The Alhambra, Granada…
With travel prospects outside the UK being on hold at the moment, filling in gaps that were supposed to be holidays has been interesting.
Yes, we’ve been to Oxford and Ambleside in recent weeks and had a fortnight long Scottish trip planned using trains and buses to get between home, Glasgow, Fort William, Mallaig, Inverness, Kyle Of Lochalsh, Stirling, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then back home.
That last one has been moved to 2021 though as there’s an impending wedding – not us, but Caroline’s eldest son and his fiancee.
In between times though, we’ve been watching a few travel related TV progs and got a few ideas from Rick Stein, The Hairy Bikers, Richard Ayoade and Anthony Bourdain (the last one seen was a visit to Granada).
Some were familiar to both of us, some to me and one to Caroline as Jerusalem was visited when she lived on a kibbutz in the late 1970s.
Greece, France and Sardinia would be new destinations for the two of us, but return trips to Spain, Portugal, Sicily and Norway are being added to the mix, along with a visit to Malta to make up for that trip which was cancelled a week before departure thanks to Covid 19.
There are other plans, but they’re not totally fixed yet and quite a bit of flexibility is built into each plan!
In the meantime though, it’s a Bank Holiday Monday here in England and there’s a few more Anthony Bourdain shows to watch on Netflix…
After all the events of the last few months, those of the last few days beggar belief , especially as the UK’s own Transport Minister is now facing a fourteen day quarantine period when he gets back from his brief time in Spain!
With 600,000 people taking a break in Spain and associated island territories, it will be interesting to see what the fall-out is going to be, especially if there are no more spikes in the UK, Spain or the islands.
Boris says – we can do more!
Well it looks like we will be getting some measure of independence back when restrictions are lifted here in England on Saturday 4th 2020.
Whilst it’s potentially possible to head to a bar, restaurant, hotel and campsite or caravan site on this date, the finer points of what you can or can’t do aren’t known yet.
This is being written three hours after Boris unveiled the plans in the House Of Commons, but there are still Covid policy restrictions notices on some booking sites, even though the prices being asked for stays are very, very reasonable.
A case of watch this space? Quite possibly…
It’s a while since I moved out of Skipton, but where better to go on the first long trip out in order to get used to the new wheels.
Was tempting to go to a place that I know reasonably well from my time up on the North East, but we’re going to give Barnard Castle a miss for the time being!!!
Small, but perfectly formed!
Yes, we are back out there in a smaller car that’s fun to drive with better mpg, lower road tax and no rat nav or phone connectivity.
And yes, it’s a Skoda.
My car, last Thursday…
Supermarket van v lamp post v my car.
Two out of the three came off badly…
Currently have a reasonably new loan car whilst mine is in the repair shop, but the Fiesta is only being used for essential food shops and collecting my meds.
Will go back to the delivery service though, despite last week’s mishap!
The email that changed things for this week…
Yes, we should have been elsewhere this week, but things changed after the above email touched down and the one from our airline to say that they were suspending flights to Malta.
Fortunately we’ve got refunds from the airline, the online entity that we’d booked our b&b plus ground transfers through and the airport’s car parks.
So, what’s happening? Well, there’s the UK’s new rules to follow, the shop has been closed temporarily and there’s reading to do & box sets to watch.
Four new guidebooks turned up about ten days before that email, so there’s some reading to do about Genoa, Sardinia, Mallorca and Crete to do in readiness for wherever the next non-UK might be after Malta.
There’s also biogs of Phil Lynott, Rod Stewart, Alan Bennett and David Bowie to read on the Kindle plus a few print magazines too.
Visual sustenance over the last few weeks has come courtesy of box sets on iPlayer, namely Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes, but there are also plans to rewatch State Of Play, Our Friends In The North, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Thunderbirds.
If the “break” is further extended then there’s always The West Wing to watch again, along with a few episodes of Young/classic Montalbano, four series of The Bridge and three of Borgen (although that has been seen recently).
And if that’s not enough, there’s some CDs to listen to as I managed to find a very reasonably priced CD/DAB radio system last month.
At the end of the day though, I’d rather be travelling!
We should have touching down at Luqa airport in Malta yesterday, but that was cancelled on Friday 13/03/20 when the airline suspended the flights we were booked on…
So I ended up in Leeds yesterday and this is Briggate just before noon.
Posh hotel on a grey day
And the bag for one night there!
Yes, it was birthday time once more last week, so Caroline and I headed up North for a couple of days r and r.
This was our third stay at Redworth Hall Hotel and it didn’t disappoint…
First day was spent in Durham where quite a few changes have occurred since we were last there around thirteen years ago.
It’s still an excellent city to wander around, but a few familiar shops and places have gone the journey into oblivion.
Lunch at Bill’s on the way up to the Cathedral was rather good, as was our evening meal at Redworth Hall.
Day two saw us in Darlington, a place where I’ve lived and worked in, but hadn’t visited for just under five years.
The big breakfast at the hotel set us up for the day so it was a late light lunch that was had at the basement cafe in Binns/House of Fraser after a few hours wandering around and buying travel books in Waterstone’s for me and new shoes and boots for Caroline from Charles Clinkard.
Once we’d headed into Costa for coffee with an old friend and her daughter, it was time to head home after a good break.
I don’t make a habit of photographing my food when eating out, but my birthday coincided with a work shift, so I had a treat..
The venue for the sbove was San Co Co in Leeds where the food is fine and reasonably priced – £5.99 for the English breakfast with a mug of tea.
And yes, it did set me up for the frantic day ahead of me!