Don’t Smile while Snorkelling : lessons learnt in Fuertaventura

We visited Fuertaventura for a complete break from the world… and that is what we got. It was like stepping from the cold English winter straight into summer; a bubble containing only swimming, sunshine, and good food.

Beach 1

This was actually my first ever package holiday! I found it difficult to relinquish control but it worked out OK and it was cheaper than booking the separate parts ourselves. We stayed in a resort type hotel, so we were joined by English, French, and German tourists, all chasing the sunshine! Continue reading

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A Spritz of Spanish Sunshine in Malaga

I’ve never been on a “Winter Sun” holiday before. We normally go for “Winter Snow” holidays, more commonly known as Skiing holidays. But after a series of disasters in the skiing department (here, here, and here) I went on strike and point blank refused to go skiing. So we had a cheeky break in the South of Spain instead.

Beach

My preconceptions of Malaga were mainly as a typical “Costa Del Sol” town, all “Brits abroad”, which was not what we wanted. Each to their own, but for us, we don’t go abroad to visit an English pub – we can do that at home! So I was delighted to find that Malaga wasn’t at all like my preconceptions, but was in fact a small but perfectly formed Spanish town. It was a gem. Continue reading

A Misty Monastery at Monserrat… (and how to get there!)

There is a Montserrat and a Monserrat. The one with a “t” is the volcanic Island in the Pacific. This one is on Eastern Spain, about an hour from Barcelona. We decided to see this as a day-trip, since there is a Monastery and some striking rock formations.

Unfortunately we timed it wrong with the weather – although it was nice in Barcelona, the further inland we got the worse the weather was. By the time we got up the mountain it was terrible, veering between torrential rain and rolling cloud. Visibility was a few metres, so any potential views were obliterated.

The above photo is taken on one of the walks. There should have been panoramic views to the left, but instead it was a rather miserable hike for an hour, soaked to the skin. My boyfriend was delighted by this outdoor adventure. I was less so. Continue reading

Barcelona – a Gangster’s Paradise?

I was rather anxious before visiting Barcelona. It seemed that whenever I told my friends that we were going there, they would respond by saying that either they had been mugged in Barcelona, or their friends had been mugged in Barcelona. This isn’t the case for any other city I have visited, so I was apprehensive to say the least. My boyfriend’s sister and her husband were mugged… by children (!!) in Barcelona and had around 200 Euros taken.

Torre Agbar, BarcelonaI decided to research the scams online. I won’t repeat them all here, as you can find comprehensive coverage online by googling “Barcelona scams” or similar. Upon reading the forums I found that the scammers used the same scams over and over again, and therefore there are around 10 common scams. I found that knowing these scams helped – so if someone tried anything I would be able to say “ahh, the classic bird-poo scam. Textbook” Continue reading