We heard the world was going to end so we went to the woods...
Scott and I are outdoors people and if we have time off can often be found exploring The New Forest; it is a magical place.
We have foraged before, but never for edible mushrooms; just simply because it's fun! We have always wanted to go mushroom foraging with someone who knows their stuff & John Wright is certainly that man! You may have seen him on the River Cottage series.
We booked up one of John's Mushroom Foray courses and counted down the days. John got in touch with us to send over details of our meeting place and early one cold Autumn morning we drove through the misty forest to the car park where our day of foraging began.
We began the session with a glass of Cava; a foragers nip and then John told us the plan for the day. We didn't have to venture far at all before we found some edible specimens. The group collected both edible & non edible mushrooms; there was a basket for each, always checking with John, who explained each species as we discovered them. Trust Scott to find a Stinkhorn; and yes they do really stink!
We found a pretty rare species that day, a Cordyceps, which is a parasitic fungus; John was very excited as had not seen this particular species before!
As the sun faded we made our way back to base and set up picnic blankets and prepared the edible mushrooms ready for a fry up! We got to sample four species of edible mushrooms; including Winter Chanterelles & Amethyst Deceivers.
We had a lovely day and it was so nice to spend all day in the forest. There is something hugely satisfying about collecting your own dinner! We had all collected enough to each have a taste with plenty to take home. If you are interested in foraging I recommend booking up or going with an expert! There are plenty of nasty mushrooms out there, which will make you sick at best and some are fatal.
The weekend before last we (Scott, my sister and I) woke up in the middle of the night and headed down the winding country lanes to Bristol Airport to catch our flight to Salzburg. Unfortunately we didn't quite make it straight there as due to a technical fault with our Aeroplanes' hydraulics, we landed in Milan Airport. Five hours later we got back on board and made our way to Salzburg...it was a rather bumpy landing through thick cloud and once landed there was a round of applause!
It was dark when we arrived in Salzburg city centre and we had missed the last train to Jesenice so decided to stay in Salzburg for the night, on the top floor of Hotel Europa, which had amazing views of the city.
We woke in time to catch the first train to Jesenice. It was cold and about to get much colder.
The train journey was the prettiest we have been on, with thick snow on the fields, icicles hanging from the rocks and frosted white tree tops. We were glued to the windows watching the landscape change. At times we were above the clouds!
We finally arrived at Jesenice and made our way by bus to our final destination, Kranjska Gora.
From the moment we arrived we were amazed at how beautiful the village was. The slopes were ideal for beginners and we loved being out in the snow every day.
A highlight of our trip was a walk through the Tamar Valley to see the Olympic Planica Ski Jumps. When we told our hotel owner that we were going on a walk to the jumps she quickly grabbed her keys and offered to drive us there...she dropped us off at the local village and told us it was -12 degrees. For a moment we felt stranded but were soon overwhelmed by the beautiful landscape, it was like something out of Narnia.
A train journey through Austria to Slovenia
The village of Kranjska Gora
Night Skiing & Snowboarding (Scott on the right)
I took the camera up the ski lift with me....tricky!
Planica, Olympic Ski Jump
A wooden cabin at the top of the valley. Where we drank strong coffee and Mountain flower tea.
A 12 mile walk through the Tamar Valley in -12 degrees. A winter wonderland, one of the most beautiful walks we have ever been on!
The snow squeeked underfoot, I love the sound of walking on fresh snow.
All the farms had these, used for storing and drying logs.
The plan was for us all to make snow angels, but we let Cathy go first!
Walking back across snowy fields to the nearest village to catch a bus back to Kranjska Gora
On the last day we went for a walk in the early morning, just a mile from our hotel, towards the mountain in search of a lake. It was frozen over, but the light was beautiful that morning, the snow and trees glistened!
The last photo of the trip; The church spire looking through the village, a view we passed every morning on the way to the slopes, which were only metres away from our hotel!
We miss the snow, the slopes and the mountains and I think we have caught the bug for skiing and snowboarding!
What a year 2011 has been! We would like to say a huge Thank You to all the couples we have had the pleasure of working with.
We introduced our Engagement Sessions for the first time and got to spend more time with our clients before their wedding day. Our couples took us across the countryside, along the beaches to beautiful Castles and quaint villages along the way!
Highlights for us include Cara & Steven's outdoor wedding at The Larmer Tree Gardens. Dawn & Alex's vintage inspired wedding at Stanwell House, Karen & Dougie's medieval barn wedding in Sherborne and Elly & John's Christmas wedding at Sherborne Castle, which finished our year on a high!
We have booked our first destination weddings for next year and are looking forward to travelling to Marseille, Dole and to Duns Castle in Scotland. We have never been to Scotland before so can't wait to explore and photograph the surrounding area.
We wish all our couples and colleagues a very Happy New Year and hear is to an even better 2012!
Here are a collection of images taken from each shoot we photographed during 2011.
Some of our favourite moments....