2023 - Lanzarote - Travel Days
It was a very busy Monday as I managed to fit in going to the gym, meeting an old friend for a cuppa, then a 2-hour detailed Finance meeting with our IFA before popping into see Barry & Ellie’s cats (who were actually in the house for a change) and then finally going home to finish the packing.
We left about 6.40pm for the drive to Stansted through far too many temporary traffic lights. Is it me, or do they seem to breed overnight?
Now I am no fan of travelling down to the airport the day before. It all seems too much faff for me and rather than being the start of a holiday just seems to extend the travel time. If any of the hotels were that nice that so you would go and stay in them irrespective of whether you were flying or not that would be fine. But they aren’t. To me most of them are just like an extension or part of the airport experience and the less time I spend there the better. If the flight time is ridiculously early then I get it but otherwise I would rather spend the night at home and just get up early.
For this trip the flight departure was 8.45am the nest morning from Stansted which was doable from home. However there had been an offer last March which meant the Hotel room with parking was only £15 more than booking the car park separately so we went for it.
The Hotel was the Holiday Inn Express. Now I’m no expert but the rooms were distinctly Travelodge like and I assume that it has just been rebranded. The room was clean, quiet and comfortable though. We set the alarm for 5.15am. I know I checked the time every hour during the night. When Karen had offered to make cups of tea as we climbed into bed at 9.30pm I assumed she would use the decaffeinated tea bags we had packed. As I was still awake at 10.30pm I realised she hadn’t. I got up when the alarm went off more tired than when I went to bed.
The room rate included breakfast but it was far too early for either of us to eat. So, we caught the 6am shuttle bus (£4 each – a rip off that I had factored into the Hotel Cost) and were very soon into the terminal.
We were flying Jet2. As usual all the staff were happy and smiley. We dropped our one bag that Karen had insisted we pay extra for. The novelty here is not only do you use the machine to print and attach the luggage label yourself but you also get to push the button to send the bag away on the belt. I got Karen to press the button as I didn’t want any blame coming my way should we never see it again.
Security was very slick and even Karen got through without additional searches required.
We made our way through the winding route to the airport lounge where we were quickly let in. We were now ready for a hearty breakfast although we did wait for a further hour before having a free glass of bubbles.
Our gate was then called and by time we reached it they were then about to start boarding. Our seats were in the middle of the plane. We had window and middle and these were just about bearable for the 4-hour flight. I managed to read a whole James Patterson novel on my kindle during the flight whilst Karen slept most of the way.
There was only a small queue at Immigration and then a quick 10-minute wait for our bag to appear. There was no wait for a taxi for the short ride to La Penita Apartments. It cost 15 Euros which I think is high for the length of the ride but just sighed and paid it. I may hate paying for car parking most of all but paying for taxis is up on my list as well.
The apartment was still being cleaned and so we were told we had to wait a further 30 minutes to be given the key. We left our bags in Reception and used that time to walk to the Dino Supermarket to stock up on some of the essentials for the week. By the time we returned the apartment was ready and we hauled our bags up to Apartment 133 which was the one we had requested as we stayed in this one last time.
After quickly unpacking we sat on the balcony which was a real sun trap. It was lovely. The pool area below was surprisingly busy with people on sun beds. They were all very close together and it really did not look appealing to either of us. I think I am getting far too snobbish in my old age. Just don’t get me started on the people on the sun beds.
About 7pm we decided to head out for dinner. We wanted to go back to Napolenta which had been closed for staff holidays last year. There were tables free when we arrived but it soon filled up. Now I had heard the table behind us being told that the Garlic Bread starter would do two people so I ordered that with our mains. Well, it wasn’t. It was a solitary sad piece of bread on a rather large plate. We looked at it and laughed and then feared for the rest of our order. I had ordered the homemade Gnocchi with gorgonzola whilst Karen had a delicious looking Pizza. They were both really good as was the half carafe of red wine and free shot afterwards.
Neither of us fancied anymore drinks and the prospect of just sitting in a bar for the sake of it didn’t appeal especially to me as nowhere was showing the Norwich game on their TV’s. For some reason they seemed to think everyone would just want to watch the Liverpool v Real Madrid game in some other Mickey Mouse competition.
So, we went back to the apartment had a nice cuppa whilst I sat and listened to the Radio Norfolk second half commentary. I would have tried to find a stream to watch the game live but the Wifi in the apartment is still painfully slow at times. I think the bandwidth would have worked fine but too many other people were obviously using it.
I think the use of the Wifi here should be restricted to those who are 60 and under. But I would then revise that age limit upwards on a yearly basis. This would remove 75% of the people currently here from accessing the network. I know this may annoy many people I know but I would allow them to access a hotspot through me. Basically, what would people over that age be using the Wifi for anyhow? Either sending inane pictures or messages to each or other such pointless activities, thus stopping more useful members of society like me doing more important things like watching Nunez score a spectacular goal at Carrow Road.
*** Disclaimer Karen said I needed to make clear that this paragraph was written tongue in cheek after I read it back to her!***
Tiredness from not sleeping properly the night before soon hit me and so I took my phone with the commentary to the bedroom and soon fell asleep almost as soon as the match was over.