It seems like a long time ago now (rather than 7-8 weeks), but here are some thoughts and bits and pieces from our brief trip to Spain before term started (at the end of August/beginning of September).
We flew from Luton Airport (officially my favourite since the snow-cancels-honeymoon-flight-from-Gatwick fiasco meant that we flew at less than 24 hours notice from there) to Alicante. We picked the cheapest flights possible which meant getting to Luton for abour 4am. There were a surprising number of people around at that time (could that be, perhaps, because of the cheapest flights?), and the coach from Luton Airparks off-site parking was full.
I read a stupidly large number of books on holiday and taught myself to crochet (badly). Four of these were purchased in the airport as they are still in hardback elsewhere – including Peter Mandelson’s memoirs, ‘The Third Man’, and the first volume of Alistair Campbell’s diaries. Both are entertaining reading (particularly when read together – Mandelson credits three men with the creation of ‘New Labour’; Campbell credits four….).
Mr E. did almost all the driving on holiday (v.nice!). We were reminded of America – the roads are open and relatively empty, and (in Murcia particularly) the landscape quite barren. We stayed in ‘golf resort country’ at El Valle, one of the Polaris resorts. It was perfect for us – nicely warm / hot, aircon in the v.nice apartment, and pool no more than 1/2 minutes walk from the apartment. It is clearly populated almost entirely by ex-pats, but that was OK.
We went on two little day trips. On one afternoon we popped down to the local beach, Los Alcazares (not really a day trip?). The bigger trip took in Parc de Sierra Espunya (which was slightly greener than the rest of Murcia!), down to the coast, and then back up to Cartagena (New Carthage, in the time of Hannibal).
Having promised ourselves a nice paella while on holiday we had an early dinner at La Patacha (a boat moored in the harbour). Very, very nice paella, preceded by very, very nice ‘puntillas fritas’ for me (deep-fried baby squid – you could see the tiny tentacles), and prawns for Mr. E. Such nice food.
A very pleasant holiday indeed.