Posted by Jamie North on August 29, 2017
Well, my three weeks away is long over and I feel so very fortunate to have been able to participate in this incredible adventure - Beading Through Bohemia, through Triple M Tours and SociaBeadia. I'm finally getting around to actually blogging about it!
Our instructor was Marjorie Barnes and she is a vivacious delight whose projects inspired me to consider perhaps developing yet another obsession - bead embroidery. The projects were beautiful. It was so much fun to learn, view, experience, explore, and just soak in all the amazing places we visited and get to know some lovely people along the way.
When you travel with beaders, it is inevitable that you seek out and visit bead stores! On this journey, I was able to visit bead shops in 5 different countries - Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and England. Oftentimes, more than one bead shop in each location we stopped! We also visited a couple of factories where beads were made and saw that in action. My take away from these visits was reinforcement that we live in a very global economy and that what I offer customers in my little online space is fairly diverse, unique or somewhat ‘harder to find’ and competitively priced. Other than one-of-a-kind lampwork beads, I didn't see anything on this trip that I couldn't get for you if I don't already offer it - and much I already offer. It makes me happy to know that my efforts to seek out quality items I think people might like is worth it. So feel free to contact me if you want something you don’t see here. If I can source it, I will try and get it for you.
If you are at all interested, there are heaps of photos on my personal Facebook page. I’m sharing a few here of the cities I was lucky enough to visit and some of the fantastic people I met along the way.
This is me at the entrance to the Prague Castle - it is totally massive! The photo below that is of a beautiful little street in the countryside outside of Prague when we went to visit the bead making factories. I also had the huge treat to meet my friend, Jana Polackova, an incredible Kumihimo artist who lives right in Prague. We had a wonderful time.
In Vienna, there is a statue or monument of some kind everywhere you look. There is so much history that it was a bit overwhelming to me, as someone who is from Canada and has not traveled to Europe before. Our country is celebrating it's 150th Birthday this year. That would be considered 'relatively recent' in Europe! I loved this photo of a typical street in Vienna and the photo I took from a beautiful park we stopped at.
Likely my favorite part of the tour portion was the 3 day river cruise down the Danube. It was so calm and peaceful; you would look up and be floating past ancient castle ruins or beautiful vineyards. It was magical.
Budapest was spectacular as well. Again, so much history and beautiful architecture. Everywhere you looked, there was something to see!
While the official tour ended in Budapest, I went on to London to visit my beautiful friend and renowned Kumihimo designer, Pru McRae. We had an incredible few days together, visiting and planning for an upcoming Kumihimo tour in February/March 2018 to the south of France and Mediterranean Coast. I will be doing another blog with more information, but you can see details here. While in London, I got to see some of the beautiful city and get together with people I would only have known on Facebook otherwise. It was wondrous and I will remain forever grateful.
If you have a chance to take part in one of these theme-based tours, I highly recommend it! You will share with people of similar interests, explore a part of the World you may not have seen before, learn or enhance your skill and make life-long friends. Travel with an open heart and mind to experience other cultures, food, customs, history and absorb all you can. It was truly a fabulous opportunity that I will never forget!
All prices are in USD