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Category Archives: Holidays

A Duck nibbled your WHAT?!

Many years ago – so long ago, in fact, that I think I still had a full-time job – I wrote about a holiday and detailed the huge list of other countries and towns where I had singularly failed to catch ANYTHING AT ALL when indulging in holiday fishing. If you wish to read it you can find it here: https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2009/07/07

Well…….

This week Faith and I have accompanied our six month old Grandson, his other grandparents and his mummy and daddy to the CenterParcs “resort” at Elveden Forest in Suffolk.

It has been a steaming hot few days so far and as I write the beginnings of this piece outside our villa at 9.30pm on the longest day of the year it is still comfortably warm and still daylight.

If I look up from my notebook and away from the villa I can see nothing but ferns, tall trees and a clear blue sky. Various birds, squirrels and Muntjac deer also make fleeting appearances and off in the distance I can hear a Peacock screeching.

It’s all rather idyllic and what I feel retirement is supposed to be about!

This isn’t our first visit here by any means – Faith and I first came here with our daughters in March 1995, the visit coinciding with our 15th Wedding Anniversary – and was memorable to me for it actually snowing hard while I floated with just my face above water in a gently steaming outdoor pool!

We have returned several times since then, including for my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2000 and daughter Hannah’s 18th Birthday in 2001.

After that the main shopping/eating concourse suffered a serious fire and Faith and I returned on our own not long after it reopened after an extensive rebuild. On that occasion we stayed in the hotel by the lake rather than a villa and spent most of our time trying to remember “isn’t that where ‘such and such’ restaurant used to be?” because it was completely unfamiliar in its new form.

I had thought that because I have been here with the current layout in existence there would be no problems finding my way around but that has not been the case. The villas with three bedrooms and an equal number of bathrooms (essential, believe me!) are situated in a bit of the park that did not even exist when last we visited so we are approaching and leaving the facilities at the centre in an unfamiliar way. Indeed, after 3 of our 4 days here I still have to stop and think at every turn despite doing the route from 4 to 6 times a day!

Thus far I have spent a couple of hours swimming (including the “Wild Water Rapids” where I briefly got stuck on a tight bend!) and played Tennis, Table Tennis and Badminton. Of these I have proved best at Table Tennis – I am tall, with long arms and a great deal of the surface area of the table is therefore available to me without the need for all that tedious, sweaty leaping around that the other games entail!

However, as you have probably guessed from the early paragraphs of this story, the most sedentary sport I have taken part in was……… Fishing!

On the grounds that 2 grandmothers plus his mummy and daddy could provide more than enough care and attention for little Xavier, his granddad Pete and I booked fishing permits for the big lake – specifically the fenced off corner free from wind-surfers, water-skiers and massive multi-family sized pedallos.

We arrived on Monday afternoon, picked up our permits early on Tuesday and spent that afternoon on adjacent platforms trying to tempt some of the numerous monster Carp that we could see cruising about just below the surface. They, however, showed no interest whatsoever in our bait offerings and we had to make do with 4 small Roach apiece before returning to the villa before 4pm so that I could go off and get horribly sweaty playing Badminton awfully badly! They should rename the sport “Awfulminton” in honour of my prowess or lack thereof!

On Wednesday we were able to start a bit earlier and fish for longer – again with adjacent (but different) platforms and I was annoyed to see those bloody Carp taking the piss by not only refusing even to look at our bait but also taking a route between the decking we were sitting on and our floats! Some of them were well within the reach of my telescopic-handled landing net and I was seriously tempted to scoop a couple of them out with that, photograph them and put them back!

There is a certain code of honour covering such things though – so I didn’t! Aren’t you proud of me?

I have since discovered that the “wildlife team” here feed those Carp at a regular time and in a place not in the fishing zone so Anglers really have no chance – that IS cheating!

On this second occasion, however, I did hit a patch of much larger Roach and stopped counting when I passed 8 so my total was well into double figures. I was very happy with that!

That was also “finishing on a high” as other booked sports and baby-sitter duties put Thursday out of the picture and the gear had to be re-packed into the car early on Friday.

So, if you bothered to read to the end of my previous piece you will know that it ended with the words “No fish were harmed during the making of this holiday!” Well, because of my careful unhooking and use of barbless hooks, I can still say that. I do, however, feel the need to add to the end of that sentence “…..but at least (and at last) some were actually caught!”

And the odd title of this piece?

Before they learned that I wasn’t going to feed them and went away I was bothered by a number of ducks – one of which thought it would be fun to take a peck at my waggler (it’s a type of float).

The following exchange occurred when I related the story to Faith:

“A duck nibbled your WHAT?!”

“My waggler”.

“Well I’m sure your mother warned you that might happen if you wave it about in public!”

Honestly! What a dirty mind that woman has!

Alfie

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2017 in Holidays

 

Menorca 2016 – 6 – What are the chances?

And finally…..

We came to this hotel firstly because we had seen it (and liked its location right on the beach) during an excursion in 2004 but also because it was thoroughly recommended by a couple of our friends (who I shall refer to obliquely as Barbie and Ken because I don’t have permission to use real names) who came to it on their honeymoon about 30 years ago and have been back many times since.

The Hotel (which has changed hands over the years) is currently called the Melia Cala Galdana and is only slightly grander and slightly better located than the similarly named Hotel Cala Galdana in the town and across the “river” from the beach.

Before we left we were told that another mutual friend and former work colleague of Faith and her above mentioned friend Barbie had also accepted a similar recommendation but had inadvertently booked the wrong hotel.

Our week on Menorca was from Friday to Friday while this friend and her husband (who for similar permission reasons I shall refer to as Sindy and Paul) were flying out on the Wednesday; so discounting their day of arrival and our day of departure the only overlap was the Thursday. We were not expecting therefore that a meeting had much chance of happening and by Wednesday I had forgotten all about these people arriving.

After the excesses of our Wednesday evening buffet meal we felt a need to get some exercise and decided to walk into the town and re-visit a small bar that we had been to earlier in the week and which I knew not only did excellent Mojitos but also put out nice bowls of peanuts (as if I really needed to EAT).

As the hotel restaurant had a “no shorts” dress code and it was still quite warm out we stopped off at our room on the way out to enable me to get comfortable again and then set off along the promenade in the twilight.

We were strolling along listening to the soothing susurration of the small waves on the sand when Faith slowed right down and started to stare intently at some people walking towards us.

“It’s Sindy isn’t it?” she asked after a pause that was probably a lot shorter than it seemed and it transpired this was indeed her former work colleague who with her husband had checked into their hotel, eaten, and then set out to investigate the one that they had meant to book.

After a brief chat during which we arranged to meet up in the bar of their hotel the following night we both continued our on our respective walks and, while I suppose this wasn’t all that surprising an event, Faith and I reflected on the chances of meeting, in that location and at that particular time, the only people on the entire island who either of us knew.

We took a table outside the bar with Faith looking out onto the square and me with a view of the other customers and a large TV screen showing a football match between (I believe) Manchester City and Glasgow Celtic. At some point Celtic scored and I made a comment about it to the man of about my own age who was sitting with his wife at the adjacent table.

This led to a discussion about football and I discovered that he was from Lancaster and supported Blackpool FC despite living in Carlisle. Naturally, Faith and I picked up on this and mentioned our younger daughter who went to University at Lancaster and later worked for a volunteer charity in Carlisle.

This chap (whose name by coincidence was Dave – the same as me and both of my sons-in-law, you may recall) became more interested and asked which charity she worked for. I told him the name and he stared hard at Faith and I for a few seconds.

“Your Daughter’s name isn’t Carla is it?” he asked. And as regular readers will know, it is.

It turned out that he had been involved in a Community Allotment project that Carla had run and remembered fondly her cheerful enthusiasm.

As soon as we left the bar it was, of course, necessary for Faith to call Carla on the phone and report this quite remarkable coincidence and Carla remembered him quite well.

Consider if you will the odds against our happening to go to that bar, taking that table and actually having conversations with strangers who knew our daughter from her brief spell at the extreme other end of England and I think you’ll agree that they had to be astronomical!

I reflected on the way back to our Hotel that if an outlet selling lottery tickets had been available to us at that moment we would surely be millionaires by now!

That’s all for this little series – back now to more mundane topics that don’t make my readership insanely jealous at all my holidays!

 

Alfie

 

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2016 in Holidays

 

Menorca 2016 – 5 – Pea Soup ‘n a Brewery!

Whenever I write about overseas holidays there always seems to be a piece on the subject of the catering arrangements, whether it be the appalling lack of queuing etiquette displayed by the German contingent in Lanzarote in 2013 or the still unidentified meat product labelled as “Goat Beef” in Tenerife in 2010.

This is this holiday’s take on the Food and Drink aspect.

Incidentally, if you wish to read about either of the previously mentioned holidays, you can find them in the Archive pages of this site for March or April of either of those years.

There were no such queuing incidents on this occasion – probably because, whatever the nationalities involved, the people staying here this late in the season tend to be around our age and not therefore in a rush to be first for everything.

The buffet system for Breakfast and Lunch still continues to amaze me!

I had no idea that there were so many international requirements for Breakfast!

I can understand the presence of Fruit and Cereals (because that’s what I normally have at home) and at least some of the makings of the proverbial “Full English” with only Mushrooms, some form of fried Potato and Black Pudding failing to appear.

Some of the other offerings do, however, seem a tad weird.

Anyone who has stayed in a UK hotel in the last 40 years or more will have become familiar with the concept of a “Continental Breakfast” (often as the default provided with the “Full English” option as a chargeable alternative) but the British version of this normally comprises not much more than cold Croissants, slices of Edam or Cheddar cheese and a plate with some ham slices on.

It should be no surprise to anybody that, given the range of countries presumably covered by the term “Continental Breakfast” there is actually a lot more to it than that – no less than 5 different sorts of cheese, slices of many varieties of ham plus several regional styles of Salami-type sliced sausage.

So that, what with all that hot and cold choice and the fact that as long as you hang on to your knife and fork you can go back and refill your plate as often as you like (or can manage) the breakfast set up alone explains why we never, ever, pay extra for “full board”! You can easily fill yourself up sufficiently that a small (and cheap) lunchtime snack outside of the hotel will keep you going until the evening where it all starts again, only worse!

Remembering that I am supposed to be losing weight by eating healthily I determined every evening to have a Salad – which under buffet conditions can still amount to quite a plateful. I included allowable items such as Anchovies and Hard Boiled Eggs and dutifully avoided no-no’s like Olives and Cheese (despite being rather fond of both). Sometimes, if I liked the flavour I would also have a bowl of soup.

Unfortunately, this left me feeling so virtuous that I would celebrate by going back for a normal main course!

In my defence I will say that each time I did this I did choose things permitted by my current eating regime, avoiding fried stuff, fatty meat and such like but like the buffet meals in Tenerife in 2010 and Lanzarote in 2013 I ended up with plates containing the most unholy mixtures you could wish for.

One evening Faith pointed at some of my meat selections and asked me what they were.

“Don’t know, don’t know and Ostrich” was my reply. As long as they tasted nice I didn’t really mind, though.

Having now eaten way more than I would have done at home but feeling good because I’d avoided things that were bad for me I then usually rewarded myself by having a big bowl of multi-coloured jelly with several scoops of ice cream on top – which probably undid all the good!

At the start of this piece I mentioned that it would be about Food AND Drink.

Anyone who knew me when I was in my 20’s would be very surprised to learn that most of what I drank on this holiday was some form of diet Cola – not even lightly flavoured with Bourbon or Amaretto – or the occasional small bottle of beer. I must be getting old! I even failed to indulge in the cabinet of Cava available at breakfast – although to be fair it was tucked away in a corner and I didn’t notice it for about 5 days!

I still wonder just who the Spanish hotel management think starts hitting alcohol that early in the day! Must be those Germans!

I did indulge myself with a number of Mojitos both in the hotel and out in the town at various small bars but hit the jackpot with our excursion to the island capital, Mahon. There, as a legacy from the 1700s when Menorca was major British Naval Base, is a still fully functional Gin Distillery and a trip to it was on our itinerary. So much sampling took place that I didn’t even notice how little legroom I had in the coach on the way back!

So, taking liberties with the term “Distillery” back in the restaurant that evening I expressed disappointment that the soup of the day was Mushroom because it denied me the opportunity to title this piece “Pea soup ‘n a Brewery”!

But then I so dazzled myself with the idea that I’ve gone ahead and used it anyway! Faith was also disappointed because the one soup she loves more than any other is Pea!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, by the time I “weighed in” at Slimming World six days after our return I had reduced what could have been a colossal weight gain to a mere one and a half pounds!

Only one more thing to write about now to bring this little series to a close – we have after all now been back over a month!

Alfie

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2016 in Holidays

 

Menorca 2016 – Part 4 – Life is not a Bond movie!

As I may have mentioned in these pieces before I have, since February, been trying very hard to lose some weight, my dear wife having at last convinced me that you can actually have too much of a good thing (i.e. ME)!

And, it must be said, I have had some success!

There is now 4 stone less of me than there was at my last birthday and THAT is equivalent to 56 pounds or just about 25 kilograms. And that last figure is only about 1 stone (14 pounds or 6 Kg) short of the combined weights of mine and Faith’s suitcases on this trip!

I did, in fact, try to carry both of those bags when we got to the hotel. I had one in each hand and could only manage a few steps before my knees began to buckle and I had to think very seriously about how I had ever managed to WALK with most of that mass spread over me!

The work is not yet completed as while Alfie in the sea or a swimming pool no longer has Japanese tourists rushing off in search of a harpoon, neither do I (yet) get mistaken for Daniel Craig coming out of the sea at the start of “Casino Royale”!

I did, however, feel much less self-conscious on this holiday at the idea of wandering around wearing nothing but swimming shorts (I’m not, and never have been, designed for “Speedos” or “Budgie Smugglers”), a hat and a pair of sandals. The past week has given me ample opportunity to do this at both the hotel pool and the beach – I have to say that as 63 year old male British holidaymakers go I looked pretty good!

Not, I must say immediately, as beautiful to behold as the 61 year old FEMALE British holidaymaker I am holiday-making with and to whom I have been married for the last 36 ½ years.

Where I, as stated above, cannot (yet) carry off the “Daniel Craig emerging from the sea in Casino Royale” look, Faith can, and does, do a really excellent impression of Ursula Andress doing likewise in “Doctor No”!

The only problem she has though is an inability to recognise that while the sea is not her natural environment it IS the only home of other creatures, specifically FISH – and that they are ALLOWED to be there!

This is academic in British seaside resorts (especially the bit of the North Sea that I’m familiar with) where if the water ever does get warm enough to swim or even paddle in, you wouldn’t be able to see a fish if it swam right up to you and stuck its tongue out!

On a beach where you can wade out to chin depth and still see your toes though, you can all too obviously also see every other piece of sea life inhabiting the area!

The sea bed at Cala Galdana is, fortunately, bereft of rocks or indeed anything but soft sand so fish are the only such lifeforms visibly present. The ones I saw in the water varied between 2 and 12 inches long (I presume they get bigger the further out you go) and while they will dart away if you move towards them, they are not unduly scared of stationary humans and will exhibit signs of curiosity and do quite close approaches to you.

And it is these apparent overtures of piscine friendship that freak my good lady out – it seems to Faith that this behaviour is somehow aggressive and that they are going to attempt to bite her whenever one moves in too close.

I first became aware of this fishy phobia while on holiday in Turkey in 2000 when a foot long, pointy-nosed, Mackerel-striped specimen investigated her too closely and she came out of the waist deep water faster than any nearby jet-skis could have managed!

While this is emphatically denied, I suspect a mis-spent youth watching far too many horror movies about Piranhas!

Whatever the reason it explained Faith’s reluctance this week to spend much time swimming in the sea – except, that is, for those few previously mentioned days of opaque, red water when she was able to paddle, look around at the scenery and even talk to me in blissful ignorance of what might be going on “below decks” and with no need to be staring intently at her feet the whole time.

And I make a present to the producers and script writers of the next James Bond movie, of the idea of a good looking, bikini clad “Bond Girl” who squeals uncontrollably at the very thought of there being a shoal of harmless, tiny fish in the water with her. It would bring some realism to the story and I have the perfect candidate for the role!

Alfie

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Holidays

 

Menorca 2016 – Part 3 – Pringles & Kit-Kats amongst the Lightning!

When Faith and I last had an overseas holiday (Lanzarote, March 2013) I wrote of how it was (rather surprisingly) raining on our arrival.

Nothing like that this time although the Pilot of “Thomson” (our aeroplane) took us past a spectacular thunderstorm just before he started his descent from 37,000 feet to Mahon Airport and I did notice ominous trickles in a couple of storm drains observed from the coach to our hotel in Cala Galdana.

In the UK we usually pay for 2 or 3 days of really hot, sunny summer weather with a day or night of thunderstorms to “clear the air”. In the Mediterranean, however, “hot” days are much hotter than the UK ever gets and the thunderstorms that balance them out are, consequently, even more spectacular!

Friday, our day of arrival was fine and we hoped that the place was moving from the previous weeks’ brief rainy interlude back into the scorching sunshine that had been the norm for this summer. That change did not take place on Friday (which was lightly overcast but warm) and Saturday morning looked promising until around lunchtime when we noticed from our poolside sunbeds (where I was writing the first parts of this series) a fast approaching filthy black cloud!

There was no possibility that a cloud of that colour and behaviour was not going to be full of both water and high voltage static electricity so abandoning the sunbeds seemed to be a VERY good idea! We were just about inside the hotel by the time the first raindrops fell and watching from the covered safety of our 4th floor hotel room’s balcony when the flashing and banging began!

It seemed to be passing over us for hours – and the RAIN had to be seen to be believed!!!

Very seldom indeed does the UK manage a downpour that runs on uninterrupted for 8 hours without easing up even a little – but that’s what Menorca got!

While we could not be said to be trapped in our room in any way, the hotel does not do lunches – all the daytime eateries after breakfast has finished are outside the building – so we had to fall back on a lunch from our own resources. If you’ve read the title of this piece the type of crisps and chocolate bars that we consumed while enjoying one of nature’s more violent shows will not come as a surprise to you.

The resort of Cala Galdana lies at the end of a long, deep gorge that cuts back quite a way into the island. The end of that gorge looks like a river running through the town but is in fact an arm of the sea separated from the main beach by a spur of rock with a restaurant on it.

The beach, Cala Galdana’s claim to fame, is a semi-circular cove (like a large version of Lulworth in Dorset) but with fine, white sand which glows through the blue of the water and looks gorgeous.

At least, that’s what it NORMALLY looks like!

When we awoke on Sunday, the morning after the storm, the sun shining on the sea showed it to be an unpleasant blood red! Assuming that we would be advised if this was in any way dangerous I did wade out in it for a bit of a swim and could see that it was actually no more cloudy than the North Sea on a normal day – the only unusual factor was the colour!

I asked in the hotel and was told that the red colour is that of the island’s topsoil; the lengthy downpour had washed large quantities of this down the gorge into the “river” inlet. There being no tides to speak of in the Med to assist its passage, this muddy current of rainwater simply flowed down over the denser seawater and swung round into the cove, covering the whole surface with a layer of red silt that only gradually settled and cleared. It took a couple of days but soon got back to the normal “White shining through Turquoise”.

For reasons that I shall make clear in the next article I was going to subtitle this piece “Red sea at night, Swimmer’s delight” but am rather too impressed with the one I have used instead!

Alfie

 

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2016 in Holidays

 

Menorca 2016 – Part 2 – ……early to rise!

There are some things that, even after a very reasonable and refreshing 7 hours sleep, I simply cannot do at 3.30 a.m. and one of those things is……..

Eating breakfast!

In fact I am reasonably sure that if I tried giving it anything more solid than a mug of coffee at that hour, my stomach would rebel and try to throttle me with my own small intestine!

So the mug of coffee was all I gave it and I remained unimpeded by my own pipework and perfectly able to drive the 65 or so miles from Peterborough to Stansted Airport in deepest Essex.

Faith and I set out at 3.45 a.m. and somewhat to my surprise there was very little traffic on the road. In fact, to relieve the boredom resulting from not having to do all the other car drivers’ thinking for them I resorted to counting trucks – with which these roads are usually awash.

Over the 30 miles or so to Cambridge I overtook 33 – my forebodings about the A14 were misplaced and there were none of those curious “traffic jams for no apparent reason” stoppages, usually caused by lorries far ahead overtaking each other very slowly and making the cars trying to get by them brake progressively harder!

On the M11 to Stansted the total rose to 65 and we reached the Long Stay carpark at the airport exactly an hour after leaving home and a mere 15 minutes after the time I had booked online as our earliest possible time of arrival.

The lack of traffic had led me to believe that the Airport would be reasonably quiet too but I started to have doubts when I saw the queue for the transit bus from the carpark to the terminal! We were at the first stop for the double length “bendy bus” and were lucky to get on it! People waiting further along its route were ignored and had to wait 15 minutes for the next one – which hopefully did not have the same problem.

And things did not get any better when we got into the terminal. The place was HEAVING with people!

When I first used Stansted about 30 years ago there was this massive new building in which there seemed to be more staff than passengers and in which anyone with a fear of open spaces would have been suffering greatly. Not now though!

The opposite phobia now comes into play and all of those people (except us, of course) are mindlessly charging about with no thought or consideration for anyone who crosses their path.

Basically, it’s like shopping in Tesco but with wheeled suitcases instead of shopping trollies!

There is no doubt that, in many ways, the “wheelie” suitcase is a boon to the Traveller. No longer do you have to risk the muscles of shoulder and back by having to carry that bag or case from car to bus; from bus to check-in; from airport to coach and from coach to hotel room – you just tow the thing along behind you!

That’s fine and once Faith and I have checked our wheeled cases onto the flight we are left with a rucksack and shoulder bag to take with us onto the aeroplane. We now take up a lot less floor space than we did and on the assumption that this is the “case” (sorry!) with all other passengers we expected that things would get easier as we moved away from the departure desks.

Just lately, however, a disturbing development has occurred – the wheelie mini-suitcase taken as cabin baggage!

When you are on the “outside” of the Security check area (that is, before giving up your main baggage to the uncertainties of the conveyor belts behind the Airline desks) you now have to contend with people towing TWO of the things with all of the attendant steering and personal space issues that brings about! It also means that the need to try not to trip over these objects does not cease once through the ordeal that is the hand luggage and personal effects scan and search – you STILL have to keep looking down!

Despite the blockages caused by a large number of fellow holidaymakers and what seemed to be the UK’s entire Eastern European workforce going home for the weekend we made our way through the crush and onto a flying machine named “Thomson” for an uneventful flight to Menorca.

By a strange stroke of fate we managed to arrange this holiday for that week of the year when the French Air Traffic Controllers were NOT on strike and thus arrived exactly on schedule.

At the start of the introduction to this series I posed a question about what exactly we are having a holiday FROM.

I now have an answer – we go on holiday to recover from the stress of…………

Going on holiday!

Alfie

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2016 in Holidays

 

Menorca 2016 – Part 1 – Early to bed!

Author’s note: As is my normal practice with holiday series’ I write them by hand while I’m away then type them up and publish them when I get home. This prevents any burglars amongst my readership from knowing that the house is empty – sorry about that, I realise it’s extremely unsporting of me!

It also means that sometimes my past and present tenses get a bit muddled so apologies for that too. If it helps at all this holiday actually happened between 23rd and 30th September 2016.

***

Now that Faith and I have retired we have a problem with holidays – specifically, what are we having a holiday FROM?

Once upon a time we worked for most of the year and, to avoid both the stress and the children reaching overwhelming levels, would take a summer break to somewhere hot and as far as we could afford to get from cool, soggy England. And usually it did the trick – at least it did for me once I got into the kind of job where the work didn’t just pile up while I was away and targets were the same whether you had time off or not!

Now, however, neither of us has any work-related stress to contend with so now we have to find another reason for going away. And the best excuse we have been able to come up with is………..

“Because we CAN!”

So, after many happy hours perusing brochures and searching the internet we decided to return to the Mediterranean island of Menorca that we last visited in 2004.

Actually this choice of location and date did initially cause me some concern as on our previous trip we came home on about the same date that we are now going out and on that occasion the aeroplane came out empty to fetch us home because “the season has ended”, or so we were told.

I have since been assured that while some hotels do indeed shut down once schools and universities across Europe return to do some work for a change, this does not apply to either our hotel or the Menorcan tourist industry as a whole – which stay open until the end of October and THEN shut down.

Which is nice for us!

We do, however, have a tiny problem with our flight out – while take-off time is a quite reasonable 7.20 a.m. the convoluted check-in and security check processes mean we have to be at Stansted Airport at least 2 hours before that! Given that our route includes the notorious traffic blackspot that is the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge and that allowances for delays here have to be factored in whatever time of day you are travelling, I calculated that we would need to be up and ready to roll at 3.30 a.m. – a disgusting hour that I have experienced only very rarely since my night shifts for the IT Department of Solway Foods in Corby ended in 2002.

All of which explains why Faith and I, having spent most of Thursday 22nd September packing our cases in an unaccustomedly leisurely fashion, were trying desperately to get to sleep before 9 p.m. on that day.

Alfie

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2016 in Holidays