Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Where Would You Go?
Well, a week at least. And when I say worries... I have a not-quite-two-year-old with a milk allergy, so we need to be on top of that, but OTHERWISE...
Where do you go on holiday, hmmm? Do you prefer the excitement of another country? Another county or state? Far enough so that the accent is not quite your own, or where the language is completely different.
For me, I don't mind. A break is a break. I love to fly, and love to visit far off places, but I've had as much fun at a caravan here in the UK.
I live right next to a resort. Cleethorpes. For us here, it's a bit boring, but that's because we know it and it's part of our life. Cleethorpes has a nice beach, a pier, arcades, a market, restaurants and so on. There's a multi-screen cinema, a theme park and more. So where do we go? We go to Skegness or Mablethorpe.
Essentially, these are still seaside towns and have a beach, arcades, markets...
But, it's not here. It's different. It's a change. We'll take the children to Cleethorpes (known as Meggies locally), still, though. We don't turn our backs on it totally. It's a fun day - losing pounds worth of two pences in the slots (Sin would be happy...), trying to get that one toy to fall off. Fish and chips on a bench. Sandcastles. It's fun and it takes possibly 15 minutes to drive there.
Mablethorpe is about an hour. Skegness another half on top of that.
The caravan holiday I spoke of was at Great Yarmouth. It's another seaside resort, though bigger than Cleethorpes (as is Skegness). We had a great time even though we did much of what we'd do at Cleethorpes.
But then there was Luxor in Egypt, a surprise holiday from my wife. She'd known I had been interested in Egyptian mythology etc. since being a child. She herself had been to Luxor multiple times, but realised I'd want the 'real' Egypt and this was one of the best places to experience that. Many people go to Sharm el Sheik but it didn't appeal to me. I have no doubts it's a wonderful place, but I'd heard it described as the Blackpool of Egypt. More of that in a little bit.
Luxor was amazing. I can't begin to put into words how much I enjoyed that holiday. Walking through the Valley of the Kings, something I'd dreamed of for so many years, was almost emotional. The hotel was right on the edge of the Nile, and a felucca (small river boat) would come to the edge to take you on your trips. The sun set over the Nile to the left and the hills of the Valley of the Kings were lit to the right. Breathtaking.
Last year, for our honeymoon, my wife and I went to Budapest, in Hungary. We want to explore the world. New York, Moscow, Prague, Bulgaria, St Petersburgh, Barcelona, the Rio Carnival - these are all places we plan to go. We've both done the typical summer beach holiday (in a previous life, it was all I knew) and want to do more. We want to educate our children on the different places there are and not have them think a holiday abroad is all about sun, beaches and waterparks - although there's nothing wrong with that at all.
Budapest. It was a beautiful city. We walked everywhere and found hidden delights. Rather than stick to main roads, we would use Google Maps to find our way back to our hotel and discovered back street coffee shops, stunning churches and more on our travels. The people were so friendly, and places like the Holocaust Museum and House of Terror were moving.
I mentioned Blackpool. Like Cleethorpes and the others, it's a seaside town. Apart from that, it's sort of the flagship holiday of its type. The Blackpool Illuminations, where the streets are lit up towards the end of the summer season ready for Christmas, are legendary. At the foot of the Blackpool Tower there is a circus, and it's easily the best one I've ever been to. We loved it.
In the previous life, I went to Alcudia in Majorca. It was great. A beautiful stretch of beach. But then, that's where we went every year. Even to the point of going to the same apartment complex. It lost its appeal eventually.
Now, however, it's holiday time again. As much as I said we want to explore and educate, we do have the problem of my youngest's milk intolerance. There needs to be a minimal language barrier. Yes, we could have gone to one of the many places in the UK, but we wanted to really feel as if we'd had a holiday. We wanted to get away. It's been a hectic time with various things, so the fact that we'd need a plane to get to where we're going adds to the excitement and the sensation of not being HERE. We'll be able to take a breath.
A friend of mine was working in Norway. He was in a bakery and commented on the girl behind the counter's excellent English, even down to the accent. When he asked where she'd learned to speak it so well, she told him Majorca...
That's a Spanish island...
OK, so Majorca, and Spain in general, is a magnet to Brits on holiday. A couple of hours flight and almost guaranteed weather. But also, they understand English very well. As such, if we ask whether something contains milk, as our daughter is allergic, we can be fairly sure they'll know what we mean.
Google Translate will be our friend, though, just in case.
My eldest daughter, who's nine, can barely contain her excitement, even though it's weeks away. She's already made her list of what she wants to pack - a list which will need to be trimmed otherwise there won't be any room in the cases for anyone else’s clothes. My wife and I are bubbling nicely too. Our youngest has just learned what an aeroplane is. She saw George, on Peppa Pig, playing with one.
Yes, I've done Alcudia in Majorca to death. We're going to Majorca, still, but somewhere else. We're letting the children have their summer beach, sea, pool and waterpark holiday and we'll be fairly confident the wee one won't eat something she shouldn't.
It doesn't take much. We have to keep testing her to see if she's outgrown the allergy. Even a small piece of pizza crust has an effect that can last days. She was accidentally given popcorn at a party that was meant to be sweet (which she's ok with) but turned out to be toffee. That was over a week ago and she's still suffering.
So, we're all going on a summer holiday (though it's not on a red double decker bus and Cliff Richard won't be singing along - thankfully). I can't wait.
Where do you go? Where wouldn't you go? Where would you like to go, but don't think you ever will?
I didn't think I'd ever get to Egypt, but I now have a neat line crossed out on my Bucket List.
Never say never.