Food with a view…


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Last week, we had lunch at this beautiful Chateau, just outside Magalas. The food was delicious, the staff very friendly and the views just superb.  If you ever find yourself in this area of the wonderful Languedoc, or Occitanie as the region is now called, you should pay a visit, you’ll be glad you did.

Chateau St Pierre de Serjac

Tenby weekend


The wet weather didn’t stop our enjoyment of the weekend in Tenby, a walled medieval town in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

 

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St Catherine’s Island from North Beach

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Colourful town houses and hotels overlooking the beach

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Hotels and steps leading down to the beach

 

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Narrow street leading from the harbour

For more information on this historic town click here Tenby 

 

Thoughts of Ronda


Ronda is one of the most interesting places I have ever visited.  Modern bullfighting was born here and a tour of the bullring, built in 1784, is a must.  Forget the sprawling new town of concrete and glass that has grown up around the old town, and head instead for the beautiful old town and the three bridges that span the famous El Tajo canyon.

Both Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway were fans too.  Although set in a fictional village, the execution of Nationalist sympathisers in Hemingway’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ was allegedly based on killings that took place in Ronda.  Orson Welles loved the place so much that his ashes are buried in a well, on land owned by his friend the retired bullfighter, Antonio Ordonez.

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For more information Ronda

Background to ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and Hemingway

A man is not from where he is born, but where he chooses to die.’  Orson Welles

 

Travel diary – Dubai


The Atlantis HotelThe Atlantis DubaiIn the aquarium at The Atlantis Hotel..

In the aquariumA view from the monorail leaving The Palm

View from The PalmA Dubai sunset…

Dubai Sunset

 

The stunning Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in reception

IMG_0473.JPG (2) This sculpture took nearly two years to make, you can find out more here:

 

Travel Diary – Puerto Banus


Photos from a recent trip to Puerto Banus. We stayed in an apartment a couple of miles from the port. This was our view…
IMG_0671 The road winds up from the apartment block to a development set out in Spanish Pueblo style, the flowers and gardens are just lovely…IMG_0680 IMG_0683 IMG_0679We took the local catamaran ferry to Marbella and had lunch in Orange Square, surrounded by orange trees and local hustle and bustle.

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We passed the statue to Jose Banus who was responsible for developing the port which opened in 1970 … 2014 Puerto Banus 064

and enjoyed a leisurely walk looking at shops and a few boats…

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Travel diary – Crete


Crete is one of the those places that has been on our travel ‘Bucket List’ for years, but for some reason that neither of us can explain, it had been pushed further down the list as the years have gone by. Which as it turned out, had been a huge error on our part…

Our hotel looked out on the Mirabello Bay and, sitting in the middle is the island of Spinalonga, which provided the backdrop for Victoria Hislop’s novel The Island

A boat from the little town of Plaka, took us across to the former leper colony, said to have been the last in Europe. It was quite eerie to walk round the almost deserted island and in places the silence was overpowering.

Spinalonga sunset

Spinalonga sunset

Arriving at Spinalonga

Arriving at Spinalonga

 

We came across this little church on our way back from Heraklion after a visit to Knossos. Men were working in the road cutting down lots of trees, which goes some way to explain all the foliage on the ground in the photo.

Hilltop church

Hilltop church

 

Knossos is somewhere I have longed to go since reading about it in history lessons. Nowadays, it is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site in Crete and considered by many historians to be the oldest city in Europe. Not much remains of the great palace today, except part of the north entrance which features the famous fresco of the Charging Bull.

Relief on tempel wall at Knossos

Fresco on the palace wall Knossos – Charging Bull

 

Part of the Royal Palace

Part of the Royal Palace

 

A gentle 10 minute stroll from our hotel, brought us to the small town of Plaka. The walk through the gardens and then out along the main road, meant we followed the coast for most of the way. The views were just stunning.

View from hotel garden

View from hotel garden

At the end of the walk, our favourite taverna where we had lunch most days.  It was very unusual to be able to take this photo without any people in it. The queue for the boat to Spinalonga started just outside the door and every day there seemed to be more and more people wanting lunch before taking the boat across to the island.

Taverna at Plaka

Taverna at Plaka

The Cretan people are incredibly friendly and very hospitable. We visited Agios Nikolaos and Elounda too and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Crete is somewhere that remains with you long after you leave, I would love to go back there some day.