27 May 2018

Madrid - Day 1.1

Arrived at the Regency hotel last night about 8.30pm.  Had a quick dinner of scampi and chips and a drink from the bar before we retired for the evening.  I hadn't slept well the night before with Reg barking a lot and I didn't sleep well last night either 🙄. 
Anyway here at Gatwick having a coffee to relax.  Both my body and my rucksack set off the alarms !  Don't know why.  Flight is due at 10.50 and we are waiting for the gate to be announced.

Flight left late but we arrived in Madrid on time. Weather better than expected. After a long walk we claimed our luggage and found the bus waiting to take us to our car hire garage which was actually in the Marriott hotel in Coslada. This took ages and about an hour after landing we finally got our VW Polo and headed off into the very heavy Madrid traffic. It must have taken a good hour to get away from the heavy traffic out of Madrid. We had heavy rain showers from time to time with very poor visibility.

We stopped briefly for a coffee and a sandwich to give Paul a well earned break. The started off again to reach the Parador in Trujillo over 100km further on.

The Parador was lovely and such value welcome break. The room was lovely and the bathroom with his and hers sinks. So much space for all my bits and bobs!

After unpacking we went down to the bar for a badly needed cold beer and as it was quite late we decided to have dinner in the restaurant. Needless to say this was very nice ... We had the set menu for 30 Euros!

Before we retired we had a short walk out side the Parador and then went to bed.

26 August 2012

France Holiday, 21st August, 2012

After a good breakfast we packed the car and set off on foot to explore the town. The town was on a hill with the river running through the valley, and as the hotel was at the top of the hill we had to walk down to check out the river in daylight.

You can see the hotel through the "artificial" archway!
The baker's


It was also market day so we had a good look through the stalls before continuing our search for the river... there were so many narrow streets, but which one to take?

Fruit and Veg man

For Sale!

We finally found the river and took a few photos before going back to the car to move on to our next stop.  At 9.30 am it was well on its way to 25 degrees again.

Taken from the old bridge

The new road bridge taken from the old one!

20 August 2012

France holiday, 20th August

Today, after very little sleep, it was time for my first visit to Disneyland! Paul had got free tickets. We packed the car up again and set off for Marne la Vallée, stopping en route for coffee and pancakes. When we arrived we were shocked to find that we had to pay 15€ for the privilege of parking! We were not paying to get in but for those who were paying 74€ per person to get in, it was a little cheeky.

We had a long walk from the car park to the entrance helped by travelators.
I don't think I could have managed that walk with my dodgy foot!! We had to queue of course for tickets and finally swapped our booking form from Sky for tickets.

Paul on travelator


The train we managed to get on!
The engine lurking behind the trees!

One of the many, many queues 
I have to say I was quite underwhelmed. Too many children (I know) and too many sweaty, smelly adults for my liking. Too many queues and too long to wait to get on any rides. Too hot as well! We did go on a train ride round one of the parks and only got on that by luck rather than judgement. Being in the right place at the right time! I know I sound like a grumpy old woman but I was really disappointed. Even the fast food restaurants weren't fast -:( !

After a few hours we had both had enough and decided to call it a day, walk the miles back to the car and head out of Paris to Beaumont sur Sarthe where we were to stay that night .

We arrived at Beaumont about 1815hrs and checked into the hotel. I was hoping it was going to be cooler but it was still in the late 20's. After changing we walked into the old town for a quick look and then had a cool beer before dinner in the hotel.

The meal was good. Paul had gizzards for the first time (as a starter) which he was not sure about but they were delicious. I had a prawn cocktail but with avocado and egg - delicious. We both had steak as a main course and for dessert I had apple tart and Paul had chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Everything was beautifully presented.

After dinner we walked down to the river then went back to the hotel room for another virtually sleepless night!

19 August 2012

France holiday 19th August

After getting up early to make sure we got to the Shuttle on time we arrived to find there was a 90 minute delay due to essential works! It was so hot, already 25 degrees. Me, waiting for the Shuttle.....

We finally left after an hours wait. The journey seemed to pass quite quickly and soon we were on our way to the Isle de France. Due to the lateness of the departure we had to change our lunch plans and ended up with a snack on one of the Aires instead of lunch in Péronne.  After lunch we drove on to Péronne to visit the museum, Histoire de la Grande Guerre. It was really interesting and had numerous displays of equipment and clothing from the Germans, the French and the English from the Great War. 

We really only paid a fleeting visit as the temperature was in the mid 30's and rising. It was just too hot!  After a nice cup of Lipton's tea we went back to the car and continued our journey. By this time the temperature had risen to 39 degrees and stayed like that until we got to the hotel in Chelles. We unloaded the car, went for a beer and then had dinner at le Bistrot du Boucher sitting outside which seemed to be the coolest option.  The staff and our fellow guests were really friendly and we were able to share a joke or two with them.

After dinner it was back to the heat of the hotel room. It was still incredibly hot and we really struggled to sleep. There was no air at all and so although we were so tired it was impossible to sleep. Paul came up with the idea of covering ourselves with damp towels which seemed to do the trick!!!

9 August 2012

Our mini cruise, day 3

We woke on our third and last morning to the sun shining brightly into our cabin as we came down the Suffolk/Essex coast.  You could always get your location from the satellite channel on the TV in the room.  We were quite sad at the thought of leaving the ship especially as the weather had suddenly changed for the better.  We left the cabin to go to breakfast and once again there was so much choice... I had pancakes and maple syrup!

After breakfast we went up on to the Verandah deck and watched the ship come into Dover.  It was such a glorious day.

Paul and the White Cliffs of Dover

After we docked in Dover, we had to wait an hour or so before we could disembark.  We were taken to Dover Priory station where got the train back to Sandling! 

Even though we had only been away for a couple of days it felt as if we had been away for much longer.  It was a fantastic break away and I cannot wait for the next one!

22 July 2012

Our mini cruise, day two

We woke up to coffee being delivered to our cabin and we watched the ship go up the Tyne to its mooring in Newcastle. We had a hearty breakfast and got ready to disembark and get the courtesy bus into town.

The bus dropped us by the police station and we made our way down to the river where there was a Sunday market being set up.

Along the river Tyne
We had a lovely walk along the river looking at the various stalls... selling things from home made jewellery, some amazing glass mosaics to food products, like home made cakes, bread, jams and chutneys,  We didnt have too much time as we had to get back to the boat by 12 noon.  We walked along the river to the Millenium bridge and then made our way back to the bus.  By this time the sun had finally started to come out.

The Millenium Bridge in the background

The Millenium Bridge

The Tyne Bridge
We arrived back at the ship about 12 noon... managed to get a quick photo of the boat before boarding... our room was about 4th from the right.  Another shot of the boat is below.  It was hard to get good photo so close up to the ship!

Quest for Adventure

Quest for Adventure
Back on the ship we went to the Verandah "self service" restaurant for lunch where we both had steak and Newcastle ale pie which was absolutely delicious.  Everything we ate on board was fantastic.  Paul served up desert - so we had 2 large portions of plum sponge cake with custard - yum!

After eating all of that we needed to walk some of it off so we went out on deck and watched the ship sail out of the Tyne on its way to the North Sea.

DFDS Ferry to Ijmuiden

Thompson Cruise Ship

It became very noisy as we passed these two ships as our ship acknowleged them with several loud blasts on the ship's horn and they reciprocated!  Great fun!  As we continued down the river we came across the RNLA having and open day and the lifeboat was performing various manoeuvres - mainly going round in circles which was very impressive!

RNLI lifeboat
As we got closer to the North Sea, we said good bye to the pilot to more "hoots" on the ship's horn.  It was becoming more and more windy so after walking around on deck for a while we decided to head inside to a relaxing read in the library.

The pilot leaving our ship, next stop North Sea

I took a couple more pictures outside before we were blown off deck!!

The swimming pool from above

Deck above the pool

 So after reading and relaxing for a while in the library we decided to go and chill in our cabin before getting ready for cocktails before dinner.  I had a pina colada complete with fruit and umbrella and Paul had a BBC which was a Baileys Irish cream, creme de bananes and pina colada mix again with fruit and brollie... he said he felt like Del boy!

Dinner was another fabulous 5 course feast with fantastic service as always. There were always interesting people to chat to over dinner.  I was concerned about sitting with different people each evening at meal times but everyone we met was so friendly.