.. unfortunately, we had to come back again.
Holiday snaps always tickle me. Not the pictures themselves of course, well sometime maybe, but how they’ve changed over the year. It used to be people congregated around to watch a slideshow of people travels. IT always reminds me of the scene in Brideshead Revisited where the whole family is utterly bored by Mr Samgrass and his pictures. How this has changed! People regularly post hundreds of pictures on social media of their holidays (children, pets etc.) for everyone to peer over. People seem to think nothing of going through peoples photos online, but probably wouldn’t if it was in presentation form. Maybe people don’t actually look through them and that’s why they’re acceptable? But anyway, these are ours in blog form. Feel free to skip or read as you see fit!
It feels like forever ago now that we spent those lovely quiet but regimented days. Much like the first chapter of Brideshead Revisited in fact. A dreamlike fortnight that we can look back on in years to come with wonderful memories.
I’m sure you’d like to hear that it was an action packed adventure, but in truth it was the quiet restful sort of adventure. Just what we needed. We planned it in between the birthday of Himself and my own. Our first holiday just us, and probably our last before we have to think about this ‘settling down’ business. Saying that, we did have very important goals for the days we were there. Getting our regular spot by the pool (top priority), getting all the puzzles done from the paper, winning the poolside quiz and getting lots of craft done. Admittedly, this last one was more a goal for me than Himself. This’ll sound strange, but we kept time by the goings on around us, and with the local buses, which stopped outside the hotel. You could time your clock by them! All the British guests found this astonishing. As every bus arrived, it was customary for everyone to check their watch and declare it was 20 past the hour. It kept us amused. At 10 in the morning the pack of dogs that lived across the street liked to have a shout – we never worked out why – but it told us that it was time to go and pick up a paper. At half 11 the quiz would be issued, and we’d know it would be time for lunch when it was done.
This routine was bizarrely comforting. It was nice having allotted amounts of time to complete your day. To have the freedom to set your own delicious day of doing not very much, by timeslots that you could use or discard. I think most people go on holiday to get away from routine, but it is comforting to have one, even if it’s a new novel one.
Himself actually turned into a bit of a joiner, which I never expected. The entertainment team were brilliant and not at all pushy. Himself had a go at rifle shooting (and won most of them), French Boules (more wins), Sangria making (very drunken affair) and Spanish lessons (worse than the sangria). Himself assured that he needed to practice this at the bar, he’ll now always be able to order a dark rum and coke in Spain!
Did I do much joining in? No, I’m afraid not. Apart from a salsa (dance not chutney) lesson and various quizzes, I was quite happy to sit, read and craft. I kept waiting to get bored of it. I was sure that eventually I’d get so restless and start pacing about the place. It never happened. In fact on days where we did venture out I longed for the simple days of nothingness.
As well as the crafting – which I’ll get to in a second – I managed to read 2 books and start a third. I love reading but am a notoriously slow reader. I like to be involved in the story for as long as possible. Add to that my recent reading lull and I was shocked to find out how much had been accomplished. Time to get back into it properly I think.
Oh the craft!
This holiday has assured me that if I had to have a stay at home job and craft all day to do it I wouldn’t mind. In fact I’ve been dreaming about it of late. Not that I have a particularly stressful job, but how wonderful would it be to just meander through the day doing what you love.
Anyway, I’d planned to focus on the c2c scarf and socks, but it turned out completely differently. I ended up spending the most time getting up to date with my temperature circles and the Caron Cakes c2c blanket.
I did manage some sock, but I found I got cold feet (all of the puns intended). I was debating on how long I wanted to make them. Having no previous experience of making socks I had no real idea of where the leg would finish so no idea how long they would be. I was also getting cowardly feelings about the heel turn. I’m not sure why I felt that I would be better prepared attempting it at home, but I did. Anyway, see above for progress.
I did however find my c2c feet while I was there.
I decided that this would be the best project to take with me on one of the bus trips. The reasons are as follows:
- I still wasn’t confident with it, and this would be easier to rip out than the silk blend
- It was warm, hand were sweaty. Again, not ideal for a silk blend.
- Aran weight, so would work up quicker and puff up my ego a bit
- Just seemed like I’d have to think less about it
I found that I loved doing this stitch. Especially with the forgiving yarn. If ever I couldn’t be bothered with temperatures and I needed something to do with my hands, this was my go to project. We tended to retire to the room in the afternoon for a shower, maybe a lie down but most importantly lots of quiz shows. (By the end of our time there, we knew the whole afternoon schedule, even with the time difference. Pointless was never to be missed!) I found that I could quite happily work this project while still thinking of answers to questions. Usually if I’m concentrating on something at home I find that I haven’t actually taken anything in that I’ve watched. C2c gets top marks for mindfulness.
This is my first go using Caron Cakes but I already love how the colours change on themselves. Usually I prefer a subtler change, but there’s something about this yarn that makes me not mind the immediate change. This may be because I know it’s going to be for a big blanket, maybe it wouldn’t be so pleasant if it was a small item. Either way, I very much like this yarn at the moment.
There was a lot of debate between my crafting pals about the temperature blanket. Would I use home temperatures or holiday ones? Using holiday ones meant that I could finally get some reds on there, but it felt a bit dishonest. The point of the blanket is to records them for this year in my hometown. Having them follow me about didn’t seem right. I decided on home ones BUT kept a record of holiday ones in case I needed them for anything. This turned out to be a great decision.
Half way through I’d gotten myself nearly up to date and I got to pondering. Maybe I could do something else? Not enough for a blanket, but certainly enough for a cushion! So ta da!
I didn’t even wait to take pictures of them all separately. I dove straight in to joining. Admittedly, this was when I was back home but still. Again, there was debate over the shape. Triangle got the most votes and actually worked out better with the numbers. My plan is to make another 15 in the walnut (see here) then join together and stuff. What d’you think. You can see there’s lots of lovely redness going on. There wasn’t a great deal of change throughout the fortnight so they’re all staying roughly the same.
This is a huge contrast to the home blanket.
The first couple of days we were away, it was actually very warm at home too. Law of the universe. But for the most part we had lots of green and lots of yellows. We did have our first oranges and reds however. A sign of things to come!
I was hugely behind when we came, but given all that time to work on it, I was up-to-date by the time we left. I say up-to-date, I of course had to keep strategically forgetting that I had to join them all when I got home! Over a whole months worth to put on! By far the biggest backlog I’ve had. At least they were ready to go. I’d even done the ends! Holidays obviously must agree with me.
While we had an enormously lazy time, we did have some adventures. We wouldn’t have gone to a new place without exploring.
Our first adventure was the flight itself! I tend to tell people that I’m well-read, rather than well-travelled. My flying experience is limited. Add to that being on the first flight out of Bristol and I’m sorry to tell you but I was on edge! But, every cloud has a silver lining. Or in this case, a pinky yellowy lining.
Look at that sky! It did a great job in cheering me up and getting excited rather than nervous. Himself also very generously let me have the window seat so the view would keep me occupied.
Our first big adventure was to Ciutadella on the 20 past bus. (This is where the c2c adventure began.) We went specifically to see the market that’s there every Friday and Saturday. Once we’d managed to find it, we had turned out to be a quick wander about. It was a bit of an anti-climax. Maybe it’s just me. I love a market. Especially the small independent sort. It’ll always grab my attention. But I wasn’t hugely impressed. It was all very samey. Lots of clothes, lots of jewellery but mostly touristy stuff. I guess they know their target audience. Clothes for the locals, magnets and keyrings for the travellers. Still I was a bit disappointed. It was probably a good thing, I wasn’t really there to spend money. I bought a ring for five Euro and we were on our way.
WE pottered in and out of some of the shops but then headed in the direction of the harbour to see some boats. Possibly the nicest looking harbour I’ve seen. Looking back I only managed to get one picture and it’s got very little water in it, so I’ve had to borrow one from Himself.
Anyway, you can tell it’s very well maintained and dripping with money. Being the island that it is it obviously relies heavily on ports and sea trade. But on that day it was crammed with expensive looking yachts and people stopping in for their lunch in the many restaurants that filled the side of the dock. On we wandered..
While I’m not religious, I love visiting churches and cathedrals. Himself is not so fussed, but indulged me on this occasion! Ciutadella has the only cathedral on the island so I felt we needed to go. It always shocks me when I enter a Holy space in the middle of a city. So much bustle and heat outside, calm, cool and peaceful inside. This was no different.
Little altars lined the sides of the walls, too many to show you all of them. What impressed me most was the glass. It had once been a mosque before it was converted so there was a dome at one end. But along the top of the walls were windows with the most amazing stained glass. Again, too many of them to show you. But they left lovely little pools of coloured light on the floor. A sight to see in itself. Everything seen, I lighted some candles to remember people I was missing, and off we went.
Whenever I go to a new place, I try to remember to look up.
Not at the sky, but a fair amount of that happens too, but at the tops of the buildings. It’s such a difference from the buildings at home, it’s very refreshing.
They also had a healthy amount of street art, which is always a plus. We found this on the way up from the post.
All in all it was a lovely morning.
We did have smaller adventures in our time away. We ventured down to our beach one morning to see what all the fuss was about.
It doesn’t do justice to how blue the water actually was.
As we travelled by bus, we got to see a lot of the country side (no I didn’t miss it all concentrating on c2c!) Menorca is full of windmills for some reason.
Can I call skies adventures? These ones felt like it.
This was the sunset from the bar..
.. and I woke up early one morning just as this was happening. I then made Himself get up to take more sunrise pictures. He’s very good to me.
Our next and last big adventure was to Mahon, again a city with a port. We’d decided against renting a car and instead took advantage of the excursion provided (sold) by the hotel. Our day consisted of a walk around Mahon market, a trip to a lovely beach for lunch, a tour around a gin distillery and then a go on a glass-bottomed boat around the harbour.
This day started so well. I’ll leave that hanging there for a bit..
We started the day again with another market, which was better than the first. Slightly bigger so slightly more diverse. Everywhere was selling these huge sheet wall hangings and I was very tempted, but I resisted.
I was then coerced to head down to the harbour early to have a look at the boats. Can you tell someone is a fan? This was our only rainy day so I was dubious, but ventured on regardless. We wandered through the busy streets taking in the shops and architecture.
Also roses on the side of a building. I never did find out why there were there. Pretty all the same.
As we got down to the port it looked like the ground had dropped away. Sorry, what I meant was the ground had actually dropped away!
There were huge cliffs with buildings teetering on the edge, clinging on for dear life. I’m not sure whether the rocks had fallen away through natural causes or if it was a manmade thing to make way for the port. Amazing though. Not sure if I’d want to live in them, but I bet they had a brilliant view.
There was even more street art and good graffiti in this city. Two thumbs up. Some at the harbour..
And lots at the bus station.
This has to be my favourite.
Bus stations are never pleasant places, but this artwork made things heaps better. Finding unexpected artwork always gives me such joy. Almost as if the art itself had gotten up, walked around and thought ‘Right. I think I’ll stay here.’ Well done artists of Menorca.
Onto the beach next. Unfortunately, the name of the place escapes me. But more street art!
We loved this one. We named him Angry Popeye. He stared at us the whole time we were eating delicious pizza on the sea front.
Himself was adamant he was going in the sea, despite the choppy conditions. I’d give you pictures but I’m sure it’d be the end of us if I put pictures of him in the sea on here. You’ll just have to use your imagination.
Not wanting to get salty and moist for the rest of the day, I contented myself with a paddle.
But then, disaster.
I gained my nickname of Calamity Steph long before this holiday, but it’ll now be stuck forever. I slipped in the shower on my very first night and earned myself a lovely bruise (I’d call it a plum colour) just below my knee. That was it I though. My accident for the fortnight has been and gone. Oh how wrong I was.
We headed back to the bus and made our way to the gin distillery, which was in the port we’d visited in the morning. On arriving we saw something that definitely hadn’t been there in the morning. The biggest boat I’d ever seen!
Titanic size. Bigger than Titanic even. I was looking at this boat in a state of awe. So much awe that I completely missed the giant ridge in the road and fell over. Let that be a lesson to you people. Be wary of your surroundings around boats.
I wondered whether I should post pictures of the damage, but decided I wouldn’t put you through that. You’re welcome.
I went over on my ankle, but corrected myself and fell badly on the opposite knee. What’s worse is that not only was it in front of the whole bus, but the whole of the big cruise liner too. Who needs dignity anyway. There was a lot of pain and a lot of blood, and more annoyingly for Himself no free gin. At this point, I need to solemnly swear that it was on the way to the gin distillery and not on the way back. I don’t even like gin. Promise.
I managed to hop to the nearest bench to assess the damage and cry once everyone had gone. I was a sorry state. My ankle was already starting to swell and I had to force my shoe back on. Both had decided they didn’t want to be seen with me as I fell. Quite right. Despite being covered in blood, my knee wasn’t too bad. Himself offered to wash it down with the iced tea I had in my bag. I cried some more and sent him to buy some water.
Himself was very good though and stayed with me despite my protests. I felt very guilty that he was missing free gin. I had to solider on, I couldn’t let him miss the boat trip too. Time to get going, we had a long hobble in store.
The boat trip consisted of a jolly round the harbour, some commentary and a glass bottom feature to see fishes etc. I couldn’t make it to the top level because of the stairs, but it worked in our favour as the weather got progressively worse. All of a sudden people flocked to our level as things got very wet and extremely choppy. So much so that one poor gentleman was sick for the rest of the boat ride and even the rest of the bus ride home. Poor thing.
One plus was that we got to see a famous fort. It was one of the locations where they filmed Hornblower. Big Hornblower fans in this house. So much so that we have two sets of the box set. I didn’t know it was the same fort however until we’d gotten on to the boat. If I had known I would have definitely hired a car and gone to have a walk around. It’s probably my biggest holiday regret. That and looking at a cruise ship when I should have been looking where I was going of course.
But that was the end of the day! Back on the bus to put some ice on my ankle and take some painkillers. Just 50 minutes on the bus and we’d be there.
Sadly, this wasn’t the case. The bus decided to break down. We were directly behind the driver so I could see that the temperature light had come on and was making a noise. Strangely, the bus driver didn’t seem to know what the light meant. He then thought hitting the light display itself would make things better. Of course not. Then he took his phone out – while still driving the bus – and started to call someone. I was a tad stroppy by this point. I don’t like being rude to anyone, but this is the closest I’ve been in a while. A long wait ahead of us while another bus was sent for. In normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have minded. I had plenty to drink, crochet to do, time to kill. But my ankle was seizing up and there was no room to move it about as much as was needed. Grrr.
It’s been nearly 5 weeks and its only just starting get back to normal. Stairs still hurt, but I don’t have to go down them sideways anymore. Progress. Everyone was very helpful back at the hotel. All the acquaintances we’d made asked why I was limping about and raised their eyebrows when I told them it wasn’t even an alcohol injury, well sort of. The entertainment staff were also great and checked on me lots, brought me ice packs and advised us on what medicine to look for. Top notch. Can’t fault them.
There were lots of lovely people there actually. I’m not sure if it was just because everyone was in a good mood because they were on holiday, or we just lucked out with a good bunch. There were a surprising amount of Welshies there. One elderly couple in particular were awesome. I kept telling Himself that they were us but in 40 years time. Troublemakers the pair of them, but always laughing and messing about. If we could end up like that I’d be over the moon. Definitely something to aspire to.
Anyway, the injury meant that I was sunbed bound for the last week. I couldn’t have been happier about this. Again, we were lucky to have such a lovely place to stay. Good views, good facilities, lovely weather and beautiful flowers to look at.
I say lovely weather..
We’d heard reports of some amazing storms hitting Brittan on our first couple of days away. While we came for sunshine, we like a good storm. But never fear! This holiday even delivered on storms! We’d had a quiet, almost mournful last night. We didn’t want to leave. We retired early to pack and get an early night. As we got to the room we saw some flashes of light from outside. On to the balcony as quick as I could hobble! Definitely lightning. But on the other side of the hotel! Feeling the need for an impromptu adventure, I suggested going back down to the bar to see from there. Himself took this to mean let’s go to the sea front and watch it. Hmm. Only a 5 minute limp but still. So excited was he that he was jogging ahead by the end and left me to keep my own pace. I’m so glad we went though. I’ve never seen a storm like it. We sat in the late night heat watching three separate storms. One was over Majorca, one over open sea and the other on the other side of our island. No lights to get in the way, no buildings to obscure it. It was very special. A perfect end to a (almost) perfect holiday. Another one started to rumble above us. Time to make our move. By the time we got to our room it was pouring. Proper storm rain. It smelt amazing. (Everyone always scoffs at rain having a smell, but it even has a scientific name. Petrichor. You’re welcome.) (Maybe it’s only the Welsh that enjoy good rain this much?) By this time, the storm had moved to in front of us. And to each side. We had 360 storms. I sat with my feet dangling off the balcony getting them as wet as possible. It was outstanding.
While we liked the stormy rain, we weren’t such a fan or the Bristol drizzle when we got back. I’m not sure we’re over our holiday blues yet!
Have you made it to the end? Well done if you have. I’m impressed. It’s coming in at a staggering 10 pages of word!
If I’m honest, I’m not sure this post is for anyone but us really. One of those ones where we can look back in years to come and remember long forgotten things. If you do want any more info, names, recommendations however, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Go forth and adventure people. Whether they be big or small, go and enjoy them!
Much love xx