Where to start with this years holiday? I suppose the beginning is the best place. I’ll try not to bore you too much with it, and I’ll put in a few pictures to make it interesting. We all got up at 3am as we had to leave at 3.45-4am to drive to the airport. Mark’s dad kindly took us. The M25 is lovely at that time of the morning. We arrived at the airport in good time and after we’d gone through the security (Mark got beeped, and had to have the full body scan). We sat down for breakfast in one of the many restaurants. Our flight was 6.40am which took off on time to fly to Seville. When we arrived in Seville, we had a taxi driver with our name on a board waiting for us and he took us to our hotel. We planned on staying in Seville for 3 days to look around and see the sights. It’s a place we’ve never been to before and finally we managed to get there. Our hotel was wonderful, very posh. We had 2 adjoining rooms, so the kids had one room and Mark and I had the other. We could go from room to room very easily, it was the perfect set up. Whilst we were in Seville, we looked round the Seville Cathedral, which is huge and amazing. So much gold about, but all behind locked doors. They had services each evening, but you could still go in and walk around when they were going on. Not sure if it was distracting for the worshippers, but then I guess they’re used to that as it happens all the time.
They have the tomb of Christopher Columbus inside, which is being held up by 4 stone kings (they have crowns on). His tomb is huge, so he must have been a rather large chap. We then went up the 34 levels and 17 odd steps up the Giralda Tower, so I could see the bells. The 34 levels are like going up a car park level, there are no steps. This is because they wanted to ride a horse up to the top, and horses can only cope with slopes not steps. It did make climbing much easier, I’m not sure how a horse would have managed it because the turns were fairly tight. Still we all made it to the top and I could look at all the bells. They were all mechanised so I couldn’t show off my ringing skills. Actually there are no rings of bells in Spain that you can ring as we do in the UK. There used to be a tower in Madrid, but they’re classed as un ring-able. Maybe the Segrada Familia will have a ring of bells that need people rather than a machine.
We then popped along to the Plaza de Espana, which is where they filmed some of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Don’t ask me which bit, but Mark is a huge Star Wars fan, so we couldn’t go to Seville without going there. I have my bells, Mark has his movie locations. We also went on a boat round the moat, Emily wouldn’t use the oars, George was good, but only as good as the person guiding him (I was good at that). Mark had a go with the oars, and George tried to guide him, but they both got distracted by stuff and we kept crashing into the side. Mark kept using port and starboard…left and right works best for me. Needless to say it was fun if a little testing at time, but I guided Mark back to the beginning with precision and we got off the boat without anyone falling overboard at any time.
We also walked around various gardens, it’s surprising that in a country that is so hot (it was anywhere between low to mid 30’s) that there is quite a lot of greenery about. They have water sprinklers going for most of the day, so if you manage to get in the right position by one of the sprinklers, then you can have a cool down as they go past. We also visited a history museum which was free to enter, but we only really went in to cool off. However, I think they’d polished the floors so much that all our trainers made loud squeaky noises when ever we walked about, so it became a bit of a laugh, and we all started to giggle.
Then it was time to leave Seville and drive the 355 miles across Spain to my parents villa. On the way we stopped off at The Alhambra to see this amazing Moorish palace, and have lunch and an ice cream before we drove the final leg of our journey.
Motorway driving in Spain is a joy! Once you’ve got used to being on the wrong side of the road, it’s very easy. The motorways are very quiet, makes me wonder what they’d think of the M25 if they ever had to drive on it. They’d most probably think they’d arrived in hell!! Mark and I shared the driving so one could relax whilst the other one concentrated on the driving and handed out sucky sweeties. The Alhambra was very pleasant, but you weren’t allowed to walk through the gardens with an ice cream? I’m not sure what they thought you’d do, but because George ate his faster than he’d planned, he ended up with a nose bleed. This did not make me very happy, and I was tempted to show the evidence to the man who insisted on us eating our treat too fast, but didn’t know the phrase for *******! Enough said!! I think I said to Mark “This wouldn’t happen at a National Trust place”. The Alhambra was a very pretty place, but all the rooms were the same, and once you’d seen about 4 you’d seen them all. There were little courtyards to sit down in, that were in the shade. I sat down in the wrong place, and got told off by a jobs worth guard. You can’t take me anywhere!! If you do go there, make sure you take a map, as the sign posts are none existent, and we got lost. Also you have to pay to get in (this I understand) but also have to pay for the car park (this I thought was a bit of a cheek, as how else are you supposed to get there?) So after wandering round for about 3 hours, getting told off by various people, the kids were knackered so we got back in the car and drove the rest of the way to a waiting pool.
We finally arrived at my parents about 10pm, all exhausted and very hungry. Mum had got Spaghetti Bolognese ready for us which we ate very fast. Then after a good nights sleep our relaxing part of the holiday could begin. The rest of the holiday was spent catching up on the latest bits of news and gossip, sitting in the sun and shade when it got too hot. The kids were in and out the pool like yoyo’s and when they were out the pool the grown ups got in and spent some time swimming calmly until they all came back in usually with a splash.
We were all there, my sister and her 2 boys, and her eldest sons girlfriend as well as us 4. So in total 10! We all pitched in to help with cooking and various things so it wasn’t all on one person. George spent much of his time in the pool practicing diving, and bombing. I can’t dive to save my life, but he’s really good at it, especially penguin dives. He was having a problem with his trunks as he’s so skinny it’s very difficult to find any that fit him snuggly enough, so we had lots of incidents when he lost his trunks when he did a dive.
We went to the beach, shopping, went out for lunch and I got a bit tipsy (had to have a sleep in the afternoon), visited my auntie and uncle in the next village and they came to us, and various other things. But a perfect relaxing time was had by all. Most of the time was spent in the pool. On the day before we left to come home the temperature was 38 degrees, and even I said it was too hot!! We left when the temperature in Spain was 34, and arrive back in Gatwick to 18!! What’s that all about? It’s so cold!! A huge, massive thank you to Mum and Dad for such a perfect holiday. Keep the pool warm til we come out next year. Oh, and send some sun our way please, and a bit of heat would be good to.