After the hold-ups getting to Liverpool we decided to set off early for our drive to Stansted. Albeit if the truth be known I was also keen to be in the Airport Lounge to watch the second half of the City game which was on TV and kicking off at noon.
We were in the car at 8.10am and soon on our way. It gave us time to reflect upon Liverpool. It was much nicer than our first impressions and was worth a visit. A whole day was long enough for us though as we saw everything we wanted to. I think it is a bit over hyped but nevertheless we were glad we had made the effort. It is a really long way from Norwich though. After this my thoughts then turned to the City game and the possible permutations depending on the result. In recent years the team has had many ups and downs, but for some reason I cannot ever recall being quite so nervous about whether we will actually be promoted.
The drive this time was straightforward with just a few hold ups for road works with average speed cameras seemingly everywhere. This added about 30 minutes to the predicted journey. We had pre booked the Mid stay car park at Stansted. We soon found a space and were pleased that a transfer bus was waiting at the stop when we got to it. Check in with Jet 2 was a delight as always, especially the DIY baggage drop. However, it wasn’t until much later that I realised though that we had not taken the receipt part of the luggage label off and instead had left on the label we put onto our bags. I decided not to tell Karen as she would have been in a mad panic about it and we couldn't do anything about it. I just crossed my fingers and hoped the bags would come off the carousel the other end without a problem.
As I wanted to watch as much of the match as possible we went straight to the Security gates and joined the predictable long queue. Fortunately it was moving quite quickly. I got through with no problem. Karen’s bag as ever got shunted the other way for a manual inspection. I was not happy. 14 minutes later (yes I timed it and moaned a lot), it was determined she had some washing tablets next to some wet wipes that had thrown up an alert. We were then free to move on.
We headed straight for one the Escape Lounge. About 6 weeks prior to this trip I had taken out another Amex card which gave us both free Lounge passes for a year and we were keen to see if they worked. The airport itself was crammed with people so we were grateful to be able to seek refuge in a quiet area and more importantly with free food and drinks. There was no problem obtaining entry. Karen went and got a couple of glasses of complimentary bubbly to start off with whilst I logged into Sky Go on the iPad and found the coverage of the match. City were losing. I managed to just let out a small cheer when we equalised, although Karen said I should run around with my shirt over my head if we scored a winner. Sadly that never happened. Even Karen was impressed by the quality of the picture we had.
The food in the Lounge was not great but being free we made the most of it and the free drinks until our flight was called. Boarding was easy and we settled down for the 2hr 20 minute flight. Karen soon fell asleep whilst I listened to a couple of Podcasts, although I missed the ending of the second as I must have had a quick doze myself. The only trouble with Jet 2 is that they have the same seat configuration as RyanAir namely 3 - 3. So unless we settle for 2 aisle seats we always end up with a middle. This time it was Karen’s turn to suffer but the person next to her was no trouble.
Immigration was easy and so onto baggage claim. I still hadn’t mentioned our error to Karen so was mightily relieved when the bags turned up. I then told her what we had done and between us we worked out what we should have done for next time. She was glad I hadn't worried her unnecessarily.
The Jet 2 organisation on arrival was first class and we were directed to our waiting minibus and within 10 minutes or so were on the way to our Hotel. There were 2 other couples on the bus but we were pleased to learn we were to be the first drop off after a 25 minute drive. By now it was dark and we couldn’t see anything of the scenery as we were being driven along. We were dropped at the Hotel Argentina which confused us as we were booked into Villa Glavic. It turned out our Hotel was actually just the annex of Hotel Argentina and after checking in we were taken across the small road to our building and room. It was very plush and we decided very us.
After getting ourselves organised we decided to explore the Hotel. Our annex was just rooms and all the facilities were across the road. As it was built on the cliffside, the reception and level we entered was on Level 6. We went down to Level 4 to the Piano Bar. This was very nice but I was disappointed that it was a Piano Bar in name only. Whilst there was a grand piano it was obviously never played as it didn’t even have a piano stool. We were both hungry and thirsty and ordered off the bar menu a couple of pots of tea, along with a burger for me and a Club Sandwich for Karen. They were both very filling although not cheap. However we were too tired to explore any further and were not sure even which direction to head in outside of the Hotel. After the exertions of the day we then retired for the night back in our room.