Last week I promised to come back with photos taken on holiday in Europe. Although it’s great to laze around the pool, it’s also lovely to get out and about – and that means photo opportunities. Tonight I’m featuring three destinations:
September 2005: LE BUGUE, DORDOGNE, FRANCE
We rented an isolated twelve bedroom farmhouse for a week. The owners, an English couple, were still in the process of renovating some of the bedrooms and moved into a caravan in the woods behind the house when it was being rented out. The kitchen had a homing spider who lived in a small blue bucket. No matter how many times it was persuaded that the garden might be a better place to live, by the next morning it was back. I have great memories of beautiful countryside, fabulous food and pre dinner Kir Royal. There was also the most expensive piece of cheese I’ve ever purchased in a market and ‘bio’bread (organic bread) which when stale became so hard even the birds turned their beaks up.
June 2006 – ST STEFANOS, CORFU
Memorable events: Wrecking my ankle 48 hours before our flights and ending up in A & E. The triage nurse cheered me up with ‘never mind, you’ll get a wheelchair to take you to the plane and you’ll be on first.’ In actual fact it was a very bad sprain and by the time we got to the airport, although the ankle was still painful at least I was mobile. The island was beautiful, the people friendly and the villa amazing. We had a small cat family who visited daily and mum would leave her kittens to play in the villa garden while she went off to hunt. Greek food? Well that goes without saying…it’s one of my favourites. The only downside was I had to wear sensible shoes all week in order to support my ankle….no strappy sandals or high heels…which obviously meant a complete overhaul of my holiday wardrobe.
September 2008 – FUNCHAL, MADEIRA
We came here to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary. The hotel was an old colonial mansion once used by the British Consulate. Unlike the modern hotels which are clustered around the coast near the marina, this was set on a steep hillside at the top of the city – fifteen minutes walk down and forty five minutes back as the hotel receptionist informed us with a smile – yes it was steep. It’s an amazing island, the north coast is similar to Cornwall, very rocky with rough seas while the calmer south coast bathes in warmth. The mountainous interior, is more often than not covered in cloud which brings rain to irrigate the island. The rain is channelled into levadas, which carry the water across the island to where it is needed. These water channels also provide routes for those who come to the island on walking holidays.
Memorable Events: The friendliness of the people, the fabulous food and a wonderful guy we hired who took us around the island in his taxi. We spent a whole day with him and everything was tailored to our requirements. He stopped whenever we wanted to take photographs, took us to a great local restaurant for lunch and gave us a great insight into the history of the island. Another taxi driver who will live forever in our minds was one who took us back to the hotel after a night out. It was one of the scariest moments I think we’ve ever experienced in a vehicle -even worse learning that he was 84 and still licenced!
That’s all for now but I’ll be back soon to share some more memorable places…