Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Margaret's birthday

This year we booked Margaret's birthday weekend at Peñiscola just as we did last year. We booked it months ago and little did we realise it was also Easter weekend.


We also didn't realise that we were booking a different hotel, this time the Peñiscola Palace, all we knew was that it had a spa.



The view from our room on the 5th floor was very good but if we go again we'll ask for a south facing room - they all have sea views.


We arrived on the Saturday afternoon. That evening we had a full moon rising over the Mediterranean, yet another "blue" moon.



The food in the restaurant was superb.


All courses were great but they really excelled with the dessert course. I just had to try so much!


On Easter Sunday after breakfast we had a walk along the sea front. Last year the hotel where we stayed was further away from the centre, this hotel was in a better location.


Although there was a brisk wind there were people on the beach sunbathing!


The sand sculptor had been very busy getting ready for his Easter offering.


Our hotel is one of the ones to the right of Margaret's head. The hotels seem to go on for ever.


Evening meal and I had to take a photo of the dessert table - wonderful!


And so to the birthday breakfast on the Monday and a glass of cava to wash it down...


...with the traditional English breakfast. They go together surprisingly well.


After breakfast a session in the spa which was very enjoyable then in the afternoon a visit to Jardín del Papagayo just a few minutes drive from the hotel...


...to see an assortment of tortoises, birds and kangaroos.


Someone had had a great time building this centre with wooden pathways weaving through the well established tropical gardens.


The great feature was that we could actually enter the cage with the birds...


...and having purchased a packet of seeds to feed them, we were very popular although the parrot in the photo above seemed to like the new nesting material it had found.


It was very well thought out as the first parrots encountered were small...


...and the next were a little bit bigger until the ones at the end were massive and made very loud screeches.


Inbetween, were the kangaroos, although they seemed to be having a siesta apart from this one posing with his back to us.





These were the very large, noisy parrots which were also very friendly.


What a great day out and a lovely way to spend a birthday!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Snow!

One of the aims of going away on holiday in January is to give the cold weather here a miss. Hopefully, when we get back things are starting to brighten up. The weather here while we were away wasn't too bad, it waited for our return then it snowed.


It was grey and overcast all day Tuesday with steady snowfall most of the morning.


Looking on the bright side, the snow does make the countryside look different...


...and the next day, we were back to full sunshine.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Gran Canaria

It's holiday time again and as usual at this time of year we fly to Gran Canaria...


...and check in to our usual hotel in Puerto Rico, Riosol. This year we had our own palm tree in front of the apartment.


They've made some changes since last year. Above is the reception area which used to be very busy but with the new seating it seemed rarely frequented.


In the dining room I'm demonstrating the exciting new colour combination.


We didn't actually see anyone sit on one of these new bar stools shown above...


...but some people did sit at the bar but presumably only for a short period of time.


However, the views were still wonderful. Here's one of the swimming pools with one of those infinity pools behind it - the Atlantic ocean.


Apart from the views the weather is always worth coming for.


Even the moon is very laid back.


This year our friends, Vanessa and Peter with Vanessa's mother Pat, were staying at a hotel in Puerto de Mogán.


This was a hotel with the "wow"factor!


The buildings were exquisite and the planting in the grounds really interesting.


Back at Riosol, the Canarian themed evening meal is always superb. Actually, all the evening meals are very good whichever country's theme they happen to be.


 Despite wanting to do very little on this holiday we had to visit Montecristo gardens again.


The gardens are an oasis of peace and tranquility just a short ride from the bustling and often hectic tourist destinations nearby. No coachloads of people are admitted...


...and each year there are different works of art, particularly inspiring sculptures.


Also on the list of "must do" is the walk along the front at Puerto Rico. Each year I count the steps on the pathway down, it's the same number of steps but I always end up with a different total - this year it was 635...


...and of course it's time for morning coffee.


Three weeks passes very quickly when you don't have to do anything but after our flight back we stayed overnight at a hotel near the airport and enjoyed a great end to our holiday.


And so home at last and this was the night of the full super blue moon with an eclipse in some other parts of the world, so here it is.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

3 Kings

It's one of the great celebrations in the village as indeed it is throughout Spain...


...but here the walk through the streets holding a burning torch always feels very special...


and this year the costumes, makeup and presentation of the Kings and their pages was outstanding.


The Kings and their pages posed for photos in the doorway of the church...


...then on the route down the street to the salón we had fireworks - follow that rocket!


The salón was packed as the children waited to be called to receive their presents.


Meanwhile, we enjoyed our own celebration with our good friends Maria and Juan...


...when they brought a special cake, a Roscón de Reyes, Kings Ring, and a bottle of cava. Delicious!