Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Adventures abroad

I usually do a bloggy post about our holidays so regular readers will probably know that we always take our family holidays in Britain.

Last summer my teenage daughter grumbled about us going to Mull.  She reads these teen magazines with holiday checklists comprising sunglasses, bikinis, sun cream etc, and we were packing jumpers, waterproofs and midge repellent!  As it turned out, we had amazing weather and it was one of my favourite holidays ever, however I have to accept that she no longer has the enthusiasm for visiting castles and going on long walks that she had when she was younger.

The last time we went abroad was almost five years ago.  We took the ferry from Rosyth to Zeebrugge and had a day and night in Bruges before taking the train to Paris for one night and then a few days doing the Disney thing.  It was an absolutely fantastic trip, spoiled only by the French declaring a national strike which meant that no trains or buses were running on the day we were due to leave Disneyland.

To cut a long story short, we had to take a taxi from Disneyland Paris to Brussels - over 200 miles in a taxi!  There was no other way to get our ferry home, it was an overnight sailing which doesn't run every day and we absolutely had to be on that boat.  The taxi cost 600 euros, so thank goodness for holiday insurance!  The problems then continued with some thieving scumbag stealing my purse on the train platform in Brussels, but that's another story...

So, we were a bit put off doing the 'foreign thing' and both my daughters had worries about flying, so it was with some trepidation that we agreed to try a week in Mallorca during the Easter holidays.  None of us are sun worshippers and we're not keen on crowds, so we probably couldn't cope with the Mediterranean in the summer - not to mention the fact that the rental on the villa is trebled if you go in August!

We had a 5am check in at Edinburgh airport, were loaded onto the plane ready for take off at 7am, and then the captain announced that the French air traffic controllers were on strike (see a pattern emerging here?) and we had to wait for a time slot before we could fly over France.  We sat on the tarmac at Edinburgh for two and a half hours.  Yawn (although we did take the captain up on his offer of visiting the cockpit).

Other than that we had an absolutely fab week and I'm so glad we went.  The weather wasn't scorchingly hot (thank goodness) and it wasn't horribly busy.  Definitely a good time of year to go.

I really enjoyed speaking a bit of Spanish and my confidence with the language grew as the week went on.  (I did 'O' level Spanish a long long time ago and have recently been brushing up a little.)

Not wishing to bore people with my holiday snaps, here's a small selection of photos.  Mallorca is a really beautiful place, especially in the small coves and up in the mountains but I'm sure lots of holidaymakers never leave the resorts.  Why anyone would go all that way and spend a week cooking on a beach alongside thousands of other people I'll never understand.

Cala Sant Vicenç


365 steps in Pollença leading up to a wee chapel

My girlies

Our villa - very private, just perfect, near Pollença

Amazing road down to the stunning bay at Sa Calobra

Paddling at Port de Soller

Visiting the castle at Capdepera