Off to Pompeii today. Vesuvius, the eruption and all that. A previous neighbour of mine was always burning garden rubbish and that got on my pip, so I would have been a bit pissed off, if, as a resident of Pompeii back in 79AD, that a mountain blew up just after I’d hung out my washing. Nightmare. Continue reading “Naples 2: Pompeii, Is It Me or Is it Hot in Here.”→
‘Ryanair have cheap flights East Midlands to Naples,’ said The Little Nurse ‘Wanna go?
‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Someone should keep an eye on the Italians. Might as well be us.’
Ryanair let us down this time. I don’t normally knock Ryanair but they harried us to board quickly, two hours late, only to tell us we probably wouldn’t be leaving for another two hours. We arrived in Naples at 2.00am, over 4 hours late, too late to eat, but we were able to get a drink in the hotel reception. Gin is a kind of food, right?
The hotel was a bit weird. It bills itself as an ‘Art Hotel’ whatever that is. Maybe it’s because your wardrobe is a collection of brightly coloured shelves and a hanging rail, without doors. Or sides. Or a top. Or maybe it’s because the corridor lights are in the floor so you have to dance around them in order not to burn your feet. Or could it be the lamp made from a juice carton? The room had french windows, opening on to a tiny balcony, overlooking a fabulous street. No sea view, no rolling parkland or ornate gardens. Just a proper street with people, traffic, arguments, and dogshit. I loved it. Continue reading “Naples 1: Keeping an Eye on the Italians.”→
The Freedom Trail is a red line on the Boston sidewalks which you follow around to see all the historic sites. Go on your own or join an organized tour. (Or hang around at the back of a group to get the skinny without the cost). We joined our prearranged guided tour on a drizzly morning and set off. It’s pretty good if a little over patriotic for non US citizens, especially us Brits. The guides are informative, enthusiastic, and importantly they have a sense of humour. Essential when they have to deal with a sarcastic clever-shoes like me. Continue reading “Boston 1: A Technical Defeat on The Freedom Trail.”→
After the incident with the dogs in El Acerbo I set off for Ponferrada. It was mainly downhill and the terrain was either scree-like or huge fissured boulders. Tough going. I spotted a woman ahead in the distance. She was moving very slowly, unsure of her footing. I could see that she was struggling from a mile away. Even from that distance I could also see that she could never be described as a small eater, adding to her problems. She had my sympathy, I had been a little overweight myself a few years ago. Mine had been a medical condition though. I suffered from an overactive knife and fork. Continue reading “Camino 10: Downhill Racer”→
My famous trademark hat blew off in the tuk tuk. The driver pulled over but the hat was long gone. If you’re visiting soon and you see a spiffily turned out monkey you will know where he got his hat. Next stop the hat stand. I bought a replica for 6 dollars after a 20 minute haggle. Yes 20 minutes. I never give in. Continue reading “Cambodia 2: Angkor Wat”→
Carnival in Tenerife is a big deal. It’s a week-long party. All towns have their own versions but the most raucous is in Santa Cruz, Tenerife’s capital. In size it’s second only to Rio de Janeiro. There are different events every night culminating in The Burial of the Sardine on the last official night. As we wanted a bit of winter sunshine we had rented a house in La Orotava, found some cheap flights, got a deal on car hire and went. Because we can. Continue reading “Tenerife 1: Carnival in La Orotava”→
As we had arrived fairly late into Santander our first morning was spent getting our bearings. I photographed the hotel as we left, a habit I’ve developed since my futile attempts to pronounce the name of a Delhi hotel to about 70 taxi drivers. So. Why Santander. Well, the Little Nurse and I love Spain but not so much the resorts. We are going to visit all the cities and all the large towns. As soon as we see cheap flights we’re off. STN-SDR was £40 return. Continue reading “Santander 1: Shellfish from Space”→
Is there a sadder sight than five or six passengers hanging around a recently emptied baggage carousel where the passing of time is marked by the continuing circuit of a solitary dilapidated bag belonging to none of them. Being the most realistic of the disappointed travellers gathered thus, I pushed off to the lost luggage desk. The service was South East Asian. They look as if they don’t care. They look as if there is no system. They look as if this situation has never before happened. But there are wheels within wheels, and, after a few questions, you are handed a handwritten scrap of paper bearing an unfeasibly long reference number and sent on your way. Continue reading “Cambodia 1: Siem Reap for us. Luggage in Bangkok”→
Monday morning. The Little Nurse went to the lobby for coffee. She came back empty handed defeated by the coffee machine. These things are our life long adversaries. We have had trouble with these ridiculous machines all over the world. We have ruined lobby carpets, taken the polish off tables and scalded other guests. In Lisbon, every morning for a week, a six year old got coffee for us. I was tempted to kidnap him he was so useful. I asked her to describe the machine. It was one of those a little pellet of coffee needs to be inserted into. Somewhere. No one knows where. Except George Clooney. I asked her if Clooney was hanging around the lobby but she didn’t think so. I thought that was a bit of a long shot before I asked but I needed coffee. She pushed off to the bar next door and soon returned with the good stuff. One cup was enough to get me in and out of the lift, through the front door and into the bar next door for the second hit. Continue reading “Feria de Abril Seville 2:”→