Wednesday 7 December, 2005

xmas plans?

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 4:33 pm

I haven’t posted as I’ve been a bit fed up with the computer. I’ve been on it trying to sort out accommodation over xmas and new years, it seems we’ve left things a bit late. Duh! We had decided to spend it with Sofia and Joey with a jaunt to Scotland in between xmas and New Year. They’re laying low after a recent trip to Cuba and in preparation for the arrival of their twins! So we found cheap passage to Angleterre, with the car, and with the prospect of spending fun times with our good friends, and as well visiting Bonnie Scotland, why were we both hesitant? It seems we are both worried with limited holidays and cash we aren’t going to see anywhere near all the places we want to before we head home. I know we are not here on an extended holiday but for Jims career and for the opportunity of living in France but we still want to make the most of seeing other parts of Europe that take our fancy while we can. So with that in mind we started exploring other options. The preferred choice was to still head to London but in between Xmas and New Year hop on one of the cheap flights out of London, easy jet, ryanair etc, for a mini break say in Poland or Bulgaria, Hungary or such. Yeah well every other Tom, Dick and Harriet had the same idea, so no luck there! So then we looked to flights out of Paris, unless we sold a kidney, not much luck there. We tried Brussels and no luck unless we were happy to arrive in these places at midnight and leave 2days later at 5am. So, hola, in the car for a 10hr drive down to Spain por favor! San Sebastian, Salamanca, Zargoza and then Barcelona for New Years!

Our past New Years Eves together have been spent in Italy, Bright(Victoria) and Paris. Bright wins for accommodation, food and weather. Verona for fireworks, atmosphere and location as nothing beats Italy and I’m sure it would of won food but everything was booked out so we grabbed pizza and vino(still great). The fireworks were truly spectacular, they didn’t just ascend but the whole amphitheatre was blanketed in them and afterwards those crazy Italians just kept at it until the morning. I remember being a tad nervous as I danced a jig trying to avoid what seemed like millions of those aggressive jumping jacks. Paris scores for the view, where we watched the fireworks from, near the Jardin des Tuileries, we could see La Tour Eiffel, Musee du Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and the Palais Royal. I knew that was the spot I wanted to be standing in, each time we visit Paris I like to come out from the shopping area, underground near the Louvre, from a particular exit to be smacked in the face with that jaw dropping 360 deg vista.

But back to our plans or should I say lack of plans. I am having no luck finding accommodation in Barcelona, it seems the whole city is booked out. There are lovely looking apartments available but you have to book a minimum of 4nights which doesn’t suit us. I don’t know if we’ll get to Spain again so I want to see at least a few different places. If we had the time I would love to go to the village we lived in for a year when I was a child. I wonder if the school I attended is still there? I can still remember when it was hot they would take us to the orange fields for our lessons and we would sit in the shade of all the orange trees.

So Jim and I have decided that if a city as big as Barcelona, and it being in Spain and all, there are going to be millions of those party mad Spaniards and if every bed including every youth hostel is booked out……maybe we aren’t so keen. OK so we’re getting old and it looks like we’re not even going to try to hang on, in fact we’re going to give up. So today I will try and book accommodation in reverse order. We will start in Barcelona, wish me luck and I’ll let you know how we get on.

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