno came around. After a big hello, he proudly showed us his urban garden on the way to his friend’s place just around another corner, turn left at this nice stick up. (see Liberty Leading the people )

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Two North and two South Americans then entertained us with some jazz in the living room with real Parisians and a few temporary Parisians all lapping it up. After the final encore we lapped up some home made soup and some other delicacies and chatted to all and sundry. A super soirée for our first evening.

Friday

Baguette breakfast & then we walked towards the centre, admiring everything in sight. Gerhild admired this little something made from haute cuture remnants, so a birthday present was found.

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Then we went to look at France’s new national library but we thought that the garden on the other side of the Seine was more fun.


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Impressions (literally) of streets from around the world. Yes that is a manhole cover in the middle of Mu Nan, the Chinese girl. The colours have faded a bit but you can see the originals on Rachid Khimoune’s own web site.

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Straight off the catwalk!

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Interesting things to do with vegetables. (See link)

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Interesting entrance to the metro. Treat your customer like a king! (Kiosque des noctambules)

Saturday

Today we went with Bruno to the Maison Europeene de LA PHOTOGRAPHIE

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We saw work from Choi, Claude Nori and Alice Springs which you can see here, well 1 each anyway. No not that Alice Springs, the other one, Helmut Newton’s wife.

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Someone told Gerhild to be quiet as she was making such a noise here, so we moved on to La Halle Saint Pierre to have a nice lunch and to see the Banditi dell’Arte exhibition with its collection of outsider art, which Bruno brought to life by translating the biographies for us.

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Sunday

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Vegetables like the doorman (Mitman by Fabrice Hyber) here were one of the highlights at the MAC/VAL, including this great film which you can see too if you follow the link.

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Lunch included a few vegetables too although it was hard to see for wiping the tears of laughter away caused by Anusha our waitress, who tried to get us talking to the resident artists at the next table while we waited for the cook to cook something.

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This cool cat didn’t mind the wait either.

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This spongey specimen seems familiar …

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This was interactive art. You fit a clean ear swab to the propellor in the headphones, put them on and move in front of the fan, et voilà, clean earhole!

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Kim couldn’t resist a brioche here.

Monday

Today was a Tricolour day, the sky was bright blue, my nose was bright red and the tissues white which I dropped in bins all around Paris.

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We walked around sightseeing, as it was such a beautiful day.

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We were quiet as church mice, but right next to Beaubourg, I couldn’t see the point.

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Gerhild’s birthday present is trés chique.

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There are sights to see around every corner.

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I wonder what music this Parisienne was dancing to?

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Sacré Coeur by moonlight is worth the climb.

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I couldn’t get this fellow’s tail to wag whatever I did …

Tuesday

Between packing and heading for the airport we went for a last look around the “Chinese wholesalers” quarter better known as the 3eme arondissement.

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all – well not him, and that lion looks ready to pounce.

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She has a much better chance.

Well, that’s the end of magical Paris for now. Back to the bathroom!

The Portland Plan

The plan for our sculpture course on portland. Tout Quarry in Wikipedia.

Tout Quarry
Tout Quarry is an old, abandoned stone quarry at the top of the island close to the Heights Hotel. It was worked for the famous Portland stone from 1780 through to 1982 giving important buildings in London and around the world its great look, from St Pauls and Buckingham Palace to the United Nations Building in New York. It is now a sculpture park full of varied stone carvings both free standing as well as worked into the rock faces left over from the days of quarrying allowing sculpture to meet the environment, its geology, ecology and working histories.

The sculpture park first came about in 1983 but the very earliest of pieces have not survived through to today sadly. However the quarry does now have over 70 sculptures dotted around the gullies make a walk around the quarry not only an adventure but a with real surprises around many corners. With the backdrop of the 18 miles of Chesil Beach stretching into the distance and with views right across Lyme Bay on a clear day, Tout Quarry makes a most interesting and picturesque walk.

The Portland Sculpture Quarry Trust (PSQT) also works out of Tout Quarry allowing the layman to get a taste and more of working the stone. They run workshops from May to September each year for beginners and all levels of skill. There is level access with a screed floor and light tarpaulin for weather cover. Tuition is given by experienced carvers and sculptors in direct carving, architectural detail and letter cutting. At the start of the course there is a selection of freshly quarried Portland stone, the finest of carving stones, soft enough to carve, yet extremely durable. Courses are run for the general public over the summer and schools, colleges and university groups during term time.

PSQT is also leading a project during the Cultural Olympiad 2009-2012 to build a unique stone lithophone for percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie to play in a performance to celebrate the opening of the Olympic sailing events in 2012. The stone Lithophone, built on site from stones that ring, explored the distinctive range of tones, harmonics and sustained reverberation found in the geological structures of the different quarries on Portland.

Videos

Arrived

It’s Monday morning & the church next door is quietly chiming 8 o’clock (6 minutes late), the sky is blue and we have spent our first night in Hotel Ses Sucreres.

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The view from the roof terrace before breakfast.

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Breakfast in the garden.

Coca dels pardals

We walked here from cala’n bosch, ate our picnic and walked back.

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Mellow me on Menorca with Mallorca making the background.

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Apart from a few cormorants we didn’t see anyone swimming today. Gerhild thinks the water is too cold.

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Wildlife in Ciutadella.

Casa Galdana walk

Yesterday we walked to the sound of crashing waves, today to birdsong in the woods behind the coast.

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Spot Gerhild in this panorama of Cala Mitjana. A beautiful cove still untouched by the developers..

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Shady paths today, which is good for my glowing ears.

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Gerhild giving her feet a rest and her brain some exercise

Restaurante Can Bernat des Grau

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It seems unkind when you see this splendid fellow, but that was our absolutely delicious lunch today at Can Bernat Des Grau, barracuda for two €18,50 with Menorcan potatoes. Mmmmm. A great recommendation from Stephanie, our hostess.

We went to the north coast today, starting at Binimel-là.

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Gerhild had a paddle,

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but she didn’t see any barracuda.

Smoix Restaurant

Well we didn’t go straight to the restaurant, first we went to Santo Tomás and walked next to the beach for a few km.

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The view away from the sea was fantastic too.

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We saw some girls dancing nude on the beach, but Gerhild was in a more reflective frame of mind

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although she did take her shoes off on the way back.

We arrived at the restaurant at quarter past three, which is apparently OK.

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We decided to walk around a bit after our splendid little meal, until my navigation system returned to normal. Ciutadella is a nice old town, but you do need to know where you are going.

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Something to relieve the pain of a haircut. If only they’d had one of these in Birmingham.

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A reminder to be good – would we be anything else?

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S’amarador

Delectable 3 o’clock dinner at the S’amarador restaurant at the end of the harbour in Ciutadella, preceded by a windy walk through a beautiful nature reserve on the northern coast between Algaiarens and Ajub de Corniola.

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The lesser striped tree hopper Gerhildicus Rosamaridium.

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We were careful not to wake this one.

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Gerhild spotted this extremely rare giant Menorcan hedgehog!

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We couldn’t identify this one, but it was quite harmless.

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