So much positive stuff seems to be happening right now that I’m wondering if I will ever get around to polishing the A to Z off, but here’s the latest installment.
Nicest Hotel I have ever stayed in:
Now I have stayed in a lot of hotels over the past 50 odd years. In general I tend to think of a hotel as somewhere to sleep and leave my stuff, particularly if I’m only on a short break, but the occasional touch of luxury is great if we are staying put for a while. Price does not always correlate with nice though. For example on the two occasions I stayed in Istanbul I much preferred the small family run Avicenna, near the Blue Mosque, to the beastly corporate Conrad, despite the Conrad having a pool and other mod cons.
However if I had to make a choice, I’d plump for the Meltemi Apartments in Perissa on the Greek island of Santorini. So what did I like about them?
Our blue and white apartment was pretty much self-contained, well furnished and clean. The air conditioning actually worked, which doesn’t always happen in Greece. It was also close to a number of bars and restaurants and the beach was about five minutes away.
There was also a local bakery, which was great for breakfast and a supermarket, where we could get two litre water bottles filled with wine from a barrel for about 50 cents. Not to mention a hoard of cats, like Noodles, so called because the lady who ran the joint fed him on Chinese takeaway.
The manageress was pretty cool herself and largely left us alone, except for the odd hair care tip, “Use lots of conditioner darlink”. And there was none of that big chain meaningless corporate crap like mission statements or brand identity nonsense.
Best of all we had our own private jacuzzi on our own private sun terrace. All this combined with Santorini’s relaxing atmosphere, great food, ouzo, beer and Vin Santo made for a great holiday.
Which one? Architecture, food, drink, wildlife, archeology?
No it has to be photographing birds.
Which is something I do everywhere we go even in my back garden,
most times these are the same creatures you can see in the UK, like this hooded crow,
although you won’t see one in the south of England, and this fieldfare, both snapped in the grounds of Peter the Great’s palace at St Petersburg,
but occasionally something a bit more exotic like this green heron that I discovered helping himself to the koi carp in at our hotel in Cancun Mexico.
My more recent passports have very few stamps in them, since hardly anywhere in Europe bothers to stamp other European passports any more. Which is a bit of a shame, as I always thought getting a stamp almost made up for the time wasted queuing up at the immigration desk. In my present passport I have stamps from Russia, Mexico and Croatia , but past passport stamps include; Hong Kong, Australia, Fiji, the USA, Canada, Spain, Gibraltar, Finland, Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Norway, Greece and Israel.
I think this one from a Santa special trip to Arctic Finland is quite fun and shows that not all official functions have to be that serious. However for ruthlessly beating a passport to within an inch of its life you could not beat Egypt in the early 90s, where the forces of petty officialdom inflicted all of these wallops within a week.