Lockdown continues so I return to the archives. In April 2015 I was on the Mediterranean island of Malta…
We arrived late in the morning and immediately found the bus connection to Mellieha Bay in the north of the island and sat back for the seventy minute journey through the centre of the island. I have heard it said that you either love Malta or you hate it, there are no half measures, there is no sitting on the fence.
I love it but as we crawled through the growling traffic, through the unattractive suburbs of Valletta, past the inevitable McDonalds and Burger King and through miles and miles of road works I wasn’t so sure about Kim’s initial reaction.
As far as I could make out the bus route map suggested that the bus stop was quite near to the hotel so as we got close I pressed the bell for the driver to stop. He ignored it and carried on so I walked to the front to take the matter up with him. He told me the bus didn’t stop there but in about another kilometre or so. To be fair to him he took pity on us and stopped the bus at the side of the road but he wasn’t terribly happy about it.
It turns out that for some reason the bus company doesn’t think it sensible to stop near the several hotels flanking Mellieha Bay where it is convenient for passengers to get off but thinks it is more useful to have one on a remote roundabout half way between two villages which is not really very much use to anybody.
Anyway, I could sense that Kim, just like the bus driver wasn’t terribly happy and her mood was sliding towards the hating Malta side of the scale…
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One thing that I had forgotten was, that as a result of years of British rule, in Malta traffic drives on the left. Only four countries in Europe drive on the left. Just for a bit of fun, can you name them?
Posted in Beaches, Cathedrals, Europe, History, Literature, Malta, Natural Environment, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Culture, European Destination of Excellence, French tourists, Life, Malta Postcards, Mellieha, Mellieha Bay Hotel, Mellieha Parish Church
Welcome to my latest theme. Monday Washing Lines.
This one I spotted on the Greek Island of Koufonisia, I think it was the uniformity of the branding of the socks that really caught my eye and the nagging thought “who wears socks in the Greek Islands?”
In the apartment next to us there was a young French couple. They were like a couple of characters from a French movie – silent, quiet, moody and almost completely non-communicative as each did their own thing, he drinking endless cups of coffee and smoking his way through a packet of cigarettes, blowing smoke rings and contemplating the resulting shapes and she permanently connected to the internet through her laptop or staring blankly at her mobile phone.
Everyday there was a washing line full of clean clothes with what I for one thought included an abnormal amount of socks! I am not against washing on holiday, I quite like the smell of Tide, but it seems such a waste of time to be carrying out chores normally associated with home.
There was enough material here for a complete Luc Besson trilogy, here was the first – ‘Les Vacance de la Introvertis’ to be followed up I suggest with ‘La Maison de la Introvertis’ and finally ‘Les Jardin de la Introvertis’. It’s sure to be a winner!
Can you work out the embedded message in the colour order of the pegs?
Posted in Arts and Crafts, Beaches, Europe, Greece, History, Postcards, Travel
Tagged Backpacking, Culture, French Cinema, Greece beaches, island hopping, Koufonisia, Life, Little Cyclades, Luc Beson, Monday Washing, Washing Line Challenge, Washing Lines, Washing Powder
More memories, this time from Family Holidays in Northern France (1978-2017)…
Posted in Arts and Crafts, Beaches, Europe, Food, France, History, Literature, Natural Environment, Postcards, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Abbeville, Ambleteuse, Amiens, Audreselles, Boulogne Old Town, calais, Côte d'Opale, Culture, Eurotunnel, France, Life, Napoleon Bonaparte, Picardy, Wimereux
In February 2017 my Grandchildren came to stay for a few days at school half term holiday.
I took them to the Yorkshire seaside town of Hornsea.
I live close to the sea myself, near the resort town of Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire but although it is a popular holiday resort it has to be said that it is just a muddy estuary where the sea is barely visible for long periods of the day.
By contrast, Hornsea ia a real North Sea coast town with a raging sea, barnacled groynes, pounding surf, churning water and a pebble beach clattering away as it was constantly rearranged by the tidal surge.
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Posted in Age of Innocence, Arts and Crafts, Beaches, Europe, Growing up in the 1950s, History, Natural Environment, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Beverley, Hornsea, Hull, Humber Estuary, Humberside, North Sea, River Hull, Yorkshire
I am inspired today by my blogging Pal Jo who has completed a thirty one day challenge to post in pictures and in words about a visit to Barcelona.
In 2018 I visited Barcelona and my friend and keen photographer Richard spent every spare minute taking pictures of Sagrada Familia. I am convinced that he possesses the largest collection of pictures of the Gaudi masterpiece in the entire World.
I am quite unable to compete with either Jo or Richard so I offer you these alternative images.
These are from the walls of the nearby metro station…
This is from the beach at Barconaleta…
And this is from the inevitable gift shop…
Posted in Beaches, Cathedrals, Europe, History, Postcards, Spain, Travel
Tagged Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Basilica, Catalonia, Gaudi, La Sagrada Família, Pointless Souvenirs, Roman Catholicism
In January 2007 we made our third visit to the Latvian capital of Riga and on 28th January we took a ride to the nearby seaside resort of Jurmala…
We walked along the frozen shore and enjoyed every minute of kicking through snow and picking our way along tracks made of ice. None of us had seen a beach frozen solid before and none of us had walked on water before either.
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Posted in Beaches, Europe, History, Latvia, Natural Environment, Postcards, Russia, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Baltic Sea, Culture, Jurmala, Latvia, Life, Riga, Skyline Bar, Winter
Still no travel plans so continuing to look back, this time to Morocco in North Africa…
Posted in Africa, Beaches, Literature, Morocco, Postcards, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Atlas Mountains, Essaouira, Fes, Marrakech, Volubilis
On 25th January 2016, I was on my third and final day in Essaouira.
“The camel and his driver — each has his own plan.”
The day started badly and it was my own fault. Entirely without question my own fault. After an excellent breakfast in the Riad Chakaris the plan was to visit the beach.
This meant walking once again past the fishing port and this morning by chance straying into the boat building yard. I was admiring the boats when a man appeared and beckoned me over. I wasn’t sufficiently alert and wandered across and he invited me inside a wooden picket fence to take a closer look.
To be fair he gave me an informative ten minute tour of the yard but then at the furthest point from the fence he asked me in a rather threatening way for 200 dirham (about £15). I said no way but he was big and smelly and intimidating and blocked my way. I stood my ground but even so eventually handed over 50 dirham which was still too much and money that I would have preferred to give to a street beggar rather than a thief. Lesson learned!
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Posted in Africa, Beaches, Cathedrals, History, Literature, Morocco, Natural Environment, Postcards, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged camel rides, Cleethorpes Beach, Culture, Essaouira, Jimi Hendix, Lanzarote, Lawrence of Arabia, Life, Lost Manuscripts, Samuel Johnson, Seven pillars of Wisdom, The French Revolution: A History, Thomas Carlyle
On this day in 2016 I was in the Moroccan city of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast…
I really need to be careful about making bold statements because upon returning from Morocco in December 2011 I said that I would never return there. This is what I said…
“I enjoyed the experience of Fez, the Riad was excellent, the food was good, the sightseeing was unexpected and we were treated with courtesy and respect by everyone associated with the Riad but I have seen Morocco now and I think it may be some time before I return to North Africa as we resume our travels through Europe.”
Well, now I have to eat my words because our first overseas trip in 2016 was to Essouria on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
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Posted in Beaches, Food, History, Hotels, Morocco, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Culture, Essaouira, Life, Market Shopping, Morocco Souk, Morocco Taxi, Sunset Essaouira