Poppy Collated

A compilation of intrigue and beauty

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To The South of France!

You may have previously read my post about taking a chance, and booking my art tour in the South of France.

My boyfriend had joined me for the time spent in Spain and Paris, however now he was heading home, and I was jumping on a train, on my own, to Sarlat!

I’d spent my entire holiday with my partner, now I was on this train heading to a new place on my own, without a phone, only a small French translation book and no English speakers around me, hoping someone would be at the other end to collect me! Now, while you might expect a cruisy train trip through the French countryside, that’s not always the case! A couple of hours in to the 5 hour journey, we hit a branch. Yes, a branch. We were then at a standstill for 4+ hours while the issues it had caused were fixed! I tried not to panic when the lovely French lady next to me gave little groans as each announcement was made. I continued to keep my head in my book as I hoped we would continue soon. In the end, she was able to write down some numbers for me, an indication of the time that was predicted we’d spend sitting in that spot. In the end, a few rows down, a girl spoke a little English and was able to tell me that it had been said we were to go to another stop and swap trains! Oh dear… Eventually, we made it all the way to Sarlat, I was so thankful to have avoided the stress of changing trains and not knowing where I was going! My fellow art tour friends were on the same train, in another carriage, however we had not met yet.

The train to Sarlat! Before it broke down...

The train to Sarlat! Before it broke down…

Finally, as we got to the station, hours later than expected, we were greeted by the lovely Christoph and Sarisa of the local taxi company Taxi a la Carte. They were our guides throughout this tour and were better than you could have ever expected. They are truly lovely people and have so much knowledge of the area.

Sarlat was an absolute dream. I get inspired just thinking about it, I’d so love to return one day. It was so different to Paris, a big bustling city. Sarlat and the surrounding area was truly stunning, a historic and friendly place, one that you could stay in forever!

That night, I met the rest of the group of wonderful aussies, for a lovely welcome dinner in Sarlat. Our accommodation at Les Cordeliers was in the centre of the town, we really were right in the middle of everything. It was fantastic and I highly recommend staying at this B&B. The owners were so friendly and had a great knowledge of the area. The breakfast was delicious and the rooms were beautiful!

Our first full day included a guided tour of Sarlat. This was a fantastic way to get a real understanding of the town and its history. It was also market day, which takes up a huge portion of the town. It is such a beautiful place, am I getting across my point of how wonderful this town is?!

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Selfie in Sarlat!

Selfie in Sarlat!

The main square in Sarlat

The main square in Sarlat

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

Sarlat, France

All photos by Carly Smith

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La Sagrada Familia, Not to be Missed!

On our first day in Barcelona, when wandering around the city, we got our first look at Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia.

It was such an amazing monument, towering above, demanding attention from the whole city. It was such a beautiful day that there were HUNDREDS of people around, many lining up to get inside. We decided that we should go back early the next day to avoid such a huge crowd.

We purchased tickets online and made our way back the following day. The crowds were still there, but not quite as bad. All to be expected at an amazing place like this! Unfortunately, we were unable to venture into the tower that day, it was closed, but we were very happy to view the open sections of the building.

The light that came through the stunning stained glass windows was simply amazing. The ceilings were so high, it made the area feel very majestic and grand. Yes, there were many people around, but it was so remarkable that it didn’t matter. You were in your own little world. The sculptural work involved in the entire design is extraordinary.

I feel truly inspired by this building and the creative mind of Antoni Gaudi.

What, or who, inspires you?

La Sagrada Familia - plus the crowds!

La Sagrada Familia

Always in progress

Always in progress

Stunning light

Stunning light

The detail!

The detail!

Symbols everywhere

Symbols everywhere

Sculptural facade

Sculptural facade

Inspiring architecture

Inspiring architecture

All photos by Carly Smith

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I Dreamt of a European Adventure

I daydream; a lot. I also get fidgety when I feel myself falling into a routine that includes limited creativity and inspiration, leaving me itching for something exciting!

This was just how I felt the day I googled ‘International Art Tours’.

As a teenager I spent time refining my portrait drawing skills until I had it down to a fine art. Since moving into the working world, I sadly stopped finding the time to spend on my art. Even when I decided to do a 4 year university degree in Interior Architecture, I still didn’t delve too far back into my drawing.

So ‘International Art Tours’ I googled. And ‘Cilla Campbell’ is what I found.

I contacted Cilla, an art teacher from Sydney, to discuss her tours and was completely mesmerised by the thought of spending days drawing in small French villages, touring around the historic towns and castles, visiting wineries and truffle farms. So I did it, I booked an international art tour to France!

Do you ever feel like you need more inspiration and creativity in your life? Obviously this was quite a big move, however I’d wanted to book a trip to Europe for some time, so I felt that joining a tour with like minded people was a good move for me.

In further posts I will tell you all about my trip, including expanding it from the 10 day tour in France, to a 4.5 week European adventure!

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France poppy
All photos by Carly Smith