Thursday, 8th July
The alarm went at 3.00 am and we forced ourselves up – rather difficult after the busy time we had had – me with the end of term and Adrian working non-stop on the old Morris and taking it the previous day to Andover to have the interior done, arriving back, after depositing the trailer at Bramley at 9.00 pm to eat, pack and think about holiday!
The journey to Gatwick was traffic free and trouble-free. We arrived in good time to book in, had a cup of tea/coffee and a roll and looked around the shops with our usual lack of interest!
Our flight left at 7.30 am. I was so sleepy, that after spending so long taxiing and waiting, I dropped off and then found us airborne! The flight was wonderful, with clear skies nearly all the way. We crossed over the Channel at Brighton, then across France – past Paris to Geneva and then the Alps – Mont Blanc and The Matterhorn – looking splendid and iced with freshly fallen snow. We then followed the length of Italy over the East Coast, despite the pilot saying that we will pass over Genoa and the West side – it did cause us problems for a while!
We passed over numerous islands, then circled over the mainland coast, landing at the airstrip, which just fitted on a flat bit of land on Kefalonia (spelling varies with C or K; f or pH; one or two l’s).
Our arrival was quite something to remember – no airport terminal, just an unfinished building, with "we apologise for any inconvenience owing to the incompletion of the terminal!" Instead we walked off from the aircraft, across the tarmac and onto an area of confusion under a corrugated shelter. Dozens of people were sitting around beyond the wire fence, making the whole place looked like a refugee camp. The baggage arrived alongside us, drawn by a truck and everyone fought to find their suitcases, then we walked past two customs men and joined a queue to be told which coach we were going on.
Trip to Kefalonia - July 1993
Ours was number six and we had to wait quite a while for Alison, our "Air Tours" representative to come and accompany us to our accommodation. The day was sunny, fairly warm, but with a strong breeze – quite English really. We were told it had been exceptionally hot 110°F+ - 43°C) and should be again.
The coach wound up along the little narrow road past the dry, barren, limestone hills. We dropped one or two people off at Lassi, then made for Argostoli, our destination. This is the capital of the island and an attractive little town on the sea, but no beach! Our hotel, on a side street about 100 yards from the sea, and were most of our coach was staying; was an uninspiring two star "dump". Our room was simple but adequate – two single beds (pushed together), bathroom with a half size bath, shower attachment, loo (we were told by Alison not to put loo paper down the loos!) and wash basin (one tap worked). There was also a hand basin in the room. The "perks" consisted of one tiny bar of soap and a loo roll. There were cupboards with hanging space and very little else, two chairs and one or two tables also bedside tables. Outside was a balcony with a table and two chairs and late afternoon sun and a view of the sea and hills. We were surprised that there were no blankets – just two white sheets. Also two glasses and a pea sized bulb in the bathroom.
With Greek time being two hours on from us, it was lunch time when we got to the hotel, so we set off almost immediately to find some and to explore. We came across endless pavement cafes and in one ate "chefs salad" (lots of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and ham), and Greek salad (tomatoes, peppers, onions, feta cheese) with beer (quite cheap) and Sprite. We then wandered around exploring.
Collecting the baggage
Being afternoon, everything was very dead, but the place is certainly full of character. We came back and got a bit sorted out, then left at 5.45 pm to wait for the coach to take us to a welcome party. This was at the Oscars, an attractive restaurant overlooking the sea, but we had to endure all Alison's "spiel" (most of which we had heard on the coach) before we had our one free cocktail. It made us feel what we already knew – that we are not "package" people, but Adrian did enquire about car hire, which we see as our way of enjoying this holiday. At 8.00 pm we left with a coach load of others to come back to Argostoli – other people stayed to eat there.
We briefly went to our room, then set off in search of food. We were delighted to find a square surrounded by numerous open-air restaurants. The place was the centre of the town and teeming with life and fun, filled with old and young. We spent a very happy evening served by a charming Greek and enjoying retsina, moussaka, meat pie (Kefalonian speciality), baklava and ouzo – all very Greek as the man said and even if the food didn't look too special, it tasted good. We arrived back exhausted at about 11.00 pm and fell into or onto our bed – disturbed in the night by noisy dogs fighting, cars, voices, noisy plumbing, but very quiet in between! We had tried to phone home but got no reply. Wrote postcards to Thomas and mum – told they take 7 to 10 days.
A local shop
Friday, 9th July
Found it hard to wake up, having awoken first before 7.00 am, then dozed off. We were last to breakfast – an exciting meal of bread, butter, marmalade and a teapot full of hot water, with tea bags and coffee sachets. No plates even – everything was bought on a tray and left – there was also a type of lemon squash.
We had decided to take the bus to Lassi today to find a beach, and this we did, catching the 11.00 am bus. When we got off at Lassi, we followed signs to the beach and walked along the "scenic route" – in other words a long way, but to a smaller beach nearby. The beach was quiet, full of sunbathers, most on sunbeds and just come to soak up the sun. We found a quiet spot and lay on our towels – after an initial swim.
. We then followed a path along the coast – often prickly and overgrown. We passed many lovely little coves, but after a bit had to take to the road, as there was no way past. Even this was lovely – it was very quiet and often shady under the trees.
Lunch at the Taverna
The water felt surprisingly cool at first, but was lovely to swim in – wonderfully clear with fine white sand and beautiful views across the azure sea to the western peninsular. After lazing for some time – the sun went in for a while, which was probably a good thing – we had another swim and decided to walk back to Argostoli following the coast. This was quite a way, as we were walking around the peninsular and not cutting across to Argostoli (about 8km). We hadn't any lunch with us and there was nothing on the beach, so we made our way along to the bigger beach near a large hotel and didn't want to shop here, so decided to make it to another beach where we could see a Taverna. This meant either scrambling over the rocks or swimming. Adrian chose the former, me the latter and neither was without problems! It was actually a very long way – both swimming and walking. We kept coming along another "head land" and had to just keep going. We lost sight of each other very soon. I arrived at the Taverna first. Adrian had had trouble as the path didn't always exist and at one point he had to take to the water (plus rucksack). Once at the Taverna we enjoyed a cheese and tomato roll and a beer, again with superb views
Adrian at Lassi
We came eventually to Saint Theodore lighthouse (built by the British) and then to the mill, where a stream of seawater makes its way under the island, emerging on the other side – this was only discovered fairly recently.
On the walk back to Argostoli
We arrived back at our hotel – we had gained a dog for some of our walk, but luckily lost it when we had our last swim – had a bath/hair wash then while I wrote the diary, Adrian (having first bought some ouzo and both having a drink on the balcony) went to see about hiring a car.
This he managed to do and bought back a little red Mazda. We walked into the square again and chose a different restaurant where I had Peasant Veal and Adrian had pork, with good local wine followed by a good local liqueur.
Saint Theodore lighthouse
Waterwheel at the sink holes of Argostoli
We came back and had a last ouzo on the balcony, having phoned Thomas and getting through immediately.
Rosie out for supper in the square at Argostoli
Saturday, 10th July 111 km
Another hot, sunny day with clear blue skies. After our usual uninspired breakfast, we set off in our motor at about 9.30 am. The road we took south easterly from Argostoli (actually by mistake at first) gave beautiful views down to the coast on one side and inland to pretty hilly country on the other. We found following the signposts rather difficult, due to the Greek alphabet – most of which we recognised – and words seemingly spelt slightly differently each time.
We turned off to view the Sissia monastery, in and idyllic setting close to the sea (at Lourdas Bay), which is as azure blue as we remember from our previous visit to Greece.
We carried on to a wide beach at Kato Katelios, where swam and sunbathed for a while. We then headed for Skala, where we had lunch in a restaurant adjacent to the beach.
Adrian by the Sissia Monastery
From here we took the unsurfaced coast road north to Porus. The views were wonderful, but often the road was high above the sea. When we did find a beach, it was pebbly, but we managed to find somewhere where it was sandy beyond the pebbles and have a lovely swim. We found Poros rather a disappointment – the beach was pebbly and there wasn't a lot to see.
Rosie having lunch at Skala
Rosie with our hire car at Skala
We made our way inland from Poros – firstly through gorge like country, then on an unsurfaced road up through the mountains. At a place called Nikolaos, we turned off onto an even worse track to a supposedly bottomless lake which is continually fed by springs. However, it was a bit of a wild goose chase – no signposts or anything and we followed a little pathway for a long way before realising that it didn't go anywhere. All we eventually saw were some tall grasses behind a metal fence and assumed that this was where the "lake" was. I needed to "spend a penny" here – a bit difficult as I was wearing short over my cozzie, but decided that no one was about, I crouched behind a tree. Adrian immediately started laughing – there in the branches above me sat – a goat!
Rosie with our hire car and the beach at Poros
After some time, our unsurfaced track became a newly tarmac road and we headed north fast, but became a bit unstuck when we tried to follow a track marked on the map, going back westwards. Instead we followed the "fast" road north almost to Sami, where we had wonderful views over the sea to Ithaka island. Soon after we turned left onto the road back to Argostoli, we came to signposts to Drongorati caves. We decided to stop and have a look. There the caves were quite impressive – a vast cavern with a myriad of stalactites and stalagmites. Having come back out into the warmth and the sunshine, we needed an ice cream and then a drink of water. The drive back to Argostoli was pretty, with wonderful views across the water.
After we got back became quite windy while sitting on the balcony. We went down to the square, changed some money, then had a pleasant meal in a different restaurant, sitting inside because I didn't like the wind. We then called in at the fair, which had set itself up on the front – dodgems, kiddies roundabout, fast roundabout – but the excitement there was immense! At this point I should mention the "kiddies rides" outside the shops up the road – cars, ducks etc for individual rides and all looking as if they came out of a late 50s throw out from England! However, in one of the shops were Adrian bought some water, ouzo and snacks and hadn’t quite enough money they insisted that he took everything and paid the odd bit later!
Somewhere there is the bottomless lake
The goat up the tree
Sunday, 11th July 115 km
Usual sleep disturbed by dogs/cats/voices/cars and a rude awakening for some from the local church bells next door at 7.30 am, followed by hearing the chanting right up until we left at 9.00 am. I had been already awake – the annoying foam pillows ensure that I wake up feeling achy. We had our usual exciting breakfast – this time with stale bread, being Sunday! We are surprised (and disappointed) at how many people smoke with their meal.
Our first stop was a walk up to the shop on the corner to buy two beach mats (at £1 each) – our towels have become very salty. We then set off by car and across the long bridge (built by the British). This gave beautiful views in all directions, with Argostoli on one side and hills behind and hills on the other. It is a popular place for fishing, but there isn't really room for fishermen and cars, so one has to proceed with caution.
We set off up the coastal road – a map is needed in any description of routes on the island as it is very irregularly shaped and cannot be imagined. Again there were some wonderful views, but the island hasn't yet got into "photographic viewpoints".
At the northern end of this stretch of water (called capital Livadi Bay on the map) we came to a flat agricultural area and began heading south down the eastern side of the Paliki peninsular, soon turning off onto an un-made up – unmarked road towards “Ortholitha Bay", known as Petani. Towards the end of this track, the road became newly surfaced and followed the innumerable hairpins bends down to a wonderful beach of very fine shingle in a beautiful bay with very high cliffs and as always the azure sea. There were only two or three groups of people on the beach – all local. It was obviously a local beach – no English at all. The number of people increased vastly while we were there, but we sunbathed and had several pleasant swims.
Wouldn't have had a "photographic viewpoint" for these goats anyway
We left about midday and climbed back (in the car) up all the hairpin bends again, then we made our way south through the middle of this peninsular – always managing to find our way. We stopped for lunch (omelette and Greek salad and beer and Greek coffee (for me)) in the little village of Chavada at Spiros restaurant. We sat outside, over the road, at a line of old tables with antiquated chairs and 50’s tablecloths and chair backs. Full of character, it was wonderful. No one else was there, but had there been they could have chosen "eggs boil" and "Nes – cafe" to go with "Greek cafe".
Many other delicacies were written all over the outside walls, but not offered to us. The omelette contained huge salt crystals which I found quite offputting, but we revelled in the atmosphere and the temperature.
We then lazily continued south, finally reaching Xi beach. What a wonderful name – it looks even better in Greek! : - Ξ I beach! In fact it was extraordinary. The pretty hilly landscape had become like a moon landscape with strange clay like rock looking like so many spoil heaps. The beach by contrast, was of red sand. It made me think of a barren cement works – all white rock and "builders sand" beach – no trees anywhere and no vegetation. It was incredibly hot – we had many swims – it was lovely for swimming, but we are still surprised that the water feels cool.
Lunch at Spiros restaurant
We left and made our way back in the direction of Lixouri, then suddenly found ourselves in Lixouri. It looked much like Argosoli, but being Sunday afternoon was absolutely dead. We came across the ferry back to Argosoli and were deciding what to do when suddenly we found ourselves driving "backwards" on to the ferry and we were off – well almost – but the last lorry couldn't quite fit on so it took a bit of Greek "pushing and shoving" to make it fit. It was pleasant going across the water to Argostoli, seeing the place as we had had visited on our walk back from Lassi.
Once at Argostoli, we had decided to drive up Mount Enos, which we hadn't managed yesterday. After turning off the main road, there was another surfaced road of continual hairpins, but after some time it was unsurfaced road and very uneven and a very long way (1628 m high). It is barren at first but the top is covered in a unique pine tree, looking no different from any other, but found only here.
on the ferry from Lixouri to Argostoli
Having struggled our way to the top, it was disappointing to find only a radar station – even if the chap let us into his "viewing platform". I felt quite giddy looking down over the surrounding land and sea – very overpowering. The thermometer here red 95°F! Our descent was pleasant and uneventful. We arrived back at the hotel and had a welcome bath to refresh us.
On Mount Ainos (Enos)
We set off to the square and chose yet another restaurant and revelled in watching all the people walking around
Adrian in our 'big' bath
Monday, 12th July 132 km
We were first to breakfast – at 8.00 am – shortly followed by the two girls who had hired a jeep – they are the two we keep coming across – up till now they have hired bicycles, but today intend taking a similarly route to us.
We had left by 8.40 am, and took the attractive road across the island to Sami. We arrived at Sami about 9.30 am and enquired at several places about ferries to Ithaka, as we couldn't face the idea of a coach party on our last day. It all fell in the "too hard" basket, as ferries only seem to go in the afternoon and then only across to a beach and not to the main town. We bought a couple of "buns" – a Danish pastry and a custard filled pastry – delicious when we ate them later. Adrian was looking for a disposable shaver, as he was growing whiskers and had left a vital part of his shaver behind. We came across a chemist with shelves packed high all higgledy-piggledy but no disposable razor. Just a bit further on was a little supermarket and there we got a shaver and in the evening Adrian was silky smooth again. We also bought two tapes of Greek music to play in the car.
We set off north and soon stopped at Karavomilos, where there was a peaceful little circular lake beside the sea, with water coming out from a water wheel (Rosie doesn’t say it but this is the other end of the underground stream which she mentions the start of near the lighthouse near Lassi).
Adrian on the balcony before we leave
Just a bit further on were the Melissani caves. This was quite lovely – a large circular lake encased by huge cliff like walls. We were taken around the lake in a little boat. The water was amazingly clear and a vivid blue in places. We were glad to have arrived just before the coach party. We saw the two girls in the jeep again here.
The road followed the coast, but this area is very steep, with very few beaches, but we did find somewhere to stop and have a swim although it was pebbly. This was just before the pretty little place of Effimia.
The circular lake at Karavomilos
The boat trip at the Melissani caves
From here we took a minor road north, quite scary for me, as it was high above the sea, full of bends and no crash barrier. The area was pretty barren. We eventually met up with the main road to Fiskardo, the most northerly town on the island. Here we had to park the car and walk into the town. We had a meal – me stuffed vine leaves, Adrian of aubergine salad, in a beautiful setting overlooking the water. Just near the restaurant, foundations were being dug and there was evidence of archaeological remains. We found the town rather touristy and full of jetset boats. Once more we bumped into the girls.
We stopped nearby at another beach, where we swam for a while before setting off south. Although hot until now, it became rather cloudy and misty and our journey south was often through thick mist, making visibility difficult. We turned off to the picturesque peninsular of Assos. Down at sea level it was sunny and hot. We walked around for quite a while, revelling in the charm.
Adrian at Fiskardo
Lunch at Fiskardo
Archaeological diggings at Fiskardo
On the peninsular a Castle occupied the higher parts – it was a long way up and we had decided against it. On the sea shore below, as in so many places, were beautiful pale pink oleanders.
Not far south of here (back in the mist again, we turned off to Myrtos beach. This was down many hairpins and the road was mostly surfaced. The beach was pebbly with a shingle spit along the edge. Getting to the water was difficult as the waves sometimes plunged over the spit. The water here was not clear, but stirred up opaque blue. We enjoyed a swim and marvelled at the number of motorhomes and one caravan which had manoeuvred the difficult way down.
Up from here we went into the mist again, with the sun sometimes peering through to give an eerie light and with dramatic reflections on the sea.
As we headed back south to Argostoli, the sun came through to give the usual hot, sunny weather. It was late when we got back, so after a quick bath, it was back to the square. We had difficulty in choosing a restaurant for tonight and eventually settled on one just outside the square and as we went in (or out) the girls were there!
Our meal was unremarkable, with quite poor service, but as we were about to leave we were each presented with a free brandy! We decided to have "pud" in one of the "gelateries" on the square and paid for our sins, as it was very expensive, but we each had a bit of gateau (£2 each) and watched the people walking to the end of the square and then turning round.
Tuesday, 13th July 54 km
Stale bread again for breakfast – so it's not just Sunday! Perhaps it's because hardly anyone comes to breakfast, so they are using up the bread!
Our last day with the car, so we set off – first of all northwards around the peninsular we had walked around on the first day. We followed the coast road down past the airport and a bit further on followed a track towards the sea. After long time, this led back to near the airport. It was very blowy today, so we didn't stop here, but followed the track back towards the airport to see how far away it was. We had discovered that our pickup time our 1.30 pm flight on Thursday is 9.45 am! Pretty excessive, especially as there is absolutely nothing at the airport – not even a building.
We continued to take the little coast roads and came to the sea at Arrilos. The roads are tracks in various states of surface, and go on for miles, often with a bit of tarmac at the end. This beach was pleasant and sandy and with surprisingly large waves – something we had not expected here. We swam and sunbathed for a while, then decided to explore further.
We went several miles, and then followed another tiny track to the sea. This went on and on and on down and down, round and round. It had been concreted all the way. When we finally reached the sea, there was virtually nothing there! A very rocky cove, a couple of half built straw roofed shelters and the wind was blowing so strongly that we couldn't do anything anyway. Furthermore, we looked back and although we driven a long way, we weren't far from the previous beach!
Undeterred we pressed on. There are lots of attractive villages in this area. We followed a track to Spartia beach and this time we hit the jackpot and came across a glorious calm sandy cove with very few people. We had lunch first sitting outside a rather smart and clean restaurant attached to a couple of dozen apartments. The view was superb through bright green pine trees, full of noisy cicadas, to the azure water and stark hills rising behind. We sat enjoying our lunch and beers thinking this is what it's all about!
Rosie at Arrilos beach
The next hour or so we spent on the beach swimming and sunbathing – the only annoyance being a sudden sharp wind blew sand everywhere. We explored some rocks to the right of the bay – flat pock-holed rocks containing fossilised cockle type shells. In two places makeshift horizontal ladders joined one piece of rock to the next and with trepidation, even I manoeuvred these. The holes in the rocks have been filled with seawater which had evaporated to have salt crystals looking like quartz. We rated this as our favourite beach, but reluctantly had to leave in order to return the car. We called in briefly at Pessada where a ferry leaves for Zakynthos island (also called Zante).
We were soon back in Argostoli and while I unpacked the things, Adrian took the car back.
We walked out along the front starting out early so that we could try to take a photo of the sunset over Argostoli. We were a little early for this so stopped for a drink at the newly built bar at the end of the bridge. This was a locals bar and our two glasses of ouzo came with a plate of delicacies – cheese, meat, olives etc and very cheap.
We walked back to one of the restaurants on the front. It was very windy, but with transparent blinds up, it was sheltered and we had excellent food – the best yet. Mine was cuttlefish, which I hadn't realised was calamari and contrary to anything I had tried in England, it was deliciously crisp, not rubbery at all. I also started with excellent taramasalata. We had become aware of two English couple's on the adjoining table sitting with Spiro, an old Greek chap, and often the waitress joined them. Towards the end of the evening we joined them too and spent a very enjoyable time chatting.
They were from Mansfield – Joan and Norman and Jane and Sydney and were staying for the second time in an apartment Lassi. Spiro was related to Mikos, the owner of the restaurant they usually ate out. The waitress was soon to marry Bill, the owner of this restaurant. She was 28 and had three children aged 10, 8 and 7 or thereabouts and they still lived in Crete, where she came from.
During the evening a German artist and his English woman came selling his paintings – for 1000 drachma. We bought a nice silhouette type picture of a tree against the hills. The young waiter at this restaurant was a young "Freddie and the dreamers" character who rushed to take a photo of the two of us when he saw me with the camera. He waved next day as we walked by. Altogether a very good evening.
An evening at the restaurant in Argostoli
The sun setting over Argostoli
Wednesday, 14th July
We decided to give breakfast a miss this morning, and eat at one of the many restaurants. However, the first one we sat at looked very local and no one came to serve us, so we crossed the road and bought a couple of buns, then found another restaurant where we did have breakfast after all – quite pleasant but not amazing!
At this point Adrian got cramp in his leg, which luckily wore off, as we were intending to walk over the bridge and round the "lagoon" – the end of the inlet sea. This was not as pleasant as we might have hoped, as we gained two dogs at various points and also there were unattractive cement works, which went on a long way
We walked back through the town looking for presents to buy – there is a good deal of rubbish in the shops and ended up with a wrap around skirt for me and one Greek pot! After returning to our room, we set off and had lunch at a nearby restaurant – I had fried eggplant, which was delicious – coated in thin batter and actually with courgette too. We looked up through the bright pink oleanders to the brilliant blue sky and enjoyed our beers!
We had decided to walk to Lassi – about 3 km over the hill – it wasn't a bad walk, but unfortunately all along the road.
! Just as we were getting back to back to Argostoli, we sat by the water and ate our buns.
The Obelisk, in the middle of the lagoon, Argostoli
Adrian on the De Bosset bridge across the lagoon, Argostoli
The bridge across the lagoon, Argostoli
Argostoli from the other side of the lagoon
Argostoli from the end of the lagoon
Old cars around the lagoon
We headed for a little cove we had passed on our first day when walking/swimming. We managed to find our way to it and were delighted to find that we were the only people there! It was not very good for swimming, being sandy, stony and rocky and the wind was making large waves. However we spent a couple of happy hours here enjoying the sun.
Wine presses on our way out of Argostoli
Tractors on our way out of Argostoli
Only after we had walked back to Argostoli and walked into a shop did we find out that there had been an earthquake in Patras and that several houses had fallen – it was at 3.30 pm. At that time we were lying on the beach with a precarious rock hanging above us! We hadn't felt anything but it had been felt in Argostoli.
We returned to our room and enjoyed the sun on the balcony for the last time, then left and bought our 1 or 2 gifts in the shop nearby and set off for the square. Earlier in the week I had seen children eating large corn on the cob and at last located them to a stall in the square – a long barbecue where they were being roasted. We bought one and ate it while walking around and Adrian also bought some nuts. We found a restaurant just off the square and sat out in an attractive, sheltered "yard". We had some local wine, Roboli – which was good. Adrian had moussaka and I had Kefalonian meat pie (the menu said "Kefalonian special"with "meat pie" written underneath, so I had realised what it was – the waiter told me it was delicious. It was good, but too much. We also had a Greek salad and ate most of that. We had one stuffed aubergine as a starter, as the waiter bought round the tray of starters to show us. He seemed rather busy and distracted, but when we went to pay, the owner offered us a free drink at the bar. Adrian had beer and I had a Drambuie and more peanuts. The girl and boy behind the bar were English. The television was on (silently) with a Sue Lawley Greek lookalike chairing a discussion programme.
We walked back and so ended a lovely week.
It was nice on our 'private beach' - lucky we didn't know about the earthquake
Looking towards Lixouri peninsular from 'our' beach
Adrian eating his 'bun' at Argostoli
Thursday, 15th July
Several people at breakfast today and as if for a last day treat, the bread was fresh – what a difference!
We had a last walk down to the front and sat by the water, enjoying the lovely warm sunshine. .
At 9.45 am, it was time to go. The ride round Lassi in the coach was actually very pleasant – we were able to look out and see many places we had been to. Luckily our escort wasn't Alison but we did see her at the airport. We were told that we could book in immediately but actually just stood with dozens of others in a stationary queue, before Alison called across "you're in the wrong queue", so off we all trotted somewhere else. Once we had booked in, we sat in the sun until one of the flights was called and we managed to find two seats in the shade. The time actually went very quickly and we enjoyed reading some of the family history magazines we had bought with us. The whole place was like an ant's nest, only stationary for most of the time. Thursday is obviously changeover day and there were lots of flights and therefore hundreds of people hanging around in the open. We were in fact delayed by half an hour and it was after 2.00 pm that we actually took off. We had window seats, but there wasn't much to see our side. We had a welcome lunch at 3.30 pm (two hours earlier for British time – 1.30). The skies were clear until we went over Northern Italy and then we went into thick cloud and landed in Gatwick at 3.20 pm local time to a very grey day. Everything went smoothly and at 4.45 pm, we left the car park in our car, arriving home at 5.45 pm to be greeted by Simon just back from his European holiday, and Thomas who had coped just fine and soon set to and cooked us a meal. A lovely holiday.
Rosie on the front on the last morning
Home after a lovely week away